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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."


So, who uses the terms "Linux" and "GNU/Linux"?

In the Linux corner:

The Linux Foundation uses the general term "Linux" for the ecosystem.

Likewise, Linus Torvalds uses the general term "Linux".  I'm with Torvalds on this: When asked if he thought the term "GNU/Linux" was justified, he responded


"Well, I think it's justified, but it's justified if you actually make a GNU distribution of Linux ... the same way that I think that "Red Hat Linux" is fine, or "SuSE Linux" or "Debian Linux", because if you actually make your own distribution of Linux, you get to name the thing, but calling Linux in general "GNU/Linux" I think is just ridiculous."


Ubuntu?  "Linux". (Oh.  But Canonical is not "ethical" if we are to accept the Gospel According to RMS, who is the final arbiter of what is and is not "ethical".)

Red Hat?  "Linux".

CentOS?  "Linux".

Fedora?  "Linux".

SUSE?  "Linux".

OpenSUSE.  "Linux".

Oracle Linux.  "Linux".

Debian.  "Linux".

Manjaro?  "Linux".

Arch?  "Linux".

Scientific Linux?  "Linux".

There are many more.


And in the "GNU/Linux" corner

RMS calls it "GNU/Linux" -- and he and his sycophants insist you should, too!

The Free Software Foundation (Hey, that's RMS's baby, right?) calls it "GNU/Linux".

Trisquel?  "GNU/Linux".  RMS uses this.

KNOPPIX?  "Gnu/Linux".

The GNU Project?  "Gnu/Linux".  Of course.  Why not?

There are more.  I don't run with that crowd, so I don't know about most of them.


Anyway, I'd appreciate it if the RMS sycophants would just stop making an issue of this.  If you want to call it "GNU/Linux", be my guest.  Just don't crash everyone else's parties with your drums beating, banners held high and voices chanting that it's "GNU/Linux" just because the great and powerful RMS says it is.  You just make all of us look silly.  

So is it "Linux" or "GNU/Linux"?  Honestly, I don't give a rat's patootie what anyone calls it, so long as they don't stir up angst and acrimony with their shrill voices.  Shut your pie holes and put your hair shirts back in your closets.


Legal Disclaimer:  I am not an Ubuntu apologist, but I do use Ubuntu and Kubuntu.  I am not a Fedora apologist, but I do use Fedora.  I am not a Windows apologist, but I do use Windows.  I'm not a FOSS apologist, but I use FOSS tools when I can and when they fit the job at hand.  I don't find any sense in a religious affiliation with tools and operating systems.  That's just asinine.