If you ask anyone at the Free Software Foundation, they will tell you that what we know as Linux is in fact GNU/Linux . All etymological arguments aside, there is some valuable truth to this statement. While the kernel of the operating system is indeed Linux, the vast majority of the utilities installed on a Linux system and used regularly are in fact GNU utilities. "Linux" is probably only 5% Linux, possibly 75% GNU, and perhaps 20% everything else.
Why does this matter? Well, the flexibility of Linux is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because with Linux you can truly craft your very own operating system from scratch. Since very few people ever do this, the curse is in large part due to the responsibility you must bear in determining which of the GNU utilities to install, and how to configure the system.
If this seems overwhelming, do not fear. In the next chapter, we will discuss the selection, installation, and configuration of the software environment for your Asterisk system.