A number of people express this kind of reaction (quoted below) when reminded that Linux is a kernel, and that they're actually running the GNU operating system on top of it. Here's one possible response to it.

I really could not care less what it is called, just that the bleedin' thing works.

If you don't care, then wouldn't object to calling it GNU/Linux, right?

That's all some of the authors of a lot of the bleedin' thing you're running ask of you, to help extend to others the freedoms they worked hard to give you, by writing this very software, and laying the ground for the rest of it. Pretty please!

Please at least try to show some respect and gratitude for their efforts, and to let others make an informed decision about on whose side of the F/OS debate they are, if any, rather than inducing them to believe that this was all the result of the effort of the man who happened, just for fun, to cross the Finnish :-) line, after they had taken the baton nearly all the way, to give you and everyone freedom.

Please don't hide behind such poor excuses as "everyone else calls it Linux" or "Linux is shorter and more convenient". You're not everyone else (one would hope you're better than that), and GNU is actually shorter than Linux.

It took a lot of work to write all this GNU software, far more than writing Linux and porting all components of the GNU operating system but its kernel to run with it. Saying or writing GNU or GNU/Linux or GNU+Linux to refer to it is not even close to being as inconvenient as writing all of that software yourself, or not having the freedoms to run, study, adapt, share and improve, which these GNU people worked hard to provide you with.

Giving them the credit they deserve is the least you can do. Helping us reach more people, not only with the software, but also with the philosophy of freedom, would be a plus, and this is the reason we ask you to do so.

Please don't deny us the only thing we humbly ask of you.


But what about the GPL?

At this point someone often comes back with theories that the GPL makes demands and imposes restrictions, and conclude from this failed understanding of the GPL that we do indeed ask more of you.

Please remember that the GPL doesn't take away any right that you had. It doesn't demand or even request anything. It grants permissions that are enough to respect your four essential freedoms with regard to a piece of software covered by it, while defending everyone else's same freedoms. If you find yourself in a situation in which you think the GPL prevents you from doing something, you're misunderstanding the GPL. The restrictions you might actually be under stem from copyright law and/or from other restrictions you accepted before.

See also

So blong...