Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2008 21:04 UTC, submitted by irbis
Linux Would the internet as we know it exist without Linux? "Absolutely not", says Rich Menga. "Where Linux shines the most is in its server applications". In the 1990's "There were thousands of Mom n' Pop ISPs that operated out of a garage and the vast majority of them were all running Linux. Windows couldn't do it back then and neither could MacOS. What would you have used that you could afford? Netware? Lotus Domino? HP-UX (that requires those refrigerator-sized HP servers)? Linux was literally the only OS out there that had the right price (free), ran similar to a Unix and could use existing computers of the time to connect customers. The internet as we know it today predominantly runs on Linux. There's an extremely high probability that the internet connection you're using right now is connected through a Linux server - and routed through many other Linux servers along the way."
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RE: Yes it would
by segedunum on Thu 30th Oct 2008 10:31 UTC in reply to "Yes it would"
Member since:

In all honesty, had it not been Linux, it'd be *BSD filling up the cheap, garage server rooms the article mention.

Well, no, and this is a fallacy that people keep telling to themselves. The problem with BSD was that people took the code and the network stacks, bunged it into a proprietary box and the code was never seen of again. It's very difficult to improve and get ahead when people are doing that because you're not sustaining your project off the back of that success. It's why I have a good chuckle at people who try to claim that OS X is some sort of success for BSD.

The difference with Linux is that lots of companies collaborate on a level playing field, knowing full well that if they contribute something then even their competitors have no choice but to contribute back if they want something done. That doesn't happen in a BSD licensed world. All you would get with lots of interested parties involved is a core nucleus of a kernel with no open source drivers, lots of competing binary-only implementations for the same things and lots of overlap between binary-only modules that would destroy the integrity of the kernel. Either that, or you just have no critical mass of companies or interested parties involved at all, as is the case with the BSDs.

You would be very surprised how one thing and decision begets and leads on to another in this type of situation.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Yes it would
by renox on Fri 31st Oct 2008 22:41 in reply to "RE: Yes it would"
renox Member since:

[sarcasm]Of course so BSD-like licensed software are bound to fail: Apache, PostgreSQL, *BSD OS (which are working fine thanks) don't exist in your world?[/sarcasm]

Frankly it's impossible to know what made Linux a stronger performer than *BSD: the license?, the timing (BSD were first)? the lawsuit? Linus's qualities?

A mix of all this probably, and Hurd's failure show that it's a real possibility that GPL OS could have failed if Linus didn't start his own kernel..
As *BSD OS are still here (despite their license in your view) they could definitedly have done the job as Internet servers (one of the strong point of the *BSD actually).

Reply Parent Score: 2