Accusations, accusations, always accusations

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Oct 21 20:17:58 UTC 1999

Richard Stallman scripsit:

> Judging from your description, adding Cygwin32 to Windows makes is a
> system that looks somewhat like GNU/Linux (or equally, somewhat like
> Unix).  But it still has all of Windows in it.

A little more than "looks somewhat like": the actual GNU programs are
being executed there, with a translation layer (Cygwin proper) that
simulates a GNU kernel (not the Hurd, more like Linux).

> Well, you might be able to do that.  And if you deleted all the
> Windows DLLs and graphical applications, you might end up with
> something which is the GNU system plus the kernel of Windows.
> That would justify the name GNU/<kernel-of-Windows>.  (I don't know
> the name of the kernel of Windows; I have never been a Windows user.)

Windows comes in several flavors which do not share a common kernel.
In addition, NT uses the term "kernel" in the sense of "microkernel";
the analog to the Unix kernel is known as the "Windows NT executive".

> Those programs, the compilation tools, are just a part of the GNU
> operating system.

Is what is "part of GNU" and what is simply "GNU-compatible" defined
explicitly somewhere? disclaims completeness.

John Cowan                                   cowan at
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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