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Former good articleLinux was one of the Engineering and technology good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
January 19, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
July 21, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
December 14, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
October 23, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed
March 14, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
July 12, 2007Good article nomineeListed
May 29, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
December 7, 2010Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Merge content from Linux_Kernel into Linux[edit]

There is really no point in have two separate entries, as the kernel can be discussed just as well, if not better in the single entry for Linux.

Unixcompiler (talk) 23:39, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Oppose - These are two related, but quite different, distinct subjects. Both are very long articles, too long to merge, see Wikipedia:Article size and especially WP:TOOBIG which says that article over 100 kb Almost certainly should be divided. Linux kernel is already 190 kb and Linux is 148 kb. If merged, they would just get split again quickly. - Ahunt (talk) 23:49, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, but the problem would be easily solved by moving Linux to -> GNU/Linux (which would be the ethically correct thing to do) and move Linux kernel simply to -> Linux (which is what Linux actually is). --Grufo (talk) 07:44, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • That would not be the "ethically correct thing to do", it would be the POV thing to do and go against a very longstanding consensus here that operating systems that use the Linux kernel are called "Linux" on Wikipedia, as per WP:COMMONNAME and also MOS:LINUX. "GNU/Linux" is considered a minority POV term used by the FSF and its supporters. The background on this is in the archives of this talk page, as well as Talk:Linux/Name as this is where past consensuses have been formed. You will also want to read GNU/Linux naming controversy and its talk page as background as well. - Ahunt (talk) 12:12, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
      • "Windows" is way more common than "Microsoft Windows" in spoken English, but would you ever argue that the Wikipedia page should be called Windows instead of Microsoft Windows? In the GNU/Linux case Wikipedia does not follow a neutral approach. An important part of the community reminds that the complete neutral name is GNU/Linux, but only a small part of the community actively advocates the opposite (no, who uses "Linux" for conciseness does not advocate that it is not called GNU/Linux), and Wikipedia is among those who take an active position. Furthermore, without practical reasons it creates an ambiguity with the actual meaning of Linux (i.e., a kernel), as this discussion shows. --Grufo (talk) 15:39, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
GNU/Linux is a name that is advocates by only a small part of the community and is not neutral. Namely, Linux distributions (that is, what part call GNU/Linux) have hundreds if not thousands of other non-GNU components. By this logic, the correct name would be KDE/Red Hat/GNU/*/Linux. Linux is a widely accepted name for this family of operating systems that should not be changed. --ClarkLuis (talk) 20:44, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Replace the 'Unix-like' field with 'Linux' or remove the field[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

While Linux strives to maintain compatibility with Unix (more specifically with POSIX), they are still different operating system families. Over the years, the difference has only grown and it is very confusing to classify operating systems this way. In practice, Unix became an operating system specification, POSIX, which is now a widely accepted IEEE standard.[1] Many systems follow this specification (even windows supports this to some degree[1][2]), but they are still different operating system families with differences. Or are you Windows Unix-like as it compliant with POSIX? answer is no, it isn't.

"The POSIX specifications describe an operating system that is similar to, but not necessarily the same as, Unix. Though POSIX is heavily based on the BSD and System V releases, non-Unix systems such as Microsoft's Windows NT and IBM's OpenEdition MVS are POSIX compliant."[1]

Another good link on the topic:

--ClarkLuis (talk) 20:37, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Quora is user-generated content and in no way a reliable source. More to the point, you're arguing that Linux isn't Unix. This is true, it's Unix-like. - Aoidh (talk) 20:45, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think it makes any logical sense to classify Linux" as "OS family = Linux", as that is a tautology. It is clearly "Unix-like" as it was intended to be "like Unix" and basically it is. Moreover, along with BSD and other OS's it forms a category of OS's that are "Unix-like". - Ahunt (talk) 20:55, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I will link to more sources. I argue that while Linux and Unix have common, but Linux is no longer only Unix-like, it’s its own family. What do you think of my other points? Most of today's operating systems (all 10 most popular) are to some extent compliant with the POSIX standard. So are these all Unix-like? We need more specific defition for the operating system family. How do you define, what is own operating system family? --ClarkLuis (talk) 21:31, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Could you justify in more detail? How it is tautology? --ClarkLuis (talk) 21:36, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sources, such as Bovet, D. P., Cesati, M. (2002). Understanding the Linux Kernel. Germany: O'Reilly., cite Linux as specifically being Unix-like. You can find plenty of sources that refer to it as such. Why do you think these sources should be discounted? - Aoidh (talk) 22:03, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
They are not discounted, but my point is that the situation has changed since 2002 (20 years, example systemd[3]). Linux is no longer as Unix-like as it was then and I think it's own family. The article also reads at the beginning "Linux is a family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel". Why can we talk about a family there? --ClarkLuis (talk) 22:39, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That is just one example. Even recent sources, such as Dictionary of Computer & Information Technology (Prabhat Prakashan). (2021). (n.p.): Prabhat Prakashan., specifically called Linux "unix-like". The sources are against you here. - Aoidh (talk) 22:48, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
On Wikipedia we always go with what WP:RS say. We have reliable sources that say it is Unix-like. Ultimately to remove that you will need a preponderance of reliable sources that say it isn't. - Ahunt (talk) 23:03, 14 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, we need to use reliable sources in our articles. However, this does not mean that the number (preponderance) of sources is always decisive. For example, computing is evolving rapidly and we cannot automatically trust that the majority of sources dictate. Thing X may be the complete opposite today, although there may be many more sources from the old. Right?
And that's not all..
  • Okay, some sources say Linux is 'Unix-like'. That is true in part of e.g. through the POSIX standard, but it doesn’t tell the whole truth. As I said earlier, almost all operating systems today comply with POSIX. It doesn't say family directly. Family is different even though Linux adheres to among other things POSIX standard. None of the sources you provide say that OS family of Linux is Unix-like. You did not answer this, how Wikipedia defines the operating system family?
  • Another attention: Windows 10 operating system family is marked 'Microsoft Windows', although it has inherited some things from MS-DOS[4]. Yes, in Windows NT things were rewritten and many things were redesigned, but the same has been done in Linux. Linux is made from scratch, it includes a lot of completely new design, but at the same time it supports the POSIX standard (better than Windows 10 MS-DOS, but this is still thing). However, the Linux family is still defined as "Unix-like." There is an article about this even from 2008, I quote "UNIX is to DOS as Linux is to Windows.". Source:
  • According to Wikipedia text: "Linux is a family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel" Source: Eckert, Jason W. (2012). Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification.
    Though source is old and I cannot confirm it myself(I assume it has been verified), here is an example that there are actually WP:RS for this. Many source says that Linux is a family of operating systems that I have tried to say. Part additionally says (as a bit outdated) that Linux is Unix-like, although today the situation has changed a bit. Anyway, there are many sources that Linux is a family of operating systems. Why don't we mark it to the infobox?
--ClarkLuis (talk) 14:45, 15 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You've yet to provide a single source to back up your claim that Linux is no longer Unix-like. - Aoidh (talk) 18:35, 15 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's confusing to classify operating systems this way? Just because you're confused, ClarkLuis, it doesn't mean everybody else is. I've just reverted your removal of information from the Slackware distro page. Do we need to revert all your edits? Please consider not making these edits until there is consensus. There are definitely family trees here of the evolution of Linux Distros and the family of OS types. Centerone (talk) 01:13, 16 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Windows NT (which is the family to which Windows 10 belongs) inherits the drive letter and pathname separator from DOS, as well as its command line (with both being extended from their MS-DOS origins). However, it does not inherit its API from DOS; it introduced the full Win32 API (the Win32s library implemented a subset atop Windows 3.x). Lux, inon the other hand, inherited its API from POSIX and some existing UN*Xes and, like other UN*Xes, added its own extensions. (I'd argue that a system that doesn't add its own extensions doesn't qualify as Unix-like, as adding your own exttensions was pretty much de rigeur for UN*Xes since the early days of vendor UN*Xes. :-)) Guy Harris (talk) 05:47, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In what fashion would systemd render Linux not "Unix-like" or less Unix-like"? There exists a registered-trademark-Unix system that has a very much non-traditional init system that was an inspiration for systemd. POSIX doesn't care about the init system.
Perhaps a case could be made for subfamilies of "Unix-like", of which "Linux" might be one, along with "BSD', "System V", etc. and perhaps with further subfamilies. But I've seen nothing to indicate that "Unix-like" is incorrect, rather than perhaps incomplete, for a Linux distribution. Guy Harris (talk) 05:47, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ubuntu, Fedora, RHL are all “Linux” operating systems. Ergo they are in the Linux family of OSes. Linux itself is Unix-Like (or rather was). To claim the sources support “unix-like” over “Linux” is a leap too far and this discussion smacks of WP:OWN. GimliDotNet (talk) 06:21, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Does adding "Unix-like" help anyone? It's always worth reading WP:RF. I know that is an essay and not a core policy, but it is well established. In the early days of GNU/Linux people added "Unix-like" to explain what this new, strange OS was. BSD fans may have kept that up for longer, but realistically there should be "Linux" and "UNIX (Linux-like)" these days! We need to describe how Linux arose from UNIX in the 1990s, but 30 years on the connection is one of descent, not emulation. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 09:34, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is exactly what I have been trying to say. So again, Linux is no longer as Unix-like as it once was in the early days (though yes it still is in part, I haven't disputed that). Tons of new technologies, libraries, APIs and more have been developed over the years from the kernel to other components (remember, now talk about the Linux operating system aka Linux distribution). That is why it is very ridiculous now after 30yrs to say that Linux is not a OS family. Even more ridiculous is that I noticed that the Android OS family was told to be 'Unix-like'. With the exception of the kernel, Android lacks many other essential components of Unix systems. If only we could now update the articles to describe today's situation? --ClarkLuis (talk) 12:48, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"Tons of new technologies, libraries, APIs and more have been developed over the years from the kernel to other components" is a statement that can be made about Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, and macOS. If adding stuff that's not in the Single UNIX Specification to an OS renders that OS not Unix-like, there may no longer be any Unix-like OSes left. Guy Harris (talk) 19:23, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There’s no need to describe Linux derivatives as unix like, they are in the Linux family. Linux itself can stay as unix like. There’s no need for it on other articles though. GimliDotNet (talk) 19:41, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Because today Linux is only more or less kin to Unix, I think it is enough to mention 'Unix-like' in the introduction, history, and other sections of the article (currently a total of 7 times). --ClarkLuis (talk) 17:24, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"Because today Linux is only more or less kin to Unix" What evidence is there to support that assertion? Guy Harris (talk) 18:48, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ a b c "About POSIX".
  2. ^ "TechNet Wiki -".
  3. ^
  4. ^
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This should actually have been published more widely. It should continue as Linux. It's insane to assume that readers in 2022 no longer understand that it is a Unix-like operating system. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:41, 28 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Should there be a discussion to change UNIX to UNIX(Linux-like)? It would probably be of more assistance to our readers. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 09:55, 28 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Why would it be of any assistance to our readers to describe systems created before Linux existed, or systems created after that but without "imitate Linux" being a primary goal, as being "Linux-like"? At least at the "core OS" level, many Unix-like systems could also be considered "Solaris-like" or "macOS-like" or "AIX-like" or "FreeBSD-like" or..., as, for example, they have a lot of the same APIs as the XXX in "XXX-like" has, probably don't have all of the APIs that the XXX in "XXX-like" has, and probably has some APIs that the XXX in "XXX-like" doesn't have. Guy Harris (talk) 10:47, 28 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Almost every modern OS owes something to Unix, but the archives have a few discussions about why it's not appropriate.
At the very least, there should be a discussion with all of those who participated in the earlier discussions, or an RfC so that the whole community can come to a conclusion. When something affects multiple articles, a discussion in a corner is not appropriate. I suggest that the changes applied are reverted per WP:STATUSQUO and an open discussion take place. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:37, 28 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Disagree. It should be left as it is now. GNU/Linux, BSD, etc have major characteristics influenced/taken from Unix since the beginning, i.e. it is a historic context we shall take into account.
Overall, this discussion seems too much bike-shedding, it is pretty fine as Linux (Unix-like). Consensus was reached, and, unless someone prove otherwise, the edits were not disruptive. Plus WP:STATUSQUO is not a policy or guideline.Iara Ai (talk) 17:40, 2 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, the bike-shedding comes from the GNU-linux camp. We settled it long ago (check the archives). Consensus was reached when discussed as a large group. This was a small subset and it was not published widely and now it is being forced over the former consensus. Either we open it to a larger community or we stay the way it was. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:18, 2 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
For instance, Ahunt‎ (talk · contribs) has been a longtime editor here and I do not see any input from the editor in this discussion. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:22, 4 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
My position hasn't changed since the closed portion of the discussion that I thought we had to go with WP:RS that label Linux as "Unix-like". There really isn't much that has been said since that has meaningfully added to this discussion. - Ahunt (talk) 23:44, 4 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Fact checking[edit]

"Ari Lemmke, Torvalds' coworker at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) who was one of the volunteer administrators for the FTP server at the time, did not think that "Freax" was a good name, so he named the project "Linux" on the server without consulting Torvalds."

Firstly, University of Helsinki and HUT (now called Aalto University) are separate universities.

Secondly, AFAIK, Torvalds never worked in HUT, so he can't have been "coworker" for Lemmke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Toke0 (talkcontribs) 10:23, 10 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


WP:NOTFORUM, closed by Ahunt (talk) 17:01, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Linux is an operation system which is free. Most of the distros are free and some are not free (talk) 15:46, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The Linux kernel is free software (GPLv2), but it's just an OS kernel, not a usable full operating system for most purposes. (Some embedded application could conceivably require only the kernel, with some in-kernel application-specific code linked into it, and no userland code or loadable kernel modules.)
A Linux distribution adds additional components that result in a system usable for its intended purpose (whether embedded or general-purpose). Some of those components might be present by default; others might be optional. Some of those components might be free software (whether some version of the GPL, some version of the LGPL, or some version of another free software license), and some might not. Some distributions have only free-software components; some distributions have mostly free-software components and some optional non-free components; other distributions might have non-free default components.
So it's not as simple as you state. Guy Harris (talk) 20:08, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Linux, the kernel, distributed via, contains non-free blobs. GNU Linux-libre has those parts removed. (talk) 02:29, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So what? Are you proposing some improvement to the article? Otherwise see WP:NOTFORUM. - Ahunt (talk) 14:43, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I am not the original poster. I merely contributed by doing what I can to correct Guy. Am I not allowed to respond? (talk) 16:45, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sure you can respond, but this whole thread is non-constructive, as it is not contributing to improving the article, so I will close it. - Ahunt (talk) 17:00, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]