[Fsf-friends] Re: RMS note to Vivaravichara

Richard Stallman rms@gnu.org
Tue Sep 2 22:56:12 IST 2003

    3. 'Free' is not a proper adjective to represent freedom.

It is the best adjective available for the purpose in the English
language, so that's what we use.  It is also the term we have been
using for 20 years, and changing now would be a major problem.

    4. The usage of 'Linux' for 'GNU/Linux' is justified for ease of use.

    It is true that 'Linux' is name of a kernel. However it is more
    frequently used to represent the 'GNU/Linux' operating system.

To call the system "Linux" hurts our work, and undermines all our
efforts today, by suggesting to the public that the operating system
we principally developed exists due to Linus Torvalds' apolitical
engineer's world-view.  That world view would never have produced
a free operating system because it does not consider freedom a goal.

"Ease of use" can hardly be a sufficient reason for giving to another
philosophy the credit for the work that our philosophy brought about.
If you want to cooperate with us, please call the system "GNU/Linux"
and recognize our work.

If you feel that you need a shorter name, the most appropriate one is
simply "GNU".  That is the name we gave to the system 20 years ago
when we started developing it.  It is shorter than "Linux" also, and
shorter too.  (In the FSF we prefer to write "GNU/Linux", partly to
give Linus a share of the credit for the part of the system he added
in 1992.)

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