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

Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Delayed Until February 2, Will Bring Linux 4.8, Newer Mesa

If you've been waiting to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to the 16.04.2 point release, which should have hit the streets a couple of days ago, you'll have to wait until February 2. We hate to give you guys bad news, but Canonical's engineers are still working hard these days to port all the goodies from the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repositories to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is a long-term supported version, until 2019. These include the Linux 4.8 kernel packages and an updated graphics stack based on a newer X.Org Server version and Mesa 3D Graphics Library. Read more

Calamares Release and Adoption

  • Calamares 3.0 Universal Linux Installer Released, Drops Support for KPMcore 2
    Calamares, the open-source distribution-independent system installer, which is used by many GNU/Linux distributions, including the popular KaOS, Netrunner, Chakra GNU/Linux, and recently KDE Neon, was updated today to version 3.0. Calamares 3.0 is a major milestone, ending the support for the 2.4 series, which recently received its last maintenance update, versioned 2.4.6, bringing numerous improvements, countless bug fixes, and some long-anticipated features, including a brand-new PythonQt-based module interface.
  • Due to Popular Request, KDE Neon Is Adopting the Calamares Graphical Installer
    KDE Neon maintainer Jonathan Riddell is announcing today the immediate availability of the popular Calamares distribution-independent Linux installer framework on the Developer Unstable Edition of KDE Neon. It would appear that many KDE Neon users have voted for Calamares to become the default graphical installer system used for installing the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers. Indeed, Calamares is a popular installer framework that's being successfully used by many distros, including Chakra, Netrunner, and KaOS.

Red Hat Financial News

Wine 2.0 RC6 released