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    SubjectRe: Linux isn't an operating system
    Date
    In article <Pine.HPP.3.91.960307133001.9434A-100000@gaia.ecs.csus.edu>,
    Jon M. Taylor <taylorj@gaia.ecs.csus.edu> wrote:
    > Indeed. In fact, I have never heard a (substantially) different
    >definition from any other source besides you, here. Linux is UNIX, and in
    >UNIX the kernel is the OS.

    Well, most people I've talked to think otherwise. First of all Linux
    is not Unix (just like GNU's not Unix ;-) and most certainly not
    UNIX(tm), and secondly in Unix and Unix-like OSes the kernel is not
    the OS, it's the kernel. The very word "kernel" implies that
    distinction! If the kernel is the kernel of the OS, then how can it
    also be the whole OS?

    Just like programs have a functional core and a user interface, so an
    OS has a core, a programmers interface and a user interface. In
    Unix-like OSes, the core is the kernel, the programmers interface
    consists of the libraries and development tools, and the user interface
    consists of all those necessary little utilities that let you interact
    with the kernel (like the shell, or 'ls'). The whole thing is the OS.

    > That does not mean that this usage is strictly correct or that it
    >is widely accepted as as such by computer scientists.

    It doesn't mean that, but I think it is correct, and is widely
    accepted as such by the computer scientists I know. In fact, I'm
    pretty sure even the authors of the text books that were quoted with
    definitions that seemed to imply otherwise would agree, and that they
    intended only to define the core functionality of an OS, not the scope
    of the word. Shall we send them e-mail and ask?

    --
    Jurgen Botz, jbotz@mtholyoke.edu
    "Unix? What's that? Is that like Linux?"


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