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BSD Operating Systems

FSMLabs announces RTL/BSD 35

BSD Today reports that embedded RTLinux company, FSM Labs has decided to move into NetBSD as a general purpose OS layer to RTLinux APIs. This is following Wind River's acquisition of the software assets of BSDi. Makes one wonder whether the competition in the BSD arena is about to begin.
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FSMLabs announces RTL/BSD

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  • I never realized that competition required commerce. All that time I thought my high school little league team was competing with the other schools, when really I guess we were only playing a baseball game. Boy, is my face red.
  • (again)
  • So, what's new. You already have the examples of BSDi and SunOS.
  • Sure. Linus is well-known for his level-headedness and tolerance.
  • From what I gather from reading the info it's not a matter of RTLinux switching to NetBSD but one of them adding NetBSD as another option. Now they have Linux based AND NetBSD based solutions. This is definitely a Good Thing<tm>.

    The whole GPL vs BSD licesening comment is rubbish, though. There's no problem making money on GPL software. At least I haven't had any.


  • This might be a little off-topic, but it does need repeating:

    Please remember that Wind River does not "own" FreeBSD. FreeBSD is still under the control of its committers and core team, the same people as before. Wind River just happens to pay many of those people to do nothing but work on FreeBSD. The biggest blow Wind River could deal to FreeBSD is to terminate those people's employment. Wind River *cannot* run FreeBSD into the ground.

    SecretAsianMan (54.5% Slashdot pure)
  • Damnit!!

    I know their name is Wind River but every time I look at their url, I keep reading Win Driver


    "I'll take the red pill, no, blue. AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH........"

  • Like yeah right......

    How can you say the competition is just starting? WE BSD folks have been around for ever, and we watch you Linux folks grow from a nothing-kernel, to a something-kernal, and even watch you folks as you come rape our user-land code, and then this.... The ball's this guy has... must have a brain inversly proportunate to the weight of his balls. Big balls, tiny brain....... typical.

  • My point is that We BSD folks have been doing, and will continue to do, what we think is cool. Things happen slower, and more correctly in the BSD world. Here is a quote I stole from somebody:

    windows is for the novic opperator, Linux is for the person who hates windows, And BSD is for folks who love Unix. Its all about the love baby!

    This is the typical mindset of the average BSD user. We don't hate anything, we simply preffer Unix. I think that says allot about the development model. The competition isn't starting, it isn't there, we are not competing. Yet at the same time, it is deeply insulting for a Linux person to imply that we just appeared one day and are competing with linux. More likely this is a person new to the linux scean, and BSD just appeared on his radar. Folk like that shouldn't get front page on ./

    may the force flow thru you....
  • Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    Take a look at number of Linux companies that aren't making money.

    Get us some hard facts to back up your FUD troll girl.

    Also, why not post under your real user profile... that's right, you're a clueless coward.

  • This is offtopic, but the parent's point about profit friendly licenses reminded me... has anyone seen any licenses that go something like this:

    You release a piece of software and its source code for a fee. Anyone who buys your software can modify it for their own personal use, and can even distribute their modified version as long as they either distribute it as an upgrade to other people who have bought my original software, or buy copies of my software for each copy of their modified software sold/distributed. This way people can change my stuff and add to it and make a profit off of it if they like, and I can still make a profit from my original code...

    Well, I dunno if it will work well or not... but I'm wondering if anyone has seen something like that before?


  • Oh, I forgot to mention that the person releasing her modified code also has to release under the same license... thus the source stays available, but people can make a profit...
  • makes you wonder if BSD competition is going to begin??? Uhhhh....I think it has already started...I know a some hardcore FreeBSD users that would string up the blasphemers who use NetBSD or OpenBSD. I think the competition has already might get a little more edgy though. :)

  • I don't see how the GPL makes it harder to make money in the embeded hardware market since what you are selling is primarily hardware.

    The success of BSD in firewall, and router appliances, has more to do with FreeBSD being better than Linux at routing and firewalling before the release of Linux 2.4.
  • As I understand it, this how BSD got started in the first place.

    Back in the early 80's you had to buy a Bell Labs Unix license to use BSD because Bell Labs still owned most of the code in the Berkley Distribution.
  • This is just more evidence of what I have tried (unsuccessfully) to point out many times. Two facts:
    1) RtLinux is not a very good Linux
    2) RTLinux is not a very good RTOS

    Why do I say this? Well it should be obvious now. RTLinux is not a Linux distribution, but rather a realtime executive that can ran a "Linux image". Similar approaches have been taken by several groups, like Radisys [] and Nematron [], to make Windoze a "realtime OS". The results are generally all the same. Because of the special tricks that must be used, you end up with an OS that is less stable than the off-the-shelf product. And you really do not get many of the benefits of using an off-the-shelf OS, because anything you do that needs to be realtime has to be run by and programmed for the "realtime kernel" (not the OS kernel!)and its proprietary API.

    As far as realtime performance is concerned, the last numbers I heard at the 2000 ISA show [] showed that RTLinux (actually it may have been Montavista []) was well behind the major players (i.e. QNX [], VXWorks []) in terms of realtime performance. Worst case interrupt latencies were on the order of 40 microseconds, compared to sub-microsecond latencies for others. This is only to be expected with the overhead of running two OS's. In all fairness, it did beat Windows CE. :-) An interesting thing to note if you read about Nematron's HyperKernel (above) is that realtime latencies actually get worse when the Windows NT side is heavily utilized! I would guess the same is true of the realtime Linuxes. So don't play Quake or your reactor may meltdown... ;-)

  • So you "heard" something about some RT system which may have been RTLinux. Impressive
    Yes, I "heard" this from a realtime Linux vendor at a technical conference on the use of realtime operating systems in industrial control systems. Dumbass.

    The 40us is nonsense: depending on the motherboard/processor it can go from 1 to 15. As for the submicrosecond claim
    40us is correct [] for Montavista. I searched for RTLinux numbers but was unable to find any detailed report(surprise, surprise). I generally saw numbers ranging from 15-30us. Some QNX numbers [] are here. I understand VxWorks is a little better

    I would guess the same is true of the realtime Linuxe" --- You guessed wrong.
    Maybe you should read the analysis section above where it talks about the number of processes on the system affecting interrupt latency! Again, dumbass. I only wish RTLinux had some decent documentation so i could prove you wrong about them too.

    being naive is no crime, I guess
    but being an arrogant dumbass should be!

  • >Yeah, those Olympic games, they'll never get anywhere, mark my words.

    What gave you the ridiculous idea that the Olympic games are not comercial?

  • If you design a router based on xxxx microcontroller then release the entire source code it makes it very easy to copy. A competing company could take your source, make a few changes for their specific hardware (not many if based on the same microcontroller) and then they have a competing product that is just as good for a faction of the R&D costs.

    Then you have to also worry about actually adhering to the GPL. It's not that it's that expensive to do, just a big pain in the butt. The fact that you even have to think about it is reason enough for many people to avoid it. Why worry about it when BSD is available.

    I'm sure that this is one of the main reasons why Apple went with BSD and Mach - they don't _have_ to release any source code. They also don't have to worry about people accusing them of holding back GPLed code or anything like that. It saves them from a lot of potential headaches. The fact that they have contributed back with Darwin is very surprising - and appreciated.


  • I see the lack of Frontpage 2002 server extensions for BSDI. All other platforms are there. Hmm. Makes you wonder if they are dropping support in recent light of change.
  • Competition? FreeBSD got its usb device support from NetBSD and an exciting new FFS optimization from OpenBSD. I'm sure NetBSD and OpenBSD have migrated some portions of the FreeBSD distro over as well. They all have binary compatibility with each other. Each one is an asset to the others.
  • Just what the hell is this all about? Nothing that I've seen has indicated that there's any trend towards decline of BSD use.

    If you're getting your information from Usenet, that could be the main flaw in your survey. Not all users of operating systems are going to be discussing issues on Usenet. I would guess only about 1/4 of the userbase DOES communicate there. From what I've seen, _Usenet_ is nearing it's death.

    If you'd like to get a more accurate idea of the amount of users openly communicating with eachother, check the mailing lists of the respective OS. You'll see much larger numbers, which once again, don't even come close to representing the total userbase.
  • And Hershey is probably the world's biggest shipper of chocolate bars. Kraft is the world's biggest shipper of cheeses.

    Bigger is not always better.
  • Just what everyone wants. Yet another layer to another overly complex operating system. Come on, who wants to have to manage that much?
  • I think you hit the nail directly on the head with this one. Most companies aren't really all that adverse to working with free software, but if they can't make any money off of the product they can't produce it. The GPL intentionally makes it very difficult to make money off of the software. However the BSD license allows a company to "value add" software and sell those enhancements for a profit. This is why you see FreeBSD hidden in things like routers (Juniper Routers for instance) and firewall. While the concept of profit may be abhorant to some of the more rabid GPL zealots, the simple fact is that profit is the basis for a capitalist economy, which is what keeps America running.

    Of course there are advantages to the GPL from a community sofware point of view. In fact for personal projects it is probably the superior license, but if you are a for-profit company the GPL is something of a hinderence.

    Flames away... :/

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • The company is making an option and not turning fields. One can use either Linux or NetBSD. If anyone reads the article then it will clear read this. And I think this is great. A company is giving its customers the option of choosing the OS it may fit their needs. No many companies can do this as such thing demands some supplementary effort for development and maintenance. It's a pitty how /. reacted to it.

    It seems people there fought so long against M$ that they are becoming M$ themselves: "If you aren't exactly in our side then you are another enemy..."
  • Apple is going to repeat its feat of becoming the largest shipper of RISC boxes with the introduction of the PPC by becoming the largest shipper of Unix systems with the introduction of OS X.

    Competition. Nah. Against who?

  • I question the true business value for BSD. Consider what Linux Torvalds said: "start using *BSD. *BSD users (and developers) are all complete jackasses, so you'll fit right in" [].

  • Not really; WindRiver's market is embedded systems; they deal in embedded realtime systems.

    As for competition.. it's rediculous to speak of 'competition' between things that aren't commercial entities. OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, these exist because people want them to, not because of some company.

  • All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share.

    Gosh, the Wall Street Journal indicated recently that Apple sales of Darwin-based MacOS X in the last month dwarfed "sales" of "free" unices by a long shot. That was a qualitative report. Does anyone know how many Apple actually sold?

    If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyists, dabblers, and dilettantes. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

    Hmmm.... Darwin (pun intended), not wishful thinking, seems to control the fates of these systems.
  • disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to imply my preference of one license over another. That's one holy war I desperately wanna avoid.

    Ah, but this is /. buddy, and all I have to say is...


  • If you are making improvements to a community supported project, you will give back the code anyway. Otherwise, you need to maintain your own fork and roll the improvements in. It is far better to get your changes into the final product.

    Companies with BSD software are most likely to either: A) start with BSD code and morph it into something very different and proprietary, or B) release a value-add to the BSD code, and release the improvements to the BSD stuff to keep synced.

    In case A, they could start from scratch (but it is a waste of effort and therefore inefficient, regardless of your holy war), or B, you get the code. In case B, if it is GPL'd, they are likely not to start the project, and therefore, you don't get more code.

    Pre-web days, the GPL solved a problem because there was no concept of open source communities. Stallman's free software position had tremendous benefits, and did result in companies GPLing code to comply. However, in this day and age, the open source community creates enough of an incentive to get code released, without the formality of the GPL.

    Example: SAMBA. Apple knows that good NT integration would go a long way towards making OS X a good corporate citizen. SAMBA has a solid implementation. However, as it is GPL'd, they can't build a SAMBA based login, etc., system and release it with the OS. Someone would have to package it up as an add-on, distributed separately. This benefits nobody.

    I support free software, I try to release what I can. I provide all my clients with the source code to the systems that they paid me to write. I feel that it is the right thing to do. We even negotiate a transferability license if they want, I'm willing to provide all the freedoms of the GPL (even GPL'd code) for a fee.

    However, I feel like the GPL is a mixed blessing. It does create an open-source playground where companies have an incentive to enter the GPL world.

    At the same time, however, I feel that it is keeping valuable software from existing (benefitting nobody). Additionally, the concept of keeping the code free is silly. If I release code into the Public Domain or with the BSD license, that code is perpetually free as long as SOMEBODY hosts it somewhere. Improvements may not always be free, but the code is free.

    The tradeoff is: is it more valuable to (potentially) get more free software out there by coercing companies, or will I get more value from propreitary add-ons, or even, will I get more free software by allowing proprietary add-ons and getting the patches released.

    As a software author, you need to make a decision for your code.

    One thing you should definitely do, however, is get people to assign copyright (like the FSF does). That way, if you think that their is an advantage to releasing under a new license, you can do so. Just realize that if you go BSD->GPL, the old code remains under BSD. If you go the otherway you are fine.

    So the holywar compromise might be: release under the GPL, maintain copyright (and get updates assigned), then if a compelling case is made, you can proprietarily license it to a company making the add-ons (perhaps distributing or donating some of the fees, something to discuss in the assign copyright place), release under the BSD license, etc.

    Both have their place, but you have to decide which will generate more benefit.

  • From the Q3 financial statement "We are filing for bankruptcy" at $0.00 per new distro, that makes how many new copies of Slackware and Stormix?

    ho ho ho

  • by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @05:21AM (#274380)
    This makes alot of sense to me. Businesses have certainly seen already that using un*x-type OS'es can give great results in terms of stability and power. However, recently they are also seeing that it's really difficult to make money by producing GPL'ed software. All the PHB's are seeing all these companies that produce linux products folding. It's only natural that if they hear about BSD, and hear that the license allows them to take the software and not release their changes, that they are going to want to move to BSD where they can use the traditional proprietary business models they are used to.

    disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to imply my preference of one license over another. That's one holy war I desperately wanna avoid.

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