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The Almighty Buck Operating Systems BSD

EvansData can't tell BSD from Linux 144

mr writes "The boys and girls at Evans Data want to sell you a 178 page report about Linux. Now, they had a page that put FreeBSD between Caldara and Debian as far as how often it is used as a web server. They have pulled FreeBSD from the list. Seems Evans Data just figured out that FreeBSD isn't Linux. Did Evens Data use pages from TigerSoftware or perhaps the crack staff of Tucows?" There's also a Daily DaemonNews story with some figures.
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EvansData can't tell BSD from Linux

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  • Next week: NYT mistakes Linux + GNOME for MS Windows!
  • What exactly is the differences between BSD and Linux? I'm relitivly familiar with linux but i don't really have any experiance with BSD. It's sorta an area i've been meaning to get into but not quite broke into yet...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2001 @02:24AM (#327837)
    Providing market intelligence for the Development Community
  • by mirko ( 198274 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @02:24AM (#327838) Journal
    The basic differences are the following:
    • The system architecture is quite different in BSD and Linux, but,t hanks to Posix compliance, programs recompilation is usually enough.
    • The development model : Linux is developped an anarchic-looking way and you may have the most advanced features on your system, you won't have a guaranteed stability. In the case of BSD, the development is centralized and each time they agree to release an update, you can be sure it is rock-solid in terms of stability.

  • by Neverrtfm ( 303783 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @02:27AM (#327839)
    Is it just me or is this not the best reccomendation for a company attempting to sell data? I know it's a simple mistake for most to make, but these guys are purveyors of supposedly correct info for christ's sake. Not good to reveal complete(or at least significant) ignorance about your main selling point.
  • recommendation. Oh, that's what the preview button is for.
  • Did you not see the 'Other' down there? Probably has Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and OS400.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • That was pretty quick. The /. effect in full motion ? Oh well, we all make silly mistakes sometimes. Claric
  • Once you've got a BSD box and a Linux box set up, all the hardware working and stuff, Linux and BSD are virtually indistinguishable. They both run posix apps, they both use X, they both have the same /dev/ device. The only difference is a recompile, and sometimes even that isn't needed.
  • They seem to have this stuff pretty OK as of now. At least at the first glance at local mirror, it looks alive and well and not containing all the problems BSD Today complained about. Seems like they hired somebody with real knowledge. Good.
  • dont forget the licence. Linux is licenced under GPL, while *BSD is licenced under the BSD licence. BSD licence is a lot less strict.

    Since the software licence for OpenSource stuff is rather important i figured this would be interresting...

    My 2 cents

  • Jesus christ. Chill.

    I am a firm believer in "when mistakes happen, the friggin' management is at fault"

    On a side note, slashdot is showing up red today. Lets all bitch about that!

    I have a shotgun, a shovel and 30 acres behind the barn.

  • Linux is a clone of a Unix kernel. BSD is a Unix kernel.
  • My gut feeling when something like this happens is that they really made a report on OSS software and its developers, programs and deployments.

    Then somebody thought they should rename the paper to "Linux Developer Survey" since that would sell it better than "OSS Developer Survey" and thus they needed to change some things, but forgot to remove FreeBSD from the list.

    (RANT_MODE_ON)Personally I don't understand why this is news. Things like this happens all the time and it's not really a big deal. Personally I would like to see how FreeBSD relates to some of the Linux distributions. To me, as a (non-kernel/non-system level) developer and everyday user I do put Free/Open/NetBSD into the same category as all the Linux distributions, A package with OS, programs, manuals and services containing everything I need and to at least 95% based on free software (wish I could say 100% but I still need Netscape and StarOffice although I hopefully can replace them soon with their free sucessors). That the kernel and system tools are xBSD instead of Linux I don't care a shit about. I still run the same XFree, the same desktop environment and the same programs. For what it's worth, the system still works the same for nearly everything I do and for me as a user there might be much bigger differences between various Linux distributions than a certain distribution and FreeBSD since they package different desktop environments and programs and configure them differently.

    I can't understand why this upsets people so much. It's one thing to politely write them and ask them to correct their report and another to go balistic over these details. Is it the Linux and BSD elitists that doesn't want to be associated with each other?

    Just face it, FreeBSD, Red Hat, SuSE, Caldera etc are "Distributions of Free Implementations of UNIX bundled with associated programs, manuals, services and stuff". That some of them are based on different kernels and have differences in design policies doesn't make them THAT different! My and one of my friends computers differs a lot more from the choice of installed window managers and programs from a users perspective than the fact that he runs FreeBSD and I run Linux.

    I don't say we shouldn't teach and correct them, but everytime something like this happens it is totally blown out of proportions.(RANT_MODE_OFF)
  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @03:02AM (#327849) Homepage
    20% of respondants stated that, given their choice of Linux distributions, they would use FreeBSD.

    I wonder how many would use FreeBSD if they weren't told to restrict their choice to Linux distributions?
  • by RPoet ( 20693 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @03:02AM (#327850) Journal
    From the page:

    "It has been brought to our attention that FreeBSD is not a Linux distribution. The data was revised to exclude FreeBSD, and the numbers above reflect the corrections. We apologize for the mistake."
  • I noticed the same thing. Good, concise info easy access to downloads, et al..
    Looks like they are doing it right this time.
  • No it's not just you.

    And it really would be funny, if "IT strategists" and managers did not take as gospel the half baked pronouncements these "industry analysts" make.

    Some businesses depend on the non-information these analysts peddle for their strategic decision making. But in point of fact, they are less qualified to make these statements than your average slashdot reader. They have loads more statistics, and we all know about statistics, but they know a hell of a lot less.

    My advice to anyone considering buying 'information' from these people is, find out for yourself.
  • Well, kudos for admitting their mistake but, who told them and shouldn't that person be the one selling 'data'?
  • I think that rather than having some sort or religious apoplexy, the /. readers are merely (and deservedly) mocking a silly and innocent mistake. Obviously, linux news is a rather common sight around here, and I think people are just pointing out a particularily silly error.
  • It still taints the survey data itself.
  • The reason that your slashdot is red is because this is a BSD article. BSD articles have a red colour scheme. Just be glad it wasn't the horrid scheme used for the your rights online ones. ugh.

    As for the article itself, to the home user market there is no difference between BSD and Linux, Linux is just the catch-all term for free Unix-like OS. In that sense it does make sense for FreeBSD to be included.

  • by tacpprm ( 67226 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @03:16AM (#327857)
    We are so clever and they are so stupid! Let's all point & laugh now kids!

    So what, apart from about 4 seconds of potential amusement, makes this story news worthy?

    Not everyone understands the free software landscape, so what? I don't know anything about the ways of pollsters & statistics gathering companies. Does that give them the right to take the piss out of me?

    Why can't people just grow up and accept that not everyone can be an expert in everything. Smugly pointing out that they "just realised" and pulled BSD from their list isn't helping anyone. Neither are the hundreds of flames from illiterate wannabe techies that almost certainly contributed to the amendment.

    These days slashdot seems to exist to prove that most free software users are wankers.
  • Since the software licence for OpenSource stuff is rather important i figured this would be interresting...

    Right, so let me explain that the BSD license allows anyone to take the code and redistribute it, modified or unmodified, without providing access to the source. The GPL requires any distributor to provide access to the source, and requires that any modifications be licensed under the GPL to.

    The FSF maintains a useful license page [].

  • Not to be mean, but Linux Weekly news [] also had FreeBSD among the distributions in the distributions page [] for a long time. It's not there anymore, but long time readers may remember... I always wondered why...

    $HOME is where the .*shrc is

  • This is a strange coincidence. I've seen a couple of researches and reports recently that were not made by exactly competent people...

    Recently some people from University of Helsinki E-mail-interviewed [] the readers of sfnet.atk.linux newsgroup (the report is in Finnish). I answered the questions, even when the questions were sort of silly. Well, results were not exactly great either - it just showed that the survey makers had not used Linux before. For example, "Debian" and "Debian 'potato'" were mentioned separately in distribution preference summary, and when talking of StarOffice, many people had said they "use the other word processing program, LaTex" (emphasis mine).

    (Okay, that was academic thing and this Evans thing is a commercial report, but interesting coincidence nevertheless)

  • Why concern yourself over religious wars?

    Well, because one is BSD and the other is GPL?

    A more interesting point would be.... If a good BSD admin were to replace the average SlashDot users Linux with FreeBSD, how many days would go by before they even noticed? Pot, Kettle, Black....

    Without uname, I bet you could fool a couple. "but I downloaded this new cool .rpm and installed it" ... Yea, you can do that in FreeBSD..

    How many people poke around in their init scripts daily (other than me ;-). Truth is, there are lots of differences, but they are structural, not functional. You can't include any of the BSD's because they just are NOT Linux.

    I would LIKE to see more *BSD vs. Linux distribution comparisons... I'd like to see more *NIX comparisons. But, I'd prefer to see them from people who know what the hell they are talking about.

  • by joey ( 315 )
    I have to wonder what "Debian GNU Linux - Infomagic or Loki" is supposed to mean.
  • by f5426 ( 144654 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @03:41AM (#327863)
    > What exactly is the differences between BSD and Linux?

    Let's hope that I don't reply to a troll.

    I'd talk about FreeBSD vs Linux.

    The most important difference between linux and FreeBSD is that linux is a kernel while FreeBSD is a server operating system.

    This is a serious difference. Linus torvald, or alan cox have zero power on deciding what initialisation scripts should looks like, or what the cron program should be. This is decided by 'distributors'. In general, people use a set of GNU tools on top of the linux kernel, and the resulting is called GNU/linux. But a linux distribution contains much more than only GNU tools. No one really knows what is and what is not linux-the-operating-system.

    On the opposite, FreeBSD is a kernel plus a user-land. The kernel is designed to run with this userland, and is distributing it separately would make no sense. The linux concept of updating the kernel is alien to FreeBSD, in which you would upgrade the whole system (You should take into account that upgrading the whole FreeBSD system is probably easier than updating the linux kernel).

    The result is that there are many flavors of linux, while there is only one FreeBSD. It is a good, and a bad point. The good side, is that a FreeBSD system is orders of magnitude more coherent than a linux system. It is much more easy to learn and tweak, because sources to the whole system are in /usr/src, not only the sources of the kernel. The bad side is that it is probably more boring. The other bad side is that there is a distinction between say Mozilla and top under FreeBSD (Mozilla is not part of freebsd, while top is). Under linux there is no hard disctinctions.

    I said that freebsd is more coherent. Let's give you a couple of random examples:

    bash-2.03$ which ls

    This means that ls is a FreeBSD command. It is not your everyday linux ls is, it is the freebsd one. Its sources are located in /usr/src/bin/ls:

    bash-2.03$ cd /usr/src/bin/ls
    bash-2.03$ ls -l
    total 61
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 274 Jun 17 2000 Makefile
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 3066 Aug 28 1999 cmp.c
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 2798 Jul 5 2000 extern.h
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 13984 Feb 13 10:50 ls.1
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 18557 Aug 13 2000 ls.c
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 3172 Jul 5 2000 ls.h
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 11618 Jul 5 2000 print.c
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 4579 Jul 22 2000 util.c

    No configure/autoconf, no README, no LICENSE. Just the meat, plain and simple. The makefile is trivial. Change. make. run. make install. FreeBSD is a joy to hack.

    Okay. another example.

    bash-2.03$ man -k ATAPI
    ata(4), acd(4), ad(4), afd(4), ast(4) - Generic ATA/ATAPI disk controller driver
    burncd(8) - control the ATAPI CD-R/RW driver
    wfd(4) - ATAPI floppy driver (LS-120 floppy driver)
    wst(4) - ATAPI Tape drive

    Yep. Every (okay, mosts) device driver have its own man page.

    Yet another example:

    bash-2.03$ man 9 intro | head
    INTRO(9) FreeBSD Kernel Developer's Manual INTRO(9)

    intro - introduction to system kernel interfaces

    This section contains information about the interfaces and subroutines in
    the kernel.

    Most important kernel routines have their man pages, with usage and example.

    bash-2.03$ man 9 uio
    Formatting page, please wait...Done.
    UIO(9) FreeBSD Kernel Developer's Manual UIO(9)

    uio, uiomove - device driver IO routines

    This coherence is visible in the configuration of freebsd. Configuration is made in flat-files, in a pure unix way, but those are coherent. For instance:

    cat /etc/rc.conf
    allscreens_flags="-m on -g 100x37 VESA_800x600"

    I think you get the idea.

    Last thing, to update the whole system to latest version, you use 'cvsup -L 2 stable-supfile' and your sources are up-to-date. Then you do a single 'make installworld' and your system is up to date. From source. Every single bit (that is considered in the system, of course).

    OpenBSD and NetBSD are different operating systems, but share the same spirit as FreeBSD. OpenBSD is target at security, while NetBSD is targeted at portability.

    At the bottom line:

    * Linux is great if you want a binary cutting-edge unix-like OS.
    * BSD is great when you want a cleanly designed server system.
    * BSD is great if you like to hack/understand your system

    And, well, the obvious: linux is more popular, and BSD zealots are superior assholes.

    Ooops, forgot to talk about the port tree... :-)


  • by mr ( 88570 )
    Nope. RedHat was 1st at 77% or 266 votes. FreeBSD was at 20% or 60 votes.

    Now, they were asking for Linux versions. Had they asked for Open Source Unix-like OSes, I'm betting there would have been a few more votes for FreeBSD.
  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @03:48AM (#327865)
    In this poll, FreeBSD placed HIGHER than Debian. (60 votes VS 52 votes 20.4 VS 17.9 %)

    And was in a dead heat with SuSe(64) Mandrake(64) and Caldera(63).

    Not bad for a Linux OS poll, a poll where FreeBSD wasn't supposed to be an option. Not to mention for a "dying" OS.
  • Tha! System calls differs. Available standard library calls differ. Linux have a lot from Solaris (Sys V), as well as from other systems (e.g. X/Open). In addition, there are a lot of smaller differences, like in the signal handling. From teh signal(2) man-page on Linux:
    The original Unix signal() would reset the handler to SIG_DFL, and System V (and the Linux kernel and libc4,5) does the same. On the other hand, BSD does not reset the handler, but blocks new instances of this signal from occurring during a call of the handler. The glibc2 library follows the BSD behaviour.

    According to POSIX (B. you must not set the action for SIGCHLD to SIG_IGN. Here the BSD and SYSV behaviours differ, causing BSD software that sets the action for SIGCHLD to SIG_IGN to fail on Linux.
    In addition, I'm still to se a BSD with a SysV-style init (altought one evil Linux distro still uses the inferior BSD-style init, Slackware), but that's a user-space difference, and probably changable without too much hassle...
  • Sorry, you are wrong.

    They removed FreeBSD because it was a 'linux survey' not a "open source OS" or "what OS do you use for web hosting" poll.

    Given FreeBSD had 60 votes, and you are sighting a catagorgy with 32 votes, the last time I was in math class 60 != 32.

    Nice try tho. If there was a -1 wrong, you'd get that.

    (don't believe me? Go visit the reg! [] and note where they placed FreeBSD.)
  • Well, they probably haven't heard that GNU's Not Unix... What does the GNU stand for? Why, GNU's not Unix. What does the GNU stand for? (ad infinitum).

    Of course that also applies to Hurd....

    We should get RMS to give them some lectures!

  • If the intention of the open source community is to create an OS to rival Windows, wouldn't it be better if the BSD developers developed Linux instead

    It would be best if everyone used a BSD style license. Then EVERYONE could use the code.

    As it is, a conclusion one could draw from this 300 person snapshot is that FreeBSD is as acceptable, if not more so, than any version of linux other than RedHat.
  • by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) <> on Friday March 30, 2001 @04:16AM (#327871) Homepage Journal

    Umm, perhaps the fact that they are SELLING information about Linux to middle and upper managers? One would sort of vaguely expect that if you were going to sell something you wrote as 'valuable strategic information' you'd take the time to learn just a little about the subject before you wrote.

    These places just make money off of IT managers who are frightened by the mercurial nature of technology and want the comfort of paying people as ignorant as they are for the privelege of reading something dressed up in authoritative colors. Their frank stupidity would be laughable if they weren't taken so seriously by their audience.

  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @04:23AM (#327872)
    Would you have perfered a title of "Do not buy a report from these people" or "Linux marketing data tainted" or "FreeBSD deleted" or what?

    The purpose of the poll was to gain Linux marketing data. Yet 20% of the respondants included data needing to be pulled. Or the purpose of the poll needs to be expanded/changed because the data gathered shows a trend not expected and now needs to be accounted for.

    If the poll got 20% "bad data" and was to be linux research (and not a propaganda piece for RedHat, lets say) then the poll was a bad tool to do that research.

    If the company can't be troubled to filter out the "bad data" - "bad data" that is large enough to be in the #2 catagory for popularity (RedHat@277 votes vs Suse@64/Mandrake@64/Caldera@63/FreeBSD@60) then why would you buy a report from a company that can't process that is supposed to show information about the "Linux" market.

    Go read what the report was to be about. []

  • True... not everyone understands the free software landscape. Then again, not everyone is trying to sell you a friggin' paper on the subject, either. If people are going to pimp data about something, they should *at least* ensure that data is somewhat correct. How can you do that when you've got no clue what it is you're talking about?

    This sort of thing is exactly what I would expect from the "research firms" out there. I work in the same building as a Well Known Research Firm. The people who work there strike me as utterly fake Ken and Barbie dolls. These are the type of people who take the elevator *down* two floors to get to the corporate gym. They are always talking about the deals and sales they are making. Not once have I heard them talk about a neat new technology or some research they are doing. Fake, fake, fake.
  • after all of slashdot's (justified) slagging of doubleclick i was a bit surprised 2 c this bit of code in =this= page...

    IFRAME SRC=" s/B35606;sz=468x60;ord=985955146985955146"

    errm, oops? #-)

  • My Linux box hits load averages of 24 whilst transferring mail and virus scanning them. Keeps running OK. Pentium 150 with 64Mb RAM

  • As someone else pointed out....
    It has been brought to our attention that FreeBSD is not a Linux distribution. The data was revised to exclude FreeBSD, and the numbers above reflect the corrections. We apologize for the mistake.

    No joke. Just a group of marketing researchers who are showing how skilled they are at asking questions, interperting the data, and making .gif files. :-)
  • I guess this just shows how relevant statistics are and how much we are to trust them. Most likely most statistics we see lead to wrong interpretations or contains significant errors, but most people won't recognize them due to their unfamiliarity with the matter.
  • Errr, the update *WAS* the story/what makes the report suspect.
  • Hehehe... Slashdot is red cuz it's a BSD story. It has little color schemes for different stories... while I find that entirely annoying at times (I hate, for example, the one where it's mixed purple and yellow), I guess it's a way to distinguish certain topics...

    Then again, most topics are the same old green colorscheme, so I don't understand why anyone bothered with making just a few topics different colors. But these guys are well-paid hobbyists, so they can do what they want, more power to them.
  • No, my post was a joke. No, I didn't see the 60 hits for FreeBSD, I was making a comment on some of the more clueless dot-coms and their marketing approaches for the various open source OSs.

    I'll try to be a little more explicit next time.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • I have to wonder what "Debian GNU Linux - Infomagic or Loki" is supposed to mean.

    CD vendor? InfoMagic [] sells Debian CDs, and I think I've heard that LokiGames [] does/did, as well (though I'm not sure).

  • by garyok ( 218493 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @04:47AM (#327882)
    One of the things that I thought of when I heard this story is that the term 'linux' has gone generic, like scotch tape or aspirin. I know about a million pedantic techies can't help themselves and have to declare that linux is a kernel, not an operating system whenever this issue arises, but John Q. User thinks that all open source, free, GPL'd, whatever OSs are the same. And nit-picking will only turn them off to the distinction.

    Linux raised public conciousness of free *nix style systems and the reward is that when people think of free distributions, they think 'Linux'.

  • Is Linux something like Office? Does it have a dancing paperclip? I tried to install Linux but it was black and white....isn't Linux supposed to be better than MS Word? Then why was it all black and white? eval{ Troll: "Hihihihihihihihiihhuhuhuhhahahahahahahahahaha" } Also, what is FreeBUD you talk so much about? Where do you guys get free stuff? Why do you compare beer and Linux? eval{ Troll: "HUHUHUHIHIHIHIHHIHHIHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH" }
  • What if Linus gets tired of all this Linux stuff and decides to just let Alan Cox take it all over. That would be really bad, because eventually Linux would be renamed to...... Coxix. Ouch!
  • As was pointed out in some other comments. No it does not make sence to bunch FreeBSD in with UNIX-like OSes as it IS Unix.
  • BSD is already in deep trouble.

    Really? Based on this sample of 300 people, the only one not in trouble is RedHat.

    Debian/Slackware/Turbo/Corel linux all did worse than FreeBSD. And Debian and the rest are more dead than FreeBSD. Yet, FreeBSD was within 2% of SuSE/Mandrake/Caldera.

    If FreeBSD is "in trouble" so is SuSe/Mandrake/Caldera. Oh, wait SuSe can't afford US Staffers []

    From an investor's perspective, it's fair to say that BSD is dead.

    Acually, BSDi is in the BEST position.
    The 180+ linux distros PROVE selling Linux is a commodity market. In a commodity market, you want market differentiation. According to a poll where you are to pick a LINUX version, FreeBSD is as acceptable or more so than any other Linux version (other than RedHat) And what a market differentiation FreeBSD has. A different development model, more open license, runs Linux binaries faster than linux...all these improvements and yet seen as good/better than anything else but RedHat.

    BSDi would have to be a publicly traded company for it to matter to any investor. Oh, wait, they are a private company. $14 mil last year from yahoo!/Japanese ISP/Japanese VC....and Japan's economy has sucked far worse far longer than the US dot com market has. a nikkei snapshot []

    But lets say you are correct. Then BSDi will be bought up by someone else. Odds are some Japanese company. Could even be Sony....Why buy Apple when you can buy the core to Apple's new OS?

    f course that can be said .... BSD is hurting more than most, however.

    And you keep pushing this anti-BSD adjenda. Give it up.
  • here we have a classic example of what is known as a "larval troll."

    the larval troll will generally be seen issuing retorts and "misguided" comments amongst the threads created by others as they are not, generally, intellectually well rounded enough to post in the deeper waters of the actual subject matter.

    We see here, the common tool of the troll(er), usually using a 4lb. test line with Signal11's (r) flame bait. Aditionally, you'll notice the lack of marking on the name (usually relegated to "AC" status or some phony name created exclusively for this post, or perhaps one or two more.)

    Also note the strong passive agressive tendencies in the above troll. It becomes obvious to the observer that the obvious lack of knowledge about even the most rudimentary of *nix skills is completely absent in this larval stage. While it is well known that most "geeks" have small penises, this troll (subset of geek, see Dr. Shoemaker's study 4.12.94 - The Pencil Neck Report) appears to be completely uncomfortable with that fact and, in combination with said lack of intellectual ability, will continue to be agressive throughout the larval stage.

    Other common indicators include lack of ability to gather "karma" for ability to troll at +2. Also, generally, a lack of responses from the slashdot reading public. This specimen will most likely recieve responses containing the word "fuck" for most of its young life. Perhaps, after gaining a "tag" and posting for several more months (the usual gestation period for a larval troll), this fine creature will finally begin to blossom into the full grown troll that it so richly deserves to be.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • wish I could say 100% but I still need Netscape and StarOffice

    You can dump Netscape today. Mozilla is now stable enough that it's replaced Netscape as my everyday browser. Anything from 0.7 onwards is great. Hopefully Abiword will stabilise soon, to replace StarOffice, but it's not there yet...

  • give credit where credit is due. that's an original Onion piece.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Oh, and here's the reg! [] again.
  • It makes lots of sense to bunch FreeBSD with free UNIX-like OSes. Why?
    a)it is free (as in beer) like the others
    b)it is UNIX-like.
    If it is UNIX then it is most definitely UNIX-like. In fact it is perfectly UNIX-like.
  • I was screwed when i bought their report on american muscle cars a while back.

    you know..the one about the Mustang, the Camaro, the Firebird, and the RX-7.

    imagine my anger when i read their page a month later and found out the Mustang isn't really an American muscle car!

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • I like the URL obfuscation. Can you explain it please?
  • Yeps:
    and na l.gif
  • Original []

  • From the user point of view there is no difference.
    Both are Unix, both can run 99% Unix software for which there is a source code.
    Configuring most popular deamons like Apache, proftpd, qmail is exactly the same on both of them.
    Frankly, for someone who is not interested in hacking, these system are pretty much the same.
  • Hypercard was great... I was writing decent-quality programs in it when I was 4 years old. Why haven't other languages progressed to the natural level of Hypertalk yet?
  • > Next week: NYT mistakes Linux + GNOME for MS Windows!

    Actually, about a year ago one of my friends sat down at my Linux + GNOME computer system, and immediately said "Is this the new version of Windows?"

  • "runs Linux binaries faster than linux"
    I have heard that couple of times. Do you have any data proving this statement ?
  • > I know it's a simple mistake for most to make, but these guys are purveyors of supposedly correct info for christ's sake.

    If they're smart they'll tell their customers that they were supposed to be charged extra for the version with the added BSD information, but there was a slip-up in accounting.

  • > One of the things that I thought of when I heard this story is that the term 'linux' has gone generic, like scotch tape or aspirin.

    Remember "Solaris is our implementation of Linux" from a few weeks back?

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @05:48AM (#327902) Homepage Journal
    I think more people are using the Solaris distribution of Linux and the HP/UX distribution of Linux (heh heh.)

    What little I've seen of companies that charge a shitload of money for technical data has not been particularly impressive. They exhibit a uniform sense of cluelessness which immediately sets my Dilbert Sense a-tinglin'. If you own stock in a company that purchases these reports, maybe you should bring this issue up at the next shareholder's meeting, as generally that money would be better spent building a giant statue of Richard Nixon out of solid gold.

  • "Wait wait wait.... they're different?? How come nobody told me about this! Damn! We've got TWO things to buy now!" -Bill Gates
  • I didn't make it, but is has something to do with the @ symbol re-directing things to another site.
  • And in other news 50 *BSD users say they prefer *BSD over Linux. Lets face it, unless a poll is done scientifically and in a controlled environment the results are meaningless. It's a fairly well known fact that the *BSD's are not very popular due to the zealotry and elitism associated with it. This is the same trouble we are seeing the GNU/Linux/Debian distro experience.

    Now before you get your beanies all worked up into a bunch I didn't say there is anything wrong with *BSD, no, I like what you fellows are doing to try to get things up the speed to bring it into the mainstream, I hear good things about how the file system is getting fixed and you are trying to put threads into the system. Once that is done and you get the TCP/IP stack up to speed I might even try it!!! So carry an and lets try to put this whole argument behind us, there will always be room for other OS's other that Linux, there is no reason for you BSD guys to give up now.

  • ah. but the difference between "linux" and, say "aspirin", "scotch tape", or even "coke" is that people who actually use linux know the difference ;-)

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Uhm... I think you meant to post this in the Apple story?
  • The system architecture is quite different in BSD and Linux, but,t hanks to Posix compliance, programs recompilation is usually enough

    Sure, unless you call clone in linux, or jail in FreeBSD, or write a device driver, or talk to the low level USB stuff (rather then using libusb). Or even one of those places where they both can really do pretty much the same thing with transmitfile/sendfile/splice, but choose to make the syscall a little different.

    That isn't all that different, you can write a whole lot of useful programs without calling any of that stuff. Or you may intend to be writing a portable program and not have enough euxperiance to realize that you just called a FreeBSDism, or a Linuxism (does Linux have strlcpy.strlcat/strlcmp now?).

    The development model : Linux is developped an anarchic-looking way and you may have the most advanced features on your system, you won't have a guaranteed stability. In the case of BSD, the development is centralized and each time they agree to release an update, you can be sure it is rock-solid in terms of stability.

    I think in both cases if you run a dev release (FreeBSD5-current for example) you can end up with advanced features and instability. Or you can run a stable release and end up with advanced features and stability. Yes, that's right, Linux isn't the only OS with advanced features. Proud of XFS? Well you should be, but do take a look at FFS with Soft Updates. Way smaller code footprint, and almost as nice. Nicer in some ways even (snapshots and online fsck'ing are pretty cool, but not in -stable). Oh, and in case you couldn't read between the lines, yes I'm also saying BSD isn't the only stable OS. Get a release Unix, and it is nice and stable too.

  • Unfotunately I don't have any moderator points or I would add mine in along with everyone elses. This is the kind of post I like to see, and the kind I try to post when it's a topic I have experience in.

    Anyways, I've always wanted to play with FreeBSD, my reluctance has been based more on device drivers, and the ability to get an X or whatever FreeBSD uses for a GUI operating with my hardware. It's always been my understanding that FreeBSD was limited in this aspect.

    Some minor observations:
    * Linux is great if you want a binary cutting-edge unix-like OS.
    * BSD is great if you like to hack/understand your system

    I've never really had trouble playing with the source in Linux, it's all available... however I will concede that it sounds as if FreeBSD is much more organized, and that finding the source for a particular program is a much more structured process. I would assume that this is why you say it is good for understanding your system.

    I think that it's not just BSD zealots who are superior assholes... Linix zealots get the same way. Which is silly on both their parts IMHO. I turned to Linux six years ago, mainly because of the power and flexibility provided by a *nix at home. Neither system is the end all and be all of operating systems. What makes them so great is the fact that majority of software is easily portable, so you aren't tied to using one particular system, quite unlike the windows world.

  • Linux is a clone of a Unix kernel. BSD is a Unix kernel.

    As a matter of law, no it isn't. Look at the USL vs. BSDI lawsuit. BSD contains no Unix source code, and is not a Unix system. It appears to act very much like one, but (legally) it isn't one any more then Linux is. Practically if "Unix" is defined as a derivative of Bell Lab's Unix, BSD also isn't one as all Bell Labs bits have been scrubbed clean out of the system, with the sole exception of cpio which AT&T donated to the world at large in the hopes something better then tar would come into common use.

  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @06:14AM (#327913)
    Once that is done and you get the TCP/IP stack up to speed I might even try it!

    Up to speed? Looks like it's been there for a while. Graph [] shows the 4.2 FreeBSD is faster.

    It's a fairly well known fact that the *BSD's are not very popular due to the zealotry and elitism associated with it.

    The only 'zealotry and elitism' I see here is what you are trying to associate to BSD.

  • I think that it's not just BSD zealots who are superior assholes... Linix zealots get the same way.

    No, BSD zealots are superior assholes draped in history (I should know I'm one). The Linux zealots are super-cool cutting edge assholes. There is a difference. :-)

    Who is the greatest enemy to the People's Front of Judea? Why the Judedn People's Front!

  • If confusing Linux and FreeBSD is such a problem, how about all those ignorant programmers who answered "FreeBSD" when asked what Linux distro they use. Boy are THEY pathetic losers.

  • Why buy Apple when you can buy the core to Apple's new OS?

    FYI, even though the OSX glossy says it is FreeBSD based, it is MACH with a compatibility layer to use FreeBSD drivers and filesystems and such. Look at the darwin docs on Apple's pages, or look at OSX in a store and poke around a bit. I would rather they used FreeBSD (or NetBSD), but the mach part was probably very very useful in getting the Classic compatibility mode to work (did you know it can run the 68000 version of MacDraw still?).

  • Since you are clearly using bash as your shell, wich is a GNU shell, I'd say that sometimes that the choerence you are talking about has its execptions.
  • Those graphs pretty much show that the two are equal running linux binaries, but BSD is faster in networking, which is generally accepted to be true. Besides, usually with things like quake3 the speed depends entirely on the through put of the graphics card. There are some graphs that show the celeron and athlon tied at q3demos because the graphics card cannot push enough pixels. See the bottom graph []. And I wouldn't necessarily trust any graph from Walnut Creek, RedHat, Sun or even Microsoft. Remember they are just in this for the money. They are trying to push as many units as possible by making themselves look the best. Marketing crap at it's greatest.

    By and large there will not be a major difference between the two platform, except when accessing devices, because they both execute x86 code, and no matter if the format is elf or not, there is only so many ways to generate code, especially if they both use the same compiler, gcc. Only system calls to the kernel are going to have a big difference.
  • Anyways, I've always wanted to play with FreeBSD, my reluctance has been based more on device drivers, and the ability to get an X or whatever FreeBSD uses for a GUI operating with my hardware. It's always been my understanding that FreeBSD was limited in this aspect.

    For the most part, if XFree86 has drivers for X11, it is supported on all platforms they support. The exceptions are mainly around nVidia which has a kernel (binary-only) driver for Linux. I am still able to run 2D and 3D (utah driver) applications on my FreeBSD box, but I do not see the extreme speed of this chip. Otherwise, all my hardware is supported on this box. Check out the Supported Hardware [] for FreeBSD to determine if your hardware is supported.

    After using Linux since the days of v0.99.14?, I made the switch from Linux v2.2.12. Once I had my system nice and steady--a geek must tweak things--I found I did not miss Linux. Manual pages for almost anything, the ports system, and a more secure system allowed me to do other things like actually developing software in my free time.

    One thing you will like a lot: all of the source to FreeBSD is in CVS.
  • Hello, I tried both, and the difference for me is that when I was running Linux I had to fix glitches all the time. Installing an rpm would not assure that the application would work. Installing a program in FreeBSD is a breeze. Maintenance on FreeBSD is but nonexistent... Moreover, the installation is very clean, you don't need a 1Gb HD to fill with a ton of stuff you don't need. Linux is great to learn about Unix and experiment with, FreeBSD gets the job done. (I do hosting on FreeBSD [], so the reliability and simplicity of the OS makes things much easier. Gil.
  • Oh, not Evans data, necessarily, but some of these companies that produce "exclusive executive reports"?

    They've got a terrific little racket going there. Would you like to find out how you too can MAKE MONEY FAST in the challenging, high tech world of executive reports?

    While thousands have paid big bucks to find out, because you readers of /. are special, I'll tell you for free.

    What you do is find a technology, find a newsgroup or list around the technology, get the names of the folks on the list who post a lot, and start making phone calls.

    You tell your interviewees that if they give you an interview, they'll get a free copy of the report.

    Now here's the sweet part: make sure some of the people on your list work for a "prestige" company. Then, because you've given the person at that company a free copy of the report, just as you've promised, that company goes on your list of clients which you present to people you're trying to sell these reports to. "Oh", say your victims, "if XYZ is interested in this technology, I'd better pay the couple of hundred bucks and read the report myself."

    I work for, uh, a company that makes a lot of airplanes, and my research interests require me to be involved in some open forums. So I turn away about one of these interviews a month.

    I did give a couple of interviews, and did in fact get my reports, and the reports were pitiful: 50 pages with lots of white space, revealing an unclear grasp of both the technology and the marketplace. For instance, one guy who calls me regularly seems to be obsessed with Windows CE and its threat to the established players in the embedded RTOS market. Yeah, that's going to happen.

    What I suspect is, he's no more clueless than his customers, and he's found some customers who are willing to pay for reports on that subject.

    Which reveals the other sweet part of this racket: you can issue another report 6 months later on "Changing Trends in the X Market". Just interview the same people (if you're moderately ethical) all over again.

    Frankly, I don't know why anybody bothers to learn how to be a spammer. This is where the money is.

    I'm a little bit hazy on the details of how you sell these reports and who you sell them to, but evidently somebody knows, and it must not be that hard. As Barnum noted, a potential customer for your executive reports is born approximately every sixty seconds.

  • Frankly, for someone who is not interested in hacking, these system [sic] are pretty much the same.

    Wrong. For someone not interested in hacking, that someone is still interested in using their computer for something, and what it is in particular they want to use it for is what determines which they should use. For the ultimate in stability, use a BSD (with very heavy use for very many things on a very underpowered system, OpenBSD was more stable than my power company, with uptimes in excess of a year without any glitches nor any responsiveness complaints from me; try actually /using/ your computer for 365 days straight without a reboot). For compatibility with the biggest load of ... user applications, go with a Linux distribution, probably Red Hat just because that even further increases your 'compatibility'. But ease of hacking is not the only difference between the two.
  • Hm. I have linux rpm , netscape, acrobat, even quake3 ... if i type /compat/linux/bin/sh i get a shell in a vanilla redhat system, X and all (linux X clients running on BSD's native X server that is).

    I guess that's technically not a linux distribution in its own right, it just contains one. i rather wish it was debian and not redhat, but i imagine the purpose of having redhat is to install all those proprietary software packages that only exist as rpms for redhat.

  • I run BSD for my servers. Period.

    I'll run Linux for my desktop.

    BSD is so much cleaner and easier to use than any flavour of Linux. It doesn't install tons of crap I'll never use. I want to have to NFS mount my "unix_software" directory and compile all the software I'll need on my server.


  • I'm still to se a BSD with a SysV-style init

    NetBSD 1.5 (the latest release) uses an unusual init setup that captures many of the good things about SysV style init while removing some of the stupid things. Each script can have a prereqisite script. So, sendmail might have networking as it's prerequisite. You get the cleanliness of separate scripts without the stupid number juggling of sysv.

    Personally, I'd like to see a distro with a linux kernel but BSD userland, ports, etc.


  • by slothbait ( 2922 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @11:22AM (#327956)
    Unix is a registered trademark. I think SCO owns it currently. I do not believe that FreeBSD has licensed this trademark. So, legally, it should not be called "unix".

    Then there is the technical argument, that since FreeBSD descended from BSD, which descended from the original AT&T Unix, it is a "legitimate" Unix. By the same argument, since Linux is a ground-up rewrite, sharing no AT&T code, it is not "unix". This is not as cut-and-dry as it sounds, however.

    FreeBSD is actually descended from 4.4 BSD-Lite. Why is it called "Lite"? Because it is *unencumbered* of the tie to AT&T. The Berkeley people went through and rewrote / eliminated code so that they could release a system independent of the old Bell Labs version, thus avoiding licensing difficulties with AT&T. So, FreeBSD is independent of the original unix *anyway*.

    So, does BSD/Lite constitute a complete rewrite, that was merely carried out in stages? If so, then FreeBSD shares no more blood with the original Unix than Linux does.

    Anyway, definining "Unix" so narrowly seems a bit silly to me. These systems all descend from the same tradition. I see no need to try to lay claim to legitimacy based on code lineage.

  • The best quote is from their table of contents, under the "Development Tools" section:

    I just fell over laughing. Are linux developers aware of significant changes to development platforms they don't use? When do they plan to throw out all their existing tools for a system that is totally incompatible with their existing systems? Are they salivating to replace their setups with a system that is still vaporware?

    God, I might buy this report just for the humor value. Rock on, EvansData! You might have a career in comedy after all....

  • There is a generic term. It's "unix"

    No. UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories [], a division of The Open Group. LINUX is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. The generic term for systems with a working implementation of the functions in unistd.h is "POSIX conforming systems."

  • Then people can probably say Sun Solaris isn't a UNIX system as well, as I'm sure it doesn't have any original source left in it,

    You might be sure, but you might have figured 4.4BSD Lite didn't have any (original) UNIX source either, but something like six files were found to be infringing, which is the main reason there was a Lite2 release. Lite wasn't even bootable.

    There probably is a small bit of the original Unix source left in Solaris. Not really a useful amount give the size of the code, but very likely to be a legally significant amount.

    The fact remains, no matter how much original code is left over from System 6 UNIX, 1BSD forked from it in 1978 (which FreeBSD forked from down the line) and is therefore a UNIX derivative. Just because none of the original code exists doesn't mean the fork never happened. That's the way I've always defined a "UNIX derivative".

    Legally it is different, which is why you can use it with no license from USL, or whomever currently licenses Unix.

    I wrote a breakout game in 6502 assembly on the C=64. I started with the source code for a very simple text editor. I don't think that breakout is usefully described as "text editor based", even though there was actually shared code left over. But i guess it is all semantics. It may be useful in evaluating how BSD evolved to remember where it came from, even if absolutely none of the original code is left (or at least no amount that USL's expensive lawyers were able to argue as significant).

  • Problem is, there was nothing wrong with the report! The question asked of Linux developers was (paraphrase) "which platforms do you develop on?" The results show that 20% of Linux developers use Linux *and* FreeBSD. Not FreeBSD only.

    Incidentally, this is probably why Redhat got 77% of the result. When so many newbies use Redhat, it's only natural to shove it on a secondary partition to build a Redhat RPM with.
  • If I tell a newbie that my software is for a "POSIX conforming system", he won't know what the hell I'm talking about. If I say it's for "Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and other Unix(TM) and unix-like operating systems", he's going to fall asleep in the middle of my speech. It makes sense to say "my software is for Unix". The newbie instantly knows what that means, and the only people getting upset at grammarians.

    UNIX(TM) is in serious trouble of losing their trademark through dilution. Oh well, I'm not losing any sleep over it.
  • No, the poll was accurate enough. The question asked as NOT "what Linux distribution do you use", but "what platforms do you use". Notice the plural. The results tell me that 20% of Linux developers (not users) have FreeBSD as one of their operating systems. I know a couple of Linux developers that have FreeBSD as their *primary* OS, moving to Linux only if they need to create Linux specific binaries.
  • The pollees were asks which platforms they used. Notice the plural.

    You see, developers that write software that runs on "Linux, FreeBSD and other Unix and unix-like systems" are still Linux developers, even though their primary system happens to be FreeBSD, Solaris or IRIX.
  • At work I'm using bash and gcc on Solaris-2.5.1. It would be complete and utter nonsense to call the system GNU/Solaris. That's because the shell and the compiler are not the OS.
  • The original post said "Once you've got a BSD box and a Linux box set up ... Linux and BSD are virtually indistinguishable."

    This is true from the users perspective. If you're not administering the system, writing system level software, or rooting through proc, it would take you a while to figure out it's not Linux.

    Do you really check out what system calls are available everytime you sit in front of a system so you know if it's really Linux or not? I didn't think so. We use Solaris at work on 99.9% of the systems, and I had been logging in to a remote system for several weeks before I realized that it was a Linux system. I figured it out because I finally brought up a man page that said "this man page is no longer being maintained."
  • Can we get a new mod category for "-1: annoying BSD Bot"?


Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.