|"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity."|
Ubuntu Linux - Frequently Asked Questions
Sort of, but not really. In fact they are two completely different operating systems. A long time ago, a man named Richard Stallman became fed up with his inability to make improvements to the proprietary Unix operating system. Unix, at that time, was a simple command line operating system that was similar in some ways to DOS. It was also proprietary, which is what caused Richard the most frustration. The developers of the software wouldn't release its source code, and they wouldn't listen to any of his suggestions on ways to improve the Unix operating system. So he designed his own from scratch and called it GNU.
The word GNU is a recursive acronym that stands for "GNU is Not Unix". It was a very primitive command-line interface that didn't have much functionality, but it served Richard Stallman's needs at the time. He also distributed GNU under a license that he codified called the General Public License or GPL. This is where the largest chunk of the open-source philosophy is rooted.
A short time later (after several of Richards' friends had been passing his GNU source code back and forth) a programmer from Finland named Linus Torvalds started using GNU and decided to write and develop a kernel to be used with GNU. At the core of it all, these two pieces of software make up the beating heart at the center of the operating system we today call Linux.
The two have had disagreements in the past over the content of the differing versions of the GPL, but have stood side by side to promote the free software movement without hesitation. There are dozens of videos of both available on Google Video.
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