The Hurd

Luciano Miguel Ferreira Rocha strange at
Wed Mar 20 14:57:55 UTC 2002

Stop that, will you?

My opinion isn't worth much, I wasn't around when Linux or the Hurd or GNU
started, but here is what I think of this matter:

There is no reason to call a Linux sytem GNU.

Why not? Well, when Linux was started it wasn't even an operating system,
and as some one has pointed out (sorry, I can't find that email), the
development was somewhat closed.

So he continued developing his terminal and, with the help of a global
community it ended as a kernel.

Now why should it be named, by itself, GNU/Linux (or GNU/Something)? Just
because it was developed with GNU tools? Of course not, that would be
absurd. And I even think the FSF/GNU people wouldn't like that, that
someone else, independent of them, released a program with their name on

So now for the system, not the kernel itself.

Well, the first system I used as Slackware, a long time ago. And it used
BSD libc, BSD netutils, BSD_a_lot, and of course some GNU utils also, and
X11, etc. Of these, which were the most important? Well, libc was surely
of the utmost importance, and to me and a lot of people the netutils was
the second most importante piece (after all, it was called an OS for

So then, should it be called BSD/Linux instead? Well, after a few years the
BSD parts diminished, and the GNU parts increased. Then we would had had to
rename all systems to GNU/Linux instead of BSD/Linux. But now, today, the
GNU part as diminished in relevance in comparision with the rest of the
system: the configuration tools, the X Window System, KDE, Mozilla, and lot
of others. I mean, a user would use Linux or GNU/Linux for hours without
seeing any GNU component...

So I see no reason to call Linux GNU/Linux. I believe X, KDE and third party
tools have brought more people to Linux than the GNU tools, after all, looks
does matter...

Anyway, I do think you and everybody else are entitled to call it GNU/Linux
system if you like, but I don't think you are entitled to make me call it
GNU/Linux reasoning that I'm insulting GNU by doing so.

Best regards,
Luciano Rocha

Luciano Rocha, strange at

The trouble with computers is that they do what you tell them, not what
you want.
                -- D. Cohen

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