The GNU/Linux naming controversy is a dispute among members of the free and open source software community about how to refer to the computer operating systems commonly called "Linux". The free software community is an informal term referring to the users and developers of Free software as well as supporters of the Free software movement. An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a Computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks
GNU/Linux is the term promoted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), its founder Richard Stallman, and its supporters, for operating systems that include GNU software and the Linux kernel. The Free Software Foundation ( FSF) is a Non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the Free software movement Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16 1953 often abbreviated " rms " is an American software freedom activist GNU ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free software. Linux is an operating system kernel used by a family of Unix-like Operating systems These are popularly termed Linux operating systems and  The FSF argues for the term GNU/Linux because GNU was a longstanding project to develop a free operating system, of which the kernel was the last missing piece.  Proponents of the Linux term dispute GNU/Linux for a number of reasons.
Among the "top ten distributions" listed at DistroWatch, two (Debian GNU/Linux and Knoppix live GNU/Linux system) use the term GNU/Linux in their official names, four (Mandriva Linux, Mepis Linux, Slackware Linux, and Gentoo Linux) use Linux in their names, one (PCLinuxOS) uses a derivative name, and three (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora) use neither Linux nor GNU/Linux in their names. DistroWatch is a popular Website which provides news popularity rankings and other general information about various Linux distributions as well as other Free Debian ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free and open source software. Knoppix, or KNOPPIX (nopɪks is a GNU/Linux Operating system based on Debian designed to be run directly from a CD / DVD Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is an Operating system created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft MEPIS (pronunciation ˈmɛpɪs refers to a set of Operating systems distributed as Live CDs which can be installed onto a Hard disk. Slackware is an Operating system created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux Inc The Gentoo Linux Operating system (ˈdʒɛntuː is a Linux distribution based on the Portage Package management system. PCLinuxOS, often abbreviated as PCLOS, is a Desktop Operating system. Ubuntu Kubuntu Edubuntu Xubuntu Gobuntu --> Ubuntu SUSE Linux distributions openSUSE, (ˌoʊpɛnˈsuːzə is a general purpose Operating system developed by the OpenSUSE Project. The Fedora Operating system is an RPM -based general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored 
Plans for the GNU operating system were made in 1983 by Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, then editor of Dr. Dobb's Journal. GNU ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free software. Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16 1953 often abbreviated " rms " is an American software freedom activist The Free Software Foundation ( FSF) is a Non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the Free software movement Dr Dobb's Journal ( DDJ) is a monthly Journal published in the United States by CMP Technology. In September of that year, Stallman published an editorial detailing his new project publicly, and outlining his vision of free software. Free software or software libre is Software that can be used studied and modified without restriction and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified Software development work began in January 1984. GNU was to be a complete Unix-like operating system composed entirely of free software. A Unix-like (sometimes shortened to *nix) Operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system while not necessarily conforming By 1991, the GNU mid-level portions of the operating system were almost complete, and the upper level could be supplied by the X Window System, but the lower level (kernel, device drivers, system-level utilities and daemons) was still mostly lacking. In Computer science, the kernel is the central component of most computer Operating systems (OS The GNU kernel, GNU Hurd, was still in its infancy. The Hurd followed an ambitious design which proved unexpectedly difficult to implement and has only been marginally usable.
In 1991, the first version of the Linux kernel was released by Linus Torvalds. Linus Benedict Torvalds ( ˈtuːrvalds born December 28 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer Early Linux kernel developers ported GNU code, including the GNU C Compiler, to run on Linux. See also Software portability In Computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of Compilers produced for various Programming languages by the GNU Project Later, when the GNU developers learned of Linux, they adapted other parts of GNU to run on the Linux kernel. This work filled the remaining gaps in running a completely free operating system.
Over the next few years, there were a number of suggestions for how to name operating systems using the Linux kernel and GNU components. In 1992, the Yggdrasil Linux distribution adopted the name "Linux/GNU/X". Yggdrasil Linux/GNU/X, or LGX (pronounced igg-drah-sill) was an early Linux distribution developed by Yggdrasil Computing Incorporated In Usenet and mailing-list discussions, one can find usages of "GNU/Linux" as early as 1992 and of "GNU+Linux" as early as 1993. Usenet, a Portmanteau of "user" and "network" is a world-wide distributed Internet discussion system  The Debian project switched to calling itself "GNU/Linux" in early 1994; Debian founder Ian Murdock later noted that this change was made in response to a request by Richard Stallman (who initially proposed "Lignux," but suggested "GNU/Linux" instead after hearing complaints about the awkwardness of the former term). Ian Murdock (born April 28, 1973, in Konstanz, Germany) is the founder of the Debian distribution and Progeny Linux Systems  GNU's June 1994 Bulletin describes "Linux" as a "free Unix system for 386 machines" (with "many of the utilities and libraries" from GNU), but the January 1995 Bulletin switched to the term "GNU/Linux" instead. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer  Stallman's and the FSF's efforts to include "GNU" in the name started around 1994, but were reportedly mostly via private communications (such as the abovementioned request to Debian) until 1996.  In May 1996, Stallman released Emacs 19. Emacs is a class of feature-rich Text editors usually characterized by their extensibility 31 with the Autoconf system target "linux" changed to "lignux" (shortly thereafter changed to "linux-gnu" in emacs 19. Autoconf is a tool for producing Shell scripts that automatically configure software Source code packages to adapt to many kinds of UNIX-like systems 32), and included an essay "Linux and the GNU system" suggesting that people use the terms "Linux-based GNU system" (or "GNU/Linux system" or "Lignux" for short) to refer to the combination of the Linux kernel and the GNU system. He later used "GNU/Linux" exclusively, and the essay was superseded by Stallman's 1997 essay, "Linux and the GNU project". 
A Unix-like, Linux-based operating system has many components, including the Linux kernel, software developed by the GNU project, and substantial amounts of software such as the X Window System by other authors. Almost all Linux-based desktops and servers do use the GNU components, such as the GNU C Library (glibc), GNU Core Utilities (Coreutils), and bash. The GNU C Library, commonly known as glibc, is the C standard library released by the GNU Project. The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU Software containing many of the basic tools such as cat, Ls Bash is a Free software Unix shell written for the GNU Project. In an analysis of the source code for packages comprising Red Hat Linux 7. 1, a typical Linux distribution, the total size of the packages from the GNU project was found to be much larger than the Linux kernel. A Linux distribution (also called GNU/Linux by distributions such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Mandriva and  Determining exactly what constitutes the "operating system" per se is a matter of continuing debate.
On the other hand, some embedded systems, such as handheld devices and Internet appliances, are engineered with space efficiency in mind and use a Linux kernel with few or no components of GNU. An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints A mobile device (also known as cellphone device, handheld device, handheld computer, "Palmtop" or simply handheld) is a pocket-sized An Internet appliance is a consumer device whose main function is easy access to Internet services such as WWW or E-mail. A system running μClinux is likely to substitute uClibc for glibc and BusyBox for Coreutils. In Computing, uClibc is a small C standard library intended for Embedded Linux systems BusyBox is a Software application which provides many standard Unix tools much like the larger (but more capable GNU Core Utilities. Everyone, including the FSF, agrees that "GNU/Linux" is not an appropriate name for these systems. 
The FSF justifies the name "GNU/Linux" primarily on the grounds that the GNU project was specifically developing a complete system, of which they argue the Linux kernel was among the final pieces; the large number of GNU components and GNU source code used in such systems is a secondary argument:
So if you were going to pick a name for the system based on who wrote the programs in the system, the most appropriate single choice would be GNU. In Computer science, source code (commonly just source or code) is any sequence of statements or declarations written in some Human-readable But we don't think that is the right way to consider the question. The GNU Project was not, is not, a project to develop specific software packages. [. . . ] Many people have made major contributions to the free software in the system, and they all deserve credit. But the reason it is an integrated system — and not just a collection of useful programs — is because the GNU Project set out to make it one. We made a list of the programs needed to make a complete free system, and we systematically wrote, or found people to write, everything on the list. 
In addition, the FSF also argues that "GNU/Linux recognizes the role that our idealism played in building our community, and helps the public recognize the practical importance of these ideals" (in contrast to the focus on "technical advantage" rather than "freedom" of the Linux kernel developers). The free software movement (also known as open source movement, free and open source software movement and abbreviated FSM OSM or FOSSM) is a relatively Open source software (OSS began as a marketing campaign for Free software.
The ordinary understanding of "operating system" includes both the kernel — the specific subsystem that directly interfaces with the hardware — and the "userland" software that is employed by the user and by application software to control the computer. Userland refers to an application space that is external to the kernel and is protected by Privilege separation. Moreover, both the name "GNU" and the name "Linux" are intentionally related to the name "Unix", and Unix has always conceptually included the C library and userland tools as well as the kernel. tags please moot on the talk page first! --> In Computing, C is a general-purpose cross-platform block structured In Computer science, a library is a collection of Subroutines used to develop Software. In the 1991 release notes for versions 0. 01 to 0. 11 of the Linux kernel (which was not released under the GNU General Public License until version 0. 12), Torvalds wrote, "Sadly, a kernel by itself gets you nowhere [. . . ] Most of the tools used with linux are GNU software. " Torvalds also wrote during the 1992 Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate that, "As has been noted (not only by me), the linux kernel is a miniscule part of a complete system". The Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate is a debate between Andrew S Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds, regarding Linux and kernel architecture in general 
The use of the word "Linux" to refer to the kernel, the operating system, and entire distributions, often leads to confusion about the distinctions among the three. A Linux distribution (also called GNU/Linux by distributions such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Mandriva and Many GNU packages are a key part of almost every Linux distribution. This list of GNU packages lists notable software packages developed for or maintained by the Free Software Foundation for GNU, a Unix-like computer Media sources frequently make erroneous statements such as claiming that the entire Linux operating system (rather than simply the kernel) was written from scratch by Torvalds in 1991; that Torvalds directs the development of other components such as graphical interfaces or the GNU tools; or that new releases of the kernel involve a similar degree of user-visible change as do new versions of proprietary operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, where many things besides the kernel change simultaneously. Proprietary software is Computer software on which the producer has set restrictions on use private modification copying, or republishing. Microsoft Windows is a series of Software Operating systems and Graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft.
Because of this confusion, legal threats and public relations campaigns apparently directed against the kernel, such as those launched by the SCO Group or the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI), have been misinterpreted by many commentators who assume that the whole operating system is being targeted. Public relations (PR is the practice of managing the flow of Information between an Organization and its Publics Public relations - often referred The SCO Group Inc ( TSG, informally SCO;) is a software company formerly called Caldera Systems and Caldera International. The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (abbreviated AdTI) is a Washington D These organisations have even been accused of deliberately exploiting this confusion.  
In response to suggestions that Stallman's renaming efforts stem from egotism or personal pique, Stallman has responded that his interest is not in giving credit to himself, but to the GNU Project: Some people think that it's because I want my ego to be fed. Of course, I'm not asking you to call it "Stallmanix".  Stallman has admitted to irritation, although he believes it to be justified in response to seeing "an idealistic project stymied and made ineffective, because people don't usually give it the credit for what it has done," concluding "If you're an idealist like me, that can ruin your whole decade. "
In response to another common argument (see below), the FSF acknowledges that many people have contributed to GNU/Linux and that a short name cannot credit all of them, but argues that this cannot justify calling the system "Linux":
Since a long name such as GNU/X11/Apache/Linux/TeX/Perl/Python/FreeCiv becomes absurd, at some point you will have to set a threshold and omit the names of the many other secondary contributions. There is no one obvious right place to set the threshold, so wherever you set it, we won't argue against it . . . But one name that cannot result from concerns of fairness and giving credit, not for any possible threshold level, is "Linux". It can't be fair to give all the credit to one secondary contribution (Linux) while omitting the principal contribution (GNU). 
"Linux" is by far the most widespread name, and most people therefore simply adopt this usage, while references to the naming controversy appear only infrequently in mainstream sources. "Linux" has the most historical momentum because it is the name Torvalds has used for the combined system since 1991, while Stallman only began asking people to call the system "GNU/Linux" in the mid 1990s, some time after the "Linux" name had already become popular. "Linux" is shorter and easier to say than "GNU/Linux", particularly given Stallman's suggested pronunciation as "GNU slash Linux" (IPA: /gəˈnuː slæʃ ˈlɪnəks/) or "GNU plus Linux" (IPA: /gəˈnuː plʌs ˈlɪnəks/).
Some people object that the name "Linux" should be used to refer only to the kernel, not the entire operating system. Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4 1957 often referred to as ESR, is a Computer programmer, author and Open source software advocate The Jargon File is a Glossary of hacker Slang. The original Jargon File was a collection of hacker slang from technical cultures such as the MIT AI This claim is a proxy for an underlying territorial dispute; people who insist on the term GNU/Linux want the FSF to get most of the credit for Linux because [Stallman] and friends wrote many of its user-level tools. Neither this theory nor the term GNU/Linux has gained more than minority acceptance.
Linus Torvalds has said in the documentary Revolution OS, when asked if the name GNU/Linux was justified:
Well, I think it's justified, but it's justified if you actually make a GNU distribution of Linux . Revolution OS is a 2001 Documentary film made in the United States, directed by J . . the same way that I think that "Red Hat Linux" is fine, or "SuSE Linux" or "Debian Linux", because if you actually make your own distribution of Linux, you get to name the thing, but calling Linux in general "GNU Linux" I think is just ridiculous. 
An earlier comment by Torvalds on the naming controversy was:
Umm, this discussion has gone on quite long enough, thank you very much. It doesn't really matter what people call Linux, as long as credit is given where credit is due (on both sides). Personally, I'll very much continue to call it "Linux". 
In a similar vein, the debate over the name for the operating system is sometimes characterized as a trivial distraction; e. g. John C. Dvorak wrote "the Linux community spends too much of its energy on things such as nomenclature (like the name GNU/Linux versus Linux). John Charles Dvorak (born 1952 in Los Angeles, California) is an American Columnist and broadcaster in the areas of Technology "
The Linux Journal speculated that Stallman's advocacy of the combined name stems from frustration that "Linus got the glory for what [Stallman] wanted to do. "
Others have suggested that, regardless of the merits, Stallman's persistence in what sometimes seems a lost cause makes him and GNU look bad. For example, Larry McVoy (author of the proprietary software BitKeeper, once used to manage Linux kernel development, until the gratis license was revoked in the reverse-engineering controversy) opined that "claiming credit only makes one look foolish and greedy". Larry McVoy (b 1962 in Concord Massachusetts) is the CEO of BitMover, the company that makes BitKeeper, a Version control system BitKeeper is a Software tool for Distributed revision control ( Configuration management, SCM, etc BitKeeper is a Software tool for Distributed revision control ( Configuration management, SCM, etc 
Many users and vendors who prefer the name "Linux" point to the inclusion of non-GNU, non-kernel tools such as the Apache HTTP Server, the X Window System or the K Desktop Environment in end-user operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks KDE ( K Desktop Environment) (ˌkeɪdiːˈiː is a Free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use Desktop environment. As stated by Jim Gettys, originator of X:
There are lots of people on this bus; I don't hear a clamor of support that GNU is more essential than many of the other components; can't take a wheel away, and end up with a functional vehicle, or an engine, or the seats. Jim Gettys is a Computer programmer. Currently he is the Vice President of Software at the One Laptop per Child project working on the software for the I recommend you be happy we have a bus. 
Although "GNU/Linux" is often pronounced /gəˈnuː ˈlɪnəks/, "GNU Linux", Stallman has advocated explicit pronunciation of the slash to prevent the confusing implication that the Linux kernel itself is a GNU project:
I prefer to pronounce it GNU-slash-Linux, or GNU-plus-Linux. The reason is when you say GNU-Linux it is very much prone to suggest a misleading interpretation. After all, we have GNU Emacs which is the version of Emacs which was developed for GNU. If you say "GNU Linux", people will think it means a version of Linux that was developed for GNU. Which is not the fact. 
Given that Stallman pronounces GNU as /gəˈnuː/, this would make it /gəˈnuː ˈslæʃ ˈlɪnəks/ or /gəˈnuː ˈplʌs ˈlɪnəks/.