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Comparing Linux and BSD, Diplomatically

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the famous-diplomat-linus-torvalds dept.

Operating Systems 448

Joe Barr writes "Talk about a red-button issue. How do you compare Linux and the BSDs and keep the debate from turning into a friendly-fire flame-fest nightmare between bigots on both sides of the line? Linus Torvalds once handled a similar situation by wearing a BSD beanie at USENIX while delivering a Linux talk. Now he tries it again in this interview on NewsForge ."

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448 comments

Not About To Be Baited (4, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804566)

TFA is not a Slashdot-style discussion, obviously. No matter how hard Joe Barr tried to get Linus to engage in a comparison, he was unwilling to rise to the bait. Good going, Linus.

There are obvious merits to any operating system. Despite what many /.ers think, Windows does work well enough to allow people to do productive work. The various BSD flavors work well enough for their community to do productive work. I would venture that Solaris users probably get quite a bit done with their relatively immature software as well. Oh yeah, OSX stuff works well too.

The problem with comparisons is that once all of the products begin to operate at a level that makes them useful to their target audience, then the only thing left to argue about is the margins. Zealots exist on the margins and so are they are the most likely to carp and moan about the small differences between various products.

Linus is not a zealot. He is an advocate.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (5, Insightful)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804732)

Nice bit of underhanded baiting there yourself. Not that I don't agree on many levels. Solaris isn't so immature, however the user level stuff is horrific and unfriendly. I know I am a Solaris admin. Get into big oracle or financials systems then tell me it's child's play. Still over all your correct.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804816)

You caught me on the gentle dig.

I love Solaris for the stability.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (5, Insightful)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804785)

Ditto the other poster, you couldn't resist the bait on Solaris. Solaris will kick some Linux and BSD butt for certain applications, however, it is relatively unfriendly as a desktop OS. Hopefully when OpenSolaris.org "opens for business" this week, we'll have a better package manager and userland applications. IMHO, the Solaris kernel is simply one of the, the not THE, best kernel currently available.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (4, Interesting)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804861)

IMHO, the Solaris kernel is simply one of the, the not THE, best kernel currently available.

I don't think even the most hard-core Linux user would dispute that (well, maybe the zealots would).

As I wrote to the other poster who caught my gentle dig, I love Solaris for its stability. The only thing that I admire more about Linux is the open development. Sun cannot compete (for many reasons, mostly commercial) with Linux on that score.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804813)

Well then, maybe as a guy that uses and likes many things about both BSD and Linux, I can suggest a few things to the Linux folks out there that would really make me happy to see in Linux that are in BSD.

  • Direct FD number control in the kernel build. BSD has this 'maxusers' settings in its kernel configuration taht maps directly to the number of FDs available on a system. I dislike having to mess around with settings post-boot in order to get a bigger FD table.
  • Text file kernel configuration. That .config thing doesnt cut it - doesnt work cleanly if I edit it. I want a file I can move around, store in CVS and track. I've had to go through some annoying steps to get a clean kernel tree to compile against it. FreeBSD does this fantastically well.
  • Simpler kernel configuration and build period. I dont want to have to spend 90 minutes going through kernel options since there are options turned on that I will never have any use for. And that damn menuconfig is horrible to get around. The prompting non-ncurses version is even worse, and xconfig doesnt count since its basically the ncurses version inside X.


Either way, I use and build linux daily. I like it, is isnt bad, but the BSD kernel is just easier to work with in a lot of ways.

I'll take the bait, too. (3, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804896)

Solaris users probably get quite a bit done with their relatively immature software as well.

You must be referring to Solaris on Intel. I still don't think "immature" is the right adjective. The problem with Solaris on Intel is mostly hardware support, and that's not going to change with age. Hardware popularity shifts faster than Sun's ability to support it.

"Stodgy" and "crusty", maybe, but not "immature".

For vanilla hardware in a server, it does just fine.

Re:I'll take the bait, too. (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804973)

You must be referring to Solaris on Intel. I still don't think "immature" is the right adjective.

It was a joke.

Re:Not About To Be Baited (1, Informative)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804903)

To the Moderator who modded this post "Flamebait":

The Solaris comment was a 'joke'. Humor is often times expressed on Slashdot in a manner that doesn't begin with the words "Two nuns walk into a bar....".

But I have a considerable fan club developing around my posts and have a few stalkers who are always itching to mod my posts down. Perhaps you aren't humorless afterall, but are just angry at someone you've never met.

Sounds strange when it is put that way, doesn't it?

Linus farts out BSD like sound (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804956)

News at 11:00

Since when is debating with "bigots" a good idea? (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804571)

How do you compare Linux and the BSDs and keep the debate from turning into a friendly-fire flame-fest nightmare between bigots on both sides of the line?

Would you have a "debate" with a racial bigot over which race is better?

Bigots of any type aren't worth the time of day.

IMHO

Re:Since when is debating with "bigots" a good ide (4, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804708)

Putting aside truly harmful types of bigotry, such as racism etc., I find "OS bigotry" pretty entertaining. I am a centrist, who sees merit in almost every viewpoint, so it's pretty funny to me to watch people get at each others' throats over ludicrous low-level minutiae from the inner bowels of arcane computing concepts. I mean, who gives a rat's ass? And yet people are using comparisons to the Nazis, and worse.

Truthfully, it's what keeps me coming back to Slashdot.

I'm not prejudiced, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804721)

I've never used BSD, but from what I've heard in the local LUG, it's lousy, and I can say from my experience as a Linux user that Linux is a lot better!

Re:Since when is debating with "bigots" a good ide (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804959)

Nigger

In short: (5, Insightful)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804572)

Try to use the appropriate tool at the right time at the right moment.
What is appropriate depends on the situation and your experience.

Comparison (5, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804575)

Easy, you just compair them to Microsoft and the Linux and BSD bigots will unite.

come on (5, Funny)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804576)

So what? Everyone knows windows blows both of them out of the water as far as viral whoring goes. Try that with wine.

Re:come on (1)

hoborocks (775911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804900)

Comically enough, it's been done. [newsforge.com]

Perhaps if we can work with what viruses we have, and get THOSE running under Wine...then the rest of the layer will fall into place?

I'm not saying Windows is a virus....just that...well, viruses are one of the things I WOULD use windows for...heh.

It's hard, Mac users are phanatix (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804583)

There seems to be an endless need in the BSD Kingdom to reaffirm their decisions by finding like-minded acceptance.
BSD users read reviews on Apple Computers, for instance, after they bought their computer just to
reassure themselves that they made the right decision. When they read a bad things about or criticism of Apple,
they get mad.

This continues to happen decade after decade. Insecurity seems to be pandemic among Macphiles.
This phenomenon is the only thing that explains Mac users still getting so adamant.
If BSD and Apple had 90 percent market share you wouldn't hear a peep out of Mac users, since the
market itself would have given them the affirmation they need.

Mac users style themselves as non-conformists; in reality, they insecure and utterly intolerant.

Notice how they mod down reasonable criticism around here.

Re:It's hard, Mac users are phanatix (4, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804658)

Mac users style themselves as non-conformists; in reality, they insecure and utterly intolerant.


Your point of view is as utterly intolerant as the point of view of those you are criticizing.

Notice how they mod down reasonable criticism around here.


"Mac users are phanatix. They are insecure and utterly intollerant.. Mod me up for being reasonable!"

Are you kidding us?

Short Summary (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804584)

In summary, Linux Torvalds understands that computers are about the right tool for the right job. For some, that tool is Linux. For others, that tool is *BSD. But he rightfully takes the stance that competition is no skin off his nose.

This is a *good* thing people! I realize it's much easier to jump into Highlander mode ("There can be only one!"), but reality is rarely so simple. Until someone invents the "perfect solution", every decision will lead to a particular set of tradeoffs. If you don't have anyone else exploring alternatives, how can you know for certain that your own alternative is the best one? Cooperation always leads to better results.

That said, I have a feeling about the replies I'm about to get:

Girl: Don't even think about it!
Human Torch: Never do. (Jumps off building)
Human Torch: Flame ON!
;-P

Re:Short Summary (1)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804886)

"That said, I have a feeling about the replies I'm about to get"
-like mine ;)

"I realize it's much easier to jump into Highlander mode ('There can be only one!')"
but if you remember correctly in the show, many of the immortals just wanted to be left alone and live life how they wanted,
most of them didn't want to have to yack eachothers' heads off.

good point though! ;)

Short Summary-BTC (Bind, Torture, Compile) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804970)

"In summary, Linux Torvalds understands that computers are about the right tool for the right job. For some, that tool is Linux. For others, that tool is *BSD. But he rightfully takes the stance that competition is no skin off his nose."

And sometimes it's BitKeeper.

my black t-shirt can beat up your black t-shirt (-1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804587)

cuz mine has the red A in the circle, and yours doesn't, see?

Re:my black t-shirt can beat up your black t-shirt (5, Funny)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804640)

Personally, I find it hilarious that there's a standard anarchy symbol....

Re:my black t-shirt can beat up your black t-shirt (2, Insightful)

quinto2000 (211211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804820)

Funny, maybe, but how is this insightful? Even that kind of joke is a little old and tired. Anarchy isn't about people working alone, it's about avoiding hierarchy and state power. You can certainly come to agreements on things like symbols without a central authority to decide it for you.

Re:my black t-shirt can beat up your black t-shirt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804890)

Personally I find it funny that there is even a common symbol for anarchy.

Kinda ironic that something which represents total dissolution of common groups and order would so easily be united by a common symbol.

Best Article Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804596)

Personally, everything is great, but that is from my point of view. Your mileage may vary. We might have different philosophies, but that's okay. We're cool with that.

Short Summary (5, Informative)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804603)

To summarrize Linus :
1)They are different don't try to compare them.
2)I like Linux better because it agrees with me.
3) Don't ask me what I wan't in Linux (kernal) from BSD (kernal) because I don't use BSD.

Basically it was a whole bunch of nothing

Re:Short Summary (3, Funny)

matt me (850665) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804693)

To summarise the summary: I daren't say anything.

Re:Short Summary (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804707)

It's only natural for Linus himself to promote a unix under his name (Linux) versus a unix under the name of University of Berkeley (BSD).

Re:Short Summary (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804715)

"summarrize"?

"kernal"?

"wan't"?

Ok, I could see getting "summarrize" as a typo, but you spelled kernel wrong TWICE and it's in TFA. And what the hell is "wan't"?

Also, they make punctuation now. Try this:

1) They are different - don't try to compare them.

OR

1) They are different; don't try to compare them.

Also,

"Basically, it was a whole bunch of nothing."

(Ignoring that you can't have a "bunch" of "nothing" - bunches are for bananas.)

Not completely a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804731)

With its 9 occurrences of the word "kernel", this article can't fail to teach the correct spelling to everyone who reads it.

Re:Short Summary (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804836)

1.) You born
2.) You live
3.) You die

Remember that everything can be generalized into broad, short terms, but if you do that nothing except universe in the broadest sense makes a topic worth talking about. So before deducting something's value please try to look at the details first, not the broad generalization (btw, that is why i hate short summaries of any movie/tv show: they make the topic look utterly boring even when it is not).

Re:Short Summary (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804948)

Basically it was a whole bunch of nothing.

Ah, Grasshopper, you miss the point. Linus is saying nothing, and what is more, he is aware he is saying nothing. That anybody could acheive this is, apparently, news that matters.

The only line that matters: (5, Insightful)

dayid (802168) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804607)

Torvalds : It just means that I don't know anything about BSD technical internals, so I'm the wrong person to ask. Ask somebody who uses both.

bothersome (2, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804648)

Maybe he doesn't have the time but isn't it a good idea to learn some of the technical details of the competition, especially when it's all legal to look at the code of what they do well. He should know at least the general arch and some tech details in areas linux is trying to get better at.

of course, this is my engineering mind thinking. Learn from what's out there and then do it better.

Re:bothersome (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804745)

Except that it's not a 'competition'. Linux doesn't 'win' when someone picks it over BSD, and vice versa.

The 1/4" spanner doesn't compete with the 6mm spanner.

Time to step outside the business-plan box, and let the us-vs-them mentality go.

Re:bothersome (-1)

technoid_ (136914) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804799)

If he looks at BSD internals, anything he comes up with relation to those internals might be considered derivative works and would need to be BSD licensed. That might not work well for the Linux kernel.

This is the reason FOSS developers were told not to look at the leaked MS source that was floating around.

technoid_

Re:bothersome (2, Insightful)

Oopsz (127422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804925)

What? The BSD license isn't viral. You can directly incorporate BSD code into any project without worry or credit.

Re:bothersome (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804888)

What competition are you speaking of?

I prefer the developer spend time making things work the way they should, not peeking into someone else's code in an effort to potentially reap some small reward.

But I thought BSD was dead? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804608)

But I though BSD was dead? Netcraft confir--

+++ATH
NO CARRIER

I, for one, welcome our new BSD overlords!

The gist of Linus's reply (5, Insightful)

TildeMan (472701) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804611)

Which are better, apples or oranges?

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (1)

StonedRat (837378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804650)

Daddy or chips?

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (5, Funny)

Cobralisk (666114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804685)

oranges.

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (4, Funny)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804835)

apples damn it...
next you'llbe telling me emacs is better than vi.

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (2, Funny)

jusdisgi (617863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804860)

Fool! Netcraft has confirmed, apples are dying.

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804922)

Have you tried the latest patched version of apple? You might like it better. Besides, I've heard that orange is a dead project. YMMV.

-Adam

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804704)

It's another case of the right tool for the right job. For example, if you're attempting to make apple juice, obviously oranges will not suit the job. If you're trying to convert a video to UMD format, it's highly likely that neither will accomplish the task.

Re:The gist of Linus's reply (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804749)

Of course, now that apple flavour will come in oranges, they're both good. A lot of apple eaters are upset about this.

Linux cost analysis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804613)

Let's have a close look at the costs involved when running a Linux system.

An important factor in Linux' cost is its maintenance. Linux requires a *lot* of maintenance, work doable only by the relatively few high-paid Linux administrators that put themselves - of course willingly - at a great place in the market. Linux seems to be needing maintenance continuously, to keep it from breaking down.

Add to this the cost of loss of data. Linux' native file system, EXT2FS, is known to lose data like a firehose spouts water when the file system isn't unmounted properly. Other unix file systems are much more tolerant towards unexpected crashes. An example is the FreeBSD file system, which with soft updates enabled, performance-wise blows EXT2FS out of the water, and doesn't have the negative drawback of extreme data loss in case of a system breakdown.

According to Linux advocates, an alternative to EXT2FS would be ReiserFS. Unfortunately, ReiserFS is still in beta stage. This means it is not intended for production use (although according to many Linux advocates this shouldn't be a problem, which makes me wonder how (little) valuable they find your data).

The other proposed 'solution', EXT3FS, is nothing more than an ugly hack to put journaling into the file system. All the drawbacks of the ancient EXT2FS file system remain in EXT3FS, for the sake of 'forward- and backward compatibility'. This is interesting, considering that the DOS heritage in the Windows 9x/ME series was considered a very bad thing by the Linux community, even though it provided what could be called one of the best examples of compatibility, ever. When it's about Linux, compatibility constraints don't seem to be that much of a problem for Linux advocates.

Back to Linux' cost. Factor in also the fact that crashes happen much more often on Linux than on other unices. On other unices, crashes usually are caused by external sources like power outages. Crashes in Linux are a regular thing, and nobody seems to know what causes them, internally. Linux advocates try to hide this fact by denying crashes ever happen. Instead, they have frequent "hardware problems".

The steep learning curve compared to about any other operating system out there is a major factor in Linux' cost. The system is a mix of features from all kinds of unices, but not one of them is implemented right. A Linux user has to live with badly coded tools which have low performance, mangle data seemingly at random and are not in line with their specification. On top of that a lot of them spit out the most childish and unprofessional messages, indicating that they were created by 14-year olds with too much time, no talent and a bad attitude.

I could go on and on and on, but the conclusion is clear. Linux is not an option for any one who seeks a professional OS with high performance, scalability, stability, adherence to standards, etc.

Re:Linux cost analysis from a MS-Sponsered Source (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804754)

I think I read this article from some pro-microsoft publication site.

Re:Linux cost analysis (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804782)

You could go with XFS or JFS for a file system. I have never lost data but I have heard of some issues but they actually seem pretty rare.
Frankly I would say a LOT of people are using Linux for a professional OS on a day in day out basis. IBM and Goggle being examples.
Seems like your post contains a lot more heat than light.

troll much? (4, Informative)

ignorant_newbie (104175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804795)

wow. where shall i start?
Linux' native file system, EXT2FS,
um... i believe you're about 5 years behind the ball here. all major distros have shipped with ext3 or reiserfs as their default for at least that long.
According to Linux advocates, an alternative to EXT2FS would be ReiserFS. Unfortunately, ReiserFS is still in beta stage.
um... no. reiser 4 is in beta. reiser 3 has been production ready for years. so, basically, you're just cutting and pasting random unsupported ( when not just blatantly false ) trolls hoping for a response.

Re:troll much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804810)

so, basically, you're just cutting and pasting random unsupported ( when not just blatantly false ) trolls hoping for a response.

Thanks for the response.

Re:Linux cost analysis (1)

WolfCub1000 (878666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804818)

Parent is a troll. ReiserFS version 3.6 is stable and is included in the kernel. Reiser4 is the best version, not for mission critical servers obviously. The Linux kernel is extremely stable, outperforming BSD quite often. You could always compile just the parts of the kernel that you need, eliminating some variables and making it even more reliable. Most of the crashes that happen on Linux come from proprietary drivers (nVidia, ATi, printers, etc.) that aren't thoroughly tested. The parent is an obvious zealot/troll.

Journaling Filesystems (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804838)

Reiser 3 has been stable for some time.
You neglected to comment on JFS or XFS in your discussion of journaling filesystems.

And I certainly wouldn't say crashes are a regular part of my Linux experience at all. Nor "hardware failures". It's been a long time since those were the rule rather than the exception.

Re:Linux cost analysis (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804883)

there's a few more filesystems available to Linux, I've found XFS to be every bit as robust, and also faster to recover, as UFS. As a certified admin of a couple commercial Unix(tm) who also does Oracle/Linux clusters & builds FreeBSD servers, admining a Linux distro is no more time consuming or complicated than BSD, and a little easier than Solaris or HP/UX. The very highest performance and largest clusters on the planet are running Linux, so what is this nonsense about no scaling or performance. Oracle and SAP and many other enterprise grade vendors are moving their software to Linux. The high performance SAN and archival tools are running on Linux. IBM is running Linux on mainframes. Your post would have been true in 1995, but it's a trollful of baloney in 2005.

True leader (2, Insightful)

Eugene Webby (891781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804621)

See, Linus could go into politics if he wanted too. I'm glad that his the head of the linux kernel, it takes more then just technical know-how.

Linux or BSD? I don't care... (4, Funny)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804623)


Linux or BSD? I don't care...

As long as you use vi (and not Emacs).

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (0, Offtopic)

homerjs42 (568844) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804680)

Gaaaaah! Die infidel!

Ok, that's all. Nothing more to see here.

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (2, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804689)

Pico rules! You bloody vi and Emacs l0sers! ;)

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804839)

Pico rules!

Pico is not free software. See "The license of PINE" at
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html [gnu.org]

Nano [nano-editor.org] is free software.

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804873)

You're using pico? Bah, nano is much more superior!

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804951)

What the heck is pico? I have never even heard of it, thats how lame it must be. Not that I am sticking up for emacs but AT LEAST Emacs has an Xt based Xwindows client. Is there a such thing as Gpico?!!?!?! No LOL

anyone can write a 2-bit editor with a bunch of printf's and scanf's. But Jedit is a REAL Java based editor.

Re:Linux or BSD? I don't care... (5, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804920)

Personally, I run a dual-boot system: Linux and emacs.

umount -f (4, Insightful)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804625)


One of the things I'd love to see in Linux that exists in BSD is umount -f for any filesystem, not just NFS. On FreeBSD (and probably other BSD's?) you can force unmount any filesystem. This is especially useful when you need to foce unmount snapshot mounts.

Good quote... (5, Interesting)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804628)

I like this quote from Linux:

In contrast, one of my favorite mantras is "perfect is the enemy of good," and the idea is that "good enough" is actually a lot more flexible than some idealized perfection. The world simply isn't black-and-white, and I recognize a lot of grayness. I often find black-and-white people a bit stupid, truth be told.


I shows a lot about how he thinks. He seems to be more of a realist than I would have thought.

I find Linus's interviews to be very interesting.

I do think that Linux, and Windows seems to be more similar than Linux and BSD, since he keeps commenting that BSD wants everything to be perfect, whereas Linux tends to be all things "good" for everyone.

I would consider Windows to be happy with just being "ok" at all things, and not perfect. Which also works for a lot of people.

Good enough? Anybody seen this? (2, Interesting)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804868)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/13/technology/13dri ll.html [nytimes.com]

The movie biz is bitching about movie downloads. They're citing stats gathered from people's hard drives.

Hmmm?

With what degree of knowledge or cooperation from the people who's hard drives were scanned?

Or were these people just hacked? (Linux and OS X probably not just cooperate quite so readily to an invasive procedure like this, so is it just Windows that tattle-tells?)

An enquiring mind wants to know...

Re:Good quote... (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804927)

" I like this quote from Linux:"

This was my favorite.

Which mindset is right? Mine, of course. People who disagree with me are by definition crazy.

First "BSD is Dead" Troll :-) (-1, Troll)

billstewart (78916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804630)

Oh, come on now, somebody had to do it.

Re:First "BSD is Dead" Troll :-) (1)

supun (613105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804700)

oh yeah, "Linux is Obsolete"!

Re:First "BSD is Dead" Troll :-) (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804897)

Well, you'll notice in the opening song, they say "In the not too distant future... there was an OS called BSD." Not is, but was...

Hrm. (1)

ninja_assault_kitten (883141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804664)

That's almost like comparing a cancer patient with an AIDS patient.

Re:Hrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804823)

Except whichever patient BSD is is already dead.

You asked Linus because...? (3, Insightful)

troytop (194882) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804677)

"...It just means that I don't know anything about BSD technical internals, so I'm the wrong person to ask. Ask somebody who uses both."

That said, he raised some interesting points about the differences in philosophy between the two camps.

Comparing Windows and Linux 'By Bill gates' (1)

mrkitty (584915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804678)

Seriously couldn't they have interviewed gartner or someone (not to say gartner is great) who has enough knowledge to answer this question without being on the development team of one of the products?

Linus doesn't know much of anything about BSD. (5, Insightful)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804688)

He's obviously a bad person to ask since he thinks things like "you'll find a lot of areas where Linux is better (often a lot better -- as in "it works"), and then you'll find a few narrow areas where one particular BSD version will be better." and "Linux has a much wider audience, in many ways. That ranges from supporting much wider hardware (both in the driver sense and in the architecture sense) to actual uses.".

Sorry, NetBSD runs on more hardware that linux does, and apart from running on very large SMP systems, I can't think of *anything* that linux can do and BSD can't, much less "many" things.

Re:Linus doesn't know much of anything about BSD. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804751)

> I can't think of *anything* that linux can do and
> BSD can't, much less "many" things.

How is the audio support, from a production perspective?

Re:Linus doesn't know much of anything about BSD. (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804881)

"I can't think of *anything* that linux can do and BSD can't"

JAVA. Trying to get a native build of Java for FreeBSD has been the worst computing experience I have had since trying to install OS/2.

Not quite. (2, Informative)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804928)

Its very easy on openbsd, and I seriously doubt its much harder on freebsd. You have to download the distfiles manually because of Sun's stupid license, but then you just type "make install".

And of course, some company not making software for BSD is not a limitation of BSD. BSD is entirely capable of running the software, Sun just doesn't feel like releasing a BSD version.

Re:Linus doesn't know much of anything about BSD. (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804941)

I think you're the bigot the summary refers to...

Feel free to back that up. (2, Interesting)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804971)

I didn't say anything bad about linux at all, I stated two simple facts. Maybe you could point out some of these things that linux does and BSD doesn't? Just because its Linus spreading the FUD doesn't make it ok.

Stop calling me Diplomatically! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804711)

How did this end up on the Slashdot front page? Only reactionary page churners need apply.

It is like comparing apples and oranges... (1)

ratta (760424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804717)

Linux is GPL, while *BSD are, well, BSD licenced. There are some things for which BSD licence is better, and for other things GPL is better. It is inevitable that theese differences will show up in the resultin OS, in some way. For instance Linux can take code from *BSD (and relicence it as GPL), while *BSD cannot take code from Linux, etc...

Warning: spoiler. (3, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804720)

Summary: some guy tried to get a newsworthy quote from Linus, he says the interviewer's questions don't make sense and ends with "Ask somebody who uses both."

Easy. (5, Funny)

ionicplasma (820891) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804725)

It's quite easy.

Purchase 1x Tux Plushie, 1x Daemon Plushie, fill them both with audio tapes of associated OS zealot's verbal spew, put them down and press play. Whichever one's batteries run out first wins the debate.

Simple, no?

"BSD people are perfectionists" (3, Interesting)

mrkitty (584915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804729)

"The BSD people (and keep in mind that I'm obviously generalizing) are often perfectionists. They hone something specific for a long time, and then they frown on anything that doesn't meet their standards of perfection. The OpenBSD single-minded focus on security is a good example." - linus So what he's saying is bsd people don't release as much buggy code. I'll have to agree with him here with the bimonthly linux kernel security vulnerabilities creeping up. 2 years and no 'root level' exploit in freebsd's kernel.....

BSD vs. Linux (2, Interesting)

debilo (612116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804765)

I am mainly a BSD user (I guess my .sig gives me away), but I have used Linux before I made the jump to FreeBSD (and OpenBSD) a couple years ago. I am not enough of an expert to comment on the technical superiority of one or the other, but it's not for technical reasons that I went with FreeBSD.

The reason is quite simple and probably uncommon: While I realize that Linux is easier to install and to configure (once you get used to the distro specific tools) and has wider hardware support, I just couldn't decide on which distro to use. For every review of a distro, there would be an equal number of comments arguing for or against it. To some, it was the most "polished", "advanced" and "easiest" distro ever, to others it was a "nightmare".

I didn't really feel like trying them all out just to see who was right. There's a plethora of distros all aiming for different objects, and I found that quite overwhelming. So I decided to spend some time exploring FreeBSD and pretty quickly fell in love with it. So, I enjoyed using Linux (SuSE), but I feel more comfortable with FreeBSD - and not for technical reason.

Compatibility, Installation, and Packaging systems (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804769)

I liked Linus's comment on the single-mindedness of some BSD derivatives - he hit on OpenBSD's security focus without going into Theo's personality (:-), and the NetBSD folks want to port their system to anything bigger than a digital watch.

Obviously with only three main BSDs out there, or four if you count Dragonfly, there's a lot less variability in the installation and porting systems, which seem to take up a lot of the learning-curve time. Many of the Linuxes are focusing on either friendliness or newbie support, and I'm occasionally nervous about whether I can install something without it wiping out my existing systems. NetBSD was really easy to install, in spite of the BSDish disk partitioning issues, but it was sufficiently minimalist that when I was done I realized that I was going to need to learn Yet Another Ports System to get any work done, so I gave up and put Knoppix on that machine because it had the tools I needed for that project. OpenBSD's installation focus seems to be "Buy a CD from Theo or Do Everything From Scratch", and I haven't installed BSD from scratch since 4.2BSD on a Vax, so I haven't tried that yet, but I assume that if I had a project-related need or a bunch of extra spare time, it wouldn't be that hard (or I'd go buy the CD.)

Re:Compatibility, Installation, and Packaging syst (1)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804878)

First of all, you don't need to learn yet another ports systems, all 3 BSDs use a very similar ports tree. You just have to type "make install" in the directory of the software you want installed. They also have excellent documentation, so you could have found this out in less time than it took to find your knoppix CD.

And wether you buy an openbsd CD or do a network install makes no difference at all, they are the exact same installation procedure. There is no need to "do everything from scratch" anymore than there is with any linux distro. Leave your FUD at home.

How, easy .... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804784)

How do you compare Linux and the BSDs and keep the debate from turning into a friendly-fire flame-fest nightmare between bigots on both sides of the line?

How, easy. You just simply acknowledge the superiority of BSD up front and get that out of the way first. The following conversations go a lot smoother then ;)

ducks and runs for cover :)

It's very subjective (2, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804788)

For me the best OS is the one I already know how to use. My brain has been full for a few years now and--as pathetic as it sounds--I just don't feel like learning another OS. I use Linux and Windows since I know how, but, for all I know, BSD may be better.

I guess that when I find something that I really need to do that Linux and/or Windows can't manage, then I will be forced to learn something else. Maybe BSD...who knows?

Really Simple (3, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804797)

This is easy. Linux is cool because it has an X in it. Everyone knows Xs are cool. (Of course, Linux would be cooler if they capitalized the X, but that's a minor point.)

On the other hand, BSD is cool because it has a hot chick [freebsd.org] .

Both are valid attributes and neither side should feel bad.

In all honesty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12804800)

it boils down to preference like anything else. Do you prefer orange or blue tshirt? What about hamburgers vs cheeseburgers? They are both superb operating systems with pros and cons. The license issue is a non-issue for the vast majorit of people.

Simple answer (1)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804814)

It would be enough to ask slashdotters which one is better to get a clear answer. Neither one wins. Both are good OSes. Either that or half of US is ignorant... = P

Knoppix is the suxx0rz. (0, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804834)

Linux is the suxx0rz and here's why: I downloaded and burned a Knoppix 3.9 ISO. This is one of many distros that I have tried and used with much success. It starts up and works as it should, quite nicely I should add. So why am I saying that Linux is the suxx0rz? It's not the software. It's the documentation. To this day, I have not experienced a single piece of documentation that was actually accurate.

Case in point: Knoppix is supposed to have scripts you can call from the command line that create boot/root floppies, install Knoppix to the hard drive, and do other nice things. Only problem is, the documentation, both the docs on the CD itself, and the docs found throughout the Internet, is all wrong. There is no mkbootfloppy command, as the cheatcodes on the very same disc say there is. I found at least 3 different names of utilities that are supposed to install Knoppix onto the hard drive. None of these exist on the CD. Everything is upside down, equine-backwards, and inside out in the documentation. Linux is the suxx0rz.

Obvious answer (1)

Tired_Blood (582679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804894)

I didn't RTA, but just to answer the question in summary:

... and keep the debate from turning into a friendly-fire flame-fest nightmare between bigots on both sides of the line?

Keep the discussion focused on complaining about a third OS with each side comparing how their OS works better.

Also, when have the editors stopped noting that NewsForge is owned by OSTG in the summary. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention lately.

Linus says it all (2, Insightful)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804940)

From TFA:
Linus: ... "you'll find a lot of areas where Linux is better (often a lot better -- as in "it works"), and then you'll find a few narrow areas where one particular BSD version will be better."
Linus: ... "I don't know anything about BSD technical internals, so I'm the wrong person to ask."
So how exactly is this diplomatic? It seems a little more baseless, bigoted, and presumptuous to me...

You didn't hear me. What I said was in parenthesis (4, Funny)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12804952)

FTA: I recently asked Linus Torvalds for his thoughts...

Torvalds: Linux has a much wider audience, in many ways. That ranges from supporting much wider hardware (both in the driver sense and in the architecture sense) to actual uses.

Wow. Amazing. Linus has managed to speak to another human being in paranthesis. What happened here, was he talking one minute verbally and then transmitted his thoughts to the interviewer through some Jedi'ish mind trick?

I knew Torvalds had to be an alien. I just knew it.
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