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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RE: Because....
by orestes on Fri 6th May 2011 23:29 UTC 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[3]: Because....
by orestes on Sat 7th May 2011 02:26 in reply to "RE[2]: Because...."
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Development structure. FreeBSD's always developed itself as one cohesive source tree with a relatively small group of people allowed to work on it as opposed to the half billion Linux based forks all going out in divergent directions all catering to different niche groups.

Which style is better is up to perspective, but you can't deny the Linux world has a much deeper "genetic pool" to draw from, even if it does get slightly polluted at times.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Because....
by reez on Sat 7th May 2011 02:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Because...."
reez Member since:
2006-06-28

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.

First off, don't get me wrong I like OpenBSD, but somehow I feel with all that security stuff they create a strange hype they can't live up to.

First off their packages are often outdated. Oh and do they even care for secure transmission, like a signed list of MD5/whatever sums so one can verify to load the right ones?

They also had strange bugs, like a wrong implementation of the C floor function in their standard lib on some hardware.

They also advertise/hype stuff that's common practice in many open source projects anyway. Like code reviews or considering missing or wrong documentation as a bug. Not bad, but sounds like hype which they pretend to not do.

There are also other things that just sound more secure, like using blowfish instead of a random one-way function for password encryption.

I think OpenBSD has lots of great stuff to offer. They support lots of interesting hardware, where there aren't any other open alternatives, but Linux. HPPA for example. Gentoo and Debian work there aswell, but both have tons of bugs.

Encrypted swap by default certainly is a nice feature, while counting just security holes in a default installation sounds more like hype than security.

Also I wonder about the fact that they always ask for donation, especially because everyone uses OpenSSH (damn awesome software!), but don't participate in Google's Summer of Code.

What I want to say with that is that they are nice and reasonable. I really like the fact that they are so conservative, but to me it also looks like it is their biggest problem blocking progress. I don't see OpenBSD in any danger, because there is a very loyal community, but I'd like to see more new stuff. Since they are a lot into security it would be cool to see some new things happen in that area. For example ways to deal with the insecurity of the C programming language. I think they'd be able to create lots of problems to deal with that problem, but lately they seem more interested in removing GPL code.

Reply Parent Score: 4