Use linux for what [was Re: [PLUG] Best Linux for Desktop Users]

Arindam arindam.mukerjee at
Wed Sep 13 11:52:01 IST 2006

> On Tuesday 12 September 2006 20:59, Pushparajan V wrote:
> > and note that, many use *Linux*.. instead of GNU/Linux.. please..
> > please change..
> > use GNU/Linux always.. iam not an exception since i too corrected
> > myself to use like that..  It creates respect to the GNU OS and makes
> > users to know what GNU is? .
> Doesn't matter because for me, GNU/Linux is to emphasize the freedom part of
> it and Linux as a brand image does that. Saying GNU/Linux to me is same as
> saying Linux to a person who hasn't heard anything else but windows..
> Objective achieved.. ;)
> Furthermore 'GNU/Linux' is technically as incorrect as 'Linux' since there are
> many non-GNU things in a typical distribution, such as MIT/BSD/Apache/Mozilla
> licensed etc.
> Linux is correct if you understand that I don't use it to refer to the kernel.
> Most people don't either.

I would rather stick to Linux. It is easier to pronounce, and frankly
it does not institutionalize and rebrand something so wholly
spontaneous as Linux. I need to have a really solid reason to adopt
the name GNU/Linux over Linux. I don't feel compelled to be
politically correct while talking about Linux.

>  Shridhar
> --

I used Linux because it freed my soul. I had barely 2 months of
familiarity with Windows when I wanted to use Linux - I knew nothing
about it and I just wanted to find out what the heck is this new
thing. So honestly, there was no motivation apart from curiosity. This
was 1999. I rememeber doing a re-install RHL 6.0 on my "new" PII box
on 31st Dec 1999. As it struck 12 midnight the thermometer bars got
stuck for about a minute and a half (coincidentally) and I said to
myself, I am Y2K struck. I wasn't. It was installing the Enlightenment
WindowManager and it went to completion. It was good fun hunting for
drivers on the net, breaking through after being frustrated for days
and sleepless for night in trying to configure a video card that won't
give you a meaningful readable screen or mouse whose pointer would be
too flaky to move in any predictable direction. In those days, the
understandably non-GNU KDE was much slicker than GNOME ... but also
buggier. Konqueror used to crash at the drop of a hat. It wasn't so
easy to get around and do every day to day job with Linux. StarOffice
won't (so easily) open M$ Word files for you. You couldn't open
literally every M$ Office file (ppt, pps, doc, xls ... you name it) on
a Linux desktop. But then, those were the heady days ... I don't
complain about now ... Linux is more usable than ever before, looks
dandy and works great (some distros need only about 256 Megs of RAM to
run and with 6 Gigs of space, you can still install everything from a
distro on to your disk. Oh ... and of course now Linux has
splash-screens for everything. Also, Linux is institutionalized, put
on a pedestal and up for sale, for free of course, but still you have
to "buy" the brand and color yourself with it to use it. I find all of
this a little acausal.

Sometimes I feel, being a Linux user these days is no big deal. May be
it never was but at least in the old days, by being a Linux user, I
used to be more aware of what goes inside my box and what lights blink
to tell what story. These days, Linux ... should I say most of the
distros rather, make you feel like a pampered fuzzy user ... you
really don't need to know an awful lot more about your box to get a
fully functional system than you need, to install M$ Window$. Some
like it that way, but for me the fun is lost ... perhaps _the_ reason
why I switched to FreeBSD ... anything comparable could do for me but
I just happened to get my hands on these couple of ISOs. I still work
big time on Linux, my job demands it. But I play on FreeBSD, not on
Linux. Also, it does not put me in a fix about my options (like M$
Window$), nor does it demand me to be religious and commit myself to a
GNU/crusade :) (like Linux). With FreeBSD, I am free to commit
adultery, cheat on it and still go to bed with it feeling great.


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