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Re: Error on the site.

Hi Victor,

thanks for your input. From a technical pont of view you're totally right, but
I'm afraid we still can't write that there.

The sentence you suggested to alter is the first sentence of an article which
describes the fundamental basics of an operating system to newbies. The reader
may have heard what an operating system is but couldn't describe it in their
own words. Flinging around technical terms right at the start without
explaining them (fruits have kernels, what does this have to do with
computers?) is not helpful in an introduction, it more likely scares off the

The paragraph which follows the introduction does make the distinction you ask

> An operating system consists of various fundamental programs which are needed
> by your computer so that it can communicate and receive instructions from
> users; read and write data to hard disks, tapes, and printers; control the
> use of memory; and run other software. The most important part of an
> operating system is the kernel. *In a GNU/Linux system, Linux is the kernel*
> component. The rest of the system consists of other programs, many of which
> were written by or for the GNU Project. Because the Linux kernel alone does
> not form a working operating system, we prefer to use the term “GNU/Linux” to
> refer to systems that many people casually refer to as “Linux”.

@ List

While compiling my answer above, I noticed that the more I look onto it, the
less I think that the paragraph does a good job on explaining anything. I gave
it some thought and came up with this:

> GNU/Linux is a so-called operating system. In short, an operating system is
> one of the most basic pieces of software your computer needs to do its job (on top of
> the BIOS or UEFI, if you heard of that) and run your apps.
> It's called "operating system" (OS) because is a bundle of fundamental programs
> which are working together and basically making up the mind of a computer
> so that it can do more than just turn on and off. The OS enables your computer to
> interact with you, communicate to other computers, recieve and send data (and
> process it in between), regulate its power usage and make use of each and every
> integrated or connected device, be it that fancy printer on your desk, the hard
> drive or SSD containing your files or even the internal clock. On top of that, the operating system
> provides an environment for your application software to simplify its
> installation and usage (that's why Windows software cannot run on an unaltered
> GNU/Linux and vice versa).
> The reason we call it "GNU/Linux" and not just "Linux" is that technically
> speaking, Linux is no complete operating system. It's just the inner core or
> "kernel" (like the kernel of a fruit) and its main job is to deal with
> the hardware. All the rest which makes up the OS is provided by the GNU
> project. Therefore, our GNU operating system with its Linux kernel is called
> "GNU/Linux".

What do you think?


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