What is GNU, GNOME and Linux

Definition of GNU, GNOME and Linux

Before I tried my hands on Linux and started using different distros like Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE, I did not have any idea about what GNU stands; what could possibly be the meaning of GNOME; and I absolutely feared talking about Linux. We had labs in our college dedicated to Linux/Unix but we never dared entered into them.

Now, I think it is important that I write and let my readers know more about what these terms stand for just to get a layman’s understanding what we intend to convey when we use these terms while talking about different distros.

What is GNU

Logo of GNU
Logo of GNU

As per the definition provided by the official site of GNU:

“The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system.

GNU’s kernel isn’t finished, so GNU is used with the kernel Linux. The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions.

Basically, GNU stands for “GNU’s Not Unix”. So, to understand it means that it is an independent operating system that presently uses Linux kernel and provides open-source operating system to users.

What is GNOME

Logo of GNOME
Logo of GNOME

According to official site of GNOME:

“The GNOME project provides two things: The GNOME desktop environment, an intuitive and attractive desktop for users, and the GNOME development platform, an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop.”

So, basically, GNOME is a software that helps users and experts to develop a desktop and software that can be used for GNU.

What is Linux

Logo of Linux
Linux

As per the definition provided by Linux.org:

“Linux is a free Unix-type operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. Developed under the GNU General Public License , the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone. Click on the link below to find out more about the operating system that is causing a revolution in the world of computers.”

As clear from the above lines, Linux basically is an operating system that is used under GNU General Public License and provides various distros as open-source for users.

Some useful links to know more about these terms:

http://www.linux.org/info/

http://www.gnome.org/about/

http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

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