Linked by fvillanustre on Fri 6th May 2011 22:19 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y When comparing the evolution in market share of Linux and OpenBSD, two operating systems that were born around the same time, a question comes to mind: why is there such a difference in market penetration? Linux, on one side of the spectrum, with a license that supposedly impairs commercial venues, has enticed companies and organizations to adopt and support it under varying commercial models, while the BSD derivatives (FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD), with a larger history and an allegedly more commercial friendly license haven't been as successful to gather a large installed base and widespread adoption.
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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Fri 6th May 2011 23:42 UTC
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Having a permissive license hasn't hurt development or adoption of Apache, or other projects with an MIT-style license.

I think a bigger factor was the lawsuit between USL and BSDi. Questions on the legality and future of BSD/386 had a chilling effect on potential contributors.

Meanwhile, Linus Torvalds comes along with a UNIX-like OS with no ties to AT&T or USL, freeing it from any legal questions. Also, Linux's development was community-driven from the get-go, while BSD's was not.

I think the license was only a small factor. While many make the argument that Linux is successful because of the GPL, I think the GPL is successful because of Linux.

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