linus vs gnu+linux

Ben Finney ben at
Sat Jan 20 00:27:34 UTC 2007

On 19-Jan-2007, Oleg Verych wrote:
> Again i will try to bring up discussion about "WTF that GNU is?".

GNU is an operating system, that is, a collection of software that
allows a computer to be used. The GNU project began to develop this
operating system in 1983. Millions of computers run GNU, the
majority using a kernel called Linux, which was the first kernel to
complete the operating system for general use.

I assume you're aware of these facts, but perhaps the above summary
will be useful to you.


> Also i'm glad to see library rats _discussing_ all, but issues in
> GNU vs Linux problem.

The "problem" is that the majority of people who run GNU don't realise
its name, and by extension, who created it and why. By believing it
was created in 1991 by a programmer who doesn't advocate software
freedom as a principle, they don't realise the importance of that
principle in the existence of the operating system.

> So let me point you to some information to analyze.

> 1. 10+ years of the discussion:
> 2. FSF problems with GCC:
> 3. FSF problems with glibc maintainer -- mister Drepper
> 4. Read carefully, who (David MacKenzie) is deserving acknowledgment
> for GNU tools
> 5. My message above about Debian and GFDL.

You have pointed to many disparate areas of discussion, but haven't
told us why you think these relate to the problem of calling GNU by
the wrong name.

> After all i see with Linus Torvalds: linux, sparse, git, i bet
> people, especially like those, who just discussing things, must
> build momument to him.

Linus Torvalds deserves credit for the work he has done, especially
since the majority of it has been free software of high quality.

The problem comes when people attribute the entire operating system to
one person, which is not deserved; and especially when the purpose of
creating that operating system is lost in the discussion.

> Developers also, as base for them is brought by Linus. There are
> already set of tools like klibc, POSIX utils, dash, busybox,
> (ft)jam, that all can very soon replace all GNUish crap. Yes crap,
> until somebody from FSF with face problems not by ass.

I don't understand what this paragraph says. It seems to be attempting
to insult the quality of GNU, but I don't see why you would do that.

> Maybe i'm too young to understand something more

You do seem to be angry and prone to baseless insults, which are
qualities of immaturity. I hope you can come back in a spirit of
discussion instead of antagonism.

> than i do, anyway after 6+ years of being with *-linux-gnu-*, i
> think FSF+RMS is wrong.

The operating system under discussion is called GNU, the kernel under
discussion is called Linux. Those are historical facts, recorded in
all the communications about their creation and ever since.

Are you saying that there is some particular statement you think is
incorrect? If so, which statement by whom? Are you saying something
else is "wrong"? If so, what?

> And don't mix GNU GPLv2 document with all that, please.

I don't see how that document is relevant yet, but if it becomes so, I
won't be constrained to avoid discussing it if necessary.

 \      "The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days |
  `\                     later you're hungry again."  -- George Miller |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben at>
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