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FSF Issues GNU/Linux Name FAQ

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the died-dead-horse-die dept.

GNU is Not Unix 1360

jdavidb writes "The FSF has issued a FAQ about why they believe you should say "GNU/Linux." Surprisingly long." They're certainly... thorough.

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Unpronouncable (0)

Methusalem (572742) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327771)

Maybe they just should've chosen a pronouncable name. "Linux" surely is more pronouncable than "GNU"...

Re:Unpronouncable (1)

AveryT (148004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327846)

But then people don't know whether to use a long "i" or a short one, i.e. Linn-ux or Line-ux.

FreeBSD is much more pronounceable.

Re:Unpronouncable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327893)

Yep, we'll stick to freebizzd!

harhar =)

Re:Unpronouncable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327954)


Re:Unpronouncable (2)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327902)

to pronounce GNU -> sounds like "new"

Pronounceability is cultural (2, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327915)

"Linux" surely is more pronouncable than "GNU"

Are you sure? In some human spoken languages, the "gn" cluster is considered "more pronounceable" than the "ks" cluster. What's pronounceable is what you've been brought up with. Yes, speakers of English are at an advantage vs. French speakers at learning the consonant clusters of Russian because English speakers are used to clusters, but it's hard for anybody who didn't grow up in southern Africa to learn to make the hundreds of click sounds that typically start a word.

now that's a quality comment (not the parent) (-1)

Trolling Stones (587878) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327925)

They're certainly... thorough

Nice contribution there michael. Way to increase to slashdot's bandwidth bill (albeit a very small increase) while adding nothing useful to the conversation.

g to the oatse
c to the izzex
fo shizzle my nizzle flaming michael? what the hell am i doing?

Why are they so desperate ? (2, Insightful)

gupg (58086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327775)

Why are they so desperate for taking some of the fame and credit for Linux ? Its like a someone with an inferiority complex trying to say, oh, I had some thing to do this with - as a matter of fact, this should be named after me.

If the people who work on Linux want to, they will rename it to GNU/Linux - the FSF can't just impose a name on them and expect everyone to accept it.

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327808)

They should at least attempt to take credit for a GOOD operating system. Why Linux? :/

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327841)

Its actually the other way round: GNU was around long before the Linux kernel was written. Essentially people have taken the GNU system and renamed it to Linux.

Are they? (2, Insightful)

jakuaii (410193) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327843)

Citing the first two sentences from the page:
When people see that we use and recommend the name GNU/Linux for a system that many others call just "Linux", they ask many questions. Here are common questions, and our answers.

Now, I wouldn't exactly call that desperate, especially when most of the basic OS utilities (compiler!) are GNU...

Re:Are they? (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327897)

As in VCC\Windows? Or perhaps Eula\Windows?

All seems a little pedantic to me. I call it GNU\Linux outa habit and sometimes just 'debian' , but it really doesn't faze me either way.

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (1, Flamebait)

windex (92715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327860)

The last time they had a OS called GNU/*, it was GNU/Hurd, and well, I'd want something better associated with me as well.

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (2, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327863)

I think it is because they are obsessive. No, really - these people are the ones who think that Free Software (TM) is the only ethical way of producing software.

Don't agree? Fancy a giggle? Then read this question's answer [] . I found it most entertaining, whilst ensuring they get zero credibility.

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327888)

They're desperate because they haven't managed to produce the operating system that they claimed they would. It's going to be 20 years now and there's still no GNU operating system..lots of GNU software, but no operating system. Now they're literally trying to claim Linux as their own, take the Linux kernel and call the collection the "GNU" operating system, because they failed to produce it themselves. They even have the audacity to suggest that Linux should be removed from "GNU/Linux," but out of some sort of self-serviant politeness they won't demand it be referred to as such. The FSF as a whole are egotists, and they contribute little more to the community than selfish whining and semantics.

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (5, Insightful)

(void*) (113680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327912)

I don't understand why people keep attributing motives and emotions to an organization like the FSF. FSF wrote a lot of GNU tools like gzip, sed, cat. They consciously set out to duplicate each and every piece of the software on Unix, whether it was glamorous work or not.

Now that they've done it, I have no problems giving them a little credit by typiing GNU/Linux, but still using "Lih-nooks" conversationally. Why is spelling things this way hard? It would be hard to write an emacs Macro that inserted "GNU" everytime one typed "Linux".

Heck, if one think this is petty, then it's even pettier to complain about the pettiness. (And I know what I just did: complain about your pettiness. So there!)

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (1)

boolean0 (448844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327947)

we had a debate about this at our Student Linux Users Group at school, we ended up deciding that it was a silly thing to debate about. yes they deserve credit for what they've done, but they ar e VERY pushy.

Stallman did not want to come speak for us unless we changed the name, he decided we were a 'lost cause'

Re:Why are they so desperate ? (4, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327960)

As I've said for years, Linus makes a better posterboy (my words) than RMS does. He's not a raving gun nut and he gets his hair combed and showers regularly. People can have a conversation with him and not get spit on as a result.

RMS is jealous of this. It's obvious. He worked for years and years, living in his office to make GNU work. Then along comes this kid who in 10 years does what he couldn't do in almost 20 - write a kernel that took advantage of all the applications. We (the Linux community) have never denied the credit to which GNU is owed. Without GNU, Linux would either be using BSD tools, or be about 5 years behind in its development.

HOWEVER, changing the name is just absurd, and it's a ploy from the FSF to get name recognition without shooting spittle across the room.

Guh Knew Lynn Ucks (0, Offtopic)

qurob (543434) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327778)

Ja-Nuh Line icks

I sense another debate, and article starting

New Linux tools (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327783)

Somebody needs to release a Linux that uses the kernel but not any of the GNU tools. Then We'll Show Them!


Re:New Linux tools (1)

K. (10774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327827)

Call us when you've finished your visual c++ port.

Linux without GNU (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327847)

Wow, I'd be thrilled to run Linux without any GNU software. I mean, I'm sick of that damned GLIBC anyhow... err... wait a minute.

Who cares when we got Windows/XP? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327784)


Did you install Cygwin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327848)

If so, you now have to call it "GNU/Windows XP"

"GNU/Linux" (2, Insightful)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327785)


What's in a name? (3, Insightful)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327793)

Hell, a lot of people ask what type of Linux you work with: Red Hat, SuSe, etc. Those aren't types of Linux (the kernel). Linus gave full credit to GNU when he posted his original Linux Usenet message, stating that he has been working on getting all the GNU tools to run on his kernel. Linux is just the kernel, and there are no GNU tools in there. Linux as a full OS with support software sure uses GNU software, and all the distros I know package GNU tools with their copy of the Linux kernel, but that is far from GNU/Linux.

Long? Try again. (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327794)

The FSF has issued a FAQ about why they believe you should say "GNU/Linux." Surprisingly long.

Would it be less surprising if it read: The Free Software Foundation has issued a Frequently Asked Question about why they believe you should say "GNU is not Unix/Linux."

I have nothing good to post (-1)

RestonVA (593792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327795)

I have nothing good to post

And As exciting a Read As... (1)

gerf (532474) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327798)

A Windows EULA... *yawn*

You know, (4, Insightful)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327799)

Great. Some suit in my company is going to read this, and its going to be yet another reason I can't convince us to switch to Linux.

Things like that make choosing a technological solution seem more like dedicating to a religion.

Linux would be a BETTER solution for us, but they're scared that someday they'll get a phone call from someone who writes FAQs like that saying that we're now legally obligated to give all our profits to the FSF.

GNU Zoo Revue (1)

+_-repo-_+ (315890) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327800)

Some about GNU/Linux always makes me think of the New Zoo Revue except I say the GNU Zoo Revue. how odd.

Non-GNU Linux (4, Informative)

sfraggle (212671) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327803)

I have a small linux distribution for the Psion Revo [] . Interestingly, I can name this just Linux (not GNU/Linux) because it contains no GNU software. All the normal GNU base utilities (glibc, gnu text/shellutils, bash) have been replaced with small embedded replacements (uclibc, busybox). So I can leave off "GNU/" and I am still correct.

OMG! Non-GNU Linux! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327949)

YOu should be stoned and whipped publicly!

Oh my god. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327805)

"We hope that you are one of those for whom right and wrong does matter."

I don't think I can add anything to that.

Ummmm.... (3, Funny)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327807)

*smiling, backing away very slowly from stallman...*


Haha (2)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327916)

I dunno, it must be too early in the day, but that is hilarous.

hah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327813)

tenth post! suck it, CLiT

misnomer (5, Funny)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327814)

Somehow I doubt those are frequently asked questions...

Re:misnomer (5, Funny)

rde (17364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327875)

If the list truly was a faq, top of the list, to my mind (well, okay, second to 'what the hell are you thinking') would be 'how do you pronounce gnu/linux?'

If memory serves, RMS pronounced it guh-new-slash-linux; if I remember correctly, there's yet another compelling reason to pronounce it with a silent gnu.

Re:misnomer (5, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327881)

and yet they are frequently answered.

Re:misnomer (2, Funny)

huge (52607) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327945)

Somehow I doubt those are frequently asked questions...

You are right, those questions probably arent that frequently asked, but atleast they are frequently repeating the same answer to almost every question... =)

Could they add an answer to the following question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327815)

Where in the GPL does it say:
If you include this and this much of these programs in your operating system, you have to call it GNU/something ?

Thank you for writing all the stuff, we acknowledge you in the copyright statement, and many other places. But we'll call it whatever we like.

Re:Could they add an answer to the following quest (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327931)

Actually, they address that. RTFA.

In a related article (2, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327819)

Microsoft has issued a press release saying that users should use the term Secure Windows. "As part of our new security initiatives, we believe that changing the public's viewpoint is crucial. Simply referring it as 'Windows' implies that it can easily be broken," noted an anonymous Microsoft press spokesman.

News that AOL was considering a name change to "Stable Netscape" for their web browser product could not be confirmed at press time.

I believe they are wrong (3, Insightful)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327820)

The FSF are not the language police. You can suggest we call a horse a fish, but people will not respond. Likewise, this is just as silly. They act like they dont know what you're talking about when you say "Linux" when it's quite obvious they do. It's a political battle for them, and they lost a long long time ago.

Time to call them out on this newspeak.

Say It! (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327822)

With all of the folks out there trying to change Linux into just another SCO, placing NDAs on it, and in general simply not understanding what the advantage of free software is, it's time for you to reverse the trend. Say it! GNU/Linux. Be part of the soultion.


Re:Say It! (1)

bytesmythe (58644) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327856)

How do you put an NDA on GPLed software? Could you provide some links to more information about this?

United Linux: NDA? (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327937)

United Linux was released as a "closed beta", and there was either disclosure or assumption (not sure which) that the beta reviewers had to sign NDA's.

I'm too lazy to find the Slashdot story, though. It was a week or two ago.

It was, of course, a very hot discussion. An NDA for Linux? (sorry Richard, GNU/Linux)

Re:Say It! (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327952)

Didn't .. erm.. Unitedlinux or sumfin' do just that. The clusterfuck of GPL cheat methods. Ie... SUUUURE It's GPL, but even if it aint... YOU CANT TELL ANYONE!.

Re:Say It! (1, Troll)

Epesh (2854) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327918)

I refuse. Stallman is an idiot. [] You can quote me on that all you like.

Re:Say It! (1, Troll)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327944)

simply not understanding what the advantage of free software is

The benefits of free software are simple: It's low to no cost, and you can do what you want with it.

The benefits of the FSF agenda, on the other hand, are not so clear. Wasting time on trival things like renaming Linux ensures that they remain that way.

I have not ever given money to the FSF, and I suspect that I never will.

GNU/Linux? (1)

DonkeyJimmy (599788) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327824)

We should call it DonkeyJimmyIsGreat/Linux.

The lessons of the atom bomb? (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327830)

This seemed over the top to me:

Linus publicly states his disagreement with the free software movement's ideals. He develops non-free software, and even obliges fellow developers of Linux to use non-free software to work on it with him. He goes even further, and rebukes anyone who suggests that engineers and scientists should consider social consequences of our technical work--rejecting the lessons society learned from the development of the atom bomb.

Re:The lessons of the atom bomb? (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327920)

It's true though. An engineer serves people more so than s/he serves technology. The technology engineers create is meant to serve people. It might not always be this way, but it should be.

Engineers should never be disconnected from the social implications of their work. To lose sight of the people you are creating the technology for is tantamount to treason against humanity, in my opinion, even if its not an uncommon occurance in the scientific or technology industries.

I guess the editors don't like me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327832)

2002-09-25 14:21:42 FSF Promotes GAY/Lunix Brand Name (articles,news) (rejected)

Trolling for Dummies (3, Funny)

Spoons (26950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327835)

jdavidb writes "The FSF has issued a FAQ about why they believe you should say "GNU/Linux." Surprisingly long." They're certainly... thorough.

Wow. You know it's a slow day when even the stories are trolls.

GNU kernels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327837)

Today, with the GNU Hurd working

Of the whole FAQ, this was my favourite bit :-)

I'm not likely to change (3, Insightful)

Dick Click (166230) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327842)

It seems to me that whoever chose the recursive acronym GNU did so as a joke. I treat it as such. If when the USA was formed, the founding fathers decided to call it "WNE" (WNE's not England), everybody would have called it (and still call it) something else.
The work the GNU folks does is awesome. Too bad about the name. I'm not likely to call it that, even after reading the FAQ.

More FAQ questions! (4, Funny)

greenfield (226319) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327845)

Why shouldn't I just use Linux/GNU?

Can I call it RMS/GNU/Linux?

Instead of GNU/Linux, can I call it "The bastard stepchild of the GNU project sired by Linus?"

Can I write GNU/Linux, but pronounce it "Linux?" (The "GNU/" is silent.)

Can I use Linux as an abbreviation for GNU/Linux?

Has GNU considered changing their license so that naming disputes like this don't occur in the future? (GNU should really try to protect their code more.)

( :-) for the humor impaired. )

GNU/Cygwin/Windows (4, Funny)

Arctic Fox (105204) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327849)

If you use Cygwin, does this mean you have to call windows GNU/Cygwin/Windows? GNU/Windows? Bah. I dont understand whats the big deal. Since cars use wheels,should they be called Orrrrg/Cars (or who ever invented the wheel). They also use flames, should they be called Promethious/Autos?

Who cares?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327851)

Enough said.

Filler for the lameness filter. Yada Yada Yada.

My Opinion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327853)

Fuck Gnu

it's ok (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327854)

It's fine with me as long as I can start calling Stallman a GNU/Idiot.

GNU: Get over it (4, Interesting)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327864)

Wah! wah! wah! call it by my name or I'm taking my toys and going home.

No one is denying the great tools that GNU provides. I always install various GNU tools on the Sun boxes I work on to keep me from going crazy. Stop acting so childish. It's this kind of behavior that can give Open Source a reputation of being a bunch of "childish geeks."


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327865)

Here is the source of a tribute site devoted to his goat fucking prowess:
<img src="stallman.jpg">
"I am a goat fucker!" -Richard Stallman, 1994
A bit of MIT/LCS lore here.
RMS used to live on the 7th floor of LCS. That's where he used to have his office before he resigned in protest over the commercialization of something or another. But they let him keep his office, and he lives there, because he refuses to have an apartment. (Given the rent rates in Cambridge, the assholeness of most landlords, I don't blame him. Rather than live in my office, I chose to move to Texas, and the change in rent rates and lack of state income tax resulted in an immediate %25 pay raise. RMS doesn't have that option because we have the death penalty for people like him down here.)

Anyway, RMS has or had a number or geek chick groupies. I wouldn't call any of the ones I've seen "hot", really -- well except for this one little psycho jewish undergrad from NYC. He would sleep with them on the sofa in his office. That's why he got kicked out off floor 7, and down to the 3 floor, is that the cleaning staff complained about pulling used condoms out from behind the sofas. No joke. You can use this information for trolling if you wish, but it's all true.
RMS has a phobia of water that prevents him from showering. This is part of this post I know from first hand experience, because I myself have observed him taking a sponge bath in the 3d floor mens room in LCS. Apparently once he had a girlfriend who he was totally in love with, and she convinced him to take one shower a week. It was a traumatic experience for him each time.
RMS also has a phobia of spider plants. When RMS starts bothering a grad student and going to his office and talking to him constantly and getting him to spend all his time writing free software, the grad student will complain to someone on the floor, and they'll let them in on the secrete -- get a spider plant in your office. The next time RMS drops by, his eyes will bulge a little and he'll say " Umm. . . I wanted to talk to you about hacking some elisp code . . . why don't you stop by my office sometime ?" and make a hasty exit.
One of his more nasty habits is picking huge flakes of dandruff out of his hair while talking to you. At least he doesn't eat them, like some people I know.
Now, I know everyone loves to make fun of RMS, and I'm feeding that a bit here, so I'd just like to say that I think he really is a genius, on the order of Socrates (another filthy slob who couldn't keep a normal living arrangement, and lived in a barrel) or Ghandi or Ezekiel. Everything he has ever said to me, while sounding naive and idealistic and stupid at the time, turned out to later be correct.
The only thing I fear in his philosophy is his interest in reducing population growth. Everyone else I know of who was obsessed with that "problem" turned out to have facist or totolitarian tendencies, and I think that the problem will solve itself as more and more of the world moves into a middle class type existence.
But on everything else, bitter experiences have taught me he is right. I will not use any non-GPLd or lGPLd software, and I look forward to being able to buy only "open" hardware. I would like to see software patents completely eliminated, and with the development of digitial communication, I see no reason why shouldn't simply repeal all of Title 17 and do away with all copyrights. They just aren't needed. I expect to spend much of my life being paid to write software, and I just don't see copyrights has helping me in anyway.
<a href="">Feedback</a&gt ;


Until they convince the world to say GNU/Solaris.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327867)

FSF got its first big break because Sun's compilers and utilities just sucked rocks.

So, when people start saying GNU/Solaris, I'll consider GNU/Linux, but until then, it's just the desparate plea of a megalomaniac.

Someone tell them to give up on this already (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327871)


1] If they want mindshare and market awareness (in other words people to talk about their product, and to consider using it) which eventually lead to more users then the system should have a friendly, easy to remember and pronounce name.

2] Authors and contributors to software are already given credit in the license and accompanying files. Why should GNU software be given a spotlight? Why not Mark Andressen, 22 from Oslo who contributed a bugfix to GCC?

I appreciate that GNU software forms a large part of the system, but this crusade is ridiculous. I think the GNU philosophy is an honourable one, but sometimes the way they wage publicity wars does them and everyone associated with them no favours.

GNU/Solaris (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327872)

With so much GPL software installed in Solaris by default nowadays, I hope Stallman et al. will force the issue with Sun as well.

I'm so sick of this debate. (1, Redundant)

tommck (69750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327873)

Soon, everyone else will ask for their piece of the name... it'll be:

GNU/XFree86/KDE/Gnome/GenuflectTowardsTheFSF/RMS/K itchenSink/Linux


P.S. Can't wait to see all the moderation abuse in this discussion...

gnu/linux won't cut it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327877)

but gnude/linux would receive widespread acceptance.

By this logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327878)

We should probably call emacs Xemacs, since most people use it built on top of the X Window libraries, yes?

This smells of GNU/Desperation (1, Troll)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327879)

We are right! Really we are! There is no reason why you shouldn't agree with us! Please!!! Pretty please?

It seems like its really bugging them =D (1)

dmouritsendk (321667) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327882)

To ensure that the mental health of the nice people at FSF is keept normal, please start using the GNU/ prefix when writing about (GNU/)linux.

I call it linux, here's why, in a few short points (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327883)

1: because Linus does
2: Because Linus succeeded where GNU failed
3: Because GNU/Linux is too damn long to say
4: Because I don't call programs made/depending on MS Visual Studio 6 "MSVS/[program name]"
5: and finally, because Linux is common usage as the name of the OS. This is like trying to force the metric system on me when everything around me right down to my car's odometer is in miles. Let Stallman seethe in his jealous corner...I respect what he's done in creating the FSF, but that doesnt make me want to pander to his ego.

Eh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327885)

Linux wouldn't be here without the FSF/GNU tools.

Yet who here would even know what the hell the FSF was, if not for Linux?

As for me, I'll keep saying Linux. I'm already reminded daily of the FSF's contributions almost any time I open up a manpage.

Besides, it gets tiring explaining that it's 'gnu', and that Linux has been around for years and isn't 'new'.

GNU/Linux, Kroupware, [a-z]clock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327886) much enthusiasm, so little progress...

Fighting an uphill battle (1)

bbuda (168824) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327887)

The GNU project is technically correct here, and I think very few people would argue that. However, the media and the community have settled on the name Linux by and large. This FAQ (which is quite extensive) seems like a tremendous waste of time. Anyway, don't these people have a kernel to be coding???

Moral standard? (2, Interesting)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327889)

From the FAQ:
To care only about what's convenient or who's winning is an amoral approach to life. Non-free software is an example of that amoral approach and thrives on it.
I'd certainly like to know where the FSF gets its moral absolutes from. If I say that non-free software is amoral, what gives FSF the authority to say that I'm wrong? Does the FSF believe in God? Do they believe moral absolutes can be created in a vacuum?

Re:Moral standard? (1)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327963)

If I say that non-free software is amoral
Sorry, meant to say non-free software isn't amoral... I hit "Preview" first I swear

More power to em... (2)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327891)

They are wasting their effort and time on a STUPID issue, but hey it is a free world... I doubt I will ever call it anything but Linux, anymore than I am likely to add some lame corporate name to the heisman trophy, of to refer to SF Giants stadium as some companies name as well....

At least doesn't affect me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327899)

Us BSD folks don't need to worry about this.
There's no way I'm going to call the operating system
I use BSD/NetBSD. :)

Time for the obligitory BSD is dying post now.

A rose by any other name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327901)

...would sound as pretentious. Don't these guys have something better to do than be anal with naming policies? That is something I expect from an overpaid, underworked, middle management, marketing executive.

I'm sorry guys... (1)

LordHunter317 (90225) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327904)

But I've always OS is synoymous with the Kernel. OS to me, means the lowest common demoninator you need to use it. Everything else is part of the Operating Environment. As such, Linux is the OS, and maybe GNU/Linux is the OE, if the OE is *pure* GNU utilities. Since Linux and *BSD use at least a GNU C/C++ toolchain, the GNU/Linux argument is out and foolish.

Its perfectly feasible and possible to create a Linux distribution that uses no GNU utilites, and instead uses original BSD utilities or the like. Then it would have to be called BSD/Linux by their arguments, which makes no sense.

What this really boils down to is that RMS has a huge-ass ego (and a small-ass dick) and he's throwing around this name to compensate for one or the other.

Names, names, name (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327905)

So, uh, what do I call Cygwin?

Linux GNU? (1)

CrosbieSmith (550211) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327926)

Following the rules of English, in the construction "GNU Linux" the word "GNU" modifies "Linux". This can mean either "GNU's version of Linux" or "Linux, which is a GNU package." Neither of those meanings fits the situation at hand.
So why not Linux GNU, meaning "Linux version of GNU", which seems to be what FSF are claiming.

Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? (1)

marlowe (179270) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327932)

Three times fast: GNU/Linux GNU/Linux GNU/Linux.

This could be the dorkiest name since Windows Me. Or Volkswagen Golf. Fahrfergnugen, man.

FAQ? (0, Offtopic)

sawilson (317999) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327936)

Without taking the time to actually read
the FAQ, how many questions could you
possibly ask. More importantly, How
frequently does anybody actually ask
them? Perhaps we need to come up with
something new like:

HEAQ - Hardly Ever Asked Questions
QNEA - Questions Nobody Ever Asks
PDDTPONMA - Pointless Document Designed To Push
Our Narrow Minded Agenda

This is one of the Dumbest things I have ever seen (1)

Sir_Ace (147391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327938)

Not to mention it is going to start a flame war of
nuclear proportions.... The Asbestos armor won't help with this one...

Secondly, I wrote Daydream Linux {runs on the Dreamcast sh-4} and I damn sure didn't use any GNU tools for that. They talk about 'cooperation' in their FAQ, but I got no help from them when I needed and asked for it. {from GNU/*} The dist has none of their tools, and if I hear them try to call it Daydream GNU/Linux I am all for going to **war** against the FSF.
From now on the EFF, is the only one I will be donating to, after seeing that this is the end result of donating to the FSF for years.

-- Sir Ace

Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327939)

You know, when a bunch of Slashdotters jump on you for being overly zealous, that's probably a sign you need to lighten up.

Hmmm.. (2, Interesting)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327940)

I must not understand these FSF folks very much.
Am i correct in saying that feel charging money for any software in evil?

Do they hate the BSD license?

lignux (5, Interesting)

sfraggle (212671) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327941)

Amusingly if you look in the GNU emacs ChangeLog, RMS changed the OS identifier for Linux in Emacs to "lignux" in 1996:

1996-03-26 Richard Stallman

* Use lignux instead of linux as value of opsys.

Several months later he changed it again:

1996-06-21 Richard Stallman

* Rename lignux to linux-gnu in configuration names.
Use gnu-linux as the opsys value (s/ file name).

Linux, Kleenex, and Xerox (1)

biggles2k (559598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327942)

Interesting read, though I think our GNU friends are overreacting just a wee bit. Perhaps tissue makers and producers of copiers ought to write FAQs about why we should never refer to a tissue as a "Kleenex" or a copy as a "Xerox". Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if they have...

I understand that they want recognition for their contribution, and that is fine. I don't blame them. Still, I feel that they are preaching to the choir. Those of us who really care about the issue know that when we say "Linux", we're referring to GNU's contribution as well. Isn't it the thought that counts?

YAG/LA (2, Funny)

The J Kid (266953) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327946)

Ah yes...YALSBG/LA (Yet Another Linux Should Be GNU/Linux Article)

The Linux kernel dev team should change their name into LINUACNG (Linux Is Not Unix And Certainly Not Gnu/Linux)

Doesn't the FSF have anything better to do than think up FAQ's that no one will ever ever ever ever even pay the slightest bit of thought to?

This is a joke. Laugh

OLD / Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327951)

O.riginal L.awyer-free D.escription of Linux

I'm going to start using OLD/Linux to identify that I run Linux. Really, this is all just silly.

Is the Linux name trademarked, what about GNU? if both, than can they really be combined without lawyers? ;)

The funny thing about ideology (0)

fliptw (560225) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327953)

is that its never practical. have Stallman get back when he can make it work.

GNU way! (1)

mzungu (316073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327955)

I read the FAQ.

PEOPLE OF GNU -- LET IT GO ALREADY. Enough is enough. Linus Torvalds is baaad because he has the gall to use "non-free" software in the development of Linux. He also produces "non-free" software. (all according to the FAQ).

My favorite quote (regarding possibly alienating otherwise friendly folks):

"Not much. People who don't appreciate our role in developing the system are unlikely to make substantial efforts to help us. If they do work that advances our goals, such as releasing free software, it is probably for other unrelated reasons, not because we asked them....

Meanwhile, by teaching others to attribute our work to someone else, they are undermining our ability to recruit the help of others. "

SO - you are either a true beleiver or a heathen with ulterior motives, there is no gray area. You are either GNU or anti-GNU.

I can see no useful purpose served by this thinly veiled attack on Linus Torvalds, and of those who would dare to have an alternative viewpoint.


I call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4327956)

I dont care what they say. Im sorry, but I call it redhat, or mandrake or coyote or suse.

It's been said... (1)

mwarps (2650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327959)

Even by me.
GNU/Linux. Not a big deal. Words. However. The idea behind it, at least the way I'm understanding it, is a bunch of software zealots wanting credit or to ride the wave of the Linux kernel, without which, their GNU software (not operating system) would be totally useless (in most cases).

I'll be calling my Operating System "Linux". I'll be calling the software I use "GNU". Make the differentiation. There is one. An operating system does the IO and configures your hardware. Software, which is what GNU writes, provides applications and support. Let's not Integrate like Microsoft. Let's Differentiate.

If Hurd was ready for prime time..... (1)

rhombic (140326) | more than 11 years ago | (#4327961)

They started work on the GNU OS in 1984-- coming up on twenty years, and no production kernel with drivers for anything? Come on. A sad fact of life is that the credit usually goes to the person who puts all the pieces together, rather than the people who build the parts. And without a kernel you can't put a distribution together. Without a distribution you're going to appear to be just a tool maker.
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