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Why "Windows Subsystem for Linux" and not "GNU/Windows"? #218
I'm totally convinced by the importance of having something like the WSL in Windows. Thank you so much for having integrated such a feature so nicely in Windows.
As far as I understand, the WSL is about making the ecosystem usually found in GNU/Linux or BSD systems able to access the Windows kernel. No other kernel than the Windows one is involved: neither the Linux kernel, nor the BSD kernel... So basically, the WSL is about running GNU ecosystem on top of the Windows kernel. Is that correct?
That might seem superficial as a remark, but I find it wrong that the WSL was named like that. I also find it unfair, because it puts credit on Linux rather that on the GNU project.
Something in the lines of "GNU/Windows" or "Windows Subsystem for GNU" would have been better in my opinion.
Am I the only one having such an opinion?
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It is simple: WSL is just a compatibility layer that simulates a Linux kernel environment in order to run ELF binaries and system call translation, not anything else, nor GNU, and closed source. The GNU userland is provided by the Linux distributions (eg. Ubuntu), found in the Microsoft Store. The fact it is oriented to run mainly GNU userland is not enough reason to add "GNU", to the name of this technology, because WSL is just "Linux" (kernel) (or "Linux-like" to be exact).
Not all Linux distributions has GNU userland, for example Azure Sphere or RouterOS (Mikrotik). Android has some GNU tools, but is not considered as GNU/Linux, just Linux (Project Astoria was an attemp to run Android apps in Windows Phone).
Someone interested in this issue, may be interested in this article:
But read the whole article, it is worthy.