EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.19.13

Yes, Chrome OS is a GNU/Linux Distribution and Google is Still Worth Supporting

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, OIN, Patents at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Distributions of GNU/Linux need not conform to people’s expectation of freedom and control, so even some restrictive systems like Chrome OS are in fact GNU/Linux

A recently-run poll in TuxMachines helped validate the claim that Google’s (GNU) Linux efforts do count towards the general cause of GNU/Linux, contributing in terms of volume probably more than lesser-known distributions like Doudou [1], SolydXK [2], Zorin OS [3], and Netrunner [4] (recent news intentionally chosen). As Ken Starks put it the other day [5]: “For those that want to argue that Chromebooks don’t run on real Linux, that’s like saying oxygen isn’t really a part of water.”

He has a point. Those who never wanted GNU/Linux to enjoy high morale and gain momentum will say that Chromebooks should be ignored and not be defended from Microsoft's FUD campaigns. A lot of large companies (OEMs [6-8]), not just Google [9], are really falling in love with Chrome OS and it’s good that they use Chrome OS (never mind lockdown and privacy implications) instead of Windows. If one looks at the definition of a GNU/Linux system, then Chrome OS may definitely qualify; it might not be so freedom-respecting, but being freedom-respecting is not a requirement of being a GNU/Linux system. SteamOS is basically a platform for installing and running proprietary software (games), but that does not make it anything other than a Debian derivative and a GNU/Linux distribution.

“SteamOS is basically a platform for installing and running proprietary software (games), but that does not make it anything other than a Debian derivative and a GNU/Linux distribution.”Google has just joined OIN, making its commitement to GNU/Linux even stronger. As SJVN put it: “The Open Invention Network (OIN), the organization that was formed to promote collaboration and patent non-aggression in support of Linux, announced on Wednesday that Google has joined IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony as a full member of OIN.”

SJVN’s colleague at CBS said without concrete evidence that “Many companies using Linux pay Microsoft patent royalties for its operating system intellectual property.” (note the propaganda term at the end, classic CBS)

Google, unlike Novell for example, does not help Microsoft manufacture the above FUD; quite the contrary. We should boycott openSUSE [10], which is basically part of SUSE (Microsoft partners), not losing sight of the real issue which is patents/extortion, not a degree of versatility (more of a technical matter).

Bashing Google rather than companies like Apple and Microsoft is a wasteful move; it’s almost like bashing Canonical/Ubuntu. Let’s be happy that Chromebooks are gaining traction; for particular users they are very appealing as they would have practiced their freedoms even if they had them.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Top 3: Linux Foundation Grows, Fedora 20 Delayed and Doudou Grows
  2. SolydXK hands on: Two good Linux distributions with a solid base

    My hopes were high, and if you go back and read some of my posts during that time it shows in the way I wrote about it. Then there were rumours that there might be a KDE version of LMDE, and I thought that would be Nirvana for sure.

  3. Zorin OS 7 Released – A Ultimate Linux Desktop with Windows 7 Feel
  4. Netrunner 13.12 RC available for testing
  5. Linux — La Casa Nostra

    Check the latest sales numbers for the various Chromebooks and Android phones this holiday season. I live in a little podunk town of less than 15,000 people and the Walmart here can’t keep Chromebooks on the shelves. Those Windows 8 “slablets” gathering dust day after day? They’re not doing so well, but our Walmart is getting ready to accept their third order of Chromebooks since Black Friday. Our mailman’s wife took on some part time work over the holidays at Walmart and she works in electronics. She sees it every day.

    For those that want to argue that Chromebooks don’t run on real Linux, that’s like saying oxygen isn’t really a part of water. You ultimately end up sounding like someone with a mouth full of sour grapes. So when detractors jeer and ask, “So when is this year of Linux we’ve been hearing about?” just shrug your shoulders, smile and get out of the way. They don’t see the megalith bearing down upon them.

    [...]

    But with all of that being said, there are some things glaring back at us, things that need to be fixed, things that should have been fixed a long time ago. These problems or shortcomings in the Linux system aren’t really too hard to fix. The same tight-knit community that assumes someone else will fix it is the same tight-knit community that needs to pay attention to these problems.

  6. Chromebase: A Chrome OS All-in-One PC from LG due at CES 2014
  7. Gift Guide 2013: Top Chromebooks for the holidays
  8. Dell also joins the Chrome OS bandwagon launches Chromebook 11
  9. Google working on Chrome OS Recovery Tool App
  10. Review: openSUSE 13.1 GNOME
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 27, 2020



  2. EUIPO and EPO Celebrate Corruption in Croatia

    The EPO returns to its corrupt roots of the Battistelli era even in the form of photo ops



  3. Death of the UPC (Unitary Patent) Confirmed by the British Government

    The lies about the UPC are repeatedly being called out as UPC disarray is confirmed by the spokesperson of Prime Minister Boris Johnson



  4. A Month After One OSI Co-Founder Resigns in the Mailing Lists Over OSI's Attacks on Software Freedom the Other OSI Co-Founder Gets Kicked Out for Speaking About It

    The 'cancel culture' seems to be canceling people who speak about software freedom, under the guise of the real motivation being manners (when one lashes out at those who attack Free software and free speech)



  5. Links 27/2/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.1, Collabora Office for Phones and Latte Dock 0.9.9

    Links for the day



  6. The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use 'Big Browsers' That Spy)

    The Linux Foundation's message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness



  7. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part I: Year Zero

    People behind the ousting of Richard Stallman (or 'leaders of the coup' as some call them) want a fresh start; but they aren't starting what most FSF supporters have been led to believe



  8. Alexandre Oliva on Diversity Hypocrites

    "Some of them purport to be for inclusion and diversity, but won't hesitate to make fun of someone's poorly-disguised handicap."



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 26, 2020



  10. Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

    Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are.



  11. Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

    Links for the day



  12. Reminder: At Linux Foundation in 2020 Three Board Members, Including the Vice Chair and Director at Large, Are Current or Past Microsoft Employees

    Sometimes the facts speak for themselves (or pictures speak louder than words)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020



  14. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  15. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.



  16. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)



  17. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC



  18. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)



  19. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020



  21. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals



  22. Links 24/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC3, Netrunner 20.01, Google Summer of Code 2020 Mentoring Organisations Announced

    Links for the day



  23. Alexandre Oliva's New Article About a Coup

    Some people try to tell me that the criticism I've got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.



  24. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  25. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  27. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  28. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  29. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  30. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts