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SubjectOT Naming. was: Re: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?
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On Wed, 2003-01-08 at 09:00, Richard Stallman wrote:
> The practice of referring to the whole system by the same name as the
> kernel alone leads to constant confusion between the two. You will
> often see statements that "Linux is a Unix-like operating system, like
> Solaris or FreeBSD, which is released under the GNU GPL." That is
> false regardless of what meaning you assign to "Linux". The only way
> to avoid confusion is to stop calling the whole system by the name
> used for the kernel.

This is what I understand is the COMMON usage:

linux refers to the kernel plus the GNU software, a complete os
linux-kernel refers to the kernel (which is why this is the linux-kernel
mailinglist not the linux mailinglist)

I have not seen the word linux used to describe an os built around the
linux kernel but without the GNU software, it may be referred to as
"linux based" but if they called it linux users wouldn't get what they
expected and complain.

The confusion you describe doesn't appear to exist, and making everybody
start calling the kernel "Linux" and the os "GNU/Linux" will at best
change nothing (practically, of course it may improve some peoples egos)
and possibly cause confusion.



The "GNU/Linux" vs "Linux" argument is a political one, not a practical
one, don't try to disguise it.



regards
NP
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