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10.14.13

GNU is Big in Top500.org

Posted in GNU/Linux at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Large server

Summary: The erosion of accurate historical record when it comes to the free (as in freedom) operating system

EARLIER today I found yet another article which claims to give the history of GNU/Linux but talks only about Linux, pretending everything started in 1991 [1]. This is a common mistake, found in other articles that I found today [2], but nothing is as upsetting as the Linux Foundation, which cannot claim ignorance, brushing GNU out of the record, even when it comes to supercomputing [3]. The historical record is important and language is too. To use an analogy that I used a fortnight ago, calling native Americans (or Americans) “Indians” legitimises a view where these are foreigners rather than First People (“American Indian” means Indian citizen living in the US), so to say that European conquerors “discovered” America and are now the real “Americans” is like claiming that GNU is somehow the ugly little brother of Linux when it fact it’s a distortion of the truth. Google takes it a step further by calling GNU/Linux “Chromebook” and just never attributing anything which is Free software. In the latest episode of TLLTS (probably the longest-running Linux podcast) one of the hosts did not even know that Chromebook had GNU/Linux in it. Lack of proper attribution and intentional blurring of history leads to this.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. History of Linux: The Timeline

    Bangalore: Enterprises are the home for Linux operating systems. They are mostly used across servers, for connecting databases and clients and for other purposes. Yet, presently, these operating systems have turned out to be so user-friendly that they have become a common sight throughout houses. So, how did this transition happen? How was this operating system even born? In the next couple of pages, we are taking you to a journey in time. Read on to know about the history of the most popular operating system.

  2. Limpag: Elementary, my dear PC

    The main difference between Linux and Windows is the way these are developed. Windows is a proprietary system built by a single company – Microsoft. Linux is built by a global community of users under an open source license – a framework that encourages
    sharing and collaboration.

  3. Reality Check: Supercomputers Still Rule… and Linux Still Rules Them

    Earlier this summer, The Linux Foundation released the report 20 years of Top500.org, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Top 500 supercomputer ranking, and (quite naturally) highlighted Linux’s dominance on systems within the Top 500 over time.

  4. Does a Chromebook replace a laptop?
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A Single Comment

  1. Michael said,

    October 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Stallman has turned himself into a joke… and a rather sick one at that. Who wants to speak in depth about a man who thinks it is harmful to block porn in public schools (even child porn!). He is a sick, sick man with no sense of decency. Even his view on what it means to be “Free” are messed up – he has said his ideal of freedom means restricting how people protect their own property. That type of double-talk is utter nonsense.

    The GPL is great. As a choice. But he refuses to see it that way or speak of it that way. He wants it (and similar licenses he approves) to be the only choices. He has dug his own grave.

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