Friday, May 22, 2009

Linux or GNU/Linux?

Are you a new convert to Linux and are wondering what is the difference between Linux and GNU/Linux? Linux is the kernel created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The kernel is the central component of an operating system. It manages the communication between the software and the hardware. GNU on the other hand was initiated by Richard Stallman in 1984. It is free software that unable Linux to be a complete operating system. It is politically correct to call the operating system GNU/Linux and not just Linux. If you just say Linux than you are referring to the Linux kernel within GNU/Linux. This is important because it gives credit to the GNU project that also played a large role in the free operating system we have today. However, a lot of people find the issue difficult to understand or personally do not care. Most people just want to have an operating system that works and not worry about the politics involved. It is nice to at least have the basic knowledge of why it is suppose to be called GNU/Linux and not just Linux. If you would like some more information about this issue you can check out the GNU website. The GNU/Linux community is very diverse and unfortunately sometimes there are a lot of people and projects who see their contribution being neglected.

Why GNU/Linux?

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