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

Stable kernels 4.16.3, 4.15.18 and 4.14.35

ExTiX 18.4 – “The Ultimate Linux System” – with LXQt 0.12.0, Refracta Tools, Calamares Installer and kernel 4.16.2-exton – Build 180419

I have made a new version of ExTiX – The Ultimate Linux System. I call it ExTiX 18.4 LXQt Live DVD. (The previous version was 17.8 from 171012). Read more

Migrating to Linux: Network and System Settings

Linux gives you a lot of control over network and system settings. On your desktop, Linux lets you tweak just about anything on the system. Most of these settings are exposed in plain text files under the /etc directory. Here I describe some of the most common settings you’ll use on your desktop Linux system. A lot of settings can be found in the Settings program, and the available options will vary by Linux distribution. Usually, you can change the background, tweak sound volume, connect to printers, set up displays, and more. While I won't talk about all of the settings here, you can certainly explore what's in there. Read more

Meet Bo, an Ubuntu-Powered Social Robot with AI Capabilities

Meet Bo, a social robot with AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities, powered by Canonical's Ubuntu Linux operating system and optimized to welcome customers, as well as to help them navigate to find products and areas in your organization. Bo was already used by several well-known brands like Etisalat and BT in a bunch of scenarios, including hospitality and retail scenarios, and it's being tested in large shopping centers in the United Kingdom, such as Lakeside. Read more