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Old 01-28-2010, 04:00 AM   #1
grampabarry
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What is the essence of Linux?


What makes a distribution "Linux"? What is the essence of Linux?

What must all distributions of Linux have in common?

For example, suppose a new distribution contains a completely new, written-from-scratch kernel, and still provides all of the Linux commands, would it still be Linux?

I visited the International Organization for Standardization and found several products labeled Linux Standard Base (LSB) core specification. Is this the standard for the Linux OS? If not, is there a standard for Linux?

If a group of people disputes whether a new distribution should use the Linux name, who decides?

(If this is too many questions for one thread, feel free to split them off.)
 
Old 01-28-2010, 05:18 AM   #2
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grampabarry View Post
What makes a distribution "Linux"? What is the essence of Linux?
It uses the Linux kernel.

Linux is not a whole functioning OS, it's just the kernel. GNU is an entire OS, but they haven't finished their kernel. Both are UNIX-based, so they just put the Linux kernel in the GNU OS, so we have GNU/Linux.

FYI, the GNU kernel is called "Hurd".

Quote:
Originally Posted by grampabarry View Post
What must all distributions of Linux have in common?
They use the Linux kernel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grampabarry View Post
For example, suppose a new distribution contains a completely new, written-from-scratch kernel, and still provides all of the Linux commands, would it still be Linux?
It would not be Linux because Linux is just the kennel, but you said write your own kernel. If you would still use it with the GNU system, it would be a working UNIX. It would be called GNU/<your kernel>, not GNU/Linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grampabarry View Post
If a group of people disputes whether a new distribution should use the Linux name, who decides?
Does it use the Linux kernel?

Note that if you're interested, Debian makes a version of their distro that uses Hurd instead of Linux.

Last edited by MTK358; 01-28-2010 at 05:21 AM.
 
Old 01-28-2010, 05:33 AM   #3
malekmustaq
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No wonder very few are interested to pick up these questions because they are readily answered and can be better answered by asking Mr. Google. However for shortened replies, as ff:

Quote:
What makes a distribution "Linux"?
The kernel that runs it.

Quote:
What is the essence of Linux?
It is a kernel originally written by Linus Trovald.

Quote:
What must all distributions of Linux have in common?
They must have at least and be running a version of Linux kernel to be a Linux.

Quote:
For example, suppose a new distribution contains a completely new, written-from-scratch kernel, and still provides all of the Linux commands, would it still be Linux?
If you have written it from scratch it is your own kernel it is not Mr. Torvald's. And if you have written it in a way to understand Linux commands still it cannot make it linux (this is the beauty of Free Software World). It is the kernel source that made it a linux, not the GnU shell commands. (I don't know what you mean because most bash or csh commands do not belong to Linux either, they belong to GNU; these shell commands are mostly understood by a Unix or Linux kernels.)

Quote:
I visited the International Organization for Standardization and found several products labeled Linux Standard Base (LSB) core specification. Is this the standard for the Linux OS? If not, is there a standard for Linux?
The Standard for Linux is Mr. Torvalds, whatever direction he allows for it from contributors and programmer editors: the kernel is still covered by a GNU-GPL license: this is not a Copyright, it is a Copyleft (please visit www.gnu.org to understand this). BTW there is also POSIX standard which are very much advisable to adhere to for anyone interested to port something into Unix or Unix-like (Linux) kernels.

Quote:
If a group of people disputes whether a new distribution should use the Linux name, who decides?
Terms of the GPL decides. With or without the Supreme Court of Proprietary Oligarchs.

Quote:
(If this is too many questions for one thread, feel free to split them off.)
Too many? no, they are simple ones.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
 
Old 01-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #4
craigevil
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Sounds like homework questions. Nothing a simple Google search wouldn't answer.
 
Old 01-28-2010, 07:21 AM   #5
brianL
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I don't think Slackware is LSB compliant. But who cares?
 
Old 01-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #6
grampabarry
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Thank you, all of your answers were very helpful.

Actually, I did start off with Google and Wikipedia. I also checked out the tutorials and followed all the links in 'Please READ this before posting!' Also visited Linux Online and The Linux Foundation. I am trying to be a good newbie. I would like to buy a book, but my budget won't stretch that far.

So I returned to Wikipedia and on second reading noticed that it refers to 'the' Linux kernel. I will try to read more carefully.

I have lots more reading to do.

Thanks again.
 
Old 01-30-2010, 07:21 AM   #7
malekmustaq
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Quote:
I would like to buy a book, but my budget won't stretch that far.
grampabarry,

You do not need to buy a linux book, there is a well written tutorial book, the one that opened my computing mind into Linux/Unix world. Click here and download this tutorial written by Paul Sheer.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
 
Old 01-30-2010, 08:05 AM   #8
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malekmustaq View Post
grampabarry,

You do not need to buy a linux book, there is a well written tutorial book, the one that opened my computing mind into Linux/Unix world. Click here and download this tutorial written by Paul Sheer.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
I read that book and highly recommend it.
 
Old 01-30-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
I don't think Slackware is LSB compliant. But who cares?
Well, technically you need to use RPM to be compliant, so Debian doesn't even comply, and very few distros do.

Slackware does comply with the Linux File System Standard tho, as many distros do (but some don't, and especially the 64-bit standard).
 
  


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