Ask Richard Stallman anything!


Well, within reason. In a few days we're going to meet up with the great man, the founder of the GNU project and free software movement as we know it. Never one to mince his words, RMS has strong views on software freedom and has campaigned rigourously to stop us being locked into a world of proprietary code and DRM.

We'd love to put a selection of your questions to Richard, so please drop them into the comments. We'll pick the best and print his responses in a forthcoming issue of Linux Format. Fire away!

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Your comments

Question about a particular software that you discussed

There was a video I saw of you on the *net where you described how you do web surfing through an email system. Something along the lines of you sending an e-mail and the page you sent the request for is sent back to you. I would like to know how you did this? Thanks.

GNU software in Mac OS X

Mac OS X includes by default some free software, like Nano, Bash and Apache. Do you think this is favorable to the free software movement?

GNU naming convention

Howdy All,

With the myriad of non-GNU software that ships with most distros today, is it still fair to insist on calling it GNU/Linux, rather than KDE/Linux or some such? Particularly with so much included software being unaffiiated with an organization.

I can remember reading a good response to this Q from RMS in the past. And thought his argument was well worth the read. That is, his reason was very good. It was not just a dotty, pedantic, reason but a very well thought out strategy. One designed to maintain the integrity of free software over the long haul, protecting it from being slowly undermined by proprietary interest. It involved the quite simple idea of 'definition(s)', and the importance of their consistency over time.

I think it would be good to ask him if he could repeat his previous answer to this. It would be good to see if he has modified it to any degree with regard to the current state of Linux distros.

Random Person:
Could you explain why all linux distros should be called GNU/Linux?

I think the answer would be because the main system programs are gnu programs --- but, As a possible question, how does the rest of the system qualify into this definition. How to include the differences with out losing site of the main definition --- in terms of its' correctness. By that i mean the protection(s) that the definitions' expression provides on a concept level .

It's the concept that falls first, before the actual implementations :wink:.


Somebody stole my air guitar,
but that's ok, 'caurse i've got a spare.

A possible oops on the above.

Howdy All,

I've got a sneaking feeling that the interview has already occurred. Which means the above is a little out of place ...
Not to worry, i can't see any editing buttons so maybe it could be put to some use anyway ...


Somebody stole my air guitar,
but that's ok, 'caurse i've got a spare.

Is security an illusion?

Operating systems cannot prevent "arbitrary" code execution. Is security just a state of mind?


Ask him what his exercise routine consists of.

does rms ever answer any of these questions?

hi, the title asked it all really, but one more thing... if i make a distro of linux wihtout any of your gnu nonsense in it, are you still going to insist on my personal distro as gnu/Linux? just wondering how that would play out as there realy aint much actualy gnu code in there, few utility programs but nothing serioiuse like window managers or fs's etc etc etc and so forth. i think what im saying is, its time to grow up you had your chance and your OS failed hard. hurd lol anyone heard of hurd? exactly

hi one more question

why dont yoiu shave yo fucking hippie

hi id like to ask richard a question

im 37 and fascinated with linux and gnu as well as programming in gerneral, but i barely graduated hi-school. is there anyway i can pick this programming thing up?

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