Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 09:53 UTC, submitted by irbis
FreeBSD Why was it not FreeBSD but Linux that became the most popular open source Unix-like operating system? Richard Hillesley traces the history of FreeBSD and examines how FreeBSD, and Linux, their different cultures and preferred licenses affected the open source world. "The BSD hackers have an aphorism that speaks some truths, which says: 'BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC.' This aphorism speaks of a difference in the cultures that is greater than the words contained within it."
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We Need Both
by Traumflug on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 10:30 UTC
Traumflug
Member since:
2008-05-22

Isn't it that both work well together? FreeBSD with it's strong tendency to "do things right" appears to be just the right base to run this Linux software with always a bit of an "experimental" touch on it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: We Need Both
by ricegf on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 12:21 UTC in reply to "We Need Both"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I agree that choice is a Good Thing.

But I use various Linux products on my desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, and cellphone, and it has proven rock solid and highly productive on each.

While the swarm of innovation around Linux does indeed provide a rich broth of experimental proteins from which to build innovative new products, the resulting products have been every bit as stable as BSD in my experience.

So while Linux software *can* be run on BSD, I don't see that it *needs* to be. It's a business decision - and as the article points out, large corporations seem much more comfortable with donating technology under the GPL that ensures reciprocity than under the BSD that doesn't.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: We Need Both
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE: We Need Both"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's a business decision - and as the article points out, large corporations seem much more comfortable with donating technology under the GPL that ensures reciprocity than under the BSD that doesn't.


I don't believe it's because of the GPL. I think it has more to do with Linux having better inertia. Linux got a lot of press early on and received a lot of corporate endorsements through Red Hat and IBM. There's also been a build-up of RHEL supported software and hardware.

Corporations are attracted to the usefulness of Linux, not the GPL. Plenty of corporations support non-GPL software like Apache because it gets the job done.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: We Need Both
by DeadFishMan on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: We Need Both"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Corporations are attracted to the usefulness of Linux, not the GPL. Plenty of corporations support non-GPL software like Apache because it gets the job done.


Not so fast. It has been said time and time again that companies like IBM and others are happy to open up some proprietary technologies that they have in their portfolio (some stuff in AIX, for starters) because to keep developing them themselves would be quite prohibitive from a ROI point of view but it is nice that they can still leverage it from community software if needed be. Arguably, certain corporate-friendly licenses like Sun's CDDL would be preferable to the GPL from their point of view but they have yet to attract development communities around them the way that GPL has so at this point this statement is pure conjecture.

However, I don't see them happily giving away the secret recipes for their cookies so that a competitor could incorporate that code into their products and not give anything back so in that regard, choosing GPL is clearly better than choosing BSD. It baffles me that some people still fails to grasp this. These companies are no charities: they do not share stuff out of altruism in their heart. They do it because that's probably the best thing to do under certain circumstances.

Nobody in their right mind denies BSD usefulness; what is being discussed is the feasibility of sharing software using its license. Some technologies ought to be freely available to anyone that decides to use it (e.g. TCP/IP) so that everybody benefits whereas others probably are shared so that it gives its owner a competitive advantage even if it helps almost everybody else in the end (e.g. JFS?). Choosing GPL ensures that the code remains open and that everybody has to play nice. BSD does not guarantee such thing.

It certainly has nothing to do with which license gets the job done as there are plenty of GPL-licensed software out there that outnumbers their closest competitor by a factor of two at the very least that certainly gets the job done (TM).

Edited 2010-02-22 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: We Need Both
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: We Need Both"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Arguably, certain corporate-friendly licenses like Sun's CDDL would be preferable to the GPL from their point of view but they have yet to attract development communities around them the way that GPL has so at this point this statement is pure conjecture.


Oh right so OpenOffice must have attracted development communities then.......right...except that the vast majority of the commits were from Sun employees. Same for Java. Same for OpenSolaris. The million man GPL programmers army is a total myth. Too bad Schwartz bought into it and tried building the company around a deluded belief.


However, I don't see them happily giving away the secret recipes for their cookies so that a competitor could incorporate that code into their products and not give anything back so in that regard, choosing GPL is clearly better than choosing BSD.

If a company is serious about protecting their secrets then they shouldn't open source their code in the first place.


It baffles me that some people still fails to grasp this. These companies are no charities: they do not share stuff out of altruism in their heart.

Corporations do sometimes act in good faith or to improve their public image. Not all decisions are made purely based on cost/benefits analysis. There are plenty of cases where a company released legacy software under a liberal license like the BSD, even though it left the possibility of giving an advantage to a competitor.


It certainly has nothing to do with which license gets the job done as there are plenty of GPL-licensed software out there that outnumbers their closest competitor by a factor of two at the very least that certainly gets the job done (TM).

Not which license gets the job done but which software gets the job done.

There's no doubt that the GPL has attracted developers who find the requirements of the license to be appealing. There are also probably paranoid hardware companies that prefer to release open source drivers under the GPL over the BSD so they can view any of the changes their competitors make.

Still this doesn't explain the success of Linux. It isn't as if corporate contributions have excelled Linux past FreeBSD from a technical perspective. The main advantage of Linux over FreeBSD is hardware support, not a performance advantage. That comes from intertia, not the GPL. Hardware companies are more likely to support Linux over FreeBSD just as they are more likely to support Windows over Linux. They want to sell hardware to the largest market at the lowest cost. Thus a big part of those corporate contributions to Linux are just hardware companies submitting drivers because of market forces.

Corporations that use RHEL could care less about the GPL or the BSD. They use Linux because that is the Unix clone that the corporate world uses. Corporate support of Linux is mainly based on non-technical reasons. The intertia behind Linux is more due to corporate endorsements, not out of attraction to the GPL.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: We Need Both
by sakeniwefu on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: We Need Both"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Companies are as irrational as physical persons. If some company "steals" your code, the dead weight is on them. It is them who have to maintain a separate branch. Fearing that is as irrational as thinking you are going to starve because your neighbor has a Ferrari(Proprietary) and you just have an Audi. Would you be richer if he had a Daewoo(GPL) car instead?

Probably, if your code generates situations like this, it is because you failed to account for its commercial value. Rational companies don't opensource products. They opensource infrastructure they don' want to maintain anymore. Competitors won't want to maintain the code themselves either and, in the end, will contribute.back. If someone makes money from the code he is not your competitor.

Open Source code has in general little value. It is code that has been written in proprietary form millions of times.

People violate the GPL because they need mindless infrastructure and want it for free. They are not going to release their proprietary code that is valuable in any case. At best, you can screw them with a lawsuit.

If a lawsuit succeeds in opensourcing something it probably wasn't very valuable, and the company was being stupid not to contribute its changes back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: We Need Both
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 24th Feb 2010 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: We Need Both"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06


Corporations are attracted to the usefulness of Linux, not the GPL. Plenty of corporations support non-GPL software like Apache because it gets the job done.


Regardless of licence, Linux gets the job done not just for corporations, but for Joe User as well.
How many "Joe Users" do you know with a *BSD on their desktop? (Not counting OS X, of course, nor that handful of people who use "simplified BSD" like PC-BSD).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: We Need Both
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: We Need Both"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

But I use various Linux products on my desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, and cellphone, and it has proven rock solid and highly productive on each.


In general, I've found that the overall approach matters more than the underlying OS. IMO, the more conservative/server-centric Linux distros (RHEL, Debian stable, etc) have more in common with FreeBSD than they do with end-user/bleeding-edge distros like Ubuntu or Fedora.

Reply Score: 5

Unix is gone
by diegocg on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 12:59 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

I'm sick of the stupid aristocratic attitude we can see in phrases like "BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC".

The fact is that the Unix code base where FreeBSD comes from was seriously outdated, needing rewrite of full subsystems all over the place (and create some of the missing ones). Linux hackers knew that Linux had serious limitations and took a radical approach. Not because they didn't care about the perfect solution, but _precisely_ because they wanted to find the best solution. FreeBSD instead went conservative, speaking of his Unix heritage as a sort of magical power that would fix all the problems.

And then there's this despective expression about Linux - "a bunch of PC hackers". Well, PCs happen to be cool. PC hackers took over the world (including servers) because they are better. Again, an aristocratic attitude.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Unix is gone
by Tuxie on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 13:22 UTC in reply to "Unix is gone"
Tuxie Member since:
2009-04-22

PC hackers took over the world (including servers) because they are better.

Not because they were better. Because they were more open. But as open is better your point still stands. ;)

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Unix is gone
by Oliver on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 14:49 UTC in reply to "Unix is gone"
RE: Unix is gone
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 18:16 UTC in reply to "Unix is gone"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

FreeBSD instead went conservative, speaking of his Unix heritage as a sort of magical power that would fix all the problems.


LOL what are you saying here, that Linux hackers broke away from Unix heritage?

Like the author you make statements that compliment Linux but don't provide any technical specifics.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Unix is gone
by Delgarde on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 19:58 UTC in reply to "Unix is gone"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

The fact is that the Unix code base where FreeBSD comes from was seriously outdated, needing rewrite of full subsystems all over the place (and create some of the missing ones). Linux hackers knew that Linux had serious limitations and took a radical approach


It's not so much that they took a different approach, more that as a new project, Linux started with a clean slate - everything had to be built from the ground up, something that could benefit from the experience of older projects.

Not that Linux has always gotten things right, hasn't made missteps over the years. But for the most part, they've done pretty well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Unix is gone
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Unix is gone"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


It's not so much that they took a different approach, more that as a new project, Linux started with a clean slate - everything had to be built from the ground up, something that could benefit from the experience of older projects.


Built from the ground up to be a Unix-like monokernel that can make use of the GNU userland. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff.

Here's that clean slate scheduler at work:
http://www.mattheaton.com/?p=222

Where are these clean slate benefits? Ext4? The wonderful sound system(s)?

It isn't even clearly ahead when it comes to reliability.

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2009/07/01/datapipe_had_the_most_...

Superiority of Linux is an article of faith among its adherents.

Reply Score: 3

Why the hate?
by 3rdalbum on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 14:12 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

PC hackers, Unix hackers. Does it really matter? Hackers are hackers, and it's only a small matter of whether they insist that changes to their program stay free, or not.

Join us now and share the software! ;-)

Reply Score: 4

nonsense
by Oliver on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 14:43 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Nonsense written by Linux-zealots. The fact is: nobody in *BSD community really cares about Linux and you cannot beat quality with quantity. *BSD is for UNIX-lovers, Linux is for Windows-haters. That said I'm Slack user since the early 90s, it's the only Linux comparable with *BSD. The rest is just distro-Spam

Reply Score: 2

RE: nonsense
by strcpy on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 15:17 UTC in reply to "nonsense"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Nonsense written by Linux-zealots. The fact is: nobody in *BSD community really cares about Linux and you cannot beat quality with quantity. *BSD is for UNIX-lovers, Linux is for Windows-haters. That said I'm Slack user since the early 90s, it's the only Linux comparable with *BSD. The rest is just distro-Spam


Linux zealots. Never ending resource.

Reply Score: 3

RE: nonsense
by danieldk on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 16:45 UTC in reply to "nonsense"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Nonsense written by Linux-zealots. The fact is: nobody in *BSD community really cares about Linux


And nobody in the Linux community cares about BSD ;) .

*BSD is for UNIX-lovers, Linux is for Windows-haters.


There are plenty of UNIX (AIX, Solaris, etc.) people that moved to Linux. Linux is relatively popular, and the users need to come from somewhere. So yes, it is fairly obvious that some of that needs to come from ex-Windows users.

There is a place for both. And both are fundamentally different socio-politically:

- The license: one has a license that requires a lot of legal knowledge to read, but makes sure that code continues to be available. The other is very simple, and has the advantage that the code can easily be used in other projects, either proprietary or open source.

- The development structure: Linux is clearly a bazaar with patches flying all over the place, and with a userland developed by many different individuals, projects, and companies. The BSDs are cathedrals, where the kernel and userland are developed in an orderly fashion, closely together. Again, both approaches have advantages, the bazaar method seems to give rapid progress, and is very much comparable to chaotic evolution. The cathedral model on the other hand gives far better integration between kernel subsystems, and the kernel and userland. OS X is an extreme in this respect: nothing gets out without Apple's quality control and a high level of integration.

It is not clear that either model as they are implemented in Linux and BSD is best. However, it would be fun to see how BSD would progress with the same number of developer-hours as Linux, and tight control not only over direct userland, but the whole system (all up to the desktop environment).

I think Darwin/OS X kind of lives up to this experiment: it has more development-hours dedicated to the whole system, and has a cathedral model for everything, including the desktop environment. If PC-BSD adhered to a KDE-only philosophy, and gets more developers, it could be a serious competitor to other systems.

All and all, one thing is clear: ESR's "bazaar is better than cathedral" thesis was never proven. FreeBSD manages to do comparable work with far less developers, and more integration. Linux' "let's rewrite the sound system" approach has not turned out to be very effective. I can only hope that BSD projects will move up the stack more in the future (include a desktop environment, make it perfect).

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: nonsense
by strcpy on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: nonsense"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


It is not clear that either model as they are implemented in Linux and BSD is best. However, it would be fun to see how BSD would progress with the same number of developer-hours as Linux, and tight control not only over direct userland, but the whole system (all up to the desktop environment).


That's a good hypothetical question.

In a way you could reformulate that and say that Linux is doing extremely bad with the resources it has; millions and millions of dollars, big corporations, thousands and thousands developers, and yet these almost entirely community driven systems manage to compete with Linux at some level. A big paradox, if you ask me.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: nonsense
by Lazarus on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: nonsense"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

"
It is not clear that either model as they are implemented in Linux and BSD is best. However, it would be fun to see how BSD would progress with the same number of developer-hours as Linux, and tight control not only over direct userland, but the whole system (all up to the desktop environment).


That's a good hypothetical question.

In a way you could reformulate that and say that Linux is doing extremely bad with the resources it has; millions and millions of dollars, big corporations, thousands and thousands developers, and yet these almost entirely community driven systems manage to compete with Linux at some level. A big paradox, if you ask me.
"

I was just going to mod you up, but I guess OSNews and I differ greatly in our interpretation of the meaning of the word "recently."

I wish I had something more insightful to say than what I'm about to type, but this is pretty much how I've long seen Linux vs. BSD development; that the BSD folks seem to be getting more done with fewer resources.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: nonsense
by Laurence on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: nonsense"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

It is not clear that either model as they are implemented in Linux and BSD is best. However, it would be fun to see how BSD would progress with the same number of developer-hours as Linux, and tight control not only over direct userland, but the whole system (all up to the desktop environment).


Playing Devils Advocate for a moment: One could argue that BSD is getting big budgets and big corporations when companies like Apple (which you also mentioned) base their OS on BSD systems and BSD features on numerous embedded systems too.

The difference here is BSD code doesn't always make it back to the BSD community like GPL code would in Linux.

So if you look at closed BSD and BSD-derived systems in the same light as Linux distro's, you could argue that BSD is more successful.


(Not that I'm trying to argue that one license is better than another nor one OS better than the other - as I get fed up with flamewars. Just trying to flip the arguement from an (interesting?) new perspective)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: nonsense
by Doc Pain on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE: nonsense"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

You're mentioning a valid and important point:

There is a place for both. And both are fundamentally different socio-politically:
[...]
- The development structure: Linux is clearly a bazaar with patches flying all over the place, and with a userland developed by many different individuals, projects, and companies. The BSDs are cathedrals, where the kernel and userland are developed in an orderly fashion, closely together. Again, both approaches have advantages, the bazaar method seems to give rapid progress, and is very much comparable to chaotic evolution. The cathedral model on the other hand gives far better integration between kernel subsystems, and the kernel and userland. OS X is an extreme in this respect: nothing gets out without Apple's quality control and a high level of integration.


As a developer, I really like the BSD platforms because if their excellent documentation attitude. Not only all system binaries have manpage entries, the same goes for kernel functions, library calls, system files or maintenance procedures. Especially when trying to solve problems, this documentation is very helpful. Furthermore, a good handbook and FAQ accompany those manpages. All of them are accessible off-line, which is often an advantage in problem situations.

The source code of FreeBSD, as another example, is very tidy and can be easily read. The included documentation helps the developer to understand what's happening.

FreeBSD's system layout, structure and implementation of concepts is well intended, and thought all over. If something chances, it is made sure that nothing breaks, or needs to wait for a fix in a further release. In this way, many OS subsystems have been rewritten and optimized over the years, without creating a system that's not fully usable.

If I may understand this by the word "quality", then, in my experience, FreeBSD is "better" than Linux. (But, of course, that's not meant to be implolite; I can fully understand that it's quite hard to keep a mass of documentation up to date about a fastly changing and advancing software background.)

It is not clear that either model as they are implemented in Linux and BSD is best. However, it would be fun to see how BSD would progress with the same number of developer-hours as Linux, and tight control not only over direct userland, but the whole system (all up to the desktop environment).


Yes, that would really be interesting.

All and all, one thing is clear: ESR's "bazaar is better than cathedral" thesis was never proven.


Well, it's an opinion, and it is a valid opinion. Furthermore, it's not an opinion I do share, but that I can understand. Many things in this thesis depend on individual interpretation and premises.

Linux' "let's rewrite the sound system" approach has not turned out to be very effective.


You can still feel earth shaking waves from "let's make X depend highly on HAL and DBUS while we already developed something that will replace it". :-)

I can only hope that BSD projects will move up the stack more in the future (include a desktop environment, make it perfect).


What about PC-BSD and DesktopBSD?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: nonsense
by melkor on Wed 24th Feb 2010 06:28 UTC in reply to "RE: nonsense"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

LTNS Daniel. I think you'll find that chaos works best. Nature is chaotic by nature (pun intended), and whilst things might not always be perfect, they tend to work themselves out very well. Structured development is never a good thing imho.

As Princess Leia said in Star Wars (paraphrased) - "the more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers".

Dave

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: nonsense
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 24th Feb 2010 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: nonsense"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

LTNS Daniel. I think you'll find that chaos works best. Nature is chaotic by nature (pun intended), and whilst things might not always be perfect, they tend to work themselves out very well. Structured development is never a good thing imho.

As Princess Leia said in Star Wars (paraphrased) - "the more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers".

Dave


Exactly. That is called "Wu Wei" by Taoism.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: nonsense
by melkor on Wed 24th Feb 2010 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: nonsense"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I'm not really familiar with Taoism, but it sounds similar to some aspects of general paganism. (yes, I am a proud pagan, and not the "new age" BS type.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: nonsense
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 24th Feb 2010 10:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: nonsense"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I know you are a pagan ;)
We knew each other quite well at the Libranet forum (me: S.1704).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: nonsense
by melkor on Wed 24th Feb 2010 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: nonsense"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Ah OK. It's a small world it seems.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: nonsense
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 24th Feb 2010 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: nonsense"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. We "geeks" know each others ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: nonsense
by bradley on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 11:01 UTC in reply to "nonsense"
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

Nonsense written by Linux-zealots. The fact is: nobody in *BSD community really cares about Linux and you cannot beat quality with quantity. *BSD is for UNIX-lovers, Linux is for Windows-haters. That said I'm Slack user since the early 90s, it's the only Linux comparable with *BSD. The rest is just distro-Spam


I agree with you here as I'm also a longtime slacker since the 90's... I also have been running FreeBSD since the 90's - Here we are still at this age old comparison??? I've said it once in times passed, so I say it again... " WE HAVE TO GET THERE TOGETHER! "

Reply Score: 2

RE: nonsense
by chris_l on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 11:15 UTC in reply to "nonsense"
chris_l Member since:
2010-02-14

Nonsense written by Linux-zealots. The fact is: nobody in *BSD community really cares about Linux and you cannot beat quality with quantity. *BSD is for UNIX-lovers, Linux is for Windows-haters. That said I'm Slack user since the early 90s, it's the only Linux comparable with *BSD. The rest is just distro-Spam


Load of Bullshit. Slackware was and still is a bunch of gargbage mostly because of the BSD crappola. Proof is the huge number of people who jumped ship from Slackware to Redhat when Redhat was released and like me never looked back at Slackware ever again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: nonsense
by Doc Pain on Wed 24th Feb 2010 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: nonsense"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Load of Bullshit. Slackware was and still is a bunch of gargbage mostly because of the BSD crappola. Proof is the huge number of people who jumped ship from Slackware to Redhat when Redhat was released and like me never looked back at Slackware ever again.


Slackware was the Linux distribution that inspired me in approx. 1995, and it soon became my main distro. When FreeBSD 4.0 was released, I left the Linux world and never looked back. A fact is that Slackware was the Linux that taught me the basics of UNIX, which I needed every day, in different forms (BSD, Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX, even AIX), and such basic knowledge is essential if you want to professionally work with UNIX, and maybe even with Linux. Today, it's quite possible that there are Linux distributions that are much better fitting the needs of desktop and server users than Slackware.

Still, I don't understand what you mean by "BSD crappola"; I'm familiar with the word itself, but what do you consider "BSD crappola" here, especially in the Slackware context?

Reply Score: 2

familiar
by YagamiCLan on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 15:49 UTC
YagamiCLan
Member since:
2010-02-15

when I switch from Linux to FreeBSD for servers, I found that it is easier for me to maintain (using command line). Just a matter of choice.

Reply Score: 3

BSD
by telns on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 16:12 UTC
telns
Member since:
2009-06-18

I've always preferred BSD to Linux, at least by a little bit, but generally end up using Linux in real deployments. CentOS or RHEL are perceived as lower risk--and may in fact be lower risk, since there are more people that understand them and their ways. Sometimes you've got to pick your battles.

Yahoo has done well with BSD, though.

I use BSD at my home office to good effect, and I made a VMWare spam-filtering appliance that was BSD-based that got a whole bunch of downloads through VMWare. Still use it myself.

As a developer, I also like the stable target that is libc, vs. the constantly moving target that is glibc.

*Edit it add last sentence.*

Edited 2010-02-22 16:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: BSD
by danieldk on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 16:50 UTC in reply to "BSD"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

I've always preferred BSD to Linux, at least by a little bit, but generally end up using Linux in real deployments.


I agree to some extend. Especially on the desktop. I used NetBSD on my workstation for many years, and was a NetBSD developer. I quit at some point, because it became very hard to keep doing useful work.

For servers, at least if you do not use very high-end hardware, BSD works just as fine. On the desktop I have moved from Linux to OS X now, which is mostly BSD (at least from an API/userland perspective).

As a developer, I also like the stable target that is libc, vs. the constantly moving target that is glibc.


I never really bumped into problems with glibc itself. More problematic is the sheer numer of extensions in GNU software, that are commonly used. Nowadays I try to compile everything regularly with two compilers (g++/Visual C++) and three standard libraries (glibc/libstdc++, BSD libc/libstdc++, and whatever Microsoft provides).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: BSD
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 24th Feb 2010 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I quit at some point, because it became very hard to keep doing useful work.


And that is being said by a developer. Imagine how much more true it is for Joe User.

Reply Score: 2

RE: BSD
by vivainio on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 09:30 UTC in reply to "BSD"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


As a developer, I also like the stable target that is libc, vs. the constantly moving target that is glibc.


If glibc is moving too fast for you, I wonder how you can survive at all in the world that's moving at the current pace.

Reply Score: 2

Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

The fact is there is a reason why Linux is so more popular than the BSD's.

The simple fact is that more developers like the GPL and the way the GPL works compared to the BSD license for their work.

The GPL simply attracts more people to be willing to give their time,money and sweat to the community than the BSD, which many open source developers consider a "license-to-steal".

If the BSD was so great then it would attract more developer support than GPL projects, but it doesn't and as a open source developer I know exactly why because thats exactly how I feel about it.

The proof is in the numbers of people who want to work on GPL projects vs BSD projects.

Linux is so popular and has such a large community BECAUSE of the GPL, without it then so many things would have never been implemented or contributed by other people and companies and it would never have had as large a community as it does today.

BSD licenses are more attractive to lazy commercial programmers who want to steal the work of others, but much less attractive to actual open source programmers.


It really IS as simple as that.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


The GPL simply attracts more people to be willing to give their time,money and sweat to the community than the BSD, which many open source developers consider a "license-to-steal".

The proof is in the numbers of people who want to work on GPL projects vs BSD projects.


Oh so is that proof in the all the Sun projects that were GPL'd? I remember all the fluff press Schwartz got by doing that. All the articles about how the GPL community will jump on those projects and make them more competitive. Why didn't that happen?


BSD licenses are more attractive to lazy commercial programmers who want to steal the work of others, but much less attractive to actual open source programmers.


Theft involves taking the work of other without payment. BSD code is more like a library for all developers to use, regardless of interest.

Since the GPL allows numerous ways to profit without contributing changes it really only limits derivate software products that distribute binaries to end users. I can still take your GPL code and make a web app out of it and keep the changes to myself, all while benefiting from your free labor. I can keep your binary separate from my executable and make external calls to it. I can also look at your code to see how you did it and re-write it myself. There's many ways to profit from your work without contributing anything back.

Oh and if you think that using open source code in commercial software makes you lazy, you're an idiot.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The simple fact is that more developers like the GPL and the way the GPL works compared to the BSD license for their work.


Is that why X.org, Apache, Perl, Python, Tomcat, PostgreSQL etc etc is not GPL licensed? It's a miracle ANYONE works on these projects!

Linux is so popular and has such a large community BECAUSE of the GPL


I would have hoped it was because it is good but what do I know.

BSD licenses are more attractive to lazy commercial programmers who want to steal the work of others, but much less attractive to actual open source programmers.


Is that you, Moulineuf?

Reply Score: 2

The Linux developer community is a myth
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 18:54 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Unless you consider a bunch of disconnected corporations who pay for Linux kernel development out of their own self-interest to be a community.

Corporations are also the primary contributers to Apache and it doesn't use the GPL.

I believe Red Hat's endorsement of Linux has been far more beneficial than the GPL. It sent a message to Wall Street that there is money to be made with Linux so it is probably safe enough for you to use.

FreeBSD has also been a boring story for the press. Linux in many ways has been the antithesis of Microsoft. Started by some Finnish guy and has a penguin for a mascot! How cute!

Linux gets the job done, it's endorsed by Fortune 500 companies, that's all it really needs. Only the true believers think it is because of the GPL.

Reply Score: 3

licensing issues in the 90's killed BSD
by rhavenn on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 19:37 UTC
rhavenn
Member since:
2006-05-12

Personally, the licensing issues from the early 90's killed the adoption of BSD and caused the a guy like Linus to write Linux using a clean slate.

There was big argument as to who owned the BSD code in the early 90s and this made corporations leery of using it. Linux was developed, it was a clean start and no ambiguities at the time about who owned the code.

If it wasn't for this I think guys like Linus would have been happy work on the BSDs and the linux / unix world would be a different place.

That being said, I will use FreeBSD over Linux any day of the week given a choice. The whole kernel and userland control gives it a much more stable environment and overall the impressions I get from running some relatively high load servers is that BSD performs better under load. It might not scream under the benchmarks, but when push comes to shove it just keeps on plugging along.

Edited 2010-02-22 19:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Name only
by JMcCarthy on Mon 22nd Feb 2010 19:54 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

How can BSD still be accurately described as a genetic UNIX? Wasn't all the original code from AT&T removed prior to or after the lawsuit?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Name only
by demetrioussharpe on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 10:01 UTC in reply to "Name only"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

True, but I wonder how much BSD code was removed from AT&T's Unix codebase. Don't forget that UC Berkley was one of many universities that had Unix & were modifying & contributing code back to AT&T. So, there was definitely BSD DNA in the official code tree.

Reply Score: 1

undisputed fact
by cycoj on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 10:10 UTC
cycoj
Member since:
2007-11-04

I think there's one undisputed fact in the whole FreeBSD vs Linux discussion: The Beastie is way cooler than the Linux pinguin (does it even have a name?). And I say that as a Linux user.

BTW: I find the new logo far less attractive.

Reply Score: 1

RE: undisputed fact
by marafaka on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 13:21 UTC in reply to "undisputed fact"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

The new logo is a compromise for people who find a devil child mascot offending but feel fine about sex toys made of plexi and KDE widgets. There must probably be some kind of a visual identity, but as long as there are horns to grab and VI inside, I'm allright.

Reply Score: 2

Reason Linux is more wide spread is
by Kebabbert on Wed 24th Feb 2010 10:43 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

because you can found a large company around Linux and become a multi billionare. That is not possible to do with BSD, you can not get rich. People and attention go where money are.

No one owns Linux, you can build a distro and sell it. It is "yours". You can not build a FreeBSD distro and sell it, someone owns FreeBSD. The same with OpenSolaris, you can not found a big multi billionare company around OpenSolaris, because someone owns it.

Linux is like the gold rush. It is free, it is up to you to make money on it. It is yours.

But if Linus would make an "official" distro, then RedHat, SuSE, etc would loose their momentum. Suddenly there is a reference distro and Linus is behind it. Everyone would loose interest in Linux, because someone "owns" it. RedHat can not go against Linus distro, it would be madness. RedHat has to follow Linus distro, then why should you by RedHat instead of Linus distro? Of course you buy Linus distro, not RedHat or some other distro.

Linus is only making the kernel, and you can build something around it and sell it and become rich. FreeBSD is someone else's distro, you can not sell it and become rich.

This is the reason Linux is more wide spread. People go where the money is. If Linus would make an official distro, then money is gone and Linux would diminish.

It is the same with internet, no one owns it, you can make a fortune of it (Google, Yahoo, etc). Internet is free for you to make business of it. Internet is a success. Linux is a success.

As long as you can not get rich on BSD, it will not be backed by lots of money from large investors, and BSD will not be wide spread.


So, for something to make success, it has to be able to create wealth and rich people. Investors must feel they "own" it, no one else owns it. Then it will attract money. Money attracts attention. Attention attracts media. Media creates fame and more investors. And suddenly it is big. Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Erm... I don't think you are right with your main statement.

[Reason Linux is more wide spread is] because you can found a large company around Linux and become a multi billionare. That is not possible to do with BSD, you can not get rich. People and attention go where money are.


You can develop a business model based upon FreeBSD.

You can not build a FreeBSD distro and sell it, someone owns FreeBSD.


You can, but you can't call it "FreeBSD" then. FOr example, the developers of PC-BSD took FreeBSD as a bade, added own software and even invented new features, such as the PBI infrastructure. They are calling the final product "PC-BSD", and they have the right to mention that it is based upon FreeBSD.

You should really have a look at the FreeBSD license to see what it allows you to do.

You are still right if you state that the name "FreeBSD" is owned by the FreeBSD Project.

Linux is like the gold rush. It is free, it is up to you to make money on it. It is yours.


But then, the same is true for FreeBSD. You can develop your own product, let's assume, by first importing FreeBSD's code base, then invent something new, and afterwards sell it. It is yours. You can do what you want with the FreeBSD code.

But if Linus would make an "official" distro, then RedHat, SuSE, etc would loose their momentum. Suddenly there is a reference distro and Linus is behind it.


The interesting thing about Linux is that there is no standardized base system. Linus and his co-workers provide a kernel, and it's up to the developers of the various distributions what they include, starting with which dialog shell, and ending with which desktop environment and collection of programs. The ability to modify the "basic" userland is one of the advantages that makes Linux so versatile.

Everyone would loose interest in Linux, because someone "owns" it. RedHat can not go against Linus distro, it would be madness. RedHat has to follow Linus distro, then why should you by RedHat instead of Linus distro? Of course you buy Linus distro, not RedHat or some other distro.


That wouldn't have to be true. People are often using their money to support those who own something, because they feel their way of working or marketing appealing, or want to help them developing better products in the future.

Linus is only making the kernel, and you can build something around it and sell it and become rich.


Still, you have to obey licenses that apply.

FreeBSD is someone else's distro, you can not sell it and become rich.


In fact, you can.

This is the reason Linux is more wide spread.


No, this is not the reason, in my opinion.

People go where the money is.


Not where the brain is. :-)

It is the same with internet, no one owns it, you can make a fortune of it (Google, Yahoo, etc). Internet is free for you to make business of it. Internet is a success.


Free Internet access? Wow! Where can I get it? :-)

No, honestly: I am confident that the Internet is a platform that you can use to make money with it, and it will be more and more important in the future.

Linux is a success.


Definitely.

As long as you can not get rich on BSD, it will not be backed by lots of money from large investors, and BSD will not be wide spread.


Don't confuse "usage share" with oh joy oh market share. The BSDs have their place, and there are companies selling BSD based products, as well as BSD baased services.

So, for something to make success, it has to be able to create wealth and rich people.


Like investment banking and tax fraud. :-)

Investors must feel they "own" it, no one else owns it. Then it will attract money.


I would like to believe that good ideas, modern concepts and humane practices attract money, but in our society, it sadly doesn't seem to be the case.

Money attracts attention.


But money also attracts aversion. Many people feel unconfortable with their lives being controlled by overmighty big and wealthy companies that want "their best".

Attention attracts media.


Misfortunes and catastrophes do, too.

Media creates fame and more investors.


You can create anything, even public attitudes, given enough money.

And suddenly it is big. Linux.


Suddenly? I think it has been a process, beginning slowly, and getting faster with the time. Today, Linux importance is fastly increasing. For example, in today's IT economy, it's important to know Linux, and in the future, I think (and hope) it will be even more important to use it.

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


No one owns Linux, you can build a distro and sell it. It is "yours". You can not build a FreeBSD distro and sell it, someone owns FreeBSD. The same with OpenSolaris, you can not found a big multi billionare company around OpenSolaris, because someone owns it.


I agreed with rest of your post (namely, money drives things forward, even if these are bad), but this is a whole lot of BS. No matter if it is BSD or GPL'ed Linux, it is equally well "owned" by the copyright holders.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No one owns Linux, you can build a distro and sell it.


The Linux trademark is owned by Linus.

But if Linus would make an "official" distro, then RedHat, SuSE, etc would loose their momentum.


Uhm why? Your reasoning makes no sense at all.

You can not build a FreeBSD distro and sell it, someone owns FreeBSD.


Are you from planet Stupid? Of course you an do that, you just can't call it FreeBSD. Where do you think all the different BSD flavors came from?

Reply Score: 2

Twisting
by hurdboy on Wed 24th Feb 2010 15:05 UTC
hurdboy
Member since:
2005-09-02

I understand the focus of the article is FreeBSD, but, in many respects just focusing on FreeBSD clouds the larger issues. NetBSD and OpenBSD have absolutely shaped the directions of both FreeBSD and Linux; it's not the head-to-head battle the article and interviewers make it out to be. OpenBSD's security focus leads to innovations on both. NetBSD's attention to code cleanliness and portability absolutely affected Linux development.

It's like doing a history of a sports league, and only focusing on one old time rivalry between two teams.

Reply Score: 1

GPL is the ball and chain!
by krreagan on Wed 24th Feb 2010 15:36 UTC
krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

It's the ball and chain that keeps Linux where it is... a server OS, or a desktop for hackers-only, or an embedded device with non-general UI.

Linux has never made it to the general public because of the GPL! no one is willing to put the time into a new solid, easy to use, intuitive interface because the GPL forces them to give their work away negating any differentiation they could have! And KDE, or Gnome are POS as far as I'm concerned! (especially KDE4! what the hell were they thinking!)

So Linux will never be a main stream OS for "the people"

And yes everyone has a story about their 80 year old grandfather who uses Linux and loves it! But in reality Linux still has an extremely low penetration for the general public at large. And I don't see that changing soon.

After all, Linux is > 20 years old! and it still has only niche (geek) environments when it's proclaimed as a "general use environment for the masses"! Hell, I would call that a failure if you look at it like that! Every year after I started using it in '95 it was proclaimed as "the year of the Linux desktop" after a while it gets a little numb listening to the hype. I moved to BSD in '99. and have never looked back.

KRR

PS. Another thing I hated about Linux was the politics! Christ! it's an OS after all! not a political movement..oh sorry my bad!

Reply Score: 1