[Mageia-discuss] Linux is a KERNEL not an OS

Michael Scherer misc at zarb.org
Thu Mar 3 01:50:52 CET 2011

Le mercredi 02 mars 2011 à 23:22 +0100, Wolfgang Bornath a écrit :
> 2011/3/2 André Salaün <andresalaun at free.fr>:
> >
> > But using only Linux because it is "common" for
> > uninformed people is simplistic ; as we say in French :
> > « l'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions »
> > « the road to hell is paved with good intentions »
> >
> > Furthermore someone (like me and some others perhaps ) can be
> > interesting in « popular education » (éducation populaire)  and
> > relations between free software, free sciences free...
> > Oversimplification of the word is always oversimplifaction of the
> > concept. Even if it seems to be easier I see that as a fault.
> I have seen the history of GNU and Linux and their "marriage" (because
> the GNU people did not have any simple and free kernel for their
> software). So, from my point of view there's a good chance that Linux
> could have grown to a full operating system even without the GNU
> project. 

The gnu project provided lots of software, some quite unavoidable like a
compiler, a standard library, or stuff like screen, gettext and slightly
low level tools ( binutils, coreutils, etc ).

> On the other side nobody could tell if the GNU project would
> have survived without Linux. Both thoughts are speculations, of
> course.
> But would a GNU/Linux naming policy not neglect the merits of all the
> other projects who actually made the "Gnu/Linux" system a real usable
> package? Imagine a distribution only supplying Linux and what remains
> from the GNU project (especially Emacs) - would any user actually use
> it (except developpers and "tech freaks")? 

I doubt developers would use something without gcc ( granted, there is
pcc or llvm ) and without a libc ( granted again, someone could use a
alternative like dietlibc etc )

> I serioously doubt that
> this kind of package would never have made it out of the university
> and research labs environment, let alone conquer the business world.

Some people did it : http://www.skarnet.org/poweredby.html

( and some would say that this is almost done for http://openbsd.org/ ,
since the compiler is near 1.0 :
http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20110223045047  )

Michael Scherer

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