Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 30th Apr 2006 16:13 UTC, submitted by Soulbender
OpenBSD "Freedom, openness, security - these principles lead OpenBSD development. The song for this release, Blob!, and the new artworks that promote them. Federico Biancuzzi interviewed OpenBSD's team of Blob-Busters and discussed new features of OpenBSD 3.9 along with freedom (and quality!) threats."
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Last Grassroots Open Source Operating System?
by Bink on Sun 30th Apr 2006 18:08 UTC
Bink
Member since:
2006-02-19

Outside of its well-known focus on security, it would appear OpenBSD is also the last of the open source operating systems that also really focuses on openness--and this is a shame.

With all publicity of GNU, the FSF and Linux, OpenBSD appears to be the only operating system that really emphasizes the "Free as in Freedom" mantra. Taken directly from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

OpenBSD is the only open source operating system that really focuses on "free software"--the rest of the BSDs and Linux, for the most part, readily violate the free software philosophy and assist commercial entities in bringing these forward-thinking freedoms to an end for all of us.

Come on "Linux guys"--since you make up the popular majority--remember the reason you starting using Linux to begin with and do your part to help put an end to the BLOBs.

Reply Score: 5

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Hmmm... there are a lot of Linux distributions that rely solely on Free Software, including the mainstream Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

No, Ubuntu has the ndis wrapper.

Reply Score: 5

maxx_730 Member since:
2005-12-14

Uhm. Ndiswrapper is licensed GPL isn't it? Wouldn't this analogy make Wine evil too?

Reply Score: 2

Bink Member since:
2006-02-19

Ndiswrapper would not exist if the driver was open source to begin with.

Reply Score: 2

Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

No, because Wine does not throw garbage binaries into the kernel - the ndis wrapper does. Binary garbage is stuff you should not trust in the kernel space, how hard is this for you to understand?

Reply Score: 1

mkools Member since:
2005-10-11

I think there's nothing wrong with using closed source software in an open source distribution when there is no alternative yet and the component is really important like ndiswrapper.

Ubuntu supports almost all hardware and ndiswrapper has a very important role in that.
That's why Ubuntu has a large usergroup and I think that is important enough for now to make some compromizes.

In the future, when the usergroup is large enough, and I mean larger than the people using closed non-free software it all adds up because there will be enough free and open alternatives.

Neitherless, OpenBSD is great, there's nothing like it and it is and will always be my favorite distribution to run on server systems but I don't think the usergroup will get any larger than it is now because of their principals and I think that's a pity, OpenBSD deserves more and to make that happen you have to get rid of your principals sometimes.

Reply Score: 1

Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Well, OpenBSD disagrees with your definitions. Closed source software is fine, but you're including the operating system in that definition - drivers are a part of the system. If the system cannot be properly maintained it may as well not be used, that's why NetBSD, FreeBSD and Linux distributions are being scolded.

By voiding the entire purpose of the operating system ndis users void the benifit of their operating system.

If you don't have a spine from the get go, you're only going to get a userbase of spineless punks, so you will never get away with removing something these punks find useful or important.

By having an actual backbone, morals and character, OpenBSD builds a userbase with those traits. Which I think is better than having a large one.

Reply Score: 4

dishkuvek Member since:
2005-12-02

While I agree with you that a lot of open source projects are giving way and getting lax with what they let into their operating systems, one must not forget Fedora, their distribution is 100% free and open.

Reply Score: 2

Slackware is
by SlackerJack on Sun 30th Apr 2006 19:45 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

and your going nowhere on the desktop without commercial help.

Reply Score: 2

MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

With all publicity of GNU, the FSF and Linux, OpenBSD appears to be the only operating system that really emphasizes the "Free as in Freedom" mantra.

Did you notice the previous article on OSNews? The one about RMS protesting ATI for their use of blobs? The FSF and RMS are very serious in their emphasis of free as in freedom.

That may not extend to the individual distros of course, but it is certainly not a sign of the FSF not living up to their reputation.

I find it hard to fault the distros though, they've made a decision to accommodate some blobs for the sake of usability (some would argue at the expense of long term usability, by encouraging the blobs to continue).

In the end, they leave the choice up to the consumer. Usability now, or principles? You can make that choice with Debian for example by using the non-free repositories or not, and Debian lays out the possible repercussions of enabling non-free, but lets you do it. That, to me, seems a reasonable compromise for now.

Reply Score: 1

debuginfo
by anonymous_coward on Mon 1st May 2006 09:55 UTC
anonymous_coward
Member since:
2005-11-15

Why did you choose to compile system libraries with debugging symbols? How much does this approach increase RAM usage? What about performance?

Henning Brauer: The added debug symbols help debugging issues, since now we get tracebacks with function names instead of addresses (that can change). It does not increase RAM usage at all and does not have performance impacts. It just costs some space on the hard disk.


Does that mean that libraries are not stripped and all symbols are in libraries? Can't they move debug information to other packages like in RPM based distros? For instance in Fedora I just need to install *-debuginfo.rpm and GDB knows how to handle it. I can clutter my disk only when I need it ;)

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"I think there's nothing wrong with using closed source software in an open source distribution when there is no alternative yet and the component is really important like ndiswrapper."

It removes the incentive for vendors to publish specifications since hey, just use ndiswrapper.
And there are always alternatives; it's called being an informed consumer and involves researching what works before buying and only buying from vendors who are open.

"OpenBSD deserves more and to make that happen you have to get rid of your principals sometimes."

No, you dont. Getting rid of your principles is what is causing problem and not only in the IT sector.
I guess guys like Ghandi and Martin Luther King shouldnt have stuck to their guns, eh? Maybe they'd been alive now if they had just compromised their principles.

Reply Score: 3

Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Well, Ghandi was actually an evil man. A pedophile with a perspective which placed the Indian race above all others. So listing him anywhere is not a good plan.

Reply Score: 0

Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"With all publicity of GNU, the FSF"

FSF and RMS are against binary-blob drivers.
Of course, neither RMS or FSF is an operating system.

Reply Score: 1