Reply to post: Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Richard Plinston Silver badge

Re: Calling Android a "Linux distribution" is entirely misleading.

> Technically, even if you are right in principle,

Yes, I am am right technically and in principle.

> Android would be a group or a family of Linux distributions

Thank you for agreeing. Yes, Android is a group or family of Linux distributions, each with its own version numbers, or even different names: Cyanogenmod, Nokia X, Amazon Fire.

> You saying that the phrase "Linux distribution" has referred to the kernel doesn't make it so.

Linux is the kernel. Various systems also include Firefox distributions, LibreOffice distributions, Apache distributions. Collectively they are properly referred to as 'Ubuntu' or 'Red Hat'.

> That is inconsistent with the way the phrase has been used, which should be obvious. People didn't refer to anything which wasn't an operating system as a "Linux distribution," even if it was something that included the kernel.

You are getting confused again by trying to contort words into meaningless phrases.

What 'thing' isn't an operating system but includes an operating system kernel ? Maybe just the kernel alone, but that is called 'Linux'. Are you trying to claim that Android isn't an operating system?

> Technically, each kernel release was a distributable version of Linux, yet no one referred to those as "Linux distributions."

No. They called the release, "a release", or "an update".

> GNU/Hurd is not a Linux distribution, and I have never heard anyone argue that it was. (Do you know what a strawman is?)

You are attempting to argue that something can be called a 'Linux distribution' _only_ if it includes GNU, and that this has nothing to do with the kernel (as in "absolutely incorrect", "doesn't make it so", "inconsistent with the way the phrase has been used"). GNU and Linux are separate things that can be used in combination with other things, such as GNU/Hurd or GNU/FreeBSD. The _only_ thing that makes it a 'Linux distribution' is the inclusion of Linux, how hard is that ?

> Android's use of an incompatible/conflicting C library puts it in an entirely different position than anything else that you refer to?

Yes, there are at least two groups of things that use Linux. One of them is the various GNU/Linux, the other is the various Android/Linux. There is another hybrid group that has both GNU and Android running on the Linux kernel.

It happens that generally 'Linux' is used to refer to systems that include the Linux kernel and much other software from many different sources. In the same way 'Hoover' is used to refer to many different brands and types of household appliances, or even as a verb to refer to using those. Or 'iPad' is used to refer to any type of tablet computer. I have even heard 'GoPro' used as a verb, in that they would GoPro the area before starting landscaping work.

That doesn't make that usage 'right', or more importantly, doesn't make it the _only_ usage. 'Hoover' can still be used to refer to the company or to their branded washing machines. You don't have to stop using 'Hoover' for a DWT L413AIW3 because confused people would think it was a vacuum cleaner.

You are attempting to restrict the use of 'Linux' so that it is not used in connection with the vast majority of uses for that kernel. It seems that your only motivation is so that Linux is seen as a tiny part of computing instead of being, as it is, in the majority of computer devices today.

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