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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It IS the license.
by Milo_Hoffman on Mon 9th May 2011 14:23 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I posed this on OS News more than half a decade ago in another article Thom posted: http://www.osnews.com/permalink?86571

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

Its the license stupid[to borrow a popular political phrase]. 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, some people (who want to make money off of others work) may not like it but they are going to have to get over it or hit the road and go write their own software.

Linux is so popluar and has such a large community BECAUSE of the GPL, without it then SOooo 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 commerical programmers [ who want to use other peoples effort in their own commercial software, but much less attractive to actual open source programmers working on community oriented projects.]

It really IS as simple as that.

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All these years later, the proof is STILL in the results, the GPL is far more motivating for people to contribute and be more willing to share their time, sweat and efforts than the BSD is.

As a contributer to open source I know myself I feel much more comfortable contributing to GPL based projects than BSD based projects. The GPL makes me feel better about my contribution. And that is what it comes down to, that is why there are more people willing to contribute, and that is why Linux has such a larger community than BSD.

Edited 2011-05-09 14:34 UTC

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