The “Linux” or “GNU/Linux” Debate

Today, just for fun, we’re going to touch on the “Linux” or “GNU/Linux” debate. It sounds like a fun subject to cover and who knows where it will lead us. It also sounds like something the Linux-Tips readers might enjoy hashing out in a forum somewhere. So, for the “Linux” or “GNU/Linux Debate, read on!

This article will have a couple of main points. Let’s start with the first…

See, this seemed like a fine question to ask ChatGPT. This is a subject I figured the AI would do well with – and I think they did. So, a giant portion of this article will have been written by AI and then I’ll follow up with my thoughts on the “Linux” or “GNU/Linux” debate.

Most of my readers will already be familiar with this. They’ll have seen people refer to it (a whole distro, multiple distros, the whole subject matter) as “Linux” and have seen others refer to the various distros as “GNU/Linux”. If not, the AI will do a wonderful job explaining the difference to you. So, we don’t need to cover that in the intro! Let’s let the AI take care of that.

I’ve seen people get into pretty heated arguments over this, more so with the GNU/Linux folks, but we can be civil about it all. There’s no need to get upset and the section about my point of view may help with some of that.

Ready? Well then, let’s discuss…

The “Linux” or “GNU/Linux” Debate:

As mentioned in the introduction, I decided to let the chatGPT take a whack at this. However, I didn’t ask what you might have expected me to ask. Instead, I asked a bit of a loaded and biased question. Here’s the question that I asked chatGPT:

With approximately six hundred words, explain the merits of it calling Linux “GNU/Linux” instead of just calling it “Linux”.

So, right off the bat, you can see the question isn’t ‘which is correct’ or ‘which is more valid’. It’s a question asking the AI to explain the reasons why one might favor calling the whole thing “GNU/Linux”.

And, well, here’s what the AI responded with: 


Linux, the open-source operating system that powers a significant portion of the world’s computing infrastructure, is often referred to simply as “Linux.” However, there is a growing movement within the open-source community to refer to the system as “GNU/Linux,” in recognition of the crucial role played by the GNU project in the development of the operating system. In this essay, we will explore the merits of calling Linux “GNU/Linux” instead of just calling it “Linux.”

First and foremost, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” acknowledges the contributions of the GNU project to the development of the operating system. The GNU project, which was founded in 1983 by Richard Stallman, set out to create a complete free and open-source software operating system. While the GNU project made significant progress towards this goal, it was not until the Linux kernel was developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds that a complete operating system was created. However, the Linux kernel alone is not enough to create a functional operating system. It was the combination of the Linux kernel and the GNU system tools and libraries that created the operating system we know as Linux today. By calling it “GNU/Linux,” we recognize the contributions of the GNU project to the development of the operating system.

Secondly, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” highlights the importance of free and open-source software in the development of the operating system. The GNU project was founded on the principle of creating a completely free and open-source software operating system. The Linux kernel is also released under an open-source license, which allows anyone to view, modify and distribute the code. By calling it “GNU/Linux,” we emphasize the importance of free and open-source software in the development of the operating system.

Thirdly, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” helps to distinguish it from other operating systems that use the Linux kernel but are not part of the GNU project. For example, Android, which is widely used on mobile devices, uses the Linux kernel but is not part of the GNU project. By calling it “GNU/Linux,” we can differentiate between the Linux-based operating systems that are part of the GNU project and those that are not.

Fourthly, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” encourages the use of free and open-source software in general. The GNU project and the Linux kernel are both released under open-source licenses, which means that anyone can view, modify and distribute the code. By calling it “GNU/Linux,” we draw attention to the importance of free and open-source software in the development of the operating system and encourage the use of open-source software more broadly.

Finally, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” helps to promote awareness of the history and development of the operating system. The development of Linux and the GNU project is a fascinating story that spans several decades and involves the contributions of thousands of people. By calling it “GNU/Linux,” we acknowledge the history and development of the operating system and promote awareness of the role played by the GNU project in its creation.

In conclusion, there are several merits to calling Linux “GNU/Linux” instead of just calling it “Linux.” Doing so acknowledges the contributions of the GNU project to the development of the operating system, highlights the importance of free and open-source software, distinguishes it from other Linux-based operating systems, encourages the use of free and open-source software more broadly, and promotes awareness of the history and development of the operating system. While it may seem like a minor change, calling Linux “GNU/Linux” can have a significant impact in promoting the values of free and open-source software and recognizing the contributions of the many individuals and organizations that have helped to create the operating system we know and use today.


As you can see, the AI answered the question quite well. It does use some loaded language, like “a growing movement”, that’s not supported by any evidence that I’m aware of – it may be growing or it may not be. Otherwise, it does fairly well at explaining the merits of calling it “GNU/Linux” well enough.

If that persuades you to do so, so be it. If it changes nothing, so be it. You can call it just plain Linux if you want – and I do. I do… This brings us to the second segment of this article!

“Linux” or “GNU/Linux” My Personal Views:

From a personal point of view, and being the author of this site, I simply refer to it as “Linux”. It is not that I do not respect or know about the GNU aspect, it’s that I don’t think I need to type it out repeatedly.

Let’s say you were an avid member of a collectible car forum. Let’s also say that, generally speaking, the forum talks about just one make and model car. For the sake of argument, let’s also just say that the car in question is a Volvo 245.

Still with me?

That’s just like when speaking about the 245 you wouldn’t need to keep typing Volvo. You could even use slang words – such as lovingly calling your 245 a ‘Brick’. But, the main point is that you’d not need to keep calling it a Volvo 245 – because everyone expected to read what you wrote is expected to know that you’re talking about a Volvo.

That’s probably a poor analogy, as GNU isn’t the maker of Linux, but you hopefully get the idea – the idea being that specificity is not required when speaking to your peers about a subject with which those peers are already familiar. If I’m speaking to mathematicians, I don’t have to explain Euler’s number, I simply need to refer to it and they’ll understand what I mean.

So, when a new person reads “Linux”, they’re not expected to know that it’s Linux with GNU components – they’re expected to learn that in context. Anyone advanced in the subject is likely to already be aware of the GNU additions and won’t need to be told over and over again.

I know and very much appreciate the contributions made by GNU. I am not lessening their contributions. Nor am I not diminishing their contributions. I just expect you to already know about their contributions or to learn that along the way. I don’t think that’s too much to expect from my readers.

By the way, there are at least a few distros without GNU. A fairly new one would be Chimera Linux – from some searching, whose tools appear to be based on BSD. There’s also HURD, which is an operating system from the GNU folks that contains no Linux. Given their rarity, I’d probably mention them specifically, pointing out that they stray from the norm.

And that’s what it is – it’s the ‘norm’. It’s normal (for me) to just call it Linux. So, that’s what I do. I know there’s a lot of GNU in there. I use GNU tools quite regularly, and I’m grateful for them. When I omit the “GNU”, it’s not intended as a slight. If I omit the “GNU” it doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s in my operating system – it means I don’t need to specify.

So, what do I do when I encounter a ‘militant GNU/Linux verbiage user’ in the wild? I let them say their piece. I consider them a bit pedantic, but they’re correct in calling it “GNU/Linux”. That’s (generally) what is being discussed and GNU has a huge role in this while Linux is ‘merely’ the kernel.

What do you do?


This seemed like a fun subject to cover. I knew I’d eventually remark on the “Linux” or “GNU/Linux” debate and this seemed like a fun way to do so. It’s something most folks can offer an opinion on. I don’t let it ruffle my feathers, but I’m very unlikely to change my ways. Odds are really good that I’ll keep using “Linux” and I’ll be specific when I mean just the kernel. So, there’s that, which is nice.

This might be the fourth article in a row that doesn’t require an open terminal. Imagine that… I wouldn’t expect the lull to last all that long. This was meant to be a quick and easy article but has taken me about twice the amount of time I normally allot for article writing.

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Dealing With Google Chrome Crashes, Freezes And Other Anomalies

Today’s article is about dealing with Google Chrome crashes – and other anomalies. I say ‘other anomalies’ because this helps with many problems. It’s such a common answer for browser-related questions that it’s hard to make this into a succinct article.

See, this is one of my most-voted answers on a support site. But, it’s a valid answer for so many different problems. I’ve long wanted to make this into an article, I just haven’t been able to come up with the words to write that article.

So, if you installed a Google Chromium-based browser (such as Google Chrome, Brave, Opera, Microsoft Edge, or others) then the odds are very good that it came with “Hardware Acceleration” enabled. As a general rule, this doesn’t cause any problems.

However… See, hardware acceleration (that is rendering some content on your hardware instead of doing so in software) isn’t supported and Google has no plans on supporting it. But, for whatever reason, Chrome, Chromium, and all the derivatives ship their Linux version with hardware acceleration enabled.

Having hardware acceleration enabled is, more often than not, nothing to be too concerned about… This article is for when it is a problem. This article is for that subset of users who don’t know to turn it off and don’t realize it’s the problem.

Does your system freeze after leaving your browser open for a while?
Does your browser freeze for no reason?
Does your browser freeze when you play audio or video?
Does your system slow down with just a few tabs open?

The list of symptoms is just too long to make a single headline, even though the fix is simple enough. I’ll show you…

Dealing With Google Chrome Crashes:

So, if you have any of those symptoms listed above, the solution is pretty easy.

I’d go so far as to say that if you’re experiencing problems while you have an instance of Chrome, Chromium, Bing, etc, installed, then the first step I’d take in debugging would be the one that follows.

The answer is simply to disable hardware acceleration. 

Open the offending browser and then it’s under Settings > Advanced > System and it looks like this:

solve the google chrome problem easily
Yup. Just un-tick that bugger and reboot. It’s that simple.

Restart your browser so that the changes take effect.

That’s usually what fixes this. That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

This fixes so many weird problems that it’s worth trying if you’re experiencing weirdness while you have a Chromium-based browser running. If it doesn’t resolve your problem, you’ve not spent a bunch of time on this fix. It’s also trivial to reverse if you want that for some reason.


There you go, it’s another article. This time, it’s about Google Chrome (or based on Chromium) based browsers – which, in the Linux world, means said browser is likely Chrome and Chromium, according to the stats I see. Also, this article didn’t even require opening a terminal

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Get Some System Information With Archey

Today’s article will be a fun one, where we figure out how to get some system information with Archey. It’s a mostly unnecessary article and Archey is definitely replicating work done elsewhere, but it’ll be fun!

Well, I think it’ll be fun…

I suppose you can decide that for yourself as you read the article. If you want to get some system information with Archey, read on (and maybe have fun)!

As regular readers might know, I’ve covered a variety of *fetch articles.

How To: Display System Information With screenFetch
Screenfetch vs. Neofetch, You Decide!
Show RAM Information With Ramfetch
Get Some Prettified CPU Information in Your Terminal With ‘CPUFETCH’

In fact, the ‘Screenfetch vs. Neofetch’ article is oddly one of the most searched articles on the site, at least from Google’s traffic.

Anyhow, Archey is like those (but written in Python, if that matters). If I understand correctly, it was Archey4 – a maintained fork of Archey. The original Archey project ceased development and now this project is just called Archey as it is no longer a fork but is the actual project.

I think I’m understanding that properly. If I’m not, hopefully, someone chimes in and lets me know the full story. Often my articles are visited by project leaders, so maybe that’ll happen in this instance and someone will set the story straight.

Either way, it doesn’t matter much – but it does explain why I’m simply referring to the project as ‘Archey’. If you check the man page, you’ll learn that Archey describes itself like:

A simple system information tool written in Python

Got it? Good! Let’s get started getting some system information with Archey!

Let’s Get System Information With Archey:

So, the first thing you’re going to need is a copy of Archey. That’s easily accomplished if you want .deb or .rpm. There are some odds that you’ll find it’s already in your repositories (like Arch or BSD). You can also use “pip” (Python packages from PyPI) to install Archey. There’s even a ‘homebrew’ version for Mac users.

Otherwise, if none of those will work for you, you might find you need the source code to build and install Archey.

This link should take you to the current release:

From there you can install Archey. Due to the huge variety of installation methods, I’m just going to tell you to follow the directions to install Archey. If you can’t get it installed, you can always ask for help and someone will hopefully get you sorted.

Once you have Archy installed, you can start getting system information with Archey. You just run the archey command and it’ll spit out something like this:

Achey displays system information.
I don’t think you’ll need me to explain. The screenshot should be adequate.

As you can see, Archey’s output is fairly normal. It likely reminds you of things we’ve already covered in earlier articles. That’s okay – it should remind you of things like Screenfetch and Neofetch.

Just like some of the other previously covered *fetch applications, you can take a screenshot automatically. After all, the goal of these applications is to give you some information that si easily captured as a screenshot so that you can show it off to your forum buddies.

However, possibly because I have Flameshot installed (which seems to have taken over the ‘screenshot’ command that Archey uses), I am unable to actually verify the screenshot bit. I dutifully took the screenshot with Shutter. But, the -s flag should work for other people. I tried a few times with Archey but got conflicting errors. Someone smarter than I probably have this sorted out.

I’m not going to go uninstalling stuff just to demonstrate it. If it doesn’t work for you, file a bug at the above-linked GitHub site. Also, you have some additional options with Archey. There’s nothing too fancy, but be sure to check the man page (by using man archey) to learn more about the application.


There you have it, you have another article. This article covers how to get system information with Archey. It’s an easy and, likely, familiar task. If you’ve followed along, you’ve learned all sorts of ways to get system information.

Do you really need Archey? No, probably not… I figured I’d cover it because my site shows up in some Archey queries. If people are looking for it, it might as well be here. That’s my line of thinking, at any rate.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Disable Window Grouping In Lubuntu

Today’s article will only matter if you use Lubuntu and want to disable ‘window grouping’ in Lubuntu. I find window grouping an annoying ‘feature’ and look to turn it off whenever I come across it. If you’re like me and want to disable window grouping in Lubunt, read on ’cause this article is for you!

I’m not sure how well I can format this like a normal article, but let’s start with the basics and see where things end up.

What is ‘window grouping’?

Window grouping is when your desktop groups similar applications together. If you have 3 instances of Firefox open, you’ll only have one instance shown in the panel (taskbar). If you click/highlight that one instance of Firefox, you’re then able to pick which of the Firefox instances you want to bring to the front.

This is an example of window grouping, where I have multiple instances of PCManFM-Qt open:

window grouping
That’s ‘window grouping’. Ugh…

I dislike this feature a great deal. It slows me down. It doesn’t reduce clutter, it adds clutter where I don’t want it. If you like window grouping, by all means, enjoy the feature.

If you are like me and find it to be an annoyance rather than a benefit, I have good news! The good news is that it can be turned off! If you’re using something other than Lubuntu, you can probably also turn it off. If you’re using another distro, a distro that’s using LXQt, you can also follow these directions.


Disable Window Grouping In Lubuntu:

If memory serves, and it has been a while, if you were using Lubuntu during the LXDE days (no longer supported in any iteration of Lubuntu), you’d disable window grouping through PCManFM. This is not the case with modern Lubuntu. The current Lubuntu, and all supported Lubuntu versions, uses LXQt and it’s a different process to disable window grouping.

You can right-click on the bottom panel and select “Configure Panel” (you may have to mouse around a bit to find an empty place in the panel). From there, you’d click on Widgets (on the left) and then on “Task Manager”.

Alternatively, if you have a nice blank space in the task manager section of your panel (the bit of information at the bottom of the screen), you can skip the above step because you can just pick ‘Configure “Task Manager”‘ from that pop-up.

Either way, you end up at the following screen, at which point it should probably become obvious. Find and disable the window grouping option. It will look like so:

there's an option to disable that window grouping feature
Just un-tick the box and you’re on your way! Hit the close button.

When you’ve done that, the changes will take effect immediately and you can just hit the close button, happily going about your day without that silly window grouping feature. Just for completeness, it’d look like this:

the lubuntu task manager without window grouping enbled
I prefer it this way. I am not a fan of window grouping. It’s pretty easily disabled, thankfully…

If you decide you want to keep the window grouping, it’s easily reversed. You can also adjust other features while you’re there, should you want to do so. If you get there via the “Configure Panel” option, you can go through the “Widgets” and customize them as you see fit. You can also add and remove them while you’re there.


Hey! There you go. You have another article! This time we’ve not even used the terminal! This time, we’ve just decided to learn how to disable window grouping in Lubuntu. It’s pretty easy once you know how to do it and what the feature is called. It’s one of the defaults that I change soon after I do a fresh installation.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (UPDATED)

Today’s article is going to be a brief article about a previous article, where I gave you one way to make Google Chrome use less RAM. Consider this an updated article. So, if you’re trying to make Google Chrome use less RAM (and power, I guess) read on!

As tech goes, the situation has changed. As the tech changes, so too must we change our reactions to said changes. The thing with tech is that it never stands still, something that I (for one) appreciate.

The article in question is about making Google Chrome use less RAM. This applies to other browsers, but I concentrated on Chrome. Here is that article:

How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (And Other Browsers)

In that article, I recommended folks use the “Auto Tab Discard“ plugin. That recommendation has not changed. It’s a great add-on that will discard unused tabs, saving you both RAM and some power (which is useful for mobile devices).

Now, Google (along with other browsers) have enabled a new(ish) feature. Basically, to save power, the browser does what Auto Tab Discard does – it puts unused tabs to sleep. So, when you open those tabs that were sleeping you will need to wait a moment for them to reload.

That’s not a problem. The problem is, Google does this indiscriminately by default. Chrome does seem to make an exception for tabs that are playing audio or video, but all other tabs are fair game and will be put to sleep.

I repeat, all other tabs are fair game. They can and will be put to sleep. That’s downright annoying when you distinctly want to keep some tabs from going to sleep.

Fortunately, you have options.

You can disable this feature in your settings and continue using an extension like “Auto Tab Discard”. That’s a fine choice. That was my choice. It’s probably the wrong choice, but it is a choice.

Your other choice is to manually add sites to the whitelist, telling Google to keep those tabs open. So, you won’t need the extension if you choose to do it this way. This is probably the best choice. This is the choice I did not make.

I’ll show you how to make that choice, and kinda format this like a ‘regular article’…

Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM:

For once, you don’t need to open a terminal!

Instead, open Google Chrome. Then, click on the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right, and then you need to click on “Settings”. When that tab opens, click on “Performance” (on the left) and the rest should be fairly obvious.

If you’re like me, you can just disable the feature. That looks like this:

disable the power saving feature for Google Chrome
At this stage you can modify your settings as you see fit. I’ve turned the feature off. Go me!

If you want, you can keep the feature enabled (it was enabled by default at my house) and just add your favorite sites to the list of sites that always remain active. I don’t feel like messing around with it, so I’ve simply disabled the feature and opted to keep the extension.

I suppose that might mean I use a little extra RAM, I haven’t tested but it’d be a very trivial amount and I quite like the GUI offered by the installed extension. When I next do a clean install, I’ll probably just let the browser deal with it instead of using the extension.

Other browsers may use similar tactics to save power (and free up RAM, the two are related). As of the time of this publication, this was not yet a feature that’s in Google’s opensource counterpart Chromium. Right now, this appears to just be a function in the proprietary version, but tech changes and that too may change.


And, well, now you can see why this is an article all of its own. It was more than I could reasonably add as an update to the existing article and was enough information to make a new article. After publication, I’ll update the previous article to link to this article. I hope… Hopefully, I remember to do that.

Hmm… I think I forgot to do a ‘meta’ article in February. February is a pretty short month, plus I’ve been otherwise distracted. But, I’ve not been too distracted to skip a publication date! We’re rapidly approaching the two-year mark. It has been a pretty good ride!

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