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Old 06-21-2004, 06:11 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Beijing
Distribution: Slackware 9.1 but FUBAR with packages I compile myself, and OpenBSD (not exactly a distro) on QEMU
Posts: 153

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Some trivial questions...

1. Is it bzImage or vmlinuz?
I personally like bzImage (which I thought was some kind of a bzip'ed kernel image until I read somewhere that it's just a big gzip'ed image or something like that), but even Slackware uses vmlinuz.
The reason why I don't like vmlinuz is, because when I first tried compiling my own kernel, it was on RedHat (5.2 I think) and failed.. I noticed the name was vmlinuz. Also, I got really confused over the rpm stuff in RedHat, so since then I disliked everything ending with rpm (well, sort of) and associated with RedHat. Not that I hate it, but there's something uneasy about it...
But I was disappointed when I learnt that Slackware also uses vmlinuz, since I thought it was "generic" and I thought vmlinuz was a name made up by RedHat, and I also thought that the "proper" kernel image name is bzImage.
And, what about the *BSDs? What are their kernel names? Sometimes I get very uneasy just about naming, you see, since I am dreaming of that perfectly generic Linux distro, just like Unix (and even though Unix has many variants.. oh well...). I tried LinuxFromScratch, but found that it has too many incompatibilities with Slackware (especially because LFS tries to adhere to the FHS, and Slackware doesn't). I found that maybe my choice of distro has become some kind of a "religion" to me... something I uphold... :P
So, back to the question, bzImage or vmlinuz? And the *BSDs? (maybe vmbsf?)

2. What is the use of /lib/modules/[kernel-version]/build ?
It is just a symbolic link pointing to /usr/src/linux, but is there any use of it?

3. X Windows or X Window or X Window System?
I personally refer to it as X Window and X Window System, never as X Windows since it brings back painful memories...
But the sad thing is, even Andrew S. Tanenbaum refers to it as X Windows, as do most newbies coming from Windows... Or am I wrong and ast is right? I'm quite confused.

4. Linux or GNU/Linux or GNU/Perl/SourceForge/Freshmeat/[XFree86/Xorg]/GNOME/KDE/Tove/Linux?
Sometimes I think that calling a system by the name GNU/Linux is a bit biased, and it is actually better to call it simply Linux (although it can be confused with the Linux kernel). I think that if we should add a 'GNU' in front of the name, as a credit to the FSF, we should also include:
- Perl, since it is so widely used (although I myself can't program in Perl)
- SourceForge, since it provides a central place for collaboration of open source projects
- Freshmeat, since it provides downloads of free software often included in Linux distros
-, since it provides a good office suite, which is one of the primary reasons of people switching from Windows to Linux
- BSD, since many of the tools found in a Linux systems come from BSD
- [Xfree86/Xorg], since it provides the X Window System
- GNOME/KDE, since they are the most well known desktop environments
- Tove, since Linus' wife obviously supports him (behind every successful man is a woman...)
- Linux, for the kernel
So I think it is a bit egoistic for the FSF to tell people to use GNU/Linux and not just Linux. Well, what do you think?
Old 06-21-2004, 07:49 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 30
Re: Some trivial questions...

1. I always thought it was a bzImage renamed to vmlinuz. I don't have a Linux box handy to confirm, though. I've got a FreeBSD install here, but not idea where the kernel is...

2. No idea

3. X Window or X Windows can make some people mad (as it remindes them of a certain monopoly's OS...). XFree86 is a good name, too.

4. I made the same joke the other day, and feel the same way. To me, Linux, kernel or kernel+software is Linux. The GNU people have "requested" that we call it that. The day things are called "Slackware GNU/Linux" is the day my network goes full *BSD.
Old 06-21-2004, 10:56 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Beijing
Distribution: Slackware 9.1 but FUBAR with packages I compile myself, and OpenBSD (not exactly a distro) on QEMU
Posts: 153

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 35
To Artimus:
1. Yes, in the source tree (arch/i386/boot in my pc) it is called bzImage, that's why I think it is the generic one.
2. Never mind
3. Yeah, X Windows does that for me, but X Window is a bit better Btw, you are still referring to XFree86, I'm wondering whether you guys have made the jump to Xorg? Or maybe its new license is BSD-compatible so you don't need to change? I heard that the Linux distros are changing to Xorg because the new XFree86 is not GPL-compatible, but I'm still running XFree 4.3 anyway
4. At Well, I would like to see it, so if you could give me a link...


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