Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

BSD: "The Net's stealth operating system"

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the broaden-the-coverage dept.

BSD 460

conio writes "MSNBC has an excellent article about BSD titled "The Net's stealth operating system." It gives a brief history of BSD and discusses why it's not as mainstream as Linux. It also delves into the BSDL vs. GPL holy war, and talks about how BSD will soon work its way into the workstation market. It's both accurate and well-written. "

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

freeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789504)

IT ROCKS, enuff said

Well.. (1)

NoWhere Man (68627) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789506)

Linux's gain...BSD's loss...if it wasn't for that lawsuit we'd probably be having Linux Vs BSD wars...instead of NT vs Linux wars...

Linux's popularity due to GPL? (3)

tig (6017) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789510)

I wanted to ask the question: what did the move of putting Linux under the GPL do for attracting developers? it would be great to get the response of kernel coders on this. I would speculate that the fact that the kernel belonged to the "community" at large thanks to the GPL and could not be co-opted into another proprietary OS(tcp stacks in NT for example) played a part in assuring developers about the ownership, rightful use, and legacy of their code.

BSD (2)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789513)

As someone who's been using FreeBSD extensively for the past 18 months, I can safely say that my FreeBSD systems are the only machines that I actually look forward to doing admin tasks on. The system's design is so well documented and intuitive that it makes my job a hell of a lot easier.

That and who can't love the cute little Daemon logo? (:

BSD as a server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789516)

Has there ever been a real rest to compare BSD servers to Linux/NT

using BSD (1)

UuCon (4853) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789519)

at my job, we have decided to move our rh5.1 webserver over to openBSD...simply because of what we have seen. The rh5.1 system is flawless, but sometimes chokes up under heavy loads...personally i love linux, but i think this was a good move for the company.

Good article, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789521)

...he missed at least one important detail. Specifically, that Linux IS NOT UNIX. It was written from the ground up as UNIX-LIKE, but was not (unlike *BSD) derived from a source tree that was around before Linus took his first computer course.

Now, before you break out the flamethrowers, let me make clear that this does NOT, in my eyes, mean that one OS is better than the other. That's a silly argument to begin with under any conditions. Linux and *BSD each serve different niches that just happen to have some overlap. Use what works best for you, and Be Happy.

Re:BSD (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789523)

Here's a question for ya. How easy would it for a Linux user to learn? (to admin a personal system, that is. I can *use* SunOS, but I admit to never having learned [nor needed to] adminning a Sun box.)

Idly curious...

Performance (1)

killmeplease (50275) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789622)

I know that many companies use BSD to run secure servers and I know that BSD is more stable and secure than Linux, because it has been around for more years and is maintained by die hard server people. My question is, What is the performance difference between the two OSs? I have a feeling that BSD has superior SMP support, bu I do not know why exactly. Anyone have any input from experience?

Re:Well.. (2)

ebrandwi (49752) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789627)

I don't think so. BSD is a mature, intelligently designed OS, one that attempts to do things the right way, not force you into the way someone in Seattle thinks you should.

The complaints that Linux users have about BSD and vice versa are nothing like the complaints that folks have about NT. We'd be having Linux/BSD vs. NT wars.

One thing that the article missed is the pride of hackerdom. Nobody anywhere gets paid for maintaining a FAQ, or a mailing list, yet people do it everyday. Folks moderate newsgroups, release code, anything, just to make a name for themselves in the community. A box of software can be bought, the respect of your peers is priceless. And, as this very website shows, hackerdom can be it's own reward.

I think that the BSD v. Linux thing will go on, but it will be based on the relative merits of the two, not on the licensing differences.

Eric Brandwine

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789630)

Both Bill Gates and Dennis Ritchie refer to Linux as Unix. Who the hell are you?

Here we go agian. (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789632)

I can just feel a flamewar coming on.

Flames can sometimes be useful. Most flamewars however, aren't constructive. They tend to be destructive, that's why they're named after a "destructive force."

And in this instance a flamewar would be pretty stupid. This isn't a case of who's better. The BSD's cover different areas, as does Linux. Is there a point to fighting? Its like saying, "My boat is faster than your car" or "My orange is sweeter than your apple."

The OSes in question are very powerful. What they do well they excell in. Its not like we're comparing Solaris (yay) to NT (boo!).

Before jumping into the BSD/GPL debate, think about it. We're all on the same side! We like solid OSes. We can have a few beers and start scoffing at the NT folk together.

Together. That is a word that both the BSD and Linux worlds should be using more often. Or at least we can hope.

Re:BSD (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789639)

If you're comfortable on Linux, you should be fine on BSD.


Re:using BSD (1)

BluFinger (60149) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789643)

I'm fairly new and out of the loop on stuff like this, but isn't some of the stuff their doing for kernel v. 2.4 supposed to take care of the IP stack that was causing Linux to choke under heavy loads in the Mindcraft tests? Of course, the company probably wouldn't want to wait around when BSD apparently fixes the problem now.

Re:BSD as a server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789646)

What's Linux/NT? Sounds like MS-Linux or something.

Sure (0)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789649)

Is MSNBC (Partly owned by Microsoft) try to start an internal war between the free *nix avaiable for x86 hardware? And whats this crap about how hotmail ORIGNALLY ran freeBSD, does it still run it or not?

in fact, perhaps 70 percent of all Internet service providers use BSD.

This is a fact? I haven't seen one ISP use *BSD, I could beilive it was FACT that %70 of ISP use *nix

At the same time, Torvalds was welcoming help from all comers, mainly young computer science students enamored of with the coming information explosion.

What was Torvalds kinda like Tim Leary back in the day? :)

Thus, any definitive narrow statement that can be made is usually obsolete before anyone hears it.


Any free unix that runs on x86 (ie. cheap) hardware is cool with me.

Hotmail (2)

eponymous cohort (8637) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789653)

Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail began its life on BSD servers

What? Did they finally succeed in converting it to NT?

Can't read article without Microsoft installed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789655)

The article on ZD, pawn of the Evil One, is written in MS-HTML, not HTML. I don't have any systems from the Evil Empire, so it looks like crap. Please warn us when you provide links to something we have to go out and pay the Bill Tax just to read.

BSD -- Wiser users? (5)

Disco Stu (13103) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789673)

This article certainly carries the attitude that many BSD users seem to have -- that BSD of for real users, users with experience, users who care more about a robust, secure OS than what's currently hip; and that Linux users are "hackers" who jumped on the Linux bandwagon because it's the hip thing to do among hackers, rather than because Linux carries any advantages as an OS.

The truth is, Linux carries with it several advantages that the article only hints at. The article mentions the splits in BSD, but it doesn't discuss the problems these splits carry with them. It's nice to know that with Linux, when a new feature or better security is added to the kernel, that feature will be available to every users on many different platforms. I am certainly not an expert on BSD, so I'd appreciate it if someone who is more knowledgeable than I would tell me how often developments in FreeBSD are integrated into the development tree of NetBSD, for example.

Personally, I prefer Linux. As a student at a large university, I'm surrounded by Linux experts. I couldn't say the same about BSD. The other main advantage that Linux has for me is the applications that are being ported to Linux more and more. However, I would be willing to switch to BSD if I saw clear advantages. Unfortunately, this article seemed to be more interested in cashing in on the Linux hype by subtly bashing Linux rather than presenting the real advantages.

Re:Sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789676)

Netcraft busts them again: is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.8 SSLeay/0.9.0b on FreeBSD

Apache is also being used by Javasoft, Financial Times, W3 Consortium, and The Royal Family.

FreeBSD users include Yahoo, The Apache Project, and

So as one can see, MSNBC is spreading FUD for their masters again.

A few comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789679)

First of all, it annoys me to see the constant emphasis on hostility and one-upmanship in articles on different Unix versions. This is ridiculous. Who cares if user X perfers Linux or person Y prefers BSD? I am not interested in which version has which percentage of the market share. I want to know more about the operating systems themselves, how they are similar and how they differ.

Secondly, it seems to me that the best route for future development would be to merge the various Unix versions, taking the best features from each. Perhaps Linux and freeBSD could combine to form freeLSD.

Finally, people who say that Linux is not a Unix version are silly. If it looks and acts like Unix, has the same system calls as Unix, it's Unix, regardless of what its history is. Any other definition of "Unix" is useless.

--- Brian

Re:BSD (1)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789684)

They are all UNIX. If you know how to admin one you can (more or less) admin the other.

Anti-Linux Propaganda (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789688)

Who wants to bet that this article was commisioned by Microsoft to help stifle the Linux buzz by sewing confusion in the minds of the public and IT management about free Unix systems?

Re:freeBSD (1)

psaltes (9811) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789690)

I'm wondering why thats a troll...
looks more like on opinion to me.

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789691)

You mention the BSD splits. What do we have, four of them? Big deal. This is nothing compared with the fifty-two different Linux splits out there!

Re:Hotmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789693)

Nope. They're lying. Give them hell. Post to ZD. Send email to them, too.

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789696)

If it smells like unix and looks like unix. It's unix. If it smells like a troll and looks like a troll..

Accurate? (3)

pb (1020) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789706)

This wasn't accurate, it was just as uninformed as most articles. At least it's publicity, though.

I know that at least FreeBSD should be able to run linux binaries without too much trouble, just like Linux should be able to run, say, SCO binaries without too much work, etc. So it shouldn't really have fewer applications. Also, a lot of the same UNIX apps should be source-compatible anyhow, and some are released under the BSD license.

Since the owner of the source code can release it under multiple licenses anyhow, there's nothing wrong with making a kernel submission GPL'ed, and also releasing it to the *BSD's under their license, so I don't really see the argument there. The other arguments have been dealt with. Remember, the BSD license lets your competitors freely use your code too, and also lets people take that code and incorporate it into closed projects, which I don't think is necessarily a feature.

Past that, at least it's press. I don't believe that 70% of all ISP's figure, either. A lot of ISP's use Linux. Maybe if he meant the number, it would only take a few major ISP's to skew that figure. Still... that doesn't jive.

Re:Good article, but... (2)

mjankows (21230) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789712)

"Be" happy....I like it. I know you didnt mean that...but thats somewhat metaphoric
-Matt Jankowski

Slashdot-esque rules of journalism (0)

jonmay (67464) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789714)

Man, you would think MSNBC would be professional enough to copy edit its articles.

"right as the Internal began to reach critical mass"


"students enamored of with the coming information explosion"

in the opening 3 paragraphs, no less!?! I suppose it's only a matter of time before we start seeing possessive "its" with the apostrophes, in obvious homage to our Commander's prose style of choice.

Re:Here we go agian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789718)

How can you say that BSD covers different areas than the Linuxes cover? This makes no sense.

Re:Good article, but... (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789722)

As I understand it, because Linux was not based on the same source tree as the various flavours of UNIX, it is technically a "UNIX-Like" operating system. The term really doesn't mean much though. It certainly doesn't mean that BSD is more "UNIX compatible" or something than Linux is. Just ignore the label. It is technically accurate, but pretty meaningless. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

If Bill Gates or Dennis Ritche called it "UNIX-like" the poor media would get terribly confused and start thinking it was a clone or something.

I remember one misguided member of the press actually refering to Linux as "DOS-Based."

Re:Sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789724)

My ISP is all FreeBSD.


Re:BSD (5)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789727)

It shouldn't be too hard.. Lots of the unique features of FreeBSD may seem "different" when compared to analogous Linux techniques, but once you get the hang of how (and why) things work on FreeBSD, I think you'll find it to be a pleasant experience.

Probably the best advice I can give is to review the FreeBSD Web Site [] and especially the FreeBSD Handbook [] . Remember, you can always search the FreeBSD mailing list archives [] if you have problems.

Another excellent resource is the Complete FreeBSD Book [] , which costs about $40, but is well worth it. If you decide to go with FreeBSD, an Internet-based installation will work, but all the hard-core FreeBSD users have FreeBSD Disc Sets [] from Walnut Creek CDROM.

In the end, I guess it took me about a week of normal use to get accustomed to FreeBSD's way of the world. After a few days you'll start to notice that, in the ways that FreeBSD differs from Linux, those ways will make total sense from an implementation or an overall-system standpoint.

Nope, it still uses *BSD (1)

javac (21689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789730)

That was blatent misrepresentation on the part of M$nbc geach

I sure hope you aren't a BSD user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789732)

That has to be by far, the todays top "Stupid Comment".

Linux is different distributions. I can start with Slackware and turn it into a system that looks, feels, and runs exactly like a RedHat distribution.

Its like newspapers. Linux is a newspaper, and it has different people passing the newspaper around. Some of the people put in their own TV guide, some put in coupons, some might even put it in a plastic bag to prevent it from being rained on.

NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and BSDI are all different newspapers.

Get your facts straight troll.

Why (Free|NetOpen)BSD is less used than Linux (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789743)

I don't think the lawsuit was all that important.

More important was the fact the Bill Jolitz, who released the original 386BSD wasn't really well suited for running a Bazaar-style project. At times, his (rare) messages didn't seem sane, and his "press officier" Jesus, Jr, didn't made it better. This meant that the project was delayed until first the NetBSD and later the FreeBSD groups got fed up waiting for him to reelase a new version, and broke away.

The most important thing, in my opinion, was that the BSD developers were highly competent operating system engineers making great personal sacrifices for the cause, while the Linux developers were a bunch of enthusiastic kids having great fun doing what they wanted to do. At least, that was the impression one got from the BSD and Linux newsgroups. There is even some of it left today.

I suspect a lot of potential developers felt like me: I'd rather hang out with the kids who are learning and having fun, than the self-important professionels who are making sacrifices.

Re:Anti-Linux Propaganda (1)

pestel (22040) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789748)

Why do people always see MS behind the scenes
sowing dissension in the free Unix ranks? I will admit that MS has certainly questionable business practices but it doesn't typically openly try to do this, but rather subtly in the background (ie. make Netscape run slower on MS hosted sites, etc...)

I even got a similar response like this one to my editorial [] in this month's Daemon News. I swear people think Bill Gates is like the Wizard of Oz and hiding behind every curtain.

Re:using BSD (1)

NoWhere Man (68627) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789752)

Yeah but they were using a version of Linux that was ahead of 5.1...5.2 or possibly 6.0 was used in the more recent tests. The fix that came out was also in an Alpha release. The code to update the kernal is still in the early works of being developped. RedHat has promissed that in the next major kernal update that this problem will be resolved

Re:Sure (1)

Cybervoid (6243) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789756)

As another post points out, they still run FreeBSD. What I thought was funny was when they tried to switch the system over to WinNT IIS when they first took over Hotmail. It couldn't take the strain on the system and they had to switch back.

Re:BSD (1)

CyberELF (502) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789759)

Very easy, especially if you have already used the Slackware distribution (SW uses a more BSD-like filesystem layout than RedHat, SuSE or Debian which use a more SysV like layout). I figured out how to use and configure FreeBSD in a matter of minutes. The only difficulty I find is the configuration of the kernel, here is Linux much easier than FreeBSD (this could be better if the FreeBSD kernel config file were better documented). I personally prefer FreeBSD for a server as it has the concept of immutable and append-only files (immutable files can only be changed while in single-user mode) while I prefer Linux (RedHat) or MacOS X Server for workstations.

MSNBC vs. Linux (1)

laetus (45131) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789760)

If you've ever read anything Noam Chomsky [] has had to say about the "media-industrial" complex, you'll have no trouble believing that MS may have indeed inspired just this type of article.

Remember, MS is in it for the kill and will use any resource they have at their disposal to kill Linux. That includes NBC.

Sort of... check this ZDNET article (1)

Nafai7 (53671) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789765)

Call me a bit paranoid, but it seems an interesting coincidence that ZDNET came out with a story [] on this subject. It's possible that MS thinks they can sow confusion in the open source movement by subtley pushing whatever competes with their biggest problem right now... Linux.

Re:Here we go agian. (1)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789769)

Ok, ok, just settle down there cowboy.

Re:Sort of... check this ZDNET article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789770)

Let us all sew confusion amongst the confused sows who're eating all our lettuce.

Re:Anti-Linux Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789783)

Linux has nothing to do with Free Unix. Linux is GNU!

Re:Performance (1)

FigWig (10981) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789786)

Last I heard (read on usenet & web pages, actually) BSDs were still suffering from the coarse grained kernel lock problems that Linux is just getting over. I believe there was a recent benchmark done similar to the Mindcraft test that revealed this.

Of course I forgot exactly where I saw this so I could be completely wrong, or even intentionally deceiving you.

Re:Good article, but... (2)

sterwill (972) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789789)

BSD is not UNIX(TM) [] . In fact, BSD as you probably know it (4.4 Lite) is not derived from any original UNIX source code. In 1994, all code from the USL and Novell was removed and replaced with new code for a "lite" release. Browse [] for more information. It's not the code heritage that makes a UNIX, it's whether you register yourself for the Open Group blessing and the branding rights [] .

Re:I sure hope you aren't a BSD user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789791)

You're wrong. You can't just copy things around between the different Linuxes. They don't work. Wrong libraries. Wrong paths. Wrong everything. There are fifty-two Linuxes and four BSDs. Your choice.

Solaris does the grunt work... (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789793)

They use a bunch of Solaris boxes running a hacked-up qmail to do all the mail work, and BSD for the web frontend. I guess it's just a question of using the proper tool for the job, so it isn't surprising why NT isn't included in that short list.

- A.P.

"One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (1)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789796)

the 52 differant linux splits run pretty much the exact same kernel though...

Look at how many differant versions of system V unix there is :)

I like them both freeBSD and Linux, also Solaris, BeOS, IRIX....

Re:Sure, actually, yeah (1)

Lx (12170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789797)

I work for an ISP, we run all our machines on FreeBSD boxes, and I've talked with many other business associates in the business that run it. Most of us use it on our home machines as well, much preferred to linux.


Re:freeBSD (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789800)

Especially since there was an identical post in the last perl article, which didn't get moderated down.

All hail moderation.

Re:Sort of... check this ZDNET article (1)

markos1-1 (30642) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789802)

I checked your link and then opened a new browser window and looked at MSNBC's artical. Did you notice that they are verbatim copies?

shut up you loser (0)

Haven (34895) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789810)

I bet you read somewhere on your 31337 H4x0R sites that Linux was "w(h)ack"... just shut up...

Poll idea (2)

Plasmoid (8367) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789819)

A new poll idea:
Which is the kewlest Mascot/logo

1)GNU yacc/bison thing(I don't know what exactly it is)
2)BSD Daemon
4)That Salvidor Dali Window(M$ windows logo)
5)Pimp in the RedHat
6)That funky debian penguin

Re:A few comments (1)

digitaldaniel (24033) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789822)

Perhaps Linux and freeBSD could combine to form freeLSD.
Hmmm, freeLSD...somehow I have a feeling this might be taken the wrong way ;-)

Although it does sound like it was developed at Berkley :-)

That sums it up, actually.. (3)

Stone99 (64453) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789824)

That article summed things up pretty well for me, though unwittingly, I think. I've toyed with *nix off and on for the last 6 years, only just a few months ago gone full-Linux, using RH. I played with FreeBSD 2.2.2 through that, and while it was nice, and stable, and easier to configure than I apps!

Maybe this has changed with the FreeBSD 3.x series, but for those of us out there who don't know how to mod our Linux apps (no matter how easy true hackers claim it to be) *BSD isn't worth it. No matter how stable an OS is, if it doesn't DO anything, it's useless.

Linux has the larger share of the publicity and market not because of the 'young hackers' but because it is the only *nix that Joe Average User has a change of understanding and _using_.

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (1)

Lx (12170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789826)

The BSDs regularly steal code from each other and incorporate it. For a while, OpenBSD even used the FreeBSD ports tree. Thing is, I always hear linux users saying how the BSDs are balkanized, etc...

What about CodeWarrior for RedHat?
Oracle for RedHat?

Re:A few comments (2)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789828)

Linux and freeBSD could combine to form freeLSD

I think we used that for a server once, because when we installed it, the computers case started to melt. I tried to run a reboot to see if that would fix it but the india just stood there looking at the sun while Jimmy Hendrix tried to get the Midi interface drivers installed from a remote terminal that was located in the deserst. It had a nice interface though.

Too late now? (1)

hedgehog_uk (66749) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789837)

So the article is saying that it's the older hackers who love BSD. Hardly suprising, really. BSD has traditionally been the 'hackers Unix'. Back then, the big rival was AT&T SysV which was seen as commercial and uncool by hackers. I grew up with BSD in the late 80's on Suns and v.good it was too. I think that BSD lost the momentum when Sun dropped it in favour of the SVR4-based Solaris, perhaps due to pressure from AT&T. I was working at Sun during the internal switch-over, porting software from BSD to Solaris. There were a lot of complaints from developers about how slow Solaris was, compared to the much-loved BSD.

Sadly, I can't really see a resurgence of BSD happening. Linux has the momentum behind it now and, quite frankly, I think that the BSD fans are extremely jealous. I can't really blame them as, had things gone right, it would be BSD vs NT now and no-one would have heard of Linux. But that's not what happened and I'm certainly not complaining as long as I've got a good alternative to M$.


date; talk; touch; unzip; finger; expand; strip; head; mount; yes; yes; yes; eject; more; sleep

Re:Linux's popularity due to GPL? (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789842)

> I wanted to ask the question: what did the move
> of putting Linux under the GPL do for
> attracting developers?

It did a lot, because it opened for commercial distributions, which both made Linux available to a lot more users, and directly could help pay developers.

Linux was originally distributed under a license that forbad commercial use, but a potential distributor (the man behind Yggdrasil?) managed to convince Linus that switching to the GPL (and thus allowing commercial use) would be a good thing.

Of course, the real question is what would have been different if Linus had used a BSD like license. Here we can only guess, but I don't think it would have made a great difference for Linux popularity. It would have helped some of the commercial OS'es (like BeOS) since they would then be able to reuse Linux code, it would have helped Hurd since some GPL purists might have insisted on that. It would have mixed influence on the BSDs. Some anti-GPL purists might support Linux instead of BSD, but the BSD's would be able to use Linux code.

this article hit the point. (3)

Crass Spektakel (4597) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789845)

Funny, it describes the situation quite clear:

BSD crumpled under the struggle of copyright in 1993 (thats was right when I switched from BSD to Linux).

BSD is rockstable (I don`t say that linux isn`t stable, but maybe a little bit less).

But now the point: BSD is boring.

Simply said I don`t run a webserver all day and I don`t type "uptime" all day.

I actually try to work (to some extend :-) and play at my machine. And here we go, the linux-folks is much more "innovative", got the straight target "world domination" instead of "high uptimes".

Beside of that both are very equal - it`s yet another *nix-lookalike. *nix is a tool, like toiletpaper. You use it, but you don`t arguee about it. But you may still prefer the pink one with funny penguins on it :-)

Cross-publishing license (1)

1984 (56406) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789848)

ZDNet has a licensing agreement with MSNBC, under which MSNBC publishes ZDNet stories in its technology section (when relevant). As far as I know, it goes both ways, so ZDNet will sometimes publish MSNBC copy. In case nobody noticed the MSNBC logo on the ZDNet site...

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789850)

BSD is Unix. It is not UNIX(tm). These are different. I'm glad this is straight now.

merging (1)

Lx (12170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789852)

That will NEVER happen, if for no other reason, because people from both camps will never agree on licensing terms.


Re:That sums it up, actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789853)

Excuse me?

Ever hear of the ports collection?
Saying FreeBSD has no apps is ridiculous.

Re:BSD as a server? (1)

jsreece (71347) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789855)

Sure, head-to-head benchmarks have been done. But
they don't often matter in the IT world.

For example, was originally started,
guerilla-fashion, by an Intel CAD group using BSDi. They had numerous benchmarks showing BSDi and Apache blowing away NT and IIS. However, when
Intel IT finally jumped on the Internet bandwagon and took over the site it was quickly
force-marched to IT-standard NT despite the test data. There followed an intensive six-month collaboration process with Microsoft to deal with the resulting reliability/performance issues....

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789857)

If Linux isn't Unix, please try DOS. I understand it's not Unix either. I guess that means that Linux is really DOS.

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789858)

To quote the OpenBSD homepage...

The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system.

Aren't all the free unices just Unix-a-like?

Re:BSD (1)

jsreece (71347) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789859)

Basic system admin and light development
are pretty much the same.

The /etc startup script arrangements are

BSD filesystems all fit into one fdisk partition.
I like this much better than Linux as I try to
multiboot several OS' on my single-drive home

The superior popularity of Linux is really largely due to a feedback.
A larger critical mass of users mean more
application availability (like Oracle and WordPerfect. Hence more popularity and a
larger mass of users.

Re:Well.. (2)

way_out (2820) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789860)

"One thing that the article missed is the pride of hackerdom."

Quite so! A good UNIX war is about defending your pride rather than degrading your oponent. ;-)

Danger Will Robinson, Danger! (1)

Jonny Royale (62364) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789861)

Uh-Oh, I smell a bait and switch here!
Put up a BSD article, then you see the ad up top. And you think, "Can't be all that bad, can it?" then you click, then your lost!
(Microsoft is not a partner in this posters' soul)

Re:BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789862)

The BSDs can run programs from the Linuxes, but not vice versa.
Whenever feature A can emulate feature B, but not vice versa, we say that A is more powerful than B.
BSD is more powerful than Linux.

Re:Can't read article without Microsoft installed! (0)

Lord of the Pit (71198) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789863)

As I've said before, slashdot IS getting worse.

I am using M$, but a direct link on the index
page of slashdot to M$ is like supporting them

By the way, did you notice the part about
the "young guys with too much spare time" ?

Subversive ! Manipulation !
Why have I even clicked the link to this
Article ?

Oh, I know: I was used to getting only RELEVANT
information from /.

BSD is another Good Old Boys(tm) club (2)

qix (22287) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789864)

One thing you might not realise too, is that like anything that comes from a University and the people deeply embedded in that culture, is that the focus and emphasis is on the small private clicks that form around the institutions, giving rise to that old adage "It's not what you know but who you know". So in BSD, you need to win popularity contests to get your stuff into the system. In linux, however, you only need to demonstrate the technical validity of your proposal. Thus, BSD lags behind in the development arena and has a pathetically small developer community to support it. I also imagine that the several forks of BSD are largely due to interested developers not being able to win popularity contests and thus being forced to fork off the code base in order to get their own stuff added.

Remember that what linus torvalds did was to capitalize on the Internet and the available talent. And he was wildly sucessful in creating a worldwide development team, which in turn has turned out a tremendous product. BSD can't do that because it's about popularity contests and dysfunctional politics. The artical says that the difference, as if it really means anything, is that BSD developers have degrees and 10 years of experience and are managers in their work, while Linux hackers are all unwashed masses without degrees (loosely interpreted). It said it as if that implies a certain quality of the code that won't be found in Linux. Bullshit. The focus should be on technical merits and not who has the more prestegious paper. And in the Linux world that is most certainly the case.

Linux is a truely open develop model that does not discriminate based on popularity contests or worthless peices of paper. It is not about who your sponsor is or what friends you have on the inside or who owes you favors. It's about technical merit.

Re:Good article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789865)

Yes, the free Unix systems are not UNIX(tm). Big deal. strcmp("Unix", "UNIX") != 0

Re:That sums it up, actually.. (1)

Stone99 (64453) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789866)

How about a WYSIWYG word processor you don't need a month's training to use day to day? Or an easy-to-find MP3 player with an intuitive interface? Or even...a web browser, so you can post snarky replies about bloatware with a minimum or effort and sweat? (That was my BIG beef about FreeBSD 2.2.2)

Sure, you, me, and many of the people on this site could do everything by command line and Meta-keys...but John Doe can't, doesn't want to, and shouldn't have to. If it makes it more comfortable, and increases the userbase, bloat isn't all evil.

When *BSD is as easy to use, configure, and setup for my own personal needs and wants as Linux, I'll switch. Not a moment before.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789872)

BSD has very primitive SMP support. That is to say, Net and Open have none (yet), and Free has the monolithic kernel lock that Linux had in 1.2 days.

For server performance, I see 6MB/s read and 4.7MB/s write over NFS to our fileserver. (Server is a FreeBSD PII 350MHz with 128MB RAM and barely notices the load). I quite happly compile over NFS.

Also, it hasn't crashed, ever.

Re:A few comments (1)

Neuroprophet (12311) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789874)

I could go for some freeLSD.
Wow, look at all the pretty colors!
Imagine what the code would look like...

I don't see why BSD and Linux users flame each other. Everybody keeps saying that a big part of the free software (in the sense that it doesn't cost anything) movement is about freedom of choice. Then everybody spends time and energy flaming each other for making different choices (*BSD,*nix, etc.). Is it just me or does this seem amazingly hypocritical?

Re:merging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789876)

I can't imagine the pro-freedom crowd ever reconciling their differences with the pro-virus crowd.

Isn't this obvious? (0)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789877)

It's a gnu. Like in the Flanders and Swann song, "I'm a g-nu".
Put Hemos through English 101!

Re:Good article, but... (2)

eponymous cohort (8637) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789880)

Really? Hmm, what is GNU an acronym for again?

Re:I sure hope you aren't a BSD user (2)

Joe Patry (1448) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789882)

You can say the same about BSD, if you have different library versions on different machines you won't get the binaries to work right either. Linux systems have one thing in common, the same kernel. Will I have problems copying a binary linked against libfoo 1.5 to a system with libfoo 1.0? Yes. Is that Linux specific? No.

Bill Gates (1)

eponymous cohort (8637) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789883)

The only reason Gates says that is so that he can refer to Linux as "30-year old" technology in the next breath.

Re:BSD (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789884)

Linux also has immutable and append only files. man chattr. on linux in order to edit an immutable file you need to remove the immutable bit. if you modify the kernel (maybe this is possible as a command line option) to have securelevel == 1 instead of 0 it disallows the changing of these attributes. On the down side last I checked you could very easily write a module that would change the securelevel back to 0. I did it in about 30 seconds and i know next to nothing about writing modules for linux. Maybe this has changed with more recent versions. I really don't know.

binary compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789885)

I'm no expert on operating systems, but the important issue here, it seems to me, is binary compatibility. If Linux programs can be run on BSD and vice-versa, then we have a friendly competition. Otherwise we have potential fratricide and Microsoft wins. It's that simple. Technical superiority is a side issue.

Just for my own education, are they binary compatible?

Russ Paielli

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789886)

Sure, those are only for Redhat now, but the other Linux OS's will get them supported eventually.

BSD -- More arrogant users...? (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789888)

In my experience, it seems that, while the OS is first-rate (I *really* like FreeBSD, for example), its higher-echelon users (the coders, maintainers, etc) are, for the most part, really horrid, arrogant people.

Have a look at the FreeBSD mailinglists sometime. I have a friend who's been using the OS for 5 or 6 years now, since back in the days of FreeBSD 1.x. He asked a rather difficult question on the -questions mailinglist a month or so ago, and was torn to shreds by the denizens of the list, who seem hell-bent on ego-stroking rather than offering any real help. He was treated as if he'd just installed the thing and he *certainly* was no "newbie" to the BSD scene.

Take a look at some of the comments here. I bet you'll see a lot of "Hah! I TOLD you so!"'s. Again, more blatant egomaniacal behavior offering little to no substance. Fun stuff.

This is the kind of crap I've come to expect from BSD people; I've come to the conclusion that, while a lot of linux users are clueless, a lot of BSD users are heartless, and it seems to be a pretty even trade-off.

- A.P.

"One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

Re:That sums it up, actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789889)

What's an "app"? Bloatware? Fancy screensavers? Fleeceware?

Big pile of crap (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789891)

"You can't just copy things around between the different Linuxes."

I have an ancient Slackware box I've been upgrading diligently for the past few years by hand. The other day I needed a copy of sshd 1.x, but I was buggered if I was going to download the whole thing and recompile it (I already had all the other crap compiled). FTP'd over to my friend's Debian 2.1 box, grabbed his copy, it ran fine. I can run libc6 binaries from another friend's Redhat 6 machine on mine, and have done so. I can run my own libc5 binaries from another old machine if I need to. I routinely compile binaries on my machine and run them on others' machines. Saves me from having to drag all my source code over to their boxes (I only have a 56k modem link) and do it there. Never have I had a problem with it, and I've been doing this for years.

There is *one* Linux. There are *several* distributions. There is *one* Linux kernel. When you hear Alan Cox announce that he's forking the codebase, you can call me and we'll talk.

- A.P.

"One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

Re:BSD (1)

Bud^- (70689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789898)

Only a score of 3 points, that post rocked! Give it _ATLEAST_ a 12

hmmm (1)

Nafai7 (53671) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789899)

sorry guys... I had ran across the ZDNET article earlier, and I admit that I just read the first couple lines of the MSNBC one. I realize now that they are the same...

anyway, my point about MS using BSD as a "weapon" is still valid. We should keep an eye out and see if we start seeing more articles that attack linux.

*sigh* ok flame me... I commited a sin. I posted before reading the whole article...

Re:Poll idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789900)

The daemonized Tux is the best one. You know, the one with him with horns and a trident. Must be slackware. :-_)

Re:Hotmail / Microsoft (1)

Lord of the Pit (71198) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789901)

No they didn't.

The whole Article is biased towards M$.

I wonder: Hell, why does an M$NBC Article show
up on slashdot anyway ?

There isn't even information in this article - it's redundant ! I leared this much about
GPL vs BSD licenses just by listening comp.os.freebsd.misc for 2 days !

I thinks slashdot is getting worse.

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789902)

>The other main advantage that
> Linux has for me is the applications that are >being ported to Linux more and more.

You can use 99.99% Linux binaries on BSD

Right tool for the job. (3)

D3 (31029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789903)

I really wish some of these articles would focus on the concept of using the best OS for a particular function. When we decided to get some network sniffers running for Intrusion Detection we went with OpenBSD for their security and top notch packet filter that tells an accurate assesment of the number of packets dropped. Linux will tell you it never drops any packets because it doesn't really know. Solaris is the same way.

However, when we needed a logging box running RAID and SMP, the documentation for *BSD (free versions) was not clear. Linux OTOH had both RAID and SMP support that was clean and ready to go.

To me, any ISP or serious admin will not restrict themselves to one OS as the solution to all their problems. Add free to functional as being the two biggest factors for a server OS to be implemented and your choices are Linux and *BSD. Do your research on what you need and then go with what fits.

Re:BSD -- Wiser users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1789906)

Even if all 52 were the same kernel -- and they're not -- this doesn't solve the problem. The different versions of these Linux operating systems have completely different administration issues. Ok, you don't have 57 Flavorful Varieties, but they're as different in some cases as SunOS and Solaris.

Re:Poll idea (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789907)

> 1)GNU yacc/bison thing(I don't know what
> exactly it is)

I strongly suspect it is a gnu.

Re:Good article, but... (Ownership of UNIX) (1)

Enry (630) | more than 15 years ago | (#1789909)

The reason that everyone says Linux is UNIX-LIKE is not because of its source code heritage (which has absolutely no bearing on how good it is), but based on the fact that the term UNIX is owned by SCO. If you want to say that you have a UNIX, then you have to pay SCO and pass all their pretty little tests.
Somehow I don't think you can legally call *BSD UNIX either, not unless you paid for and passed all the tests.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?