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The GNU/Linux name controversy

Posted 11-29-2008 at 09:58 AM by eantoranz

About 23 years after the beginning of time (that would be like 1993), since GNU and Linux were put together as a Free OS, there's been a controversy about the way to call this (dysfunctional) couple.

On the red corner we have RMS, the FSF and others asking people to include "GNU" as part of the name when you are referring to a system that is working with Linux as the kernel and GNU on top of it to make it a "user usable" (weird, right?) system. One problem of this is that having to pronounce "GNU" the way RMS does (for example) makes it a little bit difficult (specially in english where there's no "Ñ" to contract the "GN" in a single sound) plus long.

On the blue corner, we have a group of people that simply don't care/know/"want" about GNU and simply call it "Linux".

Certainly, both sides of the controversy have their points on the subject.... but, come one... after 15 years of controversy, I don't think any of the sides is going to give up on the way they call (or would like people to call) the couple.

My personal opinion on this is that GNU certainly deserves some credit to it, so... sometimes we just have to look at problems by taking different approaches. So, I will try to bring both extremes of the controversy to a hopefully common ground (wishful thinking... I know). How about having a single word that comprises both without making it too long? Well.. first, let's try to pronounce this (remember to contract the GN):

- Don PériGNon. Oh, well... that was a bad example to start with.
- LasaGNa. Much better example, right?

Once you get to pronounce that, we can get to my ultimate proposal:

- Stallmanix... Just kidding!
- LiGNUx. How about that?
Posted in Uncategorized
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Total Comments 2


  1. Old Comment
    I think Lignux is a cool acronym and it's suggested by GNU website as you can see:

    The problem with “GNU/Linux” is that it is too long. How about recommending a shorter name? (#long)
    For a while we tried the name “LiGNUx”, which combines the words “GNU” and “Linux”. The reaction was very bad. People accept “GNU/Linux” much better.

    I wonder why the community didn't accept it.
    Posted 04-20-2013 at 05:56 PM by Laythe Laythe is offline
  2. Old Comment
    If Stallman et al really wanted to "take control", they'd get Hurd working (ahem...for very large values of "working") and then slowly curb their userland base to make use of Hurd-specific functionality.

    Kinda like 99% of the Linux community is doing to BSD nowadays.
    Posted 04-21-2013 at 06:10 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
    Updated 04-21-2013 at 06:13 PM by rocket357


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