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BSD Operating Systems

The BSDs in the WSJ: "Help Build the Web" 290

Posted by Hemos
from the yesterday-but-it's-still-worth-it dept.
conio writes "The Wall Street Journal published an article on Friday about the open-source BSDs (mainly FreeBSD) and how they're silently serving the Net. " This was submitted yesterday quite a bit, but was in the pay area-thankfully it's free reading now. Good to see BSD get some of the limelight.
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The BSDs in the WSJ: "Help Build the Web"

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  • Try http://www.freebsd.org/~3d/ [freebsd.org]

    It's a few days out of date (No 3.3.5 yet), but I'm sure the avid gamers will figure it out... Or look at http://glx.on.openprojects.net/ [openprojects.net]

    Like most third party software, the source code used for FreeBSD (the other BSD's) and Linux is the same, and so the feature set is pretty much the same.

    Regards,
    -Jeremy

  • hmm.. well, I'm not quite sure about that. From my understanding, only the Berkeley code was stripped of the advertisement. On the rest of the BSD code, which is everything else, it either has the clause or doesn't.

    Sure, now the BSD networking code is largly free, due to UCB. But, Berkeley didn't write all the code in NetBSD, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD, did they? Others tacked on their varient of the clause, while others took it off entirely.

    On the GNU website where they recomend the GPL over the BSDL [gnu.org] (obviously was slightly updated due to the p.3 removal), they like to give their propiganda speeches, etc. I'm already a bit disgusted of the GNU project from just reading that.. but that's just becuase I don't see them as freedom fighters, more of lobbyists.

    What they say there, if you go read, is that FreeBSD agreed to change once it was asked of them (I find that shows the maturity of the people on BSD side), etc. That doesn't mean everyone uses the new BSDL, many have their varient.

    I also don't want to start a big war (would be fun if others were up to discussing it in a rational, logical way), on whether the clause was better or not. In some ways, I think it was a protection against the GPL'ing of BSD, which snobby zealots like to talk about, saying they'd love to create another fork, etc. GPL'ing for the good of the community I can understand and be behind, but I really can't imagine anyone being that grown up to do it.

    And people already are working on it. Some take BSD code and submit it to the GPL groups (this happened in reverse once. I (believe) it was NetBSD that accidentally had GPL code in it and they immediately removed it. Its nice GNU didn't laugh at them and force the rest of the surrounding code GPL'd). Others claim they are working on removing any code with clause 3 in FreeBSD and GPL'ing it (someone from CMU said they were doing this (on slashdot). True or not, some one s bound to try). It just goes on, and on...

    But your right, it would be the true test. And I really can't see it as helping BSD. I would suspect that once its GPL'd, the popularity of Linux means it will be imbedded in that system. Insead of BSD getting better, it will be leeched for its treasures. Linux will get better, Linux will get the credit, Linux will get the publicity, Linux will get the developers, and BSD will be hurt. Its legal, but its disrespectful to the groups.

    It would be just like going to a user/news group and starting a license flame war. It was done to piss them off, to show that you can, and the thrill (I believe) is your going into their homes and and trying to demean them. Its really quite childish, which I think over the year both sides have basicly admitted to and try to stop it. But GPL'ing BSD code just to do it and put it in Linux is the same. At least that's my opinion, others may disagree.
  • >didn't the *bsd flavors of unix had what, 20 years to get their act togethe

    Act together? Hrmmm, considering Sun (perhaps you have heard of them) BUILT their company on the back of BSD, it looks like the BSD act has been together for some time.
    OR how every major Unix has BSD compatibility libs?

    Apple is using BSD in their Mac OS X.
    IBM is using BSD in thier thin client, and the InterJet.
    (are you willing to say that neither Apple nor IBM have their act together?)

    And a bonus clue for your flamebait:

    Linus is on record as saying that *IF* AT&T wasn't suing BSD, there would not be Linux...he would have been using BSD.

    Back to the de-bunking:

    >Then came linux and now the *bsd users have had it and are beginning to come around. I applaud
    them for selling and marketing and creating hype about there product which is what they should of
    done 20 years ago.

    Repeat after me.
    BSD before 4.4 had AT&T licened code.

    Do you UNDERSTAND what that means? It means that only ACEDEMICS could afford a AT&T source licence for AT&T.
    Do you grasp that to distribute the BSD code, you as the user would have to pay AT&T? And pay them a figure over $5,000. $5000 is a few dollars more than the cheapbytes price for the BSD release.


    >Linux said that linux is made up of 30 full time and
    over 1,000 part time programmers who work on the kernel while freebsd has only 15 guys.

    Errr and exactly WHERE are these numbers from?

    >I believe the *bsd
    group should go gnu to compete with linux.

    Hrmmmm. If that were to happen then Apple, IBM (Thin client, whitle and whomever else they have), the 3 man shop in Milwaukee imbedding BSD, and a whole host of others who work on the kernel and submit changes would all just go away. (Wow. When you Add in Apple and IBM it seems like a whole lot more than 15 people work on BSD. Are you getting the feeling that your 'reasons' are less and less reasonable?)
    Whatever happened to the idea that differences make the whole stronger?

    But, from your post, the whole OpenSource community doesn't enter into your view of the world.




  • you're link dosn't work
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Minor points:

    IBM is *ALSO* 'behind' BSD.
    Whistle Communications
    The Thin client IBM Sells.

    Are 2 examples I am aware of. (Oh, and the Whistle division, like Apple have a history of giving BACK code to the BSD releases)


    So is Intel. (they have given boxes to BSD *AND* Linux developers)

    (And if you want some insight into Apple...read the BSD mailing lists and check out the comments from Apple. It looks like the Darwin decision was a hard fought one....(and given that most of what Darwin is is code that was already published...sorta a no-brainer))


  • Ok. 1. FreeBSD also has a package system that allows you to install binaries. (try /stand/sysinstall) 2. Many compile time options. IE. I wanted to compile the newest vesion of apache -- but you can't just get binaries with both mod_perl and php compiled in -- so i just cd to /usr/ports/www/apache13-php3 and compiled apache13+php3+modssl+freetype with the 'make' command; then compiled in mod_perl, then did make install. There are also many programs that I run into that I like to modify before installing. 3. You are right though, that compiling wasted precious time and cpu. I, however, prefer being able to modify settings before compile and install. Large programs like X, though, I'll just install from /stand/sysinstall.
    ----------
  • I'm sorry, but `my' definition is the standard, accepted definition of an operating system in computer science.

    Funny, when I was in school, I seem to remember people including more than just kernel-mode code - in particular, one operating system partially developed at the school where I went, namely Multics [multicians.org], had very little code running in "kernel mode" (called "master mode" on the GE 6xx machines and their Honeywell successors) - most of it ran in "slave mode", with some running in "ring 0" (no, this was not an x86 processor, so "ring 0" was not equivalent to master mode - even in ring 0 you couldn't execute the instructions to e.g. start an I/O operation), some running in "ring 1", and some running in "ring 4", which was the ring in which user-written code mainly ran.

    Please show some hard evidence that your definition is "the standard, accepted definition of an operating system in computer science".

  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Saturday September 11, 1999 @06:28PM (#1689088)
    ...didn't the *bsd flavors of unix had what, 20 years to get their act together and yet let windows and proprietary unix os's come in without a care in the world

    20 years ago, you had to get a license from AT&T to get BSD, as large parts of the code in BSD were based on AT&T UNIX code that hadn't been replaced. They weren't out for World Domination at that point - but, then, Linus Torvalds wasn't our for World Domination when he started working on his kernel, either, as far as I know....

    and now the *bsd hackers are pissed at linux users and the whole computer world for ignoring them.

    There may well be *BSD hackers who are pissed at Linux users and the whole computer world for appearing to ignore them, but

    1. not all BSD hackers are;
    2. not all Linux users are ignoring BSD and much of the computer world isn't ignoring BSD, either, as the Wall Street Journal article this thread started out with shows.
    They screwed up bad on marketing it, selling it, creating hype about it, and giving it to users.

    To what extent did the Linux community "market it, sell it, and create hype about it"? And where did the "marketing, selling, and hype" about Linux come from? I'm not sure it all came from "the Linux hackers".

    Linus invented linux because he couldn't get a unix os for his 386 pc. freebsd either couldn't run on it or it was accessible at the time.

    FreeBSD (and the other freely-available BSDs) have always run on PCs, as I think FreeBSD and NetBSD both came from 386BSD which was a port of Net-2 to, err, umm, the PC.

    IF I am correct (I could be wrong). The group of *bsd hackers bickered among themselves and fragmented and made a terrible mistake. THe mistake was it wasn't involved with the IBM pc when it first came out.

    The first attempt at a completely-free BSD (with all the AT&T code either replaced or blessed as "OK to give out") was, I think, 386BSD, whence came FreeBSD and NetBSD; the "386" in "386BSD" referred to the 80386, because it was a BSD port to the PC.

    The *bsd group didn't let outsiders contribute code so users who wanted a more powerful OS had to buy a separate OS more proprietary OS like sun os, irix, aix. The fragmentation in unix itself began.

    "The *bsd group" of those days was the Computer Systems Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and they certainly did accept contributions from outsiders. However, not all the stuff Sun, SGI, IBM, etc. did with either AT&T UNIX code or BSD code was necessarily sent back to Berkeley by those companies, and not because the Berkeley folk wouldn't accept it. You can't solely blame Berkeley for the existence of N different flavors of UNIX....

    Unix was crazed by the IS departments until the early 1990's when unix completely became fragmented, proprietary, expensive, and unix companies began bickering among themselves

    That all happened well before the early 1990's; UNIX was well-fragmented by the mid 1980's, with several different proprietary variants, from vendors who largely sold it on their own boxes rather than on, say, IBM-compatible PCs - UNIXes for PCs had existed for a long time, but I don't know how well IN/ix ran on 8088-based PC's (yes, 8088, the one with segmentation but no memory protection), but I suspect it may not have run well enough to push DOS out of the way, and I suspect the same may have been true of the UNIXes for 286-based PCs, although I think Xenix (yes, the Borg's own UNIX, later handed to SCO) may have had a decent market share for small business computers and the like.

    The *bsd crowd ignored bill totally instead of pointing out there fallacies and marketing there OS and they still haven't learned from there mistakes and the source code was still closed and the users ignored average users and were real snotty.

    "The *bsd crowd", if by that you mean the folks at Berkeley and their successors on the {Free,Net,Open}BSD projects, weren't spearheading the commercial UNIX movement - as far as I know, they were building free OSes for their own purposes, which I think was largely what the Linux community was also doing when they started.

    Guess what! Windows took over everything and NT 3.51 came out next and began to steal the unix market.

    Said market was the commercial UNIX market, not the free UNIX "market"....

    Linux has buzz

    Linux has software companies distributing it; for whatever reason, there's no equivalent of Red Hat or SuSE or Caldera or Pacific HiTech or... filling that role for {Free,Net,Open}BSD (no, Walnut Creek CD-ROM isn't in that position, as far as I know), although there is BSDI selling BSD/OS.

    "The *bsd community", if, by that, you mean the developers of {Free,Net,Open}BSD is probably more like the Debian community than like Red Hat or SuSE or... in that regard (although the Debian folk aren't necessarily the official "owners" of all the components that go into their distribution - they're the official source of versions of the kernel, libraries, utilities, etc. that go into a Debian release, but they're not the official home of the Linux kernel or GNU "libc" or...).

    Linux said that linux is made up of 30 full time and over 1,000 part time programmers who work on the kernel while freebsd has only 15 guys.

    The FreeBSD Core Team [freebsd.org] does have 16 members, but the core team, as the list linked to say, "constitutes the project's ``Board of Directors'', responsible for deciding the project's overall goals and direction as well as managing specific areas of the FreeBSD project landscape" - they're not the sole developers of FreeBSD code. The same probably applies to NetBSD and OpenBSD. There are 151 additional "FreeBSD Developers" [freebsd.org] "who have commit privileges and do the engineering work on the FreeBSD source tree", and, according to the Contributing to FreeBSD page in the FreeBSD Handbook [freebsd.org]

    Contrary to what some people might also have you believe, you do not need to be a hot-shot programmer or a close personal friend of the FreeBSD core team in order to have your contributions accepted. The FreeBSD Project's development is done by a large and growing number of international contributors whose ages and areas of technical expertise vary greatly, and there is always more work to be done than there are people available to do it.

    Again, the same may be true of NetBSD and OpenBSD; I'm less familiar with those projects.

    I don't know how many of the core team or the development team work full-time on FreeBSD, so I can't say that FreeBSD has 167 full-time and (some unknown number of) part-time developers (the latter being those who don't have commit privileges but who do contribute code) - and note that this does not say that FreeBSD has more people working on it than are working on Linux systems, as I don't know if those "30 full time people" counts only people working on the kernel or also counts people working on GNU "libc", GNU utilities that aren't also used in the BSDs, etc..

    However, it does suggest that "freebsd has only 15 guys" is a big oversimplification.

    There could well be more people working on the stuff that goes into a Linux distribution and that doesn't also go into the BSDs or that isn't also available for BSD (people working on XFree86 aren't "Linux developers", as their stuff goes into the BSDs as well, and the folks working on KDE, at least, aren't "Linux developers", either, as binary packages of KDE 1.1.1 are available for FreeBSD and possibly the other BSDs) than are working on FreeBSD, but this doesn't mean that FreeBSD, or any of the other BSDs, are ipso facto doomed.

    I believe freebsd had the unix code already and was around over 12 years longer then linux

    12 years before today is 1987; FreeBSD didn't exist then, and Linux didn't just show up today, so FreeBSD wasn't around 12 years longer than Linux. Much of the BSD code was around before Linux existed, but much of the GNU and other code that goes into a Linux distribution was around before Linux existed as well, so I'm not sure {Free,Net,Open}BSD had as big a head start as you seem to think (it did have one, as far as I know, but not a 12 year head start).

  • Win32 is no more an OS than POSIX.

    That was the point I was making.

  • I see the BSD vs Linux debates as not really much different than the Redhat vs Slackware vs Debian vs Caldera vs Suse ..... (and on and on).

    Different strokes for different folks.

    We should all be working together to promote the similarities as well as the diversities. Ideally I should be able to plug in different versions or totally different code for applications, daemons, libraries, and even the kernel itself. Of course what makes one system unique can impede that to a degree.

    Now if I can only find someone that will really help me try to get my 3.1 CD installed, instead of telling me that my hardware, which runs Linux and Windows just fine, is broken. Maybe I should try a net install instead.
  • and apt-get install apache is certainly less typing than feeding the whole (sometimes very long and akward) URL to pkg_add on FreeBSD

    I may well have typed a full URL to pkg_add once, but, most of the time, I just use the -r flag and give pkg_add the package name.

  • In short, the operating system is the software that runs in system space (aka kernel space). Anything that runs in user space is, by definition, not a part of the OS.

    That may be your definition of OS.

    It is not my definition of OS.

    Yes, any application running on a system with a UNIX-flavored system call interface and APIs implemented atop that could, in theory, be written solely using system calls by replacing all the non-system-call APIs by reimplementations of those APIs.

    However:

    1. it's not clear whether this would, in general, be a useful undertaking;
    2. the rewritten application (or, for that matter, a statically-linked application not rewritten in that fashion) might not function entirely as desired when run on a later version of that system (consider, for example, a system in which "gethostbyname()" merely read "/etc/hosts" - if somebody wrote their own "gethostbyname()" into their application, and a later release of the OS replaced that "gethostbyname()" with one that determined from a "/etc/nsswitch.conf" file whether to use "/etc/hosts" or NIS or NIS+ or DNS or... to look up host names, an application dynamically linked with "gethostbyname()" would automatically pick up the new behavior, but a statically-linked application, or one that used only system calls and read "/etc/hosts" itself, wouldn't;

    so I don't consider "an OS is the software that runs in kernel mode" a particularly useful definition (especially given that there may well be machines that have a more fine-grained privilege level than just kernel vs. user).

    I'm not sure what the right definition of "OS" is, but I tend to consider anything that, if removed, would keep the system from running usefully to be part of the OS, which means that, at a minimum, that includes, on a modern UNIX-flavored system, init, the shell that runs the "rc" files, the commands run from the "rc" files as distributed and configured by system installation, and the shared libraries with which those programs are linked - and if that brings in "libc", well, the "libc" in most Linux distributions is either derived from a GNU "libc" or is a GNU "libc", so....

    Yes, some of the stuff that falls into that category may also run on other systems, but I don't consider that sufficient reason to consider it "not part of the OS" on a system where it's a standard component of that system - GNU "libc" isn't "part of the OS" if the system has its own "libc", but if the system's "libc" is GNU "libc", I consider that a different matter.

  • If the kernel is the OS, then I'd appreciate it if you start referring to the "Win32 OS" from now on.

    Win32 isn't actually implemented by the NT kernel - the NT kernel implements its own programming interface [sysinternals.com], which is used by the libraries and Win32 subsystem process that implement Win32.

    This, arguably, even more strongly emphasizes the point that the OS isn't ipso facto the kernel, if the kernel of some system doesn't directly implement any of its API, unlike UNIX-flavored systems where at least some of the API tends to be direct system calls, even though a lot of it isn't.

  • wow.. what a load. I think the two earlier replies strongly defeated your claims, and pointed out the weaknesses to your argument. But it was a good argument.

    I just have two points to add:

    I believe the *bsd group should go gnu to compete with linux.

    Please tell me how this makes any sense? I keep hearing this, but I really don't see the point in the argument.

    First, even it might be impossible to track down all of the people who contributed and somehow get them all to agree to a new license. Do you think Linux could do the same? Everyone must agree, and then even after that there's likely some other legal tidbits to work out. Its just crazy.

    I remember when GNU/RMS and others attacked free *BSDs, especially FreeBSD, saying they were unstable as the group could just go closed source, and exploit its user base to buy upgrades. That's just as illogical. Even if FreeBSD, Inc. tried to do that, its code is still BSD'd, and enough programmers would split and take over. That was just creating FUD, and saying BSD needs to GPL itself to compete is just more FUD.

    Oh, and lets not forget another catch. Why would you want all these OSes under a GPL? That competes with Linux, and as Linux is the hype, it makes absolutely no sense for BSDs. If you claim BSD's would thus get more programmers, how? Lots of BSD hackers like the BSDL better, and BSD would lose much of its community, as many companies use BSD code in their products. Microsoft uses BSD networking code, as a small example. Would they if it were GPL, nope. Would small startups based on networking use it? Nope. Would Sun have ever used it, back in the day. I doubt it.

    So, please tell me where any shread of logic is in this statement. I really would like to know, honestly. I can't figure out why so many Linux users say this. Is it just monkey-do, monkey-see, or is there some twisted (or untwisted) logic to it? And please, don't say 'because I like the GPL better.' That doesn't explain why its a good stratigy.

    Secondly,

    Linux is accelerating faster then *bsd while the community scoffed and ignored linux and now like the rabbit in the story it may be too late for freebsd unless it radically changes.

    Again, I beg to differ. The community that scoffed was mostly the Windows/Mac/OS2 and commercial UNIX/non-UNIX (server/workstation) community. Sure, BSD hackers had some ego on their part, they deserved it, they were mostly proffesional programmers verse a mixture of proffesional and non-proffestionals. The community was a bit kinder to BSD because of its license and academic background. That's about it.

    Shall we create some affirmative action plan because Linux at one point was 'scoffed' at? Maybe we need to start trading developers, saying every 10 bad remark ever said.. wait, ever thought against Linux deserves to force 1 BSD developer to convert. Nah, wouldn't work. And this is all beside the point, because calling Linux the underdog isn't all that accurate either.

    I'd actually incline to say that line has no relevant meaning at all. Here's a bit from SVLUG's history, [svlug.org] back in the day when it reformed its UNIX SIG into a free UNIX SIG, and tried to pick which brand to support...

    "The fight for which system was best continued through 1993. In December we had a combined meeting with SVNet where we had speakers comparing Linux, NetBSD and Coherent. By then 386BSD itself was drifting away because of the lack of updates, and the 2 groups, NetBSD and FreeBSD, were fighting for control. At the same time there were many happy users of Coherent that were willing to spend $99 for a system that had a number you could call for support. 1993 was also the year Linux on CD-ROM became popular. Linux won over *BSD because of the "fear, uncertainty and doubt" about putting Net/2 on a CD-ROM and getting sued. In 1993 we lost the Cupertino library and moved to the meeting room attached to the Carl's Jr restaurant at First and Trimble in North San Jose.

    "In Februrary 1994 we had a meeting discussing the newly released NetBSD 0.9. In August 1994 SVNet had a meeting where Bill and Lynn Jolitz demostrated their 386BSD Release 1.0. There were a few *BSD holdouts, but by this time the rest of the group had all gone with Linux. In December our listing in the Mercury News (which was the only announcement that month) was changed from "PC Unix SIG" to "PC Unix/Linux SIG", and our attendance jumped from 12 to 20. It became clear that the community interest was in Linux, and we should probably change our name."


    Maybe I should mention SVLUG is the oldest, debated as the largest, and is definately one of the most active LUGs. Just take a glance at it, and you'll see many of the old and new media blitzes that revolved around Linux users came through their handywork. The Burn all Gifs day was the most recent, started by a member. They did a good job on the Refund Day (I believe it was a few LUGs working together), etc. Many splended things, and many great members.

    But please.. can someone explain the GPL thing. It really boggles me.
  • may be you'll know about people like Bill Joy and the great work he did on the original AT&T Unix creating the BSD branch, and Kirk McKusik too, he did the FFS, and all worldwide contributors before the Internet that helped to make BSD the best Unix in 1980

    Bill Joy and Kirk McKusick were at Berkeley when they did their work, so they're not counterexamples to the allegation that the BSD people didn't accept outside contributions.

    Robert Elz of (if I remember correctly) the University of Melbourne may be a better example - he (and perhaps other people there) did the disc quota code that got into 4.2BSD.

    SLIP was another external contribution - Rick Adams at Computer Consoles, Inc. did an implementation of the IP-over-serial-lines encapsulation that 3Com's UNET product (a non-BSD-based TCP/IP stack for UNIX) used, as we needed it for a project we were doing at CCI for the US Naval Surface Weapons Center, and sent it back to Berkeley.

    e2fs is a great fs but was not adopted by any vendor/project, why?

    Vendors didn't want to drop a GPLed file system amidst their non-GPLed software?

    A number of vendors have, in a sense, adopted ext2fs - Red Hat, SuSE, Pacific HiTech, Caldera, etc. provide it as part of their operating system offerings. :-) (I.e., I suspect vendors tend to pick up the Linux kernel, or a Linux distribution, in its entirety, rather than picking up pieces of it.)

  • But we aren't lying you are looking at it the wrong way. Imagine you have to sell a beer, will you put ugly people in your beer commercial? NO! Will you be lying because not only attractive people will drink the beer? No! No one actually believes that drinking beer will make them attractive and so forth but people are more likely to use something if it is associated with good looking people.

    Similar issue for Linux. Yes go out and tell everyone that GNU coded most of it just like a little blurb at the bottom of a beer add saying (beer does not make you sexy) this will comunicate the information without hurting the media attention.

    Yes, I grant that RMS has been a driving force behind free software. I am not saying he is bad, merely, this particular insistance is counterproductive. I don't care if Jesus Christ himself had created linux from void if it doesn't make the world a better place to put his name in the title (JesusOS) then he shouldn't demand it be put there.
  • FreeBSD is more of a standard *NIX, than Linux is.

    In what sense?

    I was recently informed that Hotmail which is owned by M$ runs FreeBSD. I originaly thought that Hotmail ran Solaris and HP, which was why M$ ported its IE to thoses platforms

    I'd not heard that Hotmail ran HP-UX, just a mixture of Solaris and FreeBSD.

    I'd also not heard that this had anything whatsoever to do with Microsoft's choice of platforms to which to port IE; the impression I had was that some customers wanted to standardize on one browser for all platforms in the company, including their UNIX boxes, and that they ported IE to the platforms that would help them the most in getting those customers to choose IE.

    The choice of platforms probably also depended on the platforms for which Mainsoft's [mainsoft.com] MainWin "Win32-atop-UNIX" platform was available, as that's how they did the port; it doesn't appear to be available on any x86 UNIX, just AIX on RS/6000's, HP-UX on PA-RISC machines, IRIX on SGI MIPS machines, Solaris on SPARC machines, and Digital^H^H^H^H^H^H^HTru64 UNIX on Alpha. Whether this is the result of Microsoft not wanting competition on PCs or not is an interesting question, to which I don't know the answer.

  • I've actually been running the linux Xserver that nVidia provides + their GLX driver for playing Q1/2/3test, etc. Works fine under emulation except I can't drop to a console without crashing X. I'd switch up to fBSD XFree 3.3.5 but Q3test went crazy on me when I tried.

    SBLive support is non-existant at this point and probably will continue to be until Creative opens the specs/OSS releases their driver. For the time being I'm using an AWE32 in it's place.
  • I'm a win32 user (ok, it sucks), but I will go to linux or unix with my new computer.
    So I doubted between RedHat (they come in a very nice box, unfortunatly it costs a lot so I downloaded it) or freeBSD (I liked the devil).

    But after all the doubts I desided to use RedHat and FreeBSD.
    First I'm going to try RedHat, then FreeBSD. Then I will deside what's the best one and then use that one.
    If u haven't tried a piece of software yet, you can't make up if it is good or not.

    So to all u who are shouting at the other OS (linux, Unix Beos, I don't care) just try the other ones. They are probably all better than Win32 :)


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  • I'm glad the author didn't say that, because it's not true. Minix is under a more restrictive license than Linux, so Linus could not use any Minix code for Linux. Linus did early development under Minix though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What Linux advocates say often has little to do with reality.

    As to the `Win32 OS', there isn't any such thing. In Windows NT 3.51 and earlier versions of the NT OS, Win32 was simply a user-mode subsystem. Essentially, the NT OS provided a Win32 emulation layer, along with a POSIX emulation layer, an OS/2 emulation layer, etc. In Windows NT 4.0, a large portion of the Win32 layer (including the window manager and the graphical device interface) was moved into system space (to improve performance), and this can now reasonably be considered part of the NT OS itself. Nevertheless, there is still a Win32 subsystem which runs in user space, and which completes the implementation of the Win32 layer.

    Once again, there is no `Win32 OS'. Windows NT (soon to be called Windows 2000) is not the same operating system as Windows 98 (or Windows 95). Both implement the Win32 API, but the underlying operating systems are completely different.

    If you find this difference hard to grasp, consider the number of operating systems which implement the POSIX API (including IBM's OS/390, which nobody in his right mind would claim is the same operating system as, say, SunOS).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Someone hasn't been reading Bugtraq lately. *Lots* o' BSD exploits lately. To claim that FreeBSD is *inherently* more secure than Linux is nothing more than silliness. OpenBSD, maybe...but only when appropriate services are running, and the system is regularly updated.

    Linux vs. BSD is mostly a matter of taste. And license advocacy.

  • Article seems like mostly a rehash of what every other BSD vs. Linux article is saying. This is mostly a fluff piece.

    They don't get into why it's used by some of the heavily hit sites on the Internet.
  • Even the best version of Linux still seems thrown together compared with BSD. Try "man diff" or "man getyx" on Linux. No answer. Now try it on BSD. Even when Linux doesn't tell you to go blow, it's still inferior. Compare "man 4 tty" on Linux and BSD, for example.

    Don't you mean that the documentation is inferior? I agree that Linux' man pages are lacking but that has nothing to do with stability of the OS itself.

    Each OS has it's own good and bad sides. FreeBSD is more suited as heavy traffic server, then again Linux is more suited for small businesses, since it is easier to install and easier to configure (in my own humble opinion.

    Why can't everyone just get along? It's bad enough that there's so much bickering between *BSD and Linux advocates -- after all it's all Unix.

  • i'm pretty sure you're right on that...wasn't the first distribution, like SLS or somthing? Anyway, what's with Linux people calling it a FreeBSD distribution and such anyway? there is ONE FreeBSD, which for all intensive purposes is NOT NetBSD, or OpenBSD. they are different operating systems, unlike RedHat, Caldera, and SuSE Linux's, which are all pretty much the same thing. if you compile a copy of something on a RedHat system, it will most likely work on a Caldera system or what ever, assumning you have the same C libs. If i compile something on FreeBSD, NetBSD may not run it, but OpenBSD has an emulator for FreeBSD binaries (which show obviouse lack of binary compatablility in the first place)

    bsDaemon
    dfree@inna.net
  • by Kitsune Sushi (87987) on Saturday September 11, 1999 @06:07AM (#1689126)

    "The free programs are all variants of the venerable Unix system invented by AT&T Corp. And they aren't just running Yahoo. While Microsoft almost never talks about it, its own Hotmail free e-mail service runs not on its flagship Windows NT but on FreeBSD."

    I wouldn't want to talk about either, since when Microsoft first acquired Hotmail, they switched over all the servers to Windows NT. Needless to say, their setup experienced mild "difficulties" as NT tried to handle the all the user load, and failed.. miserably.. After a short period (not short enough for many, I'm sure) they were forced to switch back. And they call their systems "advanced"?

    "The Linux saga is already the stuff of modern legend. In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old student in Helsinki, began writing an operating system essentially from scratch so he could have something to use on his home computer. The programs FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD, by contrast, are the descendants of code written in the late 1970s and early 1980s at UC Berkeley."

    Oh please. No matter how technically accurate or inaccurate the media is, they always leave out some important aspects. I know I sound like a broken record, but I feel as if this is an important issue which needs to be addressed. Is there any way we can let the media know that we have GNU/Linux today because of both the GNU Project and Linus Torvalds, and not just Linus? Public perception is a big deal.. the only thing people listen to are just PR issues, anyway. Any insights on this? I don't believe I've heard of any before.

    Ugh. Just killed article window. Too lazy to reopen. Hmm.. "no ego about letting people use their software"? I think I got that right, and it sounds egotistical in and of itself. What, GNU/Linux was all written by just one person? Ha!

  • Er, I have never had either FreeBSD *or* Linux crash on me in as long as I can remember. To claim one is more stable than the other and use it as a selling point strikes me as rather ill-informed.

    I've got a FreeBSD box on one side of this room that's been up for 169 days, and a Linux box on the other side of the room that's been up for 168 days. Which is more stable? Flip a coin.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Actually, I was going to mention Java, but even talking about its performance issues these days hurts my head. I mean, for all Sun promised when it originally came out, I think its funny that most people can't think of anything more useful to do with it than slow the loading time of Web pages I visit considerably.

    I realize that the chances of a program running on all systems/processors/whatever else isn't the most likely thing in the world to happen, though it would be nice if people diversified just a little bit instead of writing for one specific platform. Reminds me of the argument of producing games for consoles rather than general OSes I was involved with a little while back on the recent PSX 2 delayed again story..

  • First, even it might be impossible to track down all of the people who contributed and somehow get them all to agree to a new license. Do you think Linux could do the same? Everyone must agree, and then even after that there's likely some other legal tidbits to work out. Its just crazy.

    I don't think this is correct. Since you can already take the code and stick it into whatever you want, proprietary or otherwise, there is no reason whatsoever that you could not redistribute it under the GPL. You're not changing the copyright; you're just adding licensing terms, which the BSD license allows you to do.

    The biggest obstacle in the past was the advertising clause, but even that is being removed now.

    As for why some people think this would be a good idea, this is my guess:

    People have many theories as to why Linux has achieved the popularity among users and companies that it has. Usually among these theories is the idea that volunteer programmers are more likely to contribute to a project that forbids the proprietarization of their code than to one that does not. This may or may not be true; it's a tough one to prove.

    So, if you buy that theory, the thought goes...by going to the GPL, BSD would lose some hackers (the hard-core BSDL advocates), but pick up more in return. Of course, it's just that a theory, and an untested one at that. I don't really know that things would work out that way. A reasonable counter argument is that there are only so many hackers of the GPL persuasion, and Linux is already using those resources.

    My guess is that with the removal of the advertising clause, someone is going to try to start a GPL BSD project. That will be the true test; we'll just see how many developers they pick up, and whether developers are lost from Linux, the BSDs, or neither.

    --
    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

  • Anyone seen the title of the GNU Project's [gnu.org] Web page lately? What do those first three words say? Let's not confuse the issue.. And as far as "childish whining" goes, I don't see why so many people are so eager to drag Stallman down and kick him a few dozen times or so. Do you honestly believe he hasn't contributed anything to our community?

  • Now that's the first time in a while I've gotten a really good laugh.. All I can say is that I didn't mean -that- kind of sexy..! *grin*

  • Allow me to clarify.. I don't care if you call it GNU/Linux. I care about the fact that people say Linus wrote the Linux OS. GNU stuff, Linux, and all that other neat nifty software we love so dear was written by many people all over the world. Linus is sexy, but he isn't -that- damn sexy.

  • "Lying to get more market share doesn't sound like a very good thing to me. If it takes that to get market share, fuck market share. I'd rather have integrity. That's something Richard M. Stallman has plenty of."

    I love everything in that post, but this I feel I must remark upon. Lying to to get market share is the tactic of Microsoft we see quite arguably the most often. Half-truths, outright lies, and other misconceptions aren't what we need. If we want to be different or better, we should follow up on those things with more than just bashing Microsoft. However, if we just want to flex our muscle and crush everything in sight in any way possible, why are we even bothering with what we are doing in the first place? There's more than enough of that to go around..

  • "When will you *ALL* come to the conclusion that "A rising tide can float all boats", and instead of running about drilling holes in the other boats, agree on what we all can agree on. That OpenSource is good, and getting vendors who wish to run on "OpenSource" OSes should write there code so it can run on *ALL* the OSes. (Hint: Think Linux compatible Binaries. )"

    Actually I think the idea of programs that run on all the different free operating systems like Linux, the BSD trio, etc. is a rather critical issue. Of course, I see a growing number of programs that run only on Linux for Intel.. We should all have a choice. We should be able to choose our OS, our hardware, and whatever software we damn well please without being restricted by the first two things we would like to have a choice on. A growing number of people seem to be losing sight of this, however..

  • Having used both Linux and FreeBSD, they both have there plusses and minuses.

    I have found that most Linux distributions are easier to install. The install is rather straight forward. Linux distributions do things like letting the user do the partitioning, and they do not recommend any partitioning schemes.

    I have also noticed that Linux and its new spotlight has made the 2.2 kernel series less stable than they should be. There seems to be a public driving force that is causing a need for features and comprimising the stability of the kernel.

    FreeBSD does not seem to be suffering from this thou. There install is not that difficult, but it is not as friendly as most Linux distros. There stability has not been comprimised by the need to support new hardware, and all sorts of features.

    FreeBSD is more of a standard *NIX, than Linux is. The good part of FreeBSD is that most Linux software has been ported over to FreeBSD. So it is possible to have most of the same software that you have on a Linux box running on your FreeBSD box, should you choose to go that route. This includes Gnome, KDE, Windomaker, and afterstep, and many of there associated programs, as well as many of the other commonly found programs.

    FreeBSD does also have a dependancy checking mechanism in there installation, so that dependancy problems can be resolved. This is similar to rpm or deb of Linux.

    On another note, I did notice that the article had mentioned that Microsoft was being threatened by the free software. While this may be true, I was recently informed that Hotmail which is owned by M$ runs FreeBSD. I originaly thought that Hotmail ran Solaris and HP, which was why M$ ported its IE to thoses platforms. If Hotmail does run on FreeBSD, then why did M$ not port there IE to that platform instead?

  • Yeah.. Sure. Well, whatever. There has been free software for a while, yes, but up until now, who has paid attention to any of it? The public? Certainly not. Who's paying attention now, and why? Because of who? Most of us with any sense know the answers to those questions, whether we agree with them or not. It's really no surprise this was an AC post. I'm not sure I agree with the "necessary evil" thing anymore.

  • I don't care whether people call it "Linux" or "GNU/Linux" or "Roland the headless Thomson gunner"

    Hey, I like this. I might start calling it "Roland the headless Thomson gunner". The only problem is that it's kinda long...

    We'd need to get rid of Tux, too. Anybody got a good image of a headless Thomson gunner?

  • Linus is sexy,

    Who says that the new Internet Media isn't changing people's perceptions?

    I understand it now. Linus came to the US to take up a career as a Supermodel. It only makes sense, really. He could have worked for Transmeta from Finland, but you have to go to Paris, London, Japan or the US to be a Supermodel!

  • These articles are *good*. Please accept that.

    It seems to me that people here feel they have ownership over these issues and have trouble with other media covering them.

    In a way, I can understand. These things are covered much better here. Perhaps some of the mass media could have Slashdot readers/contributors do collaborative articles. This could help fund Slashdot.

    I don't have a good idea about such a thing could be organized, but it would be neat.

  • What some OpenBSD zealots forget is just how much cross development goes on between OpenBSD and FreeBSD. All of the holes found in FreeBSD in the last two weeks were found by Ra'daat in openbsd first. However the FreeBSD guys quickly fixed them. Besides which it would take 3 years at this exploit pace to come even close to the number of exploits linux has had. And we dont all use FreeBSD just because it is more secure than linux. It is more secure but the reason I use it is stability. Both in the crash sense and in the interface sense. I also use it for the ease of administration. Things stay the same and the update path makes sense. Linux has none of those features. I also use FreeBSD because I dont like the fact that there are some 42 linux distributions out there none of who can agree on how things should work. There is only one FreeBSD and I like that alot.


    -sirket
  • by mr (88570)
    *ALL* OSes and *ALL* Processors won't happen. A combination of technology and politics.

    At least not for a long time from now.
    (yes we have Java...no it is not fast enough. And P-code is a long time ago.)

    The closest was the 86Open project, one binary for all X86 op-code Unixes.
    Technology-wise one binary has happened.
    Politically one-binary has *NOT* happened.
    1) Market-share in-fighting
    2) End users are not asking for 'linux compatible binaries'. The Linux COMMUNITY needs to express to vendors that there is value in running on ALL LINUX AND LINUX EMULATORS.

    A 'linux standard binary' format exists....the emulator for Linux. Go to the BSD sites and look at what they have done. Declare the BSD emulator the standard, and avoid the politics of the LSB.
  • This is getting old...
    Then came linux and now the *bsd users have had it and are beginning to come around. I applaud them for selling and marketing and creating hype about there product which is what they should of done 20 years ago.

    Ask Linus about this. The reason we couldn't "be" is because BSD was the subject of a lawsuit. I believe Linus can be quoted as saying that if such lawsuit did not exist, neither would Linux.


    Linux said that linux is made up of 30 full time and over 1,000 part time programmers who work on the kernel while freebsd has only 15 guys.

    More FUD. See the core team list [freebsd.org] and the FreeBSD CVS committers list [freebsd.org]. Both of these groups of people can commit directly to the CVS repository, effecting what people use in FreeBSD directly. No permission from God (Linus) or Co-God (Alan) is necessary under FreeBSD. Additionally, many people use the send-pr facility to submit patches to repair software in FreeBSD. One of the people listed in the core team or committers will then respond, and if it is "OK", the patch supplied is committed (perhaps with modifications) to the source tree.


    Also, FreeBSD consists of both userland (/bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin) and kernel. Since they're all kept in one place, both are constantly and consistently updated. I find this to be very beneficial to FreeBSD.



  • sorry to rain on the theo was mean, the other *bsd's were mean, it was a netbsd person who added a patch that would cause openbsd to fail to boot. and that was deliberate.

    yes, it's old news, but the netbsd's core team is amazingly cliqueish. the *bsd method of organising around "core" while seeming like a great idea all too often ends up as an old boy network where newbies dare not tread.
  • WNight wrote:
    The code is often the smaller part of making a new util. Design, both in identifying the problem, and in deciding on the implementation, are as much of a problem as the actual coding.

    Ah, yes, but you've glossed over an important point there: one big thing that's different between Gnu utilities/the Linux kernel and 4.4 BSD/System V utilities and kernel is the implementation. This is the bulk of the "actual coding".

    When you write a piece of software to mimic another piece of software, your front end may look very much the same, but your back end could well be going about things differently.

    That said, the Gnu tools weren't built as if in a clean room, so they probably mimic implementation pretty closely. I was referring mostly, however, to the Linux kernel, which we all know does some things in a very (and at times purposely) different way.

    (Why can't we have a thread that mentions GNU without someone using the term fanatic? They have stated a goal and are working towards that goal, not getting distracted in the meme of the moment isn't fanaticism.)

    I don't really want to get in a debate over defintions of fanaticism (and it would just be silly, anyway), but suffice to say that I didn't mean that all (or even most... or, really, even more than a handful) of the members of the Gnu project were fanatics. I was referring to one particular individual, whose initials start with R and end with S. Anyway, who said fanaticism was necessarily a negative concept? It definitely gets things done...
  • Here's the thing:

    Today there are 2 OSes. (Ok, There are more, but that is what the field is down to. If you lump them all together, the rest are a small group called OTHER)

    Windows and Unix.

    Both can do POSIX. Both can do OpenGL. Both have MOTIF/X. And the Unix side is working hard on Win32 compatiblity libs.

    So there is no excuse for non-portable code. Unless you are lazy or pick Micro$oft tools to build with.

    And, if SCO, Solaris, and BSD can figure out how to make 'Linux Compatible Binaries' run on thier platforms, there is no reason why Windows can't do the same, other than a lack of interest.


    It is a converging world. Reconginze this and work to help *EVERYONE* in the convergance.
  • > Slashdot is a Linux only forum. Not it's makers, but it's readers.
    Always thought it was a geek forum regardless the color.
  • >> So I wish the *BSD people here could push with more force...

    Well, we try, but we may as well hit our heads against a brick wall -- the Linux users always scream FUD.

    Tell your friends to loosen up.

    -Sam
  • Any idiot who runs a "HUGE web site" on a single machine and expects stability deserves every single thing they get.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Those same companys arn't going to want to reliese there code under a BSD style licens beacuse it would enable there compeitors to pilfer there work.

    This is a very good point, and one that the BSD zealots often miss.

    If companies are going to go open source, they are unlikely to use a BSD-style license, because the *last* thing they want is for some other company to take their code and use it in a proprietary program, as it doesn't generate good PR/goodwill.

    So, in at least one way, the GPL makes more sense from a commercial open source standpoint.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Regards: --------- Finally a nice mentioning of "Factional battles and online fusillades" will grow a nice thread about BSD being "hopelessly divided" again. --------- There are more diferences between Red Hat and Slackware than any of the *BSD. Please, the kernel is just a piece of the engine, for the average user it is invisible and userland and configuration counts a lot
  • This is because the only answer to that is that most unix-like OSes are similarly stable. There are lots of high-trafic sites that use *BSD, lots that use Linux, lots that use Solaris.
    Therefore this stupid religious war will never end, because no way can either followers prove anything against each other.
  • If we're to believe the recent stories about IRIX, there's your 5% right there [leb.net] for the taking... (Albeit slightly out of date.)

    --
    This isn't the post you're looking for. Move along.
  • i thought Hotmail was run on Solaris before Microsoft took them over...
  • Yes it's solaris on the back end, i think they were focusin on the web aspects though. Note the title of the article..


  • If you use neither BSD nor Linux, then you don't know what you're talking about. You're just spreading the FUD you've read elsewhere.
  • Apple and I am sure some other big names are behind BSD too. I think Apple chose BSD over Linux for MacOS X because:
    a) NexT was already using some flavor of BSD
    b) the BSD license let them make proprietary extensions without having to release the source.

    So with Darwin (the kernel used by MacOS X client & server) you have the BSD & Mach based kernel/core, and at the top of that Apple will put their proprietary technology (Mac GUI, Quicktime, etc etc.)

    I'm not sure if they could do that with a Linux or another GPLed OS.

    Janus
  • Most standard *NIX es do not include color ls as part of the install. So far all Linux distrinutions that I have tried, Slackware, Redhat, SuSE, TurboLinux include this, and install it by default. This makes dirictory navigating (IMHO) easier. Well you can install color ls in FreeBSD and probably other *NIXes it is not installed by default. There are many other things that make Linux, a friendlier to use system than most other *UNX systems, this is what seperates Linux from other *NIX systems. I am not saying Linus is the best OS I am not a Linux purist. Linux does not feel like *NIX to me. FreBSD feels more like a traditional *NIX. I believe that part of the reason for my feeling this way is that I have used SUN. Although Sun today is much different than FreeBSD, I believe that the Sun OS had its roots in BSD. (correct me if I am wrong). FreeBSD had its root from BSD so SUN and FreeBSD have similar ancesstory. Linux on the other hand only inherited some of the directory structure and that even depends on the distribution you try. THis is just my opinion.
  • I am stating my opinion on Linux. I like it but am not a purist. If you do not noone is forcing you to like it. I am not bickering I use both FreeBSD and LInux on my systems. As I said they both have there plusses and minuses.

    You seem to contridict your self in your first and third paragraph. Linux is thrown together .. then you say it is easier to install... As for the stability issue. you aren't running 2.2.12 are you. I am and I have to reboot it cause of a memory leak in the Tcp/Ip stack.

  • Why is that?

    I read the article, and liked it.

    These journalists have come a long way since the "UNIX has no GUI" days. The article was entirely positive, written to give credit where it was due (I'm a Linux guy, btw).

    The article wasn't posted to start a flame war, but that's going to happen anyway. It's already started.

    It's like Ford vs. GM vs. whoever. Strong points, weak points, there are always reasons behind one's choice, and they're always valid.

    The noise has only been getting worse, and it's extremely redundant.

    These articles are *good*. Please accept that.
  • I haven't been able to find any absolute information regarding the FreeBSD license (if anyone has a good link, please share it with me), so excuse me if I'm totally off base here.

    It was my understanding that the FreeBSD license put less restrictions on the use of the core code. So why wouldn't it be possible for these companies to release their contributions under any type of license they liked? If this were the case, I would think that FreeBSD would be a more enticing platform for them if anything.

    Again, good chance I'm totally wrong here, would really love some definite information regarding the FreeBSD license (and it hasn't been for lack of trying).
  • Come on people, every os has its pluses and minuses, They are both free stable operating systems, and both are running the internet as we speak, we shouldnt be bitching amung ourselves, we all have a common enemy, Micro$oft, why not bitch about whether BeOS is better than *NIX for christ sakes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Linux license, by contrast, requires users to make any use of the software -- such as a piece of specialized computer networking gear -- freely available to everyone else. That restriction keeps many companies from using Linux in key products.

    Inaccurate. The GPL does not regulate any kind of "use"; it only regulates distribution. And it seems like they're saying that the use of Linux in a particular piece of hardware would make the hardware itself subject to the GPL. This is too silly to comment on, other than to simply say, "no, it wouldn't." They'd just have to make the source code (along with any modifications thereof) available to customers.

    RESUME FLAMEFEST

  • While the original BSD was based on the AT&T sources, I believe the AT&T code was "cleaned" out when it was made un-free.

    The free BSDs derrived from this "clean" source tree, so while the AT&T code may have had some impact on the structure and so on, it isn't there now.
  • Well, it's the small part of the user base that constantly has to say "my OS is better than yours."

    Agree entirely. Shoot all fundamentalists, I say, then re-use the bullets :8]

    rpm -ivh ftp://site.org/path/to.rpm works fine.

    Does it do dependencies? That, coupled with (AFAIK!) no equivalent of /etc/apt/sources.list, is RPM's main failing, not the supposed "lack" of remote URLs.
    Contrast 'apt-get install licq' which goes and gets the latest qt libs required *as well*. Never seen no rpm do dat...

  • > There are more diferences between Red Hat and Slackware than any of the *BSD.
    > Please, the kernel is just a piece of the engine, for the average user it is invisible and userland and configuration counts a lot.

    Yes, the other big point people flaming *BSD miss is that there is a lot of direct and indirect cooperation between the three BSDs, e.g.:

    If OpenBSD finds and fixes a Bug, the other *BSDs will do the same with their code. FreeBSD has invented the package (they call it "ports") system all *BSDs now have and NetBSD brought USB to the *BSD world.

    The *BSDs help each other *MUCH* more than they "fight". *BSDs diversity is on of its strengths and no weakness.
  • Think about it, windows is the most prolific operating system on teh planet, no windows enthusiast sees it goign anywhere soon.

    Linux is now in the mass media is gaining acceptance, and has a wider and wider userbase.

    Mac people must be loyal, thier OS is an endangered species, why else would people put apple tatoos on thier bodies? Appple was *THE* premier computer in school,s then MS took over. They were *GUI*, then MS took over, they were teh renegade OS, then linux took over.

    BSD is similar, they were the free unix, teh open source people, teh unix at home people. They were an elite club. Now linux is taking over, and they need to be defensive. BSD people are even more loyal then MacOS'ers, especially when in the company of linux geeks.

    BSD is having much less of a problem keeping both old and new hardware supported (ie 386 - 8 way SMP Athalon). BSD has a great linux emulator, wwith full compatibility with any linux libs you can throw at it. NetBSD has a much wider range of hardware support. The port system is supposed to be a much better development model.

    According to most BSD-ers, linux geeks are nuts, their fs sucks (ext2 vs. fsf) their competing package systems, their library incompatibilities, their little distro wars, the development model sucks. I don't know, I like debian, I like linux, I like glibc2, I liek our distro wars and library incompats, it makes life fun!

    door bell.

    ---dave
    What's brown and sounds like a bell? DUNG!
  • I haven't tried to use an ext2 partition under FreeBSD for over a year (two years?). When I did it wouldfrom time to time include random garbage as part of disk writes. This is a bad thing :)

    Linux is no friendlier to ufs. Compile your system with ufs support, and suddenly the ufs partition 3 slices appear before your ext2 partitions in partition 4, and you attempt to mount the ufs slices as ext2 partitions. KA-BLAM! Trashed partition tables when you go back to BSD. Even if you remember to move them, you'll probably forget about this some time when you pull out an old rescue disk, and BOOM.

    Also, I found that FreeBSD would complain aobut the labels in the linux extended partitions, which caused a panic on boot about 20% of the time. I finally removed the linux extended partition.

    Mmm, and just using UFS for shared partitions doesn't work, either. They don't get fsck'd properly under linux, and I couldn't find a way to manually fsck them.

    The only filesystem that they both seem to get along with is dos. I finally resorted to tarballs on a dos partition to exchange files :(

  • >Is there any way we can let the media know that >we have GNU/Linux today because of both the GNU >Project and Linus Torvalds, and not just Linus?

    Look this is a silly stupid ego issue for Stallman. Is it true that much of what is considerd linux is actually GNU software? Yes. Is it true that plenty of other people but Linus deserve credit? Yes.

    Does this mean it will benifit linux or the public at large by forcing GNU/Linux down their throughts? No!

    The myth of Linus and his singlehanded development of the operating system plays an important role in the media recognition of linux. People's imaginations are not fired up by commitees, they are fired up by individuals and strong leaders. There is a reason we consider the president of the US to represent the United States when in reality congress hasmore to do with the present state of the US than the president.

    Linux is succeding where BSD did not b/c linux is sexy. Stallman would take this away from us with his self serving whining about getting credit. If he truly cared about free software rather than his own image he would let it go for the greater good.
  • There was a lot of that going around on both sides. For a long time, OpenBSD was fixing security flaws, but putting just `RCS ID Police' in the commit message, to make it hard for NetBSD developers following the commits to see what bugs they'd fixed.

    As for the change in NetBSD that, when imported into OpenBSD sources, made OpenBSD fail to compile on Alphas, it was sort of dumb thing to do, yes, but it was quite obvious and simple to fix. What got the OpenBSD users so angry about it was it sat in their code for almost two months without them noticing it, proving that they didn't do any maintenance on the Alpha port.

    cjs

  • Why fix it if it ain't broke?

    So that's why one of the "CVSmeisters" from the Darwin project is a FreeBSD committer:

  • I was referring to one particular individual, whose initials start with R and end with S.

    Richard Simmons?

  • If so, I'm aware of the relavent facts and have no need of an instructor. I, for one, am speaking of current events (or reasonable fascimiles thereof), not history. Free software has been around for a very long time. The entire reason why we have the FSF is because we used to have more of it, and for a while we didn't really have much of any.

  • WSJ isn't aimed at geeks -- although I think they'd be surprised how many pay attention, especially after the RedHat IPO!

    For the audience this is aimed at, it's a nice short 'executive summary.' Leaves out a lot of things some of us consider important, but that's the nature of the beast.

    Don't expect a mass newspaper aimed at financial types, managers, etc. to cover (or be interested in) all the fiddlin' details. Instead, rejoice that they're paying any attention at all -- and be joyful and thankful that the errors are of omission. What's there is right, which is better than 90% of today's journalists can say.

    Regards,
    Ric
  • Supposedly TiVo's product is Linux-based, but I haven't seen any of their extensions released. Maybe I'm not looking in right places?
  • To the person who moderated the parent post as flamebait:

    Get off you BSD high horse and get a life, you little piece of shit.
  • Since when is GIMP only for Linux?
  • "Look this is a silly stupid ego issue for Stallman."

    This really has nothing to do with the point.

    "Does this mean it will benifit linux or the public at large by forcing GNU/Linux down their throughts? No!"

    I thought "people deserve to know the truth". Is this a dead concept?

    "The myth of Linus and his singlehanded development of the operating system plays an important role in the media recognition of linux. People's imaginations are not fired up by commitees, they are fired up by individuals and strong leaders. There is a reason we consider the president of the US to represent the United States when in reality congress hasmore to do with the present state of the US than the president."

    Commitees? Whatever. I don't think we have many things that are quite that formal in our community. Personally, I get fired up over the idea of people from all over the world working together to produce good, quality software without the concept of money driving them. And if you realize that it's silly to focus on the president of the U.S. when the legislature holds more of the real power, why would you try to spread an obviously flawed belief and even focus on it? Ignoring things of this nature only allows the problems we refuse to recognize to remain unattended.. and thus grow worse and spread into other areas.

  • You do *NOT* have to rebuild all your ports after remaking the world. (Where other people would yell "FUD", I'll just say "misinformed". "FUD" is overused.)

    Fact: There is *NOTHING* like the FreeBSD ports system. There are better /package/ systems than FreeBSD's, but the ports are unique.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 1999 @07:39AM (#1689249)
    There is no doubt that I am fervently in favor of the growing popularity of linux, but I have to say I am an unabashed fan of my ever-so-lovingly tweaked FreeBSD box. Whats to love?

    1. Easy to harden. I have two ports open - X (6000, 6010) and SSH (22). It was very easy to get my box to this stage. Much easier than it was with RH 6.0, which I have also hardened.

    2. Easy to upgrade. I have yet to see any tool surpass /usr/ports for pure ease of use. I cvsup my ports every night, and in the morning I check the logs to see what package have been tweaked and configured and are ready to be loaded up. Then once or twice I week I cvsup the source code for the OS and do a make world. Upgrading FreeBSD is very very easy - cvsup is gorgeous and I've found nothing like it.

    3. Easy to play nice with linux. I can run linux binaries without recompiling. What else is there to say?

    4. One distribution, great docs, great organization. FreeBSD.org maintains everything I need to deal with regarding the OS in a clear and concise manner. The FreeBSD handbook is available online. I get CD subscriptions multiple times a year, at a good price. I find the linux world of distros rather confusing. FreeBSD makes it easier for me to know the "source of truth".

    Bravo to linux folks for making inroads into corporate America, and thanks to FreeBSD for a island of sanity in the OS archipeligo.

  • by gr (4059) on Saturday September 11, 1999 @07:42AM (#1689251) Journal
    First off, let me say that it's good to see an article even addressing these issues in the Wall Street Journal, and as one poster said, they did a pretty good job for mainstream media. That said, the author tries to go into details and teach a history that he actually doesn't know, and that some /. readers also may not know, because it's pretty convoluted. These are arguably minor points, but I think they're important.
    The BSD programs and Linux actually share a common lineage, a collective development process and a rambunctious cast of characters.


    The free programs are all variants of the venerable Unix system invented by AT&T Corp.
    This is basically untrue. All four BSDs (including BSDi's BSD/OS) stem from the AT&T Unix sources, Linux was written entirely without access to those sources. It behaves similarly in a lot of ways, but vastly differently in others (arp and routing tables, for instance).

    This isn't to say that either Unix/BSD's or Linux's way is better (I personally prefer the methods that have been around and proven for twenty-odd years, but that's me).

    The author may have been trying to straighten out this mis-statement when he wrote:
    The Linux saga is already the stuff of modern legend. In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old student in Helsinki, began writing an operating system essentially from scratch so he could have something to use on his home computer. The programs FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD, by contrast, are the descendants of code written in the late 1970s and early 1980s at UC Berkeley.
    ... but I'm not sure that really clarifies things for the average reader, and has some factual failings of its own (Linus wrote a kernel, not an operating system, and operating system needs basic software, Gnu had it, we all know the drill and the fanatics involved).
    OpenBSD was started in 1995 by Theo de Raadt, a mountain biking 31-year-old Canadian after being kicked out of the NetBSD movement.
    Okay, so maybe Theo didn't leave NetBSD under the friendliest of circumstances, but to claim he was "kicked out" isn't really fair. He had disagreements about what the focus of the program should be, so he broke off to pursue the focus he felt was more important. This doesn't make either focus invalid, just points up the fact that you can't have one set of people focusing on both spreading platform support and securing all OS processes. The above comments imply that there's some kind of lasting enmity between the Open- and NetBSD projects, which simply isn't true.

    All of this said, the point an earlier poster made about how this is a pretty good article, and that the mainstream media is doing a much better job than they once did is quite valid. I'm also gladdened to see this article wasn't just more slobbering over RedHat... I've seen quite enough of that to last me the rest of my days.
  • I'd just like to echo the comments above. Having attempted to bring sanity to a some of the perplexing "Linux vs. Java" flame wars, I see the same thing occurring with any article about BSD. I like your reference to Ford vs. GM. Where I grew up in Ohio you could get your ass kicked for something as silly as a stray comment about an American auto brand. They didn't even see the Japanese coming on.

    Perhaps that analogy is relevant here. Linux proponents need to realize that there are many trends, currents, variables, forces at work in the market; more now than in the past 10 years. We all have a very small vote in forming the future. I, for one, cast my small vote for the power of diversity and choice. Read: BSD has a valid role to play and articles which help promote that message to the rest of the world are positive.

    It's so much easier to deconstruct than to construct.

  • I love Linux, but the library incompatibilities not! That's a catastrophical issue that Debian seem to be taming somehow. Oh, and I don't like our little distro wars either!
    In my company (it's a very huge neterprise) we are trying to estabilish a policy on using Linux in the labs. I have seen a lot of *BSD machines around, too, maybe as much as Linux hosts. However, noone seems to be supporting the *BSD people. They seem to be very quiet and just go along and use *BSD and not giving a dime about policies. Me being primarily a network man, I don't care that much if we use Linux or *BSD, I only care to find all the OSPF and BGP routing features on the platfor. The more TCP/IP management programs, the better. So far, *BSD has proved to be more useful to us. So I wish the *BSD people here could push with more force, even though I use Linux more.
  • 1. Easy to harden. I have two ports open - X (6000, 6010) and SSH (22). It was very easy to get my box to this stage. Much easier than it was with RH 6.0, which I have also hardened.

    vi /etc/inetd.conf

    2. Easy to upgrade. I have yet to see any tool surpass /usr/ports for pure ease of use.

    apt-get install "insert-name-here" is even easier and faster.

    I cvsup my ports every night, and in the morning I check the logs to see what package have been tweaked and configured and are ready to be loaded up. Then once or twice I week I cvsup the source code for the OS and do a make world. Upgrading FreeBSD is very very easy - cvsup is gorgeous and I've found nothing like it.

    FreeBSDs package management is great but it is NO match to Debian GNU/Linux. Debian is even easier to upgrade.
    1) You don't have to fix /etc by hand
    2) You don't have to wait for hours for your stuff to compile (apt-get downloads binary packages unless told otherwise)
    3) You have to remake all your ports one by one after upgrading system. On Debian all packages are a part of distribution. If you upgrade system everything is upgraded.

    apt-get update; apt-get upgrade; will sync your system with the ftp mirror, download and install all updated packages.

    On FreeBSD you need to 1)cvsup everything, 2)make buildworld, 3) make installworld, 4)see if /etc, changes, 5) remake new ports one by one ..

    Sounds like it is more difficult to stay up to date on FreeBSD ..

    4. One distribution, great docs, great organization. FreeBSD.org maintains everything I need to deal with regarding the OS in a clear and concise manner. The FreeBSD handbook is available online. I get CD subscriptions multiple times a year, at a good price. I find the linux world of distros rather confusing. FreeBSD makes it easier for me to know the "source of truth".

    FreeBSD handbook is great, but then most of the major linux distributions(Debian and RedHat) have such handbooks too (usually online too) + a huge collection of online docs at LDP [unc.edu]

    Don't get me wrong, FreeBSD is a great system, I would choose it over RedHat in most cases. However, I also choose Debian GNU/Linux over FreeBSD because this distribution is so well engineered and it is easier to maintain than any other *nix operating system.
  • Uses disklabel instead of partitions. Basically all of freebsd's partitions are extended partitions. Pain in the ass reading them in linux (I just gave up trying to mount one), but overall a rather nice feature.

    Had to hand-edit a config file of nasty little abbreviated names to configure the kernel for reinstall. That just wasn't terribly fun.

    No configurator/wizard for ppp, had to pretty much set that up by hand. Didn't take me long, but it sure was a speedbump.

    Had some funny ideas about its root device when booted, had to fiddle with the boot loader to get it working. Comes up so often it's a FAQ, but maybe it should install the boot loader with the right parameters to begin with. Just a minor problem tho, and probably what i get for installing it on a secondary slave IDE drive in the first place.

    Ports are great, but it also has a package manager that looked adequate at any rate. KDE installed as a package, worked nicely out of the box.

    Now I'm wondering, will I be able to use the GLX 3d driver for my TNT card, and can I get sblive support for freebsd? I don't play many games on linux, but I like the possibility, and I do play the occasional mods or mp3's through it. Oh I wasn't too thrilled how aha152x support is specifically left out of the later kernels BTW. I know it's a crappy card, but I don't see it interfering with anything.
  • by cmc (44956) on Saturday September 11, 1999 @11:03AM (#1689320) Homepage

    FUD, you ask? Yes!

    2. Easy to upgrade. I have yet to see any tool surpass /usr/ports for pure ease of use. apt-get install "insert-name-here" is even easier and faster.

    FreeBSD also allows binary package installation.
    $ pkg_add ftp//:url_to_package

    FreeBSDs package management is great but it is NO match to Debian GNU/Linux. Debian is even easier to upgrade.
    1) You don't have to fix /etc by hand

    This is nonsense. Package management has nothing to do with the /etc directory. FreeBSD uses CVSup for that, and there is an excellent port which can update /etc for you automagically called mergemaster [freebsd.org].

    2) You don't have to wait for hours for your stuff to compile (apt-get downloads binary packages unless told otherwise)

    FreeBSD also has gradual binary upgrades for both the -STABLE and -CURRENT systems known as "snapshots". See ftp://current.freebsd.org [freebsd.org].

    3) You have to remake all your ports one by one after upgrading system. On Debian all packages are a part of distribution. If you upgrade system everything is upgraded.

    What gives you this idea? I've got a whole lot of ports I've preserved across many dozens of FreeBSD 4.0-CURRENT recompiles over several months:

    • GIMP
    • Many KDE apps (though I use GNOME mainly now)
    • nmap
    • The XFree86 stuff
    • Window Maker
    • Eterm
    • pdksh
    • vMac
    • jade
    • XAnim
    etc...
    FreeBSD handbook is great, but then most of the major linux distributions(Debian and RedHat) have such handbooks too (usually online too) + a huge collection of online docs at LDP
  • by BadlandZ (1725) on Saturday September 11, 1999 @01:29PM (#1689325) Journal
    Hmm. I have am currently running Debian, Red Hat, and FreeBSD. I have ran Slackware, SuSE, Open Linux, and a few others, plus some commercial UNIX systems (DEC, SGI, etc). And, the one conclusion I have come to is that the worst feature I have seen in any OS is clearly something I see from Linux (and to a lesser extent in FreeBSD).

    What's that feature you ask? Well, it's the small part of the user base that constantly has to say "my OS is better than yours."

    Each has it's benifits, and among the ones I like best are Red Hat and FreeBSD. Advocating the benifits of one over another is pointless when it will only start a flame war. There is no match for ports in the Linux world, dselect and dpkg are not as tight or relyable or intuitive, and it's not compileing from source allowing complete optimization based on your /etc/make.conf file, so it's not comparing apples to apples, it's comparing apples to oranges. And, rpm also has a remote package get, btw, rpm -ivh ftp://site.org/path/to.rpm works fine.

    The "tightness" and "tweakability" of FreeBSD is very good, and trying to say that Linux is better is shortsighted. Linux has a huge (yet unorginized, and frequently poorly documented) breath of applications that run native, and FreeBSD is still working to cetch up.

    Can't we just agree to disagree, and admit there is a great deal of good in both OS's. Start drawing on eachothers strengths, and admit that the interoperability of UNIX in it's many varients is still less fragemented that the Microsoft and Mac world would like us to believe? Or must we continue to drive wedges between diffrent UNIX factions, and fragement ourselfs into oblivion like was done in the past?

  • Anonymous Coward wrote:
    Go to theos.org and read the huge file Theo has there of the email exchange between NetBSD core and himself. "Kicked out" seems like a pretty good summary of the situation to me.

    First off, that's theos.com [theos.com]

    Second, the file you describe isn't up right now, but I imagine it belongs under theos.com/deraadt [theos.com] somewhere.

    Third, I think I've read it before, and it displays some flaring tempers, but the basic issue was that Theo wanted to go a direction the Core didn't. Also, Theo has made it pretty clear that this is ancient history. The Open- and NetBSD projects are on amicable terms now and regularly kick code back and forth between their CVS repositories.
  • by Arandir (19206)
    "Only thing i want to know is, why is BSD a programme, and Linux an operating system, when *BSD is the kernel, and the libraries and the tools, and linux is just a kernel?"

    Simple, Linux is the name of the kernel, operating system, and the name of most distributions. Likewise, FreeBSD is also the name of the kernel, OS and distro.

    Now I'm sure that this will get me flames since I didn't mention GNU/Linux. So I will. GNU/Linux is the name of a distribution, namely that non-existant distribution provided by the FSF. When RMS started the GNU project, he didn't set out to create an OS. Instead he wanted to make an OS plus everything else needed for normal everyday use. To quote, "The GNU system includes programs that are not GNU software, programs that were developed by other people and projects for their own purposes, but which we can use because they are free software." Thus, RMS was creating what we today call "distributions." Create a small core OS (which isn't complete yet) and add to it the best of free software in every category.

    Who ever puts it names it. The first Linux distribution was called "Linux", so that's why people continue to say it, when technically it should be "Redhat Linux", "Debian GNU/Linux", "SuSE Linux", or whatever else the makers named it.
  • I haven't seen any important BSD holes reported to Bugtraq lately. Most have been simple local DoS attacks, which are not really a problem unless you're a shell provider or have untrusted local users. None have been remote exploits, the only category of exploits that are really critical. Compare that to the Red Hat exploits over the last few weeks...
  • So what? Sure, the myth about Linus single-handedly developing Linux from nothingness into Linux 2.2.10 is a compelling one, but it's still a lie.

    Lying to get more market share doesn't sound like a very good thing to me. If it takes that to get market share, fuck market share. I'd rather have integrity. That's something Richard M. Stallman has plenty of.

    As for all your whining bullshit about Stallman hurting Free Software, let me remind you that without Stallman, much of this Free Software you want to gain more market share wouldn't exist. Without GCC, there would be no Free Software UNIX-like operating system, since there'd be no way to compile software on it, or even to compile the kernel.
  • Using an accurate name is not "bad" because it upsets other people. It's not name-calling, it's simply an accurate name. I'd be more worried about the Linux kiddies and their "Microsucks winbloze" bullshit - that's immature name-calling.

    If you'd prefer, I can refer to it as the GNU OS, since that's what it mostly is (and will be 100% whenever Hurd finally finishes and the Linux kernel can be replaced). Then, if people inquire, I can point out the detail that I use the Linux kernel along with my GNU OS.

    Anyway, I presume you dislike Debian GNU/Linux for this reason. Red Hat user?
  • So then why do Linux advocates compare the "Linux OS" to the "Windows NT OS"? Either you compare the "GNU/Linux OS" to the "Windows NT OS", or you compare the "Linux OS" to the "Win32 OS."

    If the kernel is the OS, then I'd appreciate it if you start referring to the "Win32 OS" from now on.
  • Well, you say that "Debian" is an OS. However, there is no distribution called "Debian." It is called "Debian GNU/Linux." Therefore, it'd be the "Debian GNU/LInux OS." You seem to have just disproven your point.
  • You seem to have hit on the head what the BSD fans have been saying for a long time. BSD is for serious work, while Linux is for home users who are adventurous and, like yourself, have fun with library incompatibilities, distro wars, crap filesystems, etc.

    And before somebody accuses me of being a BSD zealot, I use neither BSD nor Linux.
  • Mostly agree with you, except for the native binaries issue. FreeBSD runs Linux binaries natively, not through emulation, so FreeBSD's native binaries are a superset of Linux's native binaries.
  • To add to that, the author also missed that Linus didn't write the Linux kernel from scratch. He extended Minix.
  • by Trepidity (597)
    How can you claim that the first distribution was named "Linux"? I haven't heard this before. Sure, the kernel is named Linux, but I see no evidence of there being a complete distribution being called simply "Linux." AFAIK, Linus himself has never created a distribution, just a kernel. All the distributions I've seen have been either "Somebody's GNU/Linux" or "Somebody's Linux," or homebrew systems built around the Linux kernel.
  • I haven't been following the vixie-cron thing extremely closely, but it was my understanding that the BSDs were not completely vulnerable. The vixie-cron bug itself still existed, but the method of exploit was through sendmail, and the BSDs have fixed these sendmail problems, while most GNU/Linux distributions have not.
  • by Arandir (19206)
    "How can you claim that the first distribution was named "Linux"?"

    SLS, Yggdrasil, et al., were all called "Linux". The name "GNU/Linux" didn't arrive until the FSF started to put together a distribution (Debian), which later went independent.
  • How many slashdoters does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Exactly Five Hundred: 1 to change the light bulb and to post to slashdot that the light bulb has been changed 7 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently. 4 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs. 17 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs. 21 to flame the spell checkers 49 to write to the modorator complaining aboutthe light bulb discussion and its inappropriateness 20 to correct spelling in the spelling/grammar flames. 32 to post that this topic is not about light bulbs and to please take this email exchange to alt.lite.bulb 69 to demand that cross posting to alt.grammar, alt.spelling and alt.punctuation about changing light bulbs be stopped. 41 to defend the posting to this topic saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts **are** relevant to this topic. 106 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique, and what brands are faulty. 12 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs 8 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly, and to post corrected URLs. 2 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this topic which makes light bulbs relevant to this topic. 15 to concatenate all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers, and then add pointedly, "Me Too." 6 to post to the list that they are not visiting slashdot because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy. 9 to quote the "Me Too's" and happily add, "Me Three"3 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ. 1 to propose new slashdot topic. 24 to say this is just what www.bugtraq.org was meant for, leave it here. 53 votes for slashdot.org

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