DistroTube: Richard Stallman Is Right To Be Angry About "Linux"

Odysee video here:

What are your thoughts regarding Richard Stallman being angry for not calling “Linux” “GNU/Linux?” My take is that at the end of the day, we can go into endless debate or go about our daily lives. In this case, I would still prefer to call “Linux” instead of “GNU/Linux” as an alternative to Windows and macOS and just go about my daily life. Yes, open source is important and so is GNU and GPL, but the reality is, we still call “Linux” as “Linux” and not “GNU/Linux” and I think calling it “Linux” just rolls off their tongue for most people. To me, that’s just the reality.

If we go into endless debates about GNU/Linux and Linux, we must remember to keep it civil and be kind to others. Let me emphasize rule #1 by posting a link here:

(yawn) Not a good time to wake up just to hear anger from DistroTube… I hate to say that but man his video is just so pointless… And there goes my pointless thread…

I thought about making a video on this actually, but I never did - but I probably won’t because in my opinion, this guy nails it:


Alpine is running busybox and has none of the GNU userland, making it non-GNU Linux. What do we call Alpine, busybox/Linux? What about Android? Do we call it Dalvik/Linux?

I like GNU Software, but each distro chooses its own name, be it Arch Linux, Alpine Linux, Linux Mint, NixOS and so on. I don’t even call these by their full names, they get the shortening arch, alpine, mint and nix (although shortening it might get it confused with the nix package manager, or nix the language). Imagine having to call them Arch GNU/Linux, Alpine (non-GNU) Linux, GNU/Linux Mint. And how about NixOS which don’t even go by Linux? Or even the FSF approved GNU Guix (although it makes up by having GNU in its name anyway).

“Noo geeks” rolls off the tongue easily, but “noo leenaks” doesn’t feel as smooth (probably because of the different shapes your lips and mouth have to take in quick succession).

Despite all that, I’m not opposed in principle to GNU/Linux, I just find it impractical. People can call it whatever they call, as long as they get the message across. If they want to attach GNU to it, then that’s fine.

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I’m glad you didn’t make that video, this is a topic that has been revisited so many times already.

Spot on. Marketing departments that come up with catchy slogans and product names exist for a reason. “GNU” is awkward to write, awkward to say and awkward to explain to people.


I think Gary Simms has it exactly right, and Mr. Stallman is just sad because he is not in the limelight.

To be fair, it’s his entire life’s work, which he has given away for free. It’s understandable that he’d like more appreciation for something used daily by just about everyone in existence today.

But he already made it into the history record and his work acknowledged. He just picked a bad name :man_shrugging: