GNU License for Hardware

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Thu Oct 14 17:26:03 UTC 1999

On Thu, 14 Oct 1999, Derek J. Balling wrote:

> The only people (or to clarify, the FIRST person) who claimed Linux was 
> "part of the GNU system" was RMS. Linus -- the principal author -- made no 
> such claims and has in fact stated just the opposite. (You'll notice that 
> even after being made fully aware of RMS's position, Linus does not use the 
> abomination "GNU/Linux").

I actually agree; I was attempting to clarify what seems to continue to be
unclear below.

> >I'm not sure I agree with it, but I *am* sure that GNU/Solaris is
> >incosistent.
> It is the GNU system running Solaris kernel, just as RMS's claim that it is 
> the GNU system running the Linux kernel. We're not talking quantum physics 
> here.

Yeah, it's the GNU system with the Solaris kernel -- which is not and can
not be part of GNU.  Linux *can*.  That's the difference.

> >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.
> Linux doesn't try to be the GNU system either, despite RMS's claim to the 
> contrary.

But in some cases it does; witness Debian GNU/Linux, the GNU system
including the Linux kernel.  IMO, right now, it's pretty much the only
GNU/Linux system, though.

 Matthew Weigel                                       Programmer/Sysadmin
  weigel+ at                             Operating Systems Advocate

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