Re: Linux isn't an operating system

Richard Stallman (
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 02:11:32 -0500

I would expect that most of the people who speak of "the Linux
operating system" think of this as just a minor lack of precision.

But aside from being unfair (which by itself would not be worth
fussing about), it also tends to split the community and thus
discourage communication and cooperation. When the people who use
what is essentially the GNU system think of themselves as "Linux
users", and not as "GNU users", often they don't see a reason
cooperate with the people who maintain the GNU software. This leads
to version-skew and unnecessary incompatibility.

One way to help unify the community, and gently encourage more
cooperation, is to use the term "Linux-based GNU system" to
describe these systems more accurately.