The tag should be renamed to .

Reasons: Virtually all distributions running the Linux kernel run a lot of software developed under the GNU project.

See also the extensive FAQ from the FSF about this topic.

Please remember that Linux is a kernel, not an OS.

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    It would be good if there was a tag that worked for BSD distributions too. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 9:46
  • @curiousdannii Good idea. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 9:46
  • maybe os-distribution? linux- gnu-linux- bsd- could eventually be made synonyms if needed. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 9:49
  • May we get some reasons for voting +/- this request? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 9:52
  • @EricGärtner You're about to get one in the form of an answer. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 9:59
  • @ArtOfCode Thanks, I am waiting :) – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 9:59

Please don't do this.

Tags are the main categorisation mechanism of the site. Their job is to separate questions into broad categories. Tags should be broad.

There are 3 main problems with this proposal:

  • It possibly narrows the tag's scope. (I don't know of any cases of this for certain, but in general adding extra distinct terms to a tag narrow the scope.) See above - this is not what we want.
  • It's not as easy to understand - at first look, I didn't understand why GNU and Linux are related. OK, I haven't got a wealth of experience in that area, but many of our question-askers - the people who need to find this tag - will also be inexperienced.
  • Slightly related: it's harder to find. The tag auto-completion won't help people find this tag as easily: if someone looks to put 'distribution' in a tag, it will come up, but somewhere at the end of the list - and being ambiguous (point 2), it's unclear whether they should use it or not.

Another related point: we're still fairly early beta. At the moment, we can be fairly free with tagging, instead of trying to synonymize and rename tags so they fit X specific specification. If it becomes a problem later on, do bring this up again and we'll take another look.

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    How does it narrow the scope? What distributions using the Linux kernel exist that do not use major parts of the GNU system? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 10:02
  • @EricGärtner I don't know any off the top of my head, but I find it exceedingly unlikely that every single Linux distribution does. And, of course, someone can use a different kernel if they want to basically reinvent Linux - it'd still be classed as Linux because of the proportions of other things it uses, but it wouldn't use the same code. (See edits.) – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 10:05
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    A system using a different kernel than Linux would not be a GNU/Linux system it would, for example, be a GNU/Hurd system. Such a system would not contain a single trace of Linux, the kernel. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 10:08
  • @EricGärtner: Does Android uses GNU-tools? Can't you compile BSD-userland for Linux? I'm not sure about these examples, but Linux without GNU is theoretically quite possible, if it is done in practice is another matter. – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 10:26
  • @EricGärtner: Also modern Linus-OS-distributions use way more than GNU to function properly, X or systemd for instance. Should we call it GNU/systemd/MIT/Linux? – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 10:28
  • But this discussion just gives me the idea for a good and interesting question. – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 10:31
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    @Mnementh see gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq#others – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 10:32
  • You can give these links in a better format as answer to the question I will soon have ready. – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 10:34
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    @EricGärtner: opensource.stackexchange.com/q/1025/55 – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 10:44
  • My router runs a DD-WRT variant. AFAIK the only GNU software that went anywhere near it is GCC, to compile it. I've also compiled some Windows software with GCC, that doesn't make it a GNU/Windows. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 10 '15 at 23:37

I'm not even sure if is good. I understand that might be used more for problems while distributing your work, but at least something like should be done (remember TeX is also delivered in distributions).

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Technically, is a broader tag than , since the latter includes distributions that include Linux but not any GNU software (that's common in small embedded systems, for example I don't think that my router's operating system includes any GNU software).

However I don't think there's much of a need to distiguish tags with this level of detail.

When it comes to naming, tags should have names that are easily recognizable and discoverable by users of the site. Tag names should be chosen to be easy to find and to understand; political correctness doesn't enter into it. Wikipedia is useful to settle on terminology because it's both a reference that people can consult if they don't know the meaning of a term, and a reference that people can consult when they're looking for a standard name for a concept. On Wikipedia, the article “GNU/Linux distribution” redirects to “Linux distribution”. The Talk page contains as would be expected a debate about the use of the term “GNU/Linux distribution”, but even there there was no proposal to make “GNU/Linux distribution” the title of the article.

Regardless of where your personal sympathies go, what matters is language as it is. The term “Linux distribution” is in widespread use, “GNU/Linux distribution” is not. Inventions are often not named after their inventor; even if Linux had started off as a GNU distribution (it didn't!), that doesn't imply that a Linux distribution must be called a GNU distribution. So the tag name should be .

Besides, is too long for a tag name.

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    +1 for pointing out that you can use Linux without (much) GNU – kdopen Jul 10 '15 at 23:42

I'd like to suggest that we call the tag and then make a synonym of . This would allow for an even broader range of distributions (including BSD and TeX).

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  • I also like the distributions proposal, this is simpler than software-distribution. Also I agree on the synonym. I'm not too happy about os-distribution though. As I said, TeX for example has also multiple distributions. – Mnementh Jul 10 '15 at 12:47
  • @Mnementh TeX is a really good example actually - it too has competing distributions which gather sources from multiple places. It's that competition which distinguishes a distribution from just a package manager. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:52
  • os-distributions and linux-distribution are tags with different meanings, not alternate names for the same tag. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 10 '15 at 23:19
  • @Gilles Ah, that was my point. os-distributions would be a superset of linux-distributions. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 23:38

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