On 3/9/21 7:43 AM, Matthew Miller wrote:
> 2. Why Linux and not GNU/Linux? Linux is just a kernel. GNU/Linux
is an OS.
Fedora Linux is an OS. Although GNU project utilities are indeed essential,
Fedora Linux consists of more than those plus Linux, and the contributions
of many of those other projects is equally essential.
Stephen's right to point out that the Linux vs GNU/Linux arguments have
been mostly the same for 20 years. Very few of those arguments are
objective or logical, IMO. What if we did have a way to define Linux,
GNU/Linux and Fedora, though? Something neither arbitrary nor capricious...
One of the bad arguments, seen in this thread too, is whether or not
Linux is an OS or just a kernel. I think we can accept that Linux is an
operating system on its own, though it's one that implements a
non-standard, de facto interface.
The GNU operating system, on the other hand, is a mostly conformant
implementation of POSIX and related standards. Its most common variant
is GNU/Linux. Because it is an implementation of a formal standard, we
can objectively identify the GNU/Linux operating system.
The LSB also provides a useful definition of an operating system which
extends beyond POSIX and related standards. Fedora does produce an
operating system that implements that standard, but that operating
system isn't typically distributed on its own. Rather, it's a small part
of the Fedora software distribution.
I think it makes sense to differentiate Fedora the operating system from
Fedora the software distribution, because calling the entire
distribution an operating system needlessly strains the definition of
that term. And that means that Fedora is a project, Fedora is an
operating system, and Fedora is a software distribution. If "Fedora
Linux" has officially been the name of anything in the past, it's
escaped my notice. When my laptop boots, it prominently displays a logo
that says "Fedora".
If we're going to rename the operating system from "Fedora" to "Fedora
Linux", and that name isn't used to differentiate a variant from one
with a different kernel, then I think it's kind of conspicuous that
we're using the name of the kernel and not the name of the POSIX
operating system that Fedora extends. And my opinion is that choosing
not to acknowledge GNU makes the project less welcoming and friendly to
those of us for whom Free Software is an ethical concern before a
It's also rather conspicuous that when it comes to Apache httpd and
Eclipse IDE, we honor the name used by the people who wrote the
software, but when it comes to GNU/Linux, our standards for naming are