GNU variants

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Trisquel is an example of a Linux distribution

GNU variants is a term used by the Free Software Foundation[citation needed] to refer to operating systems which use application software and system libraries (in other words, the core userland) from GNU.[1][2]

Hurd variants[edit]

Arch Hurd is a derivative work of Arch Linux, porting it to the GNU Hurd system with packages optimised for the Intel P6 architecture. Their goal is to provide an Arch-like user environment (BSD-style init scripts, Pacman package manager, rolling releases, and a simple set up) on the Hurd which is stable enough for at least occasional use. Currently it provides a LiveCD for evaluation purposes and installations guides for LiveCD and conventional installation.

Debian GNU/Hurd was discussed for a release as technology preview with Debian 7.0 Wheezy, however these plans were discarded due to the immature state of the system.[3] However the maintainers of Debian GNU/Hurd decided to publish an unofficial release on the release date of Debian 7.0. Debian GNU/Hurd is not considered yet to provide the performance and stability expected from a production system. Among the open issues are incomplete implementation of java and graphical user interfaces and limited hardware driver support.[4] About two thirds of the Debian packages have been ported to Hurd.[5]

Linux variants[edit]

For more details on this topic, see GNU/Linux naming controversy.
Main article: Linux distribution

The term GNU/Linux is used by some to refer to an operating system where the Linux kernel is distributed with a GNU userland and GNU system software. Such distributions are the primary installed base of GNU packages and programs and also of Linux. The most notable official use of this term for a distribution is Debian GNU/Linux.

BSD variants[edit]

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is an operating system for IA-32 and x86-64 computer architectures. It is a distribution of GNU with Debian package management and the kernel of FreeBSD. The k in kFreeBSD is an abbreviation for kernel of,[6] and reflects the fact that only the kernel of the complete FreeBSD operating system is used. The operating system was officially released with Debian Squeeze (6.0) on February 6, 2011.[7] One Debian GNU/kFreeBSD live CD is Ging, which is no longer maintained.[8]

Debian GNU/NetBSD was an experimental port of GNU user-land applications to NetBSD kernel. No official release of this operating system was made; although work was conducted on ports for the IA-32[9] and DEC Alpha[10] architectures, it has not seen active maintenance since 2002 and is no longer available for download.[11]

OpenSolaris variants[edit]

Main article: Nexenta OS

Nexenta OS is the first distribution that combines the GNU userland (with the exception of libc; OpenSolaris' libc is used) and Debian's packaging and organisation with the OpenSolaris kernel. Nexenta OS is available for IA-32 and x86-64 based systems. Nexenta Systems, Inc initiated the project and sponsors its continued development.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stallman, Richard (2007-06-19). "Linux and the GNU Project". About the GNU Project. Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2007-07-22. "Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is more often known as “Linux”, and many users are not aware of the extent of its connection with the GNU Project. There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is not the operating system. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run." 
  2. ^ The Debian Project (2007-07-11). "What is Debian?". About Debian. Retrieved 2007-07-22. "Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux." 
  3. ^ List of potential release architektures for Debian Wheezy
  4. ^ GNU Hurd news
  5. ^ Debian Wiki: Debian GNU/Hurd
  6. ^ "Debian GNU/kFreeBSD FAQ". 
  7. ^ "Debian 6.0 Squeeze released". 
  8. ^ "The Ging FAQ". 
  9. ^ "Debian GNU/NetBSD". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  10. ^ "Debian GNU/NetBSD for Alpha". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  11. ^ "Debian GNU/*BSD News". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  12. ^ Nexenta Systems, Inc. (2007-06-20). "Unix Portal:Nexenta OS - Nexenta GNU/OpenSolaris". Sponsors & Support. Retrieved 2007-07-22. "This work is initiated and sponsored by Nexenta Systems, Inc. Technical support is available from a variety of sources, including Community and Web Forums." 

External links[edit]