Posted Mar 23, 2007 9:08 UTC (Fri) by man_ls
In reply to: GNU/Busybox ?!?
Parent article: The road to freedom in the embedded world
Next question: Why does the FSF think that the GPL contains an advertising clause to the effect that Linux (and indeed *any* kernel: cf "GNU/Solaris") *must* be named GNU/Linux, regardless of the project leader's wishes, even though advertising clauses are incompatible with the GPL?
Ah, I know the answer to that one: it is a straw man. The FSF never wanted to rename the Linux kernel, or indeed any other kernel; just the complete operating system. Quoting from the GNU page
There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is not the operating system. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in a combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU, with Linux functioning as its kernel.
Furthermore, the FSF does not think that any software "*must*" be called by any names. The FSF suggests that you call the complete system GNU/Linux, but they don't go about suing or otherwise coercing anyone about it (unless you call Stallman's obnoxious corrections when being interviewed a form of "coercion"). You know, there is a difference between a polite request and an obligation. Quoting again:
Whether you use GNU/Linux or not, please don't confuse the public by using the name Linux ambiguously. Linux is the kernel, one of the essential major components of the system. The system as a whole is more or less the GNU system, with Linux added. When you're talking about this combination, please call it GNU/Linux.
You may or may not disagree with this position, but misrepresenting it is not a solid way to have a discussion.
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