"Apparently PR types think that Red Hat Linux has become a
separate and distinct operating system. The question is, are they
right? And is it a problem?"
"What is an operating system in Linux? Or are there several? Or
is there even such a thing? Is Linux really "an" operating system,
as opposed to a codebase of software elements you can use to
concoct anything you want (as long as you document it in
"The question seems particularly relevant now that version 2.4
of the kernel has been released by Linus Torvald et al. The kernel
is a relatively small part of any effective Linux-based operating
system; a common kernel does not make for a common operating
system. In many cases, the kernel itself has been heavily patched
and tweaked. The inevitable result is interoperability and
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