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Software as a Subversive Activity, Part 3: Talk Like A Linux Geek

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A few terms and names will help you find your way around Linux Land and sound smart. The big one--open source--we introduced in Part One.

How do you say it? People who are self-educated and isolated often pronounce words wrong because they've only read them and never heard them. I'll spare you the embarrassment.

Linus Torvalds is the guy who made this Linux thing up. Often referred to on a first name only basis, like Hillary.

The urge is to say LYE-nux, like the Peanuts character or the county attorney, because you figure, well, that follows from the name. I had it wrong for a year or so until I got the definitive answer: Linus says LINN-ux (like Linn County).

Kernel: The gut-level program that controls and manages the computer itself. Technically, “Linux” refers only to the kernel.

GNU, GNU/Linux: The technically correct way to refer to the kernel plus the full operating system. GNU stands for “GNU's Not Unix.” Ha.


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Proprietary Software on GNU/Linux

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ABI checking

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