GNU License for Hardware

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Thu Oct 14 16:46:16 UTC 1999

On Thu, 14 Oct 1999, Derek Balling wrote:

> >Say what?  The SunOS kernel isn't free.  Why would RMS urge its use?
> We're not talking about urging its use, we're simply talking about "what 
> would you CALL a hybrid of the SunOS kernel using entirely GNU 
> applications". For RMS's contentions about the name "GNU/Linux" to be true, 
> they also must hold true for "GNU/Solaris".

Yeah -- the SunOS kernel isn't free, so why should it be considered a GNU
system?  ...Whereas Linux (the kernel) *is* free, and is considered part of
the GNU system.  I don't think it should always be called GNU/Linux, in the
case of, say, S.u.S.E or OpenLinux etc., but when you're talking about an
operating environment that consists of the GNU system and a kernel licensed
under the GNU license...

I'm not sure I agree with it, but I *am* sure that GNU/Solaris is

> His claim is that Linux is the Kernel, and GNU is the "meat" of the OS, 
> hence the "/" name. His claim also can be extended to GNU/Solaris, if 
> someone were to design such a beast. RMS states that he would not encourage 
> that name, even though he encourages GNU/Linux. THAT is the hypocrisy.

Except that you can't create a GNU system with proprietary software, so
until the SunOS kernel is free, it won't be a GNU system.

 Matthew Weigel                                       Programmer/Sysadmin
  weigel+ at                             Operating Systems Advocate

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