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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Because....
by eantoranz on Fri 6th May 2011 22:42 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Because there is no comercial interest in developing your code with a license that allows your competitors to grab your code, build something on top of it, publish a competig product and not release the changes that the competitor made. On GPL all competitors have to stay on the same leveled playing field once there is "redistribution" (on GPLv2... whatever it's called on GPLv3) and so it is a certainty for all competitors that there will be competition... but at least no one will be "freeloading" on any other.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Because....
by No it isnt on Fri 6th May 2011 23:00 in reply to "Because...."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Exactly. And what I said (under a different name) back when others said OpenBeOS needed to use a more commercial-friendly license like BSD or MIT. Ten years on, Haiku is still not close to where Linux was back then -- but not only for lack of corporate support, of course.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Because....
by Hypnos on Fri 6th May 2011 23:26 in reply to "Because...."
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

Apache, PostGreSQL, Sendmail all have MIT style licenses, and they're pretty successful ...

What's different about a kernel and/or basic userland that the license becomes critical?

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Because....
by orestes on Fri 6th May 2011 23:29 in reply to "Because...."
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd be less inclined to call it licensing than I would cultural differences. The Linux community has always been more "hack friendly" than the more conservative BSDs. There's also the stigma of the massive BSD lawsuit that more or less caused Linux to be created in the first place and prety much killed any momentum early BSD had.

OpenBSD being actively hostile to binary blobs most likely doesn't help things either

Edited 2011-05-06 23:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Because....
by sakeniwefu on Sat 7th May 2011 01:22 in reply to "RE: Because...."
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

If OpenBSD weren't actively hostile against blobs and other proprietary stuff I wouldn't use it. Or maybe I'd still use it - lacking any really free alternative - because of it's strong adherence to the original UNIX principles. OpenBSD developers care a lot about code quality and security, beyond the buzzwords of the moment.

OpenBSD is an OS by and for hackers of the movie-unfriendly variety. Nothing to do with Linux. That doesn't mean I can't watch Youtube, DVDs, play 3D games, connect to encrypted wireless, draw using a Wacom tablet or edit W*rd documents. Anything that can be supported using open source software is there or on its way as long as you buy the right hardware,and I for one, don't want to be supporting the closed vendors.

A better comparison would be to FreeBSD which has the same attitude and target demographic as Linux and does get some commercial involvement - in most cases with patches going back upstream - but it just never catches up. License?

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Because....
by Soulbender on Sat 7th May 2011 06:20 in reply to "Because...."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Because there is no comercial interest in developing your code with a license that allows your competitors to grab your code, build something on top of it, publish a competig product and not release the changes that the competitor made.


Tell that to Juniper, IronPort etc etc.
Your argument is a fallacy. Since you are not required to release your derivative work under an OSS license YOU decide if you want to "risk" your competitors getting their hands on it. If you dont want to, nothing is forcing you.
As opposed to the GPL where you are REQUIRED to release your derivative work under the GPL.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Because....
by karunko on Sat 7th May 2011 10:00 in reply to "RE: Because...."
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

"Because there is no comercial interest in developing your code with a license that allows your competitors to grab your code, build something on top of it, publish a competig product and not release the changes that the competitor made.


Tell that to Juniper, IronPort etc etc.
"

Not to mention that little thing called OS X. I've heard it's doing pretty well...

More in general, I would say that the premise of the article is wrong: since Linux has more market share (really?) and definitely more buzz around it, then it must be because of the different license and not, say, for a lot of other reasons that have been mentioned here.

And, since we're talking about market share, then surely Windows must have an even better license? ;-)


RT.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Because....
by Valhalla on Sat 7th May 2011 19:45 in reply to "RE: Because...."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


Tell that to Juniper, IronPort etc etc.
Your argument is a fallacy. Since you are not required to release your derivative work under an OSS license YOU decide if you want to "risk" your competitors getting their hands on it. If you dont want to, nothing is forcing you.

But isn't that the point the author tried to make, that since companies don't have to contribute their enhancements back they simply don't and instead keep them as a competitive edge? Are Juniper Networks, Cisco contributing their code back to Freebsd (it uses that right?), are they hiring full time Freebsd developers to work on the main Freebsd project?

By comparison, Linux is pretty much entirely developed by people who'm companies have hired to work fulltime on the kernel, which is certainly atleast part of the reason that it develops at such a high pace.

Again, I say that I think GPL makes better sense for companies to do cooperative development under, particularly in competitive areas such as this. They can share the burden of development with everyone being legally obliged to submit their enhancements.

So in my opinion, BSD-style licenced code is what companies prefer to use, GPL licenced code is what they prefer to contribute to.

Reply Parent Score: 4