Richard Stallman: GNU, Linux & Linus Torvalds (in Frankfurt, Germany)

Richard Stallman: GNU, Linux & Linus Torvalds (in Frankfurt, Germany)


Richard Stallman in the Frankfurt Gallus Theatre about GNU, Linux and Linus Torvalds So by 1992 we had almost all the initial minimal system but one essential component was missing that was the kernel which allocates the machines resources to the other programs you run so we started developing a kernel in 1990 but i chose an advanced elegant design that might have been what went wrong because it turned into a research project it took 6 years to have a test version i don’t know exactly why because I wasn’t the one writing it the free software foundation hired somebody to write it but in any case we didn’t have to wait for that cause in 1992 Mr Torvalds who had written in 91 a proprietary kernel called Linux in 1992 he freed it by releasing the source code under a free license So people were able to take Linux and put into the layers gap in the GNU system making a complete system that was basically the GNU system But also contain linux in other words this system was GNU plus Linux But The people who combined them didn’t think about this they were focusing their attention on this latest piece which was, you know, only just the beginning to work sort of they had to lots of work on it but in any case they started talking about GNU plus Linux and calling the whole thing Linux which creates terrible confusion if you hear a geek talk about linux you don’t know what he means sometimes he means this piece, sometimes he’s talking about the whole GNU plus Linux system And in less you’re an expert enough to figure out which one it has to be you can’t tell so it’s spreading confusion all the time but even worse it gets in the way of spreading the idea of freedom. And thats that’s harmful to sociaty as a whole and the reason is the name Linux is associated with Mr Torvaldses ideas where the name GNU is associated with our ideas now you’ve heared our ideas. they’re about freedom and community torvalds rejects our views he doesn’t believe that you deserve freedom in your computing and he doesn’t believe he deserves freedom in his computing he’s happy to do without to bad but he’s entitled to his views he’s not entitled to use our work as his platform and spreading his oposition to the ideas that motivated our work what happens when people want tribute the GNU system to him by calling it linux it becomes his platform to appose the ideas of free software and people think it’s valid cause they think our work was done by him and that all comes from telling them it’s called Linux So please don’t do that please give us equal mention when you talk about the system that is basicly GNU with Linux added please call it GNU / Linux or GNU plus Linux or GNU and Linux you could use whatever word you like to combine them but give us equal mention people need to know that this system was developed so they can have freedom so you can have freedom because freedom is frequently threatend and to keep it we have to defend it but to defend it we have to value it and to value we have to understand the concept how are we gonna teach people to think about freedom and regard to their computing the mainstream media never even hinted the idea that they deserve freedom and that it’s wrong for software developers to take it away and when they talk about the GNU system they call it Linux and they refer only to the values of Mr Torvalds and they’ve barried us completely but you can work against that by calling the system GNU / Linux Make an arrangement with your friends saying if anybody catches somebody else saying Linux and it means the whole system then the person who made the mistake ows one euro to the other and for what I’ve heared after a few times everybody will learn never to make the mistake again