Main Menu
Help Docs
Gnu/Linux Distros
Aaj Ka Tip
Aaj Ka Command
Free Software

Why gnulinuxclub? Print E-mail
Why gnulinuxclub?

Why a new club? Aren't LUGs enough?? And what's GNU?? I see it on many Linux sites, never figured out what?it was!!

This section answers these questions and more. The reason behind?forming the gnulinuxclub is closely related to the association of the terms GNU and Linux?and this text serves as a starter. So read on to?clear our view over the name of?this site and to get the GNU-Linux story ...
What is Linux?

Linux kernel was developed by Linus Torvalds. When the famous Linus was studying computer science at the university of Helsinki in 1991. He thought that it would be a good idea to have some sort of freely available academic version of UNIX, and promptly started to code for it. After a long research, it gives birth of Linux.

All we know Linux as an Operating System. Is it true? The simple answer is 'NO'. Linux is a kernel, kernel is the core of an operating system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in a combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU, with Linux functioning as its kernel.

Many users are not fully aware of the distinction between the kernel, which is Linux, and the whole system, which they also call ``Linux''. The ambiguous use of the name doesn't promote understanding. These users often think that Linus Torvalds developed the whole operating system in 1991, with a bit of help.

Programmers generally know that Linux is a kernel. But since they have generally heard the whole system called ``Linux'' as well, they often envisage a history that would justify naming the whole system after the kernel. For example, many believe that once Linus Torvalds finished writing Linux, the kernel, its users looked around for other free software to go with it, and found that (for no particular reason) most everything necessary to make a Unix-like system was already available.

Kernel is absolutely useless if it is not supported by software tools. Take an example, you want to create a text file. You cannot do it unless you have an text editor. The text editor is the software tool and the kernel of the system provides you the platform to run the text editor. Another example, suppose you want to play your mp3 cds. To play mp3 cds, you need a software tool by controlling which you can play, pause, stop, equalize the your favorite song. It is the kernel which detects your CD ROM drive, reads the data from your cd, detects your sound card, communicate with your software tool whether it will be able to play mp3 or not, decompress the mp3 data, recognize the button you have pressed and take necessary action with the respective button's action, send the output to your hardware and you then listen the music. If anything wrong there, kernel detects it and provides an error message to the user stating which of the above is not functioning well. So think what a mammoth task kernel is doing for us.

Click for further help

What is GNU?

GNU is a recursive acronym for “GNU's Not UNIX”; it is pronounced “guh-noo. Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the kernel Linux, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as “Linux” they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems. GNU project was started in 1984 by Richard Mathew Stallman.

Confused? Thinking that how can it be possible to combine this GNU tools (which started in the year of 1984) when there is no existence of the kernel (which developed in 1991)?

Think it in this way, GNU project was started separately long before the Linux kernel was developed. The aim of the GNU project was to provide a completely FREE UNIX style operating system. By the early 90s they? had put together the whole system aside from the kernel (and they were also working on a kernel, the GNU Hurd, which runs on top of Mach). Developing this kernel has been a lot harder than they expected,( the GNU Hurd started working reliably in 2001. they are now starting to prepare the actual release of the GNU system, with the GNU Hurd.)

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait for the Hurd, because Linux was available. When Linus Torvalds wrote Linux, he filled the last major gap. People could then put Linux together with the GNU system to make a complete free system: a Linux-based version of the GNU system; the GNU/Linux system, for short.

It is the right place to mention the role of FSF (Free Software Foundation) here. Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of GNU project. Free softwares are the boon of them. “Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer''.
Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

  1. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  2. The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  4. The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Keeping the above in view, the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENCE was developed. After the birth of Linux, it also followed the GNU GPL.

Free software is an ideology. In these days it throws a challenge to proprietary softwares which we compelled to buy even with spending thousands of dollars. Most of the free softwares are in the form of 'Free' from costing too....though it is not the view of FSF. Non free software vendors are providing an adverse role to the Free Software community as they have started to feel that Free Software is getting more importance to the users throughout the world. Now there are billions of people working for Free Softwares though the number is very little as the requirement is more. In these days there are lot of openings over Free Software community and tomorrow it will be more as there is endless? chance to betterment even with the same software. Thus GNU project providing us great softwares which are even being modified everyday and we are getting much better softwares with a small period of time, without paying thousands of dollars.

For futher reference

GNU and Linux
Now we think the picture is clear to you. As Linux was developed based on UNIX and the target of GNU project was also for UNIX like operating system and both were ideologically in the same track, who could stop combining those to form a robust operating system? The combination of GNU and Linux provided us the great GNU/Linux operating system .To? read more on this
(http://gnu.miscellaneousmirror.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html ) and (http://gnu.miscellaneousmirror.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html )

If you would like to learn more about this issue, you can also read our GNU/Linux FAQ
This is the space where we also express what we expect from a Gnu/Linux website ,so feel free to submit any article/link that you feel should be there at this website ,you may contact our editor from the contact section of our website.
< Previous

Join Us
About Us
Contact Us
Support Us
Login(only for dev.)

Royalty Free Images

O'Reilly User Group discount!

Powered By GIMP GIMP
Contact Webmaster Copyleft 2011 gnulinuxclub.org