Santhosh Thottingal

My experiments with Freedom

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Linux Kernel in Linux Operating System.
Last night I decided to try out the new Fedora 9. I got the ISO image and I did not want to waste time and CD by burning it. I have Debian Lenny in my laptop. So edited the grub configuration and gave the path to the vmllinuz and initrd.img extracted from the iso image. Everything worked fine and it started installing packages and I was watching the blue progress bar with sleepy eyes...
And the following status message came while installing the linux kernel

"The Linux kernel (the core of the Linux operating system)"

And this page explains it like this:
"The kernel package contains the Linux kernel (vmlinuz), the core of any Linux operating system. The kernel handles the basic functions of the operating system: memory allocation, process allocation, device input and output, etc."

So when I extracted the vmlinuz out of the ISO image, what is remaining in the ISO image? Did I extract the OS itself from ISO image? ;)

Being a Keralite, where the high school students study the free software as part of curriculum, and taught to use the word GNU or GNU/Linux for Operating system and Linux for the kernel, and as I had given this link and this link to my friends many time(well, I know about the controversy too), it forces me to ask a silly question:

Is it really painful to write those three letters (GNU) while mentioning about the OS?
Tags: , ,


I can say that there is a large pain for many to use the words GNU. It appears that, these three letters may make them appear like crusaders of freedom than the gentle people who simply care about technology. Many people like,promote and understand free software, but i can say, not many want to be associated with the politics of it. It seems, technology and politics don't mix well, though its all politics!!!


P.S. In redhat's case it might be a bug. So check for the ways to report it also!!!

I view this as just the shrewd and dirty plan of RMS to acquire Linux and hide their failure in Hurd. You will see the dirtiness when you understand the implication of '/' in *nix systems. What Linus told is very much true. The distributions get to name their distributions. If they want to call it Linux Operating System, so be it.

So what would you make of all the other tools GNU has produced? Try using the Linux kernel without the GNU toolset and you'll see what I mean. While I usually don't mind people calling it a Linux distribution, your point is utterly ridiculous and if I may be a bit euphemistic, stupid. Don't be an ass. GNU has contributed as much as to the OS as much as Linux does. Without one the other would falter.

Could you point me to how many lines of code RMS wrote for the kernel? Or any of the other leading lights of FSF?

Yes, GNU tools are widely used in the kernel and otherwise in the larger OS. Unless I'm sadly mistaken tools are made to be used and one of the points of the free software movement is that no one has the right to tell me whether or not I look under the hood or make a change or two that helps me.

Nothing in the GPL says I have to name my project GNU/Whatever simply because I used their excellent toolset. That's kinda like Sears telling me I have to call my deck the Craftsman(tm) Deck because I used their hammer to build it. See how silly it is?

When GNU finally releases Hurd then they'll have the OS they can call GNU/Hurd.

Anyway, Santosh, we love our often silly arguments about things like this. Between times spent on silly arguments excellent software somehow gets built, a movement moves, sometimes stumbles on sometimes called FOSS sometimes FLOSS sometimes cussed at by Microsoft. In doing important things like that we've changed the software world forever.

We all owe RMS thanks for making it possible and Linus Torvalds thanks for making the OS that made it out of the realm of cranks and into something usable, serious and, mostly, fun.

Just remember to duck when we toss spitballs at each other. :-)

You're full of crap. You should be using Windows.


2008-05-22 01:32 am (UTC)

FYI, the HURD project has a Google Summer of Code grant. Although the project is very old, it's design is more modern than that of the monolithic Linux Kernel.

I will be happy to switch from the Linux kernel to the HURD kernel in the future, just so people with your disrespectful attitude won't be anywhere near me.

You don't deserve to use GPL-licensed software because you don't give a crap about freedom. Please, buy Vista or a Mac and STFU!

convention ?


2008-05-20 07:25 pm (UTC)

knowing and being though about GNU doesn't seem to have made much effect. I would appreciate you if you would have written it as GNU/Linux. Your title("Linux Kernel in Linux Operating System") looked so ridiculous which made me to hit your page.

"I would appreciate you if you would have written it as GNU/Linux. "

:).Thanks, My point is exactly the same. It was written intentionally, as written in the Package description.

Great article. I agree strongly.


2008-05-22 01:34 am (UTC)

"Linux operating system"? Where? I've never seen such a thing.



2008-05-22 12:38 am (UTC)

Hi, this is a good article, and it certainly was the highlight of my day. Reading that you actually learn about GNU in high school was pretty awesome. Is this normal across all high schools in Kerela to learn about free software? Please feel free to drop me an email anytime, I'd love to talk more about this.



Joshua Gay, campaigns manager
Free Software Foundation

Re: Thanks


2008-05-22 01:04 am (UTC)

It's a wonderful thing, actually. :-)

And it's still Linux not GNU/Linux. FSF's insistence that it is is irritating and simply not accurate as FSF did not write the system even if their tools were used.

Freedom, software and otherwise, also means the if Linus Torvalds wants to call it Linux and others do as well, then it's Linux.

GNU/Linux is an exercise in branding.

Anyway, it's wonderful that he's learning about FSF and the issue of software freedom even if it's a few of the warts and disagreements as well.

Look.... you're right, the FSF didn't write the system. The FSF didn't even write all the GNU tools. However, all the authors of that which is GNU donated their work to the GNU project, much as all of the authors of that which is Linux donated their work to the Linux project.

I guess you just want to call GNU/Linux by the name Linux because you hold a grudge against the FSF for some reason. Because they insist upon calling "it" "GNU/Linux"? Get outta town. Maybe the FSF and the rest of us would just like to acknowledge everyone that contributed to the GNU project; which without, you'd probably not have an OS to use (assuming you use GNU/Linux, or Linux, or whatever it is you want to call it).

I don't care what you call your OS. And I don't care why. You could call it Crapsux or whatever else, for the reason that RMS and the FSF are a bunch of pompous arseholes. I don't care. But don't go telling other people that GNU is not part of the operating system and that "it's Linux not GNU/Linux". Because when you do, that is ignorant, rude, and irritating. And it's not a fair thing to say.

On the particular package description :)

Re: File a bug perhaps ?


2008-05-28 05:17 pm (UTC)

Lets See the fate of this bug (



Log in