Feeds

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

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.) ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.