Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

It is called Linux, not GNU/Linux, get over it

Filed under
Linux

What is the operating system that I use called? I along with 99% of the human race, call it 'Linux' when speaking. However, when writing, I often use the term "GNU/Linux" the first time in an article to appease those who use this term. Today I decided to actually think about the issue.

In 1983-4, in Boston, a researcher called Richard Stallman made a plan for a free operating system and started work. He and a small number of people made an amazing start. They had almost no money and no support, yet they managed to make a fantastic text editor, a C library, a C compiler, a shell and many other bits and bobs.

Stallman called this system GNU, a hacker joke for 'GNU is Not Unix', a good joke in 1984 but a crap name. An in-joke among the creators does not make a good product name that users can pick up quickly. To start with two hard consonants in a row is very ugly, making it hard to pronounce; the golden rule of branding is that if you have to explain it then you have lost already. When reading GNU ('G'-'N'-'U'), it sounds like a trade union, not like a cool new operating system.

Meanwhile, in 1991, a student in Finland called Linus Torvolds decided to write an operating system kernel for the Intel processor found on his low-end desktop PC. The first version he wrote in three months, and he called the system 'Freax'. He asked the FTP admin at his university for some space to host Freax and was given the directory 'Linux', this was the least worst name and it stuck.

More Here




More in Tux Machines

What Is DNF Package Manager And How To Use It

​A package file is an archive which contains the binaries and other resources that make software and the pre and post installation scripts. They also provide the information regarding dependencies and other packages required for the installation and running of the software. Read
more

FSFE: ‘German public sector a digital laggard’

With their lacklustre approach to free software, German public services remain behind other European member states, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). When asked, the current governing parties’ say they support free software, but their statements are contradicted by the lack of action, the advocacy group says. In early September, the FSFE published its analysis of the free software policies put forward by the main political parties on the ballot, in preparation for Germany’s parliamentary elections on 24 September. This analysis (in German) is far more detailed than an earlier report generated by the Digital-O-Mat, a web portal set up to focus on political parties’ positions on 12 digital topics. Read more New release: ISA² interoperability test bed software v1.1.0

PocketBeagle: An Ultra-tiny, Open-source, Linux-powered Development Board

BeagleBoard.org has revealed its latest development board named PocketBeagle. It’s an ultra-tiny and open source USB-key-fob computer that’s crafted for DIYers, hobbyists, and educators. PocketBeagle is based on Octavo Systems OSD3358-SM 21mm x 21mm system-in-package, which gives it 512MB DDR3 RAM, 1-GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, and 2x 200-MHz PRUs. It comes with integrated power/battery management as well. Read more

Security: SEC Breach, DNSSEC, FinFisher, CCleaner and CIA