Re: Richard Stallman: Why âGNUâS Not Linuxâ and Why We Should âSay LiGNUxâ

From: Martin Nybo Andersen
Date: Tue Dec 24 2013 - 07:32:47 EST

On Monday 23 December 2013 12:01:06 Liam Lindholm wrote:
> Dear fellow Linux kernel hackers:
> It has come to my attention that Richard M. Stallman, founder of the
> Free Software Foundation and creator of the GNU project, has once
> again set out to fragment our grassroots community.
> Recently, Mr. Stallman has started a new push for acknowledgement of
> GNU in Linux. No, not the familiar âGNU/Linuxâ that we're all sick and
> tired of hearing about but, instead, a failed anagram of these same
> terms. The campaign is called âSay LiGNUxâ and demands that users of
> any Linux-kernel operating system employing GNU software (which
> comprises less than 15% of most modern Linux distributions nowadays)
> call the operating system âLiGNUx.â
> His presentation on the âSay LiGNUxâ campaign is served in PNG format
> at so you can see the insanity for yourself.
> Yes, that's right. LiGNUx, pronounced like âpig cooks,â would be the
> name of choice for our work in the last two decades. Stallman suggests
> that we trash our existing name recognition and all common sense to
> adopt his academic linguistic exercise in masturbatory politics that
> represents the kernel's license and some poorly-built utilities that
> no one uses anymore.
> Mr. Stallman even suggests that users who refuse to say LiGNUx should
> instead install GNU/HURD so as to remove any ambiguity about licenses
> and nomenclature. What the hell?!
> When is the last time someone named their operating system after the
> license the kernel is released under? Such an esoteric naming method
> is madness. Should Apple call OS X âApple/XNU?â Or how about the
> Berkeley operating systems? Should they call their products âFreeBSDâ
> or âOpenBSD?â Should Microsoft call their operating system âMicrosoft
> Windows?â The suggestion is patently absurd.
> We should not give in to the wailing demands of this zealotry. Mr.
> Stallman clearly needs a break from promoting an increasingly
> irrelevant software platform. Perhaps that means banning him from
> LKML, or asking Linus to suggest some vacation therapy for poor Mr.
> Stallman and his zealotry, or having the Linux Foundation issue a
> press release distancing themselves from RMS, GNU, and the Free
> Software Foundation.
> Whatever the next course of action is, we should all ignore Mr.
> Stallman and continue to call Linux as Linux.
> I am interested to hear your thoughts on the topic, fellow Linux kernel
> Merry Christmas.
> Liam Oskar Lindholm,
> Linux Kernel Hacker

As much a I respect and acknowledge RMS for starting up GNU (even more after
the Snowden leaks), I don't see any reason to put a g in Linux.

First of all: Don't change your name unless you're exceptionally good at PR.

Secondly: Linux -- the kernel -- is not part of GNU (a lot of the standard
userspace utilities are though).

Surely GNU's not Linux. I remember it being a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not
Unix!" (and there is a lot of things GNU isn't).

How about renaming GNU to LNG as in "Linux' Not GNU!"?. Or even *NG, since
really not that much GPL'ed software is GNU.

(Not to start a flame war, but apropos I'd hate saying "My computer

Oh, well... Merry Christmas. *<:-)


I bet Earth makes fun of other planets for having no life

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