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Wind River To Stop Selling BSD/OS 396

David writes "According to an article on Bsdnewsletter.com, OS company Wind River has said it will be stopping sales of BSD/OS on this December 31st, and product support exactly one year thereafter. Only 15 more weeks to grab the final 5.1 update before this piece of history might be gone forever..."
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Wind River To Stop Selling BSD/OS

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  • by Sevn ( 12012 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @07:49PM (#6926395) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't resist. Much love for FreeBSD btw.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @07:54PM (#6926430)
    ... move the slash left one character.
  • Joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @07:55PM (#6926432)
    Q: What do you call a gathering of BSD enthusiasts?

    A: A funeral.
  • by jerkface ( 177812 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @07:57PM (#6926452) Journal
    or at least, this is consistent with the number of usenet posts.
    • Try ISp's. Many do not like FreeBSD because its free. They think by paying alot of money that the product is better. Don't you love Phb's?

      BSD/OS is 2k! Of course no home enthasist is going to run. But a business is a different. Also BSD/OS I think had jail and better smp scalability for years. Infact it may still be better then 5.0.

      • I've used BSD/OS in the past and I can tell you it's one solid OS with excellent SMP support.

        It's a pity but maybe now they will be nice and donate the code the freebsd project like the previous managment said they would.

        OTH hand it is wind river so probably not. I can dream though...

  • Okay, okay... (Score:5, Informative)

    by c0dedude ( 587568 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @07:59PM (#6926466)
    Before we all go off on the *bsd is dying trip, let's look at the actual statistics, from Netcraft. [netcraft.com] This survey is current. Thanks.
    • by ScottGant ( 642590 ) <scott_gant@sbcgl ... T ['oba' in gap]> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:08PM (#6926525) Homepage
      The "bsd is dying" rumours are taking on a life of their own.

      It's almost as bad as the "Apple is dying" nonsense that's been going on since 1984.

      But wait a minute...Apple's OSX runs a BSD variant....omg! IT's TRUE! IT'S TRUE!!!!
      • Funny, the new top secret apple marketing slogan is "You only die twice (at the same time).
      • Since 1984? Try since 1975!

        Predictions of Apple's imminent demise have been pretty much continuous since the company's founding. Funny how something can be both tedious and amusing at the same time.

    • It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: "*BSD is dying" is dying

      Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered "*BSD is dying" community when the latest Netcraft survey plainly stated that *BSD accounts for nearly 2 million active sites, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. The "*BSD is dying" trolls are collapsing in complete disarray.

      Fact: "*BSD is dying" is dead

  • I still have an old BSDI box (and CDs) in the closet.

    That was back in the day when Solaris/X86 2.5 just wouldn't load on any PC that I had.

    The app I needed only ran on BSDI and Solaris PCs (wahh, they now support Linux though).

    Ahh, those were the days. I even coded up all the CGIs I needed in C (blech).

  • That was quick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:01PM (#6926480)
    Slightly less than 10 years ago, I was invited to visit BSDI HQ - a very nice house in Colorado Springs. This was before they moved to the "real" office space a few miles away.

    The whole house was wired up for geekiness. They had terminals in various places and plenty of computers. The AV room had massive speakers, a projection screen, and tons of components. Outside, there was a RCA DSS dish, which had been on the market for less than a year as I recall.

    In one of the hallways there were a few gold CDs of various releases in picture frames. At the time, they were still working on the 2.0 release (first one called BSD/OS as opposed to BSD/386, if I remember correctly), so there were only a couple up there.

    They certainly seemed to have their business affairs in order. Now here it is and their company has been eaten by another, and now the former flagship product is being killed.

    I shut down my last BSD/OS system almost 4 years ago and moved to Slackware, so it won't affect me. I just wonder what happened to them when things were obviously quite good at one time.
    • First off they bought FreeBSD or the company who makes the cd's, funds developers, and puts the product on shelves at compusa.

      I think they want to sell FreeBSD for alot cheaper since BSD/OS was very expensive and has limited enthusian and hardware support. They will continue support contracts but FreeBSD is where they make all their money in.

      I hope they do well with FreeBSD in the future.

    • Back in 1997 my workplace was essentially an all-BSD/OS shop. We had a source license, and I think it's fair to say that all of us who hacked around in it admired the BSD/OS kernel for its stability and clean code.

      Unfortunately, a year or so later Windows NT swept down upon our group like a plague of management-mandated locusts. When the dust settled, our BSD/OS desktops were gone. I was sitting in front of a windows NT workstation, trying to convince myself that the SCO X server I had duct-taped on top
  • BSD Dead? (Score:2, Informative)

    by markalanj ( 60299 )
    I have to disagree that BSD itself is dead. Maybe what was once BSDI yes but not BSD in general. Personally I prefer using FreeBSD for serving over Linux. Its stable,consistant and the ports collection rocks! Sure its not for everyone and it maybe dead in the mainstream but its heart still beats for those geeks who want a geeks os.
    • Re:BSD Dead? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TWX ( 665546 )
      I've never seen proof that Linux isn't a geeks' OS, considering the difficulty in getting mainstream people to accept that yes, something useful can still be done at the command line...

      From a users' perspective, there should be almost no functional difference between using a BSD machine, a Linux machine, and a commercial UNIX (Sun, HP-UX, etc) machine. All of the differences that I have seen have been in adminstration. So, even if BSD is dying, Admins will be the only ones to really notice.
    • There is someone here with a pretty good sig that sums up the Linux vs. BSD comparison, so I'm going to steal it.

      "BSD is for people who love Unix; Linux is for people who hate Microsoft."

  • SMP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the uNF cola ( 657200 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:04PM (#6926500)
    BSD/OS had some kick ass SMP support. They were also great live support. Terrible package support, but that was the worst of it.
  • Seemed obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:04PM (#6926508)
    It seems like only a year ago when Wind River took over BSD/OS and made lots of lavish praises and promises but, I think everyone knew that this would be the final result. Frankly I never fully understood why Wind River picked it up in the first place.

    In any case, I do not feel that this is a significant loss. The major BSD development is happening in FreeBSD and NetBSD, BSD/OS was never a strong contender.

    None the less, this does clearly demonstrate what happens to software that is owned by closed source companies.
    • The announcement says that they are no longer selling it as "BSD/OS". I'm fairly certain that they are using the core technology in their embedded systems now and not bothering with a full-fledged OS. It's called getting back to their core business.
  • by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:07PM (#6926521)
    BSD is not dead, it's just homeless for the time being.

    Please expect this fine OS to be smelling a bit ripe at your nearest highway exit ramp with a sign that says "Will boot for partition space".
  • Commercial Arm (Score:4, Informative)

    by cplater ( 155482 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:08PM (#6926529) Homepage
    BSD/OS was the commercial version of the BSD world. A few years ago there was a push to bring it up to date with the current FreeBSD at the time. Hopefully this will allow more focus on the *BSDs. I'm a real *BSD fan, but I wasn't even aware that this was still around, or even being actively developed.
    • Re:Commercial Arm (Score:3, Informative)

      by AntiBasic ( 83586 )
      So you're a BSD fan yet know so little about recent history? To be accurate, BSDI merged with Walnut Creek, changed its name to BSDi and donated the prototype BSDi BSD/OS 5.0 kernel code to the FreeBSD Project.
  • Ah, the memories... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:12PM (#6926557) Journal
    BSDi... my first hacked server.

    No, I didn't hack it... It was the first server I admin'd that got hacked (circa 1997).

    I was a network guy in those days and somehow inherited the admin of that machine (running Livingston Radius!) and managed via unrestricted telnet.

    All of my unix experience came from having installed Redhat *once* as a lark, but since in the land of the blind the man with one eye is king, I was it.

    I remember seeing all those funny named process in the top display, doing a search on Altavista and then begining to panic.

    Eventually we switched over to FreeBSD and Solaris and my interest in unix (and hopefully, my knowledge) grew from there.
    • Yes, seeing lots of processes running
      rm -r /
      can begin to be a little scary until your terminal disconnects. That's when you can stop worrying.
    • While in high school, I helped start an ISP. My friends father put up the money and away we went. After the SunOS (BSD! not Solaris) machine got to be slow (around 1993), we decided to try a couple cheap Pentium 66/75 machines (~~$2500). We used an SLS distribution w/ kernel 0.99 and we were pretty happy with it. Along the way we upgraded to Slackware and around the time of kernel 1.2.8 we were cracked.
      Why on earth would someone crack and trash a system? There goes the neighborhood.
      We switched the mach
  • by Bingo Foo ( 179380 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:12PM (#6926561)
    Is Wind River really an "OS company" or are they a "CD pressing and distribution company?"
    • Wind River is an embedded OS company. Their main OS vxWorks is used by many major vendors of things like switches, routers, PBXs and who knows what else.
    • by Alinraz ( 533041 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:33PM (#6926678)
      Primarily an embedded OS and tools company. They sell VxWorks (OS), the Vision* (...Probe, ...ICE, ...Click) products, SNiFF+ (A code management/editor/analysis package that rocks and runs on Linux), and Diab (embedded compiler).

      We use several of their products at my company to develop MCF5407 systems. Not that I'd buy WR products again though...

      Actually, they're really a "aquire and kill" company...over the last several years they've gone on a major aqusions binge, and many of the products of companies they've aquired (mostly competitors, and often with superior products) they've either let stagnate or killed outright.
    • by Shamashmuddamiq ( 588220 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @09:18PM (#6926889)
      WindRiver sells abominations like the DIAB compiler and operating systems like VxWorks. VxWorks isn't too bad. It's mostly POSIX-compliant, and has some nice features, though you'll sink a boatload of money into licensing. WindRiver also used to sell pSOS, a non-POSIX operating system that is pure hell to build embedded applications with. They're still trying to migrate a lot of their customers from pSOS to VxWorks.

      There are very few reasons, from a technical perspective, to use proprietary operating systems instead of GNU. Especially with the new Linux 2.6 kernel (with pseudo-real-time capabilities and the uCLinux MMU-less additions), there are more and more reasons to move away from proprietary RTOS for most embedded applications.

      • by yanestra ( 526590 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:50PM (#6927696) Journal
        There are very few reasons, from a technical perspective, to use proprietary operating systems instead of GNU. Especially with the new Linux 2.6 kernel
        You might want to have a look at this paper [chesapeake.net], especially the part with the pathological test cases for the Linux scheduler.
      • There are very few reasons, from a technical perspective, to use proprietary operating systems instead of GNU.

        How about the fact that the Linux kernel is geared towards desktop and server machines, and as a result it's very hard to strip the kernel down to a reasonable size? Linux isn't a "one size fits all" solution, and projects like uCLinux are only applicable to a small subset of embedded projects. Another problem with Linux from an embedded developer's point of view, is the regularity with which ke

  • The full letter (Score:5, Informative)

    by knobee ( 246923 ) <knobee@wetworks.org> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:12PM (#6926562)
    you can find the full announcement here [clegg.com]. Alan Clegg -- Formerly abc@bsdi.com [mailto]
  • I'm not looking for a hand count -- I'm wondering where BSD/OS saw the biggest deployments.

    Was BSD/OS popular before the free BSDs? I see on their site that they have some information about embedding BSD/OS -- is there a piece of hardware we might all know about, or is it more for internal hardware projects?

    • It had one heydey... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:35PM (#6926690) Homepage
      Remember the Gauntlet firewall? One of the first firewalls commercial firewalls, and one that you got the source for (it was not open source in the sense that you couldn't distribute source).

      Anyway, make a long story short. Gauntlet ran Solaris, HP-UX, and BSDI, because it actually modified the kernal and several peripheral systems to make it more secure.

      Well, it was geared to a specific release of BSDI. I suspect this was one of the big sellers, and when Gauntlet essentially died of old age (and a company that had no interest in keeping its customers), BSDI lost a big chunk of the market.

      Then you add the rise of the really "Free" BSD's and Linux, and that pretty much ended it.

      But I'll say that BSDI was one of the most robust, forgiving, stable platforms I ran; a fortune 1000 company ran its entire email gateway systems on a pair of BSDI 4.x boxes running a customized FWTK proxy. They only reason it was retired was because the new guys were only Windows literate and BSDI scared them.

      Anyway, I can't say enough good things about BSDI.
      • by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:43PM (#6926728)
        BSDI were the folks who sat down with the FreeBSD developers and basically said, "Here -- these are all of our SMP secrets." From the FreeBSD SMP mailing list, this was instrumental in FreeBSD 5.0 becoming the SMP uberbeast it is, well beyond what just unraveling the macro kernel lock was accomplishing.

        At one point, I seem to recall that Wind River were acquiring Walnut Creek or otherwise taking on the publication of FreeBSD. Whatever happened to that? It seems like they poured blessings all over FreeBSD, then didn't reap the benefits of resultant FreeBSD's growth.

    • Was BSD/OS popular before the free BSDs?

      It was mature long before the free BSD's were, and as a result gained a foothold in the ISP market when the Internet started to expand. You could also get the source for what was a comparatively reasonable license cost at the time, (early to mid nineties). As an example, Stephen's seminal "Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment" was so informative in part because of the authors ability to poke around the BSD/OS source code.


  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:14PM (#6926572) Homepage Journal
    BSDi was NEVER a free (speech or beer) product, and as such really has and had no impact on the free software community. So, while another (some might say 'useless') proprietary software company goes down the shithole, it does not affect the free software movement in any signifigant way.

    Free and Net BSD will continue to serve our community alongside of Linux as always, completely unaffected by today's announcement.
  • by nutznboltz ( 473437 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:17PM (#6926588) Homepage Journal
    What about F5 BigIP [bigip.com]? It used to run on NetBSD but they needed a commerical OS so they moved on. F5's 3DNS version 3.x ran on FreeBSD, but they migrated it to BSDi in version 4.0.

    I wonder if they will try to maintain BSD/OS themselves or migrate back?
  • Where's it go? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Endareth ( 684446 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:19PM (#6926598) Journal
    So anyone know what will happen to the source? Any chance of it being released into the Open Source community? I'm sure some of it would benefit other *NIXes out there.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      So anyone know what will happen to the source?

      it will probably be copied into the linux kernel.
    • Re:Where's it go? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fmayhar ( 413222 )
      I very strongly suspect that there's nearly zero chance that BSD/OS will be open-sourced. While the developers (hi, guys!) might want to do that, Wind River the company has shown itself, I think, to be pretty unfriendly to the open-source community. Just look at how the FreeBSD guys got the shaft in 2001.

      As for the extinction of BSD/OS, well, when I heard a rumor that it was coming, I credited that rumor pretty strongly. When WR came along to buy us (I worked for BSDi at the time) I was skeptical of th
  • I still love BSDi (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StudentAction.CA ( 167871 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:31PM (#6926660) Homepage
    Here at work we still have 20+ BSDi machines. We started back in the 1.x days (still have the manuals somewhere.....) and have kept with it ever since. Over the years, we've had to do some custom hacks to fix some OSS software (Cyrus IMAP, just to mention one) but for the most part it is still a rock solid OS with the only downtime being when BSDi released a kernel mod that needed a reboot.

    Of couse now we are moving to FreeBSD and Linux, but it's sad to see an old friend reach the end of it's life. There were a lot of great things in BSDi (like the IPFW firewall syntax - it rocks) but I guess all good things must come to an end.

    Fiarwell, my old friend.
  • Par for the course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El ( 94934 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @08:46PM (#6926744)
    It was obvious from the beginning that Wind River bought BSD, just like it bought pSOS, not to obtain new technology, but rather to eliminate another competitor to VxWorks. (What other technologies has Wind River done this to?) Unfortunately, embedded Linux seems to be ruining Wind River's plans to become the Microsoft of the embedded world.
    • Wind River Systems made the following acquisitions and sales:

      In May 2000, they bought AudeSi [bizjournals.com] for $40,000,000 and Norwegian company ICESoft for $25,000,000

      In April 2001, they bought the software assets of Berkeley Software Design Inc. [bizjournals.com]

      There's an interesting quote from Business Week [businessweek.com] at this time.

      owning the assets of an open-source software company doesn't guarantee gaining access to the talent of programmers in the open-source community

      Rather not surprisingly, in January 2002, they sold FreeBSD [com.com]
    • by clf8 ( 93379 )
      Actually, they did purchase a lot of companies a few years back. Diab and SingleStep allowed them to own the entire tool chain from compiler to debugger. They've been integrating these into their IDE in an attempt to provide an entire solution. They may have gotten pSOS or BSD to kill them, but don't forget there's also money in support.

      Personally, I started using VxWorks almost 10 years ago and always considered it a decent OS. Sure, it's just one big memory space, but in a lot of ways it's a good sol
    • As I work for a software company that sells to embedded OEM's, we sell more on VxWorks than any other embedded platform. That being said nobody really likes WindRiver they are kinda like the MS of the embedded world.
    • by k8to ( 9046 )

      Right, because of all the embedded development sales opportunities that were going towards BSDI??

      Let's review. Was BSDI a highly successful embedded operating system? Was BSDI known for being used in realtime and/or small-scaled operating environments across tens of architectures?

      Answers: No, no, and no.

      Aside: pSOS was bought for tools and customer acquisition. It was a buyout ISI was actively interested because their company was taking on water rapidly. I mean, sure, WRS wouldn't mind eliminat

  • I paid them $1000 for a source distribution of their beta version when it first came out. I stuck with them through the lawsuit but their support vanished when 1.0 came out. I dumped them for Slackware and never looked back.
  • Who cares. FreeBSD kicks its ass anyway.
  • Japanese BSD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kyoko21 ( 198413 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @10:10PM (#6927198)
    I just came back from a two month business trip in Japan. From what I saw in their bookstore was that there were several BSD magazines with 5.1 that comes with the magazines. I didn't see too many linux magazines though. Maybe the Japanese prefer BSD. Any Japanese slashdot readers out there?
    • Re:Japanese BSD (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There are at least three major monthly Japanese Linux magazines (with cds) plus frequent "How-to" magazines. In fact, the Turbo-Linux box version was actually outselling Windows 98 before XP went on sale. Besides Turbo-Kinux, RedHat has a localized boxed distribution and Debian and others are well-known too.

      BSD is certainly used here, but Linux is much more popular and better known to the public. Of course, Windows and Office is still the default for most people and businesses, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:41AM (#6928654)
    I guess it's time to say a few words as a past member of the BSD/OS development team.

    Wind River had trouble dealing with the BSD thing for a long time. Keep in mind that their aim was *embedded* stuff, not the UNIX we all know and love.
    In that regard, their announcement is just a move back to a market Wind has been more successful in.

    I, too, knew the end was coming when I was one of the five people that received a pink slip in January, and I was (and I still am) worried about what happens to the people left behind. I hope they do well; some have troube dealing with the loss of something they've worked on for a decade or more.

    Of the five that have left, many have found a new place, but some are still looking. If you're looking for some *real* good folk, ping them. (I work at a leading Dutch security company now).

    I've had a *wonderful* 6 years at BSDI/Wind, and would like to thank the people I've worked with (including customers) for making it happen.

    BSD development will continue, it will just happen elsewhere. May the source be with you.

    Geert Jan
  • BSD/OS dead (Score:2, Informative)

    by corbosman ( 136668 )
    BSD/OS has actually been in a coma for quite some time. Shutting down life support is the only fair thing to do.

    We used to run BSD/386 back in 1992 and used BSD/OS upto about 4.1. Around that point BSD/OS started to lag behind in the fast pace of development, but most importantly, in support. When you pay tens of thousands of dollars for licenses with no visible return you tend to start looking for alternatives.

    We switched our whole ISP (now around 600 servers) to FreeBSD with little hassle.

    It's a shame
  • In Japan, *BSD (especially FreeBSD) is very popular.
    You can see BSD Magazine [ascii.co.jp] and much more

  • What to buy...what to buy...hmmm [windriver.com]...hmmm [freebsd.org]...just can't decide how much I'd like to spend! I need to get my hands on a copy of BSD to host my site! Stat!

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie