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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Is This "Puppy Linux" or "Puppy GNU/Linux?"
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 325
Location: Brookings, SD

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 02:26    Post subject:  Is This "Puppy Linux" or "Puppy GNU/Linux?"
Subject description: Trying to make sense of the two terms. And which is the official Puppy stand on the matter?
 

I've read in several articles our beloved Puppy Linux described as "GNU/Linux". Now, I am an advocate of free software--and open source software, i.e., free and open source software, both of which are described, depending on who you're talking to, as a "movement," and some of this stuff really confuses me. I'd like to get some clarification from Puppy users and developers here, if I may.

If one goes over to Free Software Foundation and reads up, one will find the several operating systems they advocate and describe as "free software -- free as in freedom, not free as in free beer," as "GNU/Linux." They claim there is a big difference between "GNU/Linux" distributions and "Linux" distributions, a big difference between "free software" distributions and "open source" distributions. Therefore, "Trisquel" and "Dragora", just to throw in a couple of examples, are not "Trisquel Linux" and "Dragora Linux" but "Trisquel GNU/Linux" and "Dragora GNU/Linux" respectively. They claim a huge difference between the two names. They claim only the software they advocate and provide mirrors for, for example, are truly free software, while all the others, allegedly the "Linux" distributions and/or "open source" distributions, are using proprietary programs and other proprietary software within their systems, and therefore cannot be described as "free software -- free as in freedom, not free as in free beer." The argument, to be sure, is complicated and never-ending, but just to clarify, for my own intents and purposes, and probably some of yours, too, Dear Reader, what, exactly, is Puppy and Quirky? Is this "Puppy Linux" we're using, or is this "Puppy GNU/Linux" and "Quirky GNU/Linux," and is this "free software -- free as in freedom, not free as in free beer" (even though, coincidentally, it is in fact free as in free beer... Well, it is for the users anyway)? So, if "Puppy Linux" is actually "Puppy GNU/Linux", then why do we call it "Puppy Linux?" And if it isn't "GNU/Linux," why do we call it both? What makes Puppy Puppy GNU/Linux in the first place? What makes Puppy Puppy Linux? Why are both terms used to describe the same thing? Is there a mistake or confusion on someone's part somewhere, or what?

I understand the terminology, but other authors shed different lights on the same thing and it does get nuts from time to time. What's the official Puppy stand on this argument? Or is there no argument at all? I haven't been able to find anything officially from Puppy.org or anywhere else to answer my questions. Thank you!

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1486
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 02:38    Post subject:  

My understanding, and there are others that might understand better than me, is that GNU versions have everything free and open source.

Some things that don't come under that banner might include Flash, MP3 codecs, DVD codecs etc.

Puppy works out of the box with those things, and often a few other proprietary bits, eg drivers. For that reason, Puppy is Linux as opposed to GNU/Linux (I think)
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darry1966


Joined: 26 Feb 2012
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 04:09    Post subject:  

Linux is the Kernel and GNU is all the other bits like Emacs etc, but a GNU/Linux Distro is refereed by most as Linux except Free Software advocates her refer to a distro as GNU/Linux.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU
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darry1966


Joined: 26 Feb 2012
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 04:21    Post subject:  

a couple further links to read on the topic from LinuxBBQ:
http://linuxbbq.org/wiki/index.php/Proprietary
http://linuxbbq.org/wiki/index.php/GNU
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 11300

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 05:33    Post subject:  

Well in other distros I see credits to writers in script but in puppy you will find the term copyright thrown about...not sure how that affects things.

Plus is 'Puppy' the whole package since much is now simply taken from other distros plus the kernel sources and mainly the wrappers are uniquely 'puppy' which as it happens are the usually parts with the copyrights (along with the name) ?

Sources for unique puppy items are usually available though...perhaps that relates to its GNU edness....

I never had desires to be a lawyer though the subject does tend to intrude into life now and then Very Happy

mike
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Rattlehead


Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 07:21    Post subject:  

Here is the information from the horse's mouth:

https://youtu.be/Ag1AKIl_2GM?t=393

I think what makes this issue look complicated, is that sometimes people say "Linux" as a contraction of "GNU-Linux", to abbreviate...
gnulinux.PNG
 Description   Useful diagram from Stallman's talk
 Filesize   39.94 KB
 Viewed   669 Time(s)

gnulinux.PNG

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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 325
Location: Brookings, SD

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 09:57    Post subject:  

Yes, GNU is Linux and Linux is GNU whether or not Linux and/or GNU like it. With obvious exceptions, namely, for example, the Android operating system, which utilizes 0 GNU parts, but relies on the Linux kernel. Barring exceptions like these, it's all GNU/Linux... loosely speaking. Some, but not all, is, "free software--free as in freedom, not free as in free beer." Some of it is, "free software--free as in freedom AND free as in free beer." And some of it is, "semi-free software--semi-free as in semi-freedom and semi-free as in semi-free beer AND free as in free beer."

The only thing left to do now is for someone to create a Free Pup. That way, Puppy will truly have it all. It will be free as in freedom, free as in free beer, AND free and open source.

Meantime, we could just call it, "GNU, Linux & Puppy Semi-Free (Semi-Free As In Semi-Freedom) Free (Free As In Free Beer) Operating System." WOOF! WOOF!

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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 3460
Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 15:08    Post subject:  

Only in this forum you can have a cold-headed discussion about this. Elsewhere this kind of questions usually incites flamewar. But I realise that the original poster may be asking a genuine question, so here is my opinion:

Puppy Linux is rightly called "Puppy Linux". It is not "Puppy GNU/Linux" or "GNU/Puppy Linux".

Disclosure: I am in agreement with most of RMS opinions; this one, however, is one of the few that I *don't* agree.

Proponents of "GNU/Linux" naming usually claim that a typical distro has much more "GNU software" as compared to the "Linux" kernel, thus the correct naming should be "GNU operating system + Linux kernel" --> shortened to GNU/Linux. For example: the picture two post above me.

There is only one problem. The picture is wrong. It is not slightly wrong, or wrong in the proportion of contribution size - it is *absolutely* wrong because it does not show the third category of software: "Non-GNU software".

The correct picture would show:
a) Linux kernel
b) GNU software
c) Non-GNU software

Before I go further, I would like clarify what is exactly meant when we talked about "GNU software". "GNU software" is not software whose license is GPL. GNU software is not "Free (as in freedom) software". After all we are checking whether the distro is to be called Linux or GNU/Linux, not GPL/Linux.

I publish software and license it using GPL license; that does not not turn it into "GNU software". The Linux kernel is licensed as GPL, it is obviously is not GNU software (otherwise, why bother trying to call it GNU/Linux - why not call it GNU then?)

In fact, the FSF, has a very specific meaning of what is meant by "GNU software": GNU software is software that is released under the auspices of the GNU Project.

---

Now, what exactly are GNU software? Do we have a list? In fact, we do. Now, how many of those that you recognise? How many of them are in Puppy?

Okay. Now look at "Non-GNU software". What are they? For starters - Xorg (that is, the graphics server). The window manager (jwm, openbox, icewm, whatever). Firefox. Seamonkey. Geany. Abiword. urxvt for you terminal lovers. mtpaint. viewnior. Osmo. Xsane (scanner tools). VLC/xine/ffmpeg/mplayer/mpv/audacious/whatever your favorite media player. SSH. VNC. epdfviewer.

Actually, it is not going to be a fair comparison. A lot of the end-user software that you see and use every day are not GNU software. Only few are: GIMP, Gnumeric, GNU cash. The rest - including the graphics server itself, are not. And this is true not only in numbers, it is also true in size - the size of non-GNU software in a typical Puppy distro overwhelms the size of Linux+GNU-software combined.

---

So, if somebody has to call the end-product by the size of the contribution, or by the number of packages, then the Non-GNU software will definitely outweights GNU software. If you want to add "GNU" tag to "Linux", then you will need to add more tags like "freedesktop.org", or "Xorg", or "Mozilla", etc, which will get into a very big mess very soon.

Rather than doing that, let's keep the simple name that really represent the idea that a "puppy" represents: "Puppy Linux" is a small, agile, versatile, teach-able (=customisable), yet fun Linux distribution, suitable for people (and computer) of all ages.

---

Closing note: I don't want people to get the impression GNU software is unimportant. Despite their small relative size and despite the fact that you don't see them often enough in your daily use, GNU software is in fact *very important*.

I'm happy to inform you that without GNU software, your Puppy distro probably won't even install or boot: GRUB and GRUB2 is GNU software, Grub4DOS is a derivative of GRUB. The partitioning software, "parted", is GNU software. The single most-often used library in the system, the "libc" (C library / also know as the system library) is called "glibc" for a reason - it is the GNU Libc (which is GNU software). The graphical toolkit that shows and draws your GUI: every buttons every icons every input entry forms is GTK+, also a GNU software. Most of the command-line core system utilities used during booting (awk/sed/cut/ls/find/grep/cp/etc) are GNU software (although non-GNU variants e.g. from busybox also exists, but the FULL versions are GNU software). If you compile software, the compiler (gcc/make/etc) are GNU software.

GNU software is very important. But so is the Linux kernel. And so is the non-GNU software. All of them are required to make a fully functioning distro. None of them is more important than the other, so it does not make sense to highlight one or two of them.

Really, the name of the distro is really up to the distro maker. You don't even have to use the word "Linux" in it (e.g. recently "SteamOS", and long time ago, "Lindows"). As for Puppy - "Puppy Linux" it is because that's how Barry named it.

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bark_bark_bark

Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 1935
Location: Wisconsin USA

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 16:35    Post subject:  

I never really looked at it that way, until now.
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 325
Location: Brookings, SD

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 23:38    Post subject:  

Free Puppies
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rokytnji

Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 2288

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 12:20    Post subject:  

Just try, and install, and run, a libre gnu kernel in any of your puppy installs. Then watch your laptop stop working because the proprietary modules are not present for your wireless or what ever.

Some distros you can try Blackfish if you really care about things like this, like you say.

http://www.dragora.org/en/index.html

http://www.gnewsense.org/

If they work on your hardware. More power to you.

I can see the 300 page libre puppy page now. "No Worky. Help"

I am not barking. Just educating because I have researched like jamesbond myself as
libre kernels are supplied in AntiX also.

Quote:
As with previous releases, antiX-15 comes in 3 flavours for 32 and 64 bit processors all fitting on a cd. antiX-full (667MB) -4 windows managers - IceWM(default), fluxbox, jwm and herbstluftwm antiX-base (567MB) -3 windows managers - fluxbox(default), jwm and herbstluftwm antiX-core-libre (222MB) - no X. Just enough to get you connected (wired) and ready to build.


I just happen to be pragmatic when it comes to having principles. It's a desert thing. Cool
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James C


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 6734
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 13:53    Post subject:  

Another one to try would be http://trisquel.info/


Quote:
Trisquel 7.0 LTS Belenos
Version 7 of the Trisquel GNU/Linux distribution, codenamed Belenos after a Celtic sun god, has been released. Belenos is a Long Term Support release that will be maintained until 2019. Relevant new packages and features include:

Kernel Linux-libre 3.13 with lowlatency and bfq scheduling by default.
Custom desktop based on GNOME 3.12 fallback.
Abrowser 33 (a free Firefox derivative) as default browser.
GNU IceCat 31 available as single-click optional install from Abrowser's homepage. Complete with many extra privacy features.
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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 325
Location: Brookings, SD

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 19:56    Post subject:  

I've used Trisquel. It's all right. It's derived from Ubuntu and has that pesky /root user nonsense Ubuntu has. Copied my own files over to it and couldn't even use them. I didn't have permission. Lol. Enough of that already. Trisquel did get the job done for the most part however, and was easy to install and work with. Dragora and Blag were like a bad dream. Nothing worked. I haven't tried any others yet.

Yours is one of my complaints about free software, too. Not that free software is a bad idea. It isn't. I would rather have it all free software. But the free software community has yet to develop an operating system that is user friendly enough for everyone. Even pros struggle with it.

Puppy and Quirky just go to work for me. And they're like lightning.

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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4843
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug 2015, 21:21    Post subject: the answer  

Very Happy Excellent answer to your own question:

Blackfish wrote:
Yes, GNU is Linux and Linux is GNU whether or not Linux and/or GNU like it. With obvious exceptions, namely, for example, the Android operating system, which utilizes 0 GNU parts, but relies on the Linux kernel. Barring exceptions like these, it's all GNU/Linux... loosely speaking. Some, but not all, is, "free software--free as in freedom, not free as in free beer." Some of it is, "free software--free as in freedom AND free as in free beer." And some of it is, "semi-free software--semi-free as in semi-freedom and semi-free as in semi-free beer AND free as in free beer."

The only thing left to do now is for someone to create a Free Pup. That way, Puppy will truly have it all. It will be free as in freedom, free as in free beer, AND free and open source.

Meantime, we could just call it, "GNU, Linux & Puppy Semi-Free (Semi-Free As In Semi-Freedom) Free (Free As In Free Beer) Operating System." WOOF! WOOF!

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Blackfish


Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 325
Location: Brookings, SD

PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug 2015, 05:47    Post subject: Re: the answer  

raffy wrote:
Very Happy Excellent answer to your own question:

Blackfish wrote:
Yes, GNU is Linux and Linux is GNU whether or not Linux and/or GNU like it. With obvious exceptions, namely, for example, the Android operating system, which utilizes 0 GNU parts, but relies on the Linux kernel. Barring exceptions like these, it's all GNU/Linux... loosely speaking. Some, but not all, is, "free software--free as in freedom, not free as in free beer." Some of it is, "free software--free as in freedom AND free as in free beer." And some of it is, "semi-free software--semi-free as in semi-freedom and semi-free as in semi-free beer AND free as in free beer."

The only thing left to do now is for someone to create a Free Pup. That way, Puppy will truly have it all. It will be free as in freedom, free as in free beer, AND free and open source.

Meantime, we could just call it, "GNU, Linux & Puppy Semi-Free (Semi-Free As In Semi-Freedom) Free (Free As In Free Beer) Operating System." WOOF! WOOF!


Yes, once a guy gets things sorted out he can make a pretty impressive statement.

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