OK, so this is a really sad question but not everyone is familiar with the architecture of GNU/Linux¹ nor do they know the history of GNU and Linux and the very big personalities of Linus and RMS.

So IMHO, this question needs reopening as we came down way too hard (IMHO again) on a, probably beginning, user who deserves a little bit of history and technical explanation that today he cannot, but in the future when the GNU HURD comes out of development², he/she/it might.

I've just cast the first reopen and undelete vote.

Would the person/AI/Alien to cast the last reopen vote, please ping me in chat so I can answer and educate this naive OP?

Thank you for being more welcoming!

Note ¹: Just like not everyone here is aware that Diesel engines don't have spark plugs unlike your lawn mower...
Note ²: They've been at it for 20 years now. It must come out of the development phase sometime in the future! >:-)...

  • 2
    It got 4 close votes again ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – Kulfy
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 15:36
  • 3
    @Kulfy As the OP deleted their account, not going to go for another re-open. The community has decided...
    – Fabby
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 19:22
  • 2
    @Fabby I don't think the system lets you vote to reopen a question you previously successfully voted to reopen. But it's not obvious to me that the current closure reflects a consensus. The votes here on meta suggest otherwise, and we don't know how many people would've voted to reopen if Oli hadn't cast the second reopen vote after yours. Also, the close reasons given strike me as quite tenuous. Questions with answers saying one can't do something with Ubuntu aren't off-topic, and the inability to run an OS without a kernel isn't something that "can't be reproduced." I've voted to reopen. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 20:07
  • @EliahKagan Indeed: it won't allow me to cast another vote. (Didn't know that!) I'll take up the rest in chat
    – Fabby
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 21:06
  • What can you point to to support the claim "They've been at it for 20 years now. It must come out of the development phase sometime in the future"? To me, the 29+ years of development with little progress seems to indicate the opposite: that it may never come to fruition. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 0:58
  • 1
    @thomasrutter Sometime in the future, after humanity is extinct, the Artificial Intelligences will take RMS's specs and write HURD as a joke just to prove that "yes, it could have been done, but not with the technology and limited human interaction that existed back then" (Cfr. Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine and Difference Engine ) :-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 1:08
  • I disagree with your assertion that HURD will come out in the future because it assumes time is infinite. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 4:39

2 Answers 2


Yeah, I think the balance here is out.

  • This is something that was understandable (wrong close reason)
  • This is something that can be answered with "No, Ubuntu is a Linux distribution", unless I'm mistaken

Instead it attracted a pile of answers-as-comments. I'm undeleting, reopening. Have at it.

  • 2
    Thanks! Answer posted! P.S. I wasn't aware you cannot accept an answer immediately, so upvoted immediately, accepted after 10 minutes (which is the minimum time apparently.) Never ran into this before... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – Fabby
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:21
  • 2
    I don't understand this. The question was "how can I run my machine without the kernel" which isn't really useful as a question, and can't really be answered other than explaining that an OS without a kernel is useless.
    – terdon
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:31
  • 1
    I read "the kernel" as "the Linux kernel", not "a kernel", even before reading into the broader question which does specify Linux.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:50
  • 4
    The full text of the question was: "Hello I want to delete my kernel and run the OS without the kernel. i dont like linux i only want GNU so i keep GNU and remove the kernel thanks?". Running the OS without a kernel is never going to be possible, and replacing an existing OS's kernel with a completely different one (not another Linux version or flavor but something else entirely) will almost certainly never be possible. Dunno, I just don't see any point in this question, to be honest. An answer would need to start by explaining what a kernel is...
    – terdon
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:59
  • Thank you for re-opening. I also proposed an answer. To me, it required thought from a more philosophical/ideological position. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 4:46

I disagree. It should not be reopened.

If a user is to have a meaningful opinion on kernels (e.g. I don't want any Linux, only GNU), they are an advanced user.

I accept that users may have an opinion on licenses, but Linux is licensed under GPL2, which is the same license as most of GNU is developed under. Thus, GPL2 can't be a reason for a user to stay away from Linux, yet want GNU.

Furthermore, this question is off topic. Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux distribution. A Linux kernel with GNU userland. It's not GNU/Hurd or GNU/BSD. It's GNU/Linux. You want to run GNU/Hurd? Fine, but it's not Ubuntu any more.

You are utterly free to do whatever you please, including GNU/Hurd or GNU/BSD, but. It's not Ubuntu any more, and expect no support on your (exciting) endeavors!

  • 1
    “If a user is to have a meaningful opinion on kernels (e.g. I don't want any Linux, only GNU), they are an advanced user.” Or (just speculating), they might be told: “Your kernel is the source of your problem” and they decided to remove the kernel to remove the problem, without knowing the consequences, making it a typical X-Y problem.
    – Melebius
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 7:07
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    They might just have read some rant from RMS somewhere too. As the user closed their account, we'll never know.
    – Fabby
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 8:26
  • 1
    @Melebius that's not meaningful in my opinion.
    – vidarlo
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 21:11

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