Article Index

OK.  Since I'm sure that all but seven of the humans on the planet (and some non-humans, too -- like my dog) want to hear my opinion, I'll let you have it.  Hey.  This sad, benighted little blog is my party, so I can say what I want.

Seems everywhere you go, there is a question that gets asked with a fair amount of regularity:  "Is it 'Linux' or 'GNU/Linux'?"  Actually, sometimes it's not even that so much as a mob of wild-eyed zealots stomping their feet and shouting that it's "GNU/Linux" when anyone says just "Linux".

In June of 1994, the GNU Project's own Bulletin called Linux a free Unix system for 386 machines with many of the utilities and libraries from GNU.  Nothing has changed.  That is still what Linux is today -- except for the machine architecture.

But this, from May, 2015, is RMS' megalomaniacal revisionist history in the extreme: 


"I developed the GNU operating system, which is often called Linux ..."


Seriously?  No, really!  Seriously?

I really don't want to hear this at the polite parties I attend.  Sorry Richard.  I certainly do not agree that Linux is the "secondary contribution" as you say it is.  Before Torvalds developed Linux,  GNU was a box of tools and applications looking for a Hurd -- as it is still today.  Linux did not need GNU.  GNU was just conveniently at hand and begging for work.  Linux did not fit in as the "final piece" of the GNU Operating System.  That was supposed to have been Hurd.  It wasn't.  No, this was a convenience for Linux.  It was a mortal necessity for GNU.  If GNU dropped dead today, the Linux community would replace it, even though it would be a difficult endeavor.  There is already a robust ecology of non-GNU tools and their developers.  If Linux dropped dead today, GNU would be back on the street corner holding a sign reading "Help me find a Hurd."