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OSWeekly: The "GNU/Linux" and "Linux" Controversy

May 07, 2006, 05:00 (32 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Puru Govind)



[ Thanks to Puru Govind for this link. ]

GNU/Linux is the term coined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Richard Stallman (FSF founder) and people who support FSF, for operating systems composed of the FSF's GNU software and the Linux kernel; such systems are generally called "Linux." In 1985, Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motivation for creating a free operating system called GNU, which would be compatible with UNIX. The name GNU is a recursive acronym for 'GNU is Not Unix.' Soon after, he incorporated the non-profit Free Software Foundation (FSF) to employ free software programmers and provide a legal infrastructure for the free software community. According to, the main argument for "GNU/Linux" is that Linus Torvalds' kernel was only a small, albeit final part of an otherwise complete system, GNU, written and assembled over many years with the explicit goal of creating an integrated free operating system..."

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