What’s in your mind when hear the word Linux? It is a complete operating system and ready for use such as Windows or Mac OS? Or just a small part of the system that can not be run by itself? I bet most would answer the first. Well, unfortunately you are wrong.
The operating system you call Linux is actually not (just) than Linux, but GNU / Linux-at least that is what the Free Software Foundation headed by Richard Stallman says. Why is that?
GNU operating system, then I will call GNU-which stems from a project called GNU Project is a free system software, complete and is compatible with Unix. Free here does not mean free as in ‘free lunch’ but it could be free as in ‘free speech.’ I will explain about the free software at a later time.
GNU Project is a project initiated by Richard Stallman on the campus of MIT , where Stallman worked, which began the process since 1984. GNU coverage is the kernel and GNU software support such as a text editor, shell, C compiler, assembler, and so that it becomes a whole operating system intact.
With a team who work voluntarily and do their respective parts, software components supporting any operating system is ready for use. Unfortunately the software that has been integrated into the GNU system can not run because the kernel are made and named GNU Hurd is not ready for use.
By coincidence, a year before the GNU system is ready for use a student at the University of Helsinki managed to create a good Unix-like kernel and has been used by many programmers. Linus Torvalds created the kernel is called Linux. From the collaboration system GNU and the Linux kernel is formed a perfect operating system is GNU / Linux.
From GNU / Linux is then appear different variants called distros like Slackware, Debian, Red Hat and others and has been used in various parts of the world. These distros are now better known as Linux.
Actually, whether it’s the kernel? Imagine a bridge that connects one side of the valley to the other side of the valley. That’s the easy description of a kernel. The kernel is a link that also set the machine resources, in this computer, so that a computer capable of running other programs. Just as the GNU system, the kernel was not able to walk alone without any other software. The Linux kernel is not the operating system.
Until recently, the mention of GNU / Linux is still a controversy. If the calculated number of components and libraries are better than GNU Linux as there is in Red Hat. From here, some say that Stallman jealous because he worked more in the GNU and Linus Torvalds to enjoy the triumph with which not only how to write kernel.
Nevertheless, the GNU system components or libraries that only exist in the distros are more familiar with Linux. None of the components and GNU libraries found in Android, as Google has been changing with the components or libraries that developed their own.
Whatever name you give, both Linux and GNU / Linux, is legitimate as long as you understand what you mean and still return the credits to developers. I myself sometimes called GNU / Linux and Linux only occasionally.
Borrowing a phrase Jim Gettys, one of the pioneers and developers of the X Window System: There are lots of people on this bus, I do not hear a clamor of support is more essential GNU That Than many of the other components; can not take a wheel away, and end up with a functional vehicle, or an engine, or the seats. I recommend you be happy We have a bus. (A.S Muhajir)