Feeds

Just call it 'GNU/Linux', insists Sun founder

This namespace ain't big enough for the both of us

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Richard Stallman's singular crusade to have Linux christened GNU/Linux got praise from an unexpected quarter yesterday.

Sun Microsystem's chief scientist and co-founder John Gage credited RMS with creating the free software that made the Linux phenomenon possible, describing it as a fifteen-year sleeper hit.

"Many overnight successes are based on fifteen years of work," said Gage.

"Think of all the development on the GNU system by Richard Stallman," he said. "There was all that code waiting around he created, until Linus came up with the kernel. It was a real, clean-room implementation of Linux without a kernel. GNU/Linux is all these components that were built by many people," he said.

Gage was answering a question about Palm, and that too he described as a sleeper.

RMS created the gcc compiler and gdb debugger (with help) and the EMACS editor when he launched the Free Software Foundation as a response to the trend towards proprietary closed source software in 1984. His goal, as the recursive acronym GNU (GNU's Not Unix) implies, was to create an entirely software libre operating system.

The project has absorbed many components that St Ignucius has blessed as 'free software' that aren't distributed under the FSF's GPL, such as X Windows. And many that aren't blessed, but are still freely shared code, such as the Berkeley networking stacks and many development tools.

But the FSF laboured long and hard to provide the missing component, an OS kernel, and its own kernel of choice Hurd remains largely (cough) "experimental". Stallman's campaign to get the body of work created by the FSF and others recognized underpins his insistence on the 'GNU/Linux' name. Or, if you're cynical, it amounts to a shameless piece of scene stealing.

Charitably, we bow to the former, but not without wondering where we would be without Linus... (running BSD, of course - ed.) ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?