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Old 03-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #31
theYinYeti
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Agrouf, credit is important, but that's not the point here.

KDE, Gnome, Mozilla… are NOT part of the operating system; they are applications.

The operating system we use is small; very small. It doesn't have a GUI, much like old DOS except it is much more powerfull and versatile. All else is applications.
To some people, X11 and the desktop will seem mandatory; to some it won't. To some people, the browser will be where the office suite, and the mail, and the chat, and so on… will be, hence mandatory; to some it won't.

The operating system is the part at the core where you still have user-level access. Our OS is:
— a kernel,
— basic tools that live in /bin and /sbin and permit usage of the system by the user.

For most of us, this OS is GNU/Linux because the first part is the Linux kernel, and the second part is made of the command-line GNU tools.

For some others, it may be not quite so clear; eg: I don't know where busybox stands in the picture. And some don't even use Linux but still use GNU tools, eg: GNU/Hurd.

Yves.

[edit]Oops… once again I missed the whole second page!

Last edited by theYinYeti; 03-05-2009 at 09:13 AM.
 
Old 03-05-2009, 09:17 AM   #32
Agrouf
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If a software respect the four freedoms, then it is free software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

If you can see the code of the software, then it is open source. The author of open source software does not have to grant you the right to modify it or to use it as you see fit to make it open source. This is the main difference between open source software and free software.
For example, SAP release open source ABAP code for you to see, but you have to ask them to modify it and you can't do it yourself. this is open source software but not free software.

You don't have to adhere to any philosophy to use any software.
 
Old 03-05-2009, 09:25 AM   #33
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devinmcelheran View Post
What's the difference between GNU and Linux?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel
 
Old 03-05-2009, 09:53 AM   #34
Agrouf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theYinYeti View Post
...
According to me, neither GNU nor linux nor GNU/linux are operating systems.
They are tools or classes of operating systems.
According to me, Debian is an operating system, Mandriva is an operating system, FreeBSD is an operating system, Windows XP is an operating system, Symbian is one, AIX is another, etc... but GNU/linux is not an operating system.

I believe "GNU/linux" could be considered a "class" of operating systems, like 'UNIX', or 'Windows', but that one is very close to UNIX/POSIX.

The distinction here is shady. There are classes and subclasses of operating systems. We define them according to the context when it is useful. For instance, we can define a class of 'debian-based distros', that is GNU+linux+apt-get+sysV init+everything that is specific to debian and derivatives. This is useful because some deb files will install on any system of that class. Examples: Debian, Mepis, Ubuntu, ...
Another instance of OS class is POSIX-compatible. This one is useful because some tar.gz source code will compile on them. This class is anything that can provide the interface that comply with POSIX standard (all the standard commands and APIs). Examples: GNU/linux, AIX, MacOS-X and several other systems.
You can define as much class as you need.
Some other examples of OS classes: Windows 64bit, Windows 32bit (XP, 95, 98), Unix (AIX, HP-UX, ...), busybox (a class of its own), linux (all linux distros and routers), GNU/linux (all linux distros that use GNU), linux 2.24, KDE-based distros, minimal distros, Open source systems....

It all depends on the context and what language is useful in that context.
 
Old 03-06-2009, 04:07 AM   #35
theYinYeti
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Indeed, that's food for thought, especially the Posix and Win32 part IMO.

I still think that the GUI and GUI tools are not part of the OS. On the other hand, the compiler / building chain, and some APIs, as well as the package management may well belong to the OS.

Yves.
 
Old 03-06-2009, 04:20 AM   #36
brianL
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There was a thread a while ago in the non-linux general forum about the Linux v GNU/Linux controversy. I always use GNU/Linux, simply for the reason of giving credit where credit is due.
 
Old 03-07-2009, 05:28 AM   #37
synss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agrouf View Post
Some other examples of OS classes: Windows 64bit, Windows 32bit (XP, 95, 98)
That's getting off topic but XP is based on NT, like 2000 and Vista; 95 and 98 are not, I would definitely not put them in the same bag. Sorry again for the off topic, but I could not resist.
 
Old 03-11-2009, 09:07 AM   #38
devinmcelheran
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What is the difference between xp and 2000? What is NT?
 
Old 03-11-2009, 10:21 AM   #39
Agrouf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devinmcelheran View Post
What is the difference between xp and 2000? What is NT?
I believe NT is the kernel based on DOS and windows is the desktop environment. xp and 2000 use 2 different DE and vista use another one. xp and 2000 are 2 distros of windows that use a different DE. Each windows distro has several branches, like 'premium' and 'expert' or 'student'. Each branch has a different selection of packages. I believe only the 'ultimate' version of vista has the grep command installed by default. You can install packages from third parties or buy them from Microsoft to have a full system, but it is less expensive if you buy the packages you want bundled in the distro. Usually, you want the basic 'Internet explorer' (web browser) and 'Wordpad' (office suite) bundled so it doesn't cost you too much, but if you have enough money, you can have 'Office' (database and office suite), 'Photoshop' (image editing), 'Outlook' (email client), and 'winzip' (file archiver tool) bundled with the distro so you don't have to pay for them later. After you have downloaded the windows distro (xp, 2000 or vista), you must pay for each package, so some people prefer buying a DVD with vista 'premium' with everything bundled, instead of xp 'home' with just the minimal 'internet explorer'. This may seem strange and expensive, but it is actually cheaper because of the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

Last edited by Agrouf; 03-11-2009 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 03-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #40
malekmustaq
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GNU Vs. Linux?
What's the difference between GNU and Linux?
======

devinmcelheran:

Are you having a "term paper" about the subject? You are more interested on what points GNU and Linux "disagree". The reasonings by the big boys above are sufficient, with the links to gnu.org and fsf.org you have enough to get a good mark. Good luck.
 
Old 03-11-2009, 01:25 PM   #41
T74marcell
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Quote:
>> I never heard him requesting Darwin to be called GNU/Darwin,
>> or NetBSD to be called GNU/NetBSD, or GNU/SCO_Unix, etc etc (apply to all kind of UNIX-like systems).

That may be because they do not use the GNU toolset. From OS X (Darwin)
I once experimented with pure Darwin (no OS X stuff) and it had GCC by default. So far I was under the impression that GCC is somehow related to GNU and Stallman :-)

The main point is:
Is it reasonable to call any system GNU/system-name, just because it has any GNU application running?
If I install any GNU tools on Windows, do I have to call it GNU/Microsoft Windows?

Arch Linux

Last edited by T74marcell; 03-14-2009 at 01:06 AM.
 
Old 03-11-2009, 03:58 PM   #42
Agrouf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T74marcell View Post
I once experimented with pure Darwin (no OS X stuff) and it had GCC by default. So far I was under the impression that GCC is somehow related to GNU and Stallman :-)

The main point is:
Is it reasonable to call any system GNU/system-name, just because it has any GNU application running?
If I install any GNU tools on Windows, do I have to call it GNU/Microsoft Windows?
GNU tools are available for Windows with cygwin.
Anyway, I believe the problem is that the GNU project was meant to be a full OS, from the kernel (the hurd) to the tools. Unfortunately, the Hurd was never ready and several people made a full system from GNU with linux. Nowadays it does not mean much because all linux distros use so many software from so many projects that GNU is just a set of tools among many. the problem is that we call those projects just 'linux', but that was just meant to be a kernel for the GNU project. Actually, free software has taken some big momemtum and went in all directions since GNU started. Today we talk about FOSS.
 
Old 03-11-2009, 10:54 PM   #43
sundialsvcs
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To clarify, "NT" was Microsoft's original 32-bit-native operating system (excluding OS/2).

All current Windows versions are technically NT-derived.
 
Old 03-12-2009, 02:25 AM   #44
synss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T74marcell View Post
I once experimented with pure Darwin (no OS X stuff) and it had GCC by default. So far I was under the impression that GCC is somehow related to GNU and Stallman :-)

The main point is:
Is it reasonable to call any system GNU/system-name, just because it has any GNU application running?
If I install any GNU tools on Windows, do I have to call it GNU/Microsoft Windows?
GCC is not part of what constitutes an OS. As I said, try ls --version on darwin, it will not work, then try man ls, it is from BSD. The tools you need on top of the kernel so that it qualifies as an OS are ls and the like. Not GCC. No, it is not enough to have a couple GPL'd softwares to make a GNU OS. You need the core utility + the kernel.

And NT is not based on DOS! Do you guys know about wikipedia? It is not because this is a Linux forum that you should say random things about Windows. Plus, the shell (explorer.exe) is not part of the OS, just look for "alternative shell" on google to convince yourself.

On Darwin:
Code:
DF(1)                     BSD General Commands Manual                    DF(1)

NAME
     df -- display free disk space
Code:
LS(1)                     BSD General Commands Manual                    LS(1)

NAME
     ls -- list directory contents
Code:
CAT(1)                    BSD General Commands Manual                   CAT(1)

NAME
     cat -- concatenate and print files
Clearly, not GNU but BSD!
 
Old 03-12-2009, 03:53 AM   #45
Agrouf
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Sorry, my bad.
Indeed, NT is a separate kernel that is compatible with DOS but written from scratch. Is that correct?
 
  


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