More food for the chattering crowd: BSD vs Linux

Interesting blog posts:

BSD For Linux Users :: Intro

According to the above link:

"BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC. "

What do you guys think? And what is the real basis behind the supposedly tepid relationship between Torvalds
and de Raadt, founder of the open BSD distributions? I have heard it is over the interpretation of the GPL?

On 01/02/2012 06:56 PM, RichardET wrote:
> what is the real basis behind the
> supposedly tepid relationship between Torvalds
> and de Raadt, founder of the open BSD distributions?

i can’t imagine why i should care if they either hate each other or are
best buddies (or anywhere in between)!

both of them should spend their time as they like, and use the OS they
like…and . . .

and, so?


DD
openSUSE®, the “German Engineered Automobiles” of operating systems!

My personal point of view here is that the simple reason that Linux
exists today is that at the time Linus started with it there was no free
BSD ecosystem as we know it today (not until the mid 90s) and the BSDs
at that time were subjects to lawsuits and had an unclear future.
It was more or less that situation which made me a Linux user early, I
was myself more interested in 386BSD in the early 90s, but then Linux
appeared without all that legal problems.

So to make it short:

"BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try
to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of
PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC. "

is a very entertaining description, but I doubt it reflects the way
things went in reality.
The BSDs just missed the right point in time to clarify all legal issues
and to become really free early enough to take over what later became
the Linux world.


PC: oS 11.4 (dual boot 12.1) 64 bit | Intel Core i7-2600@3.40GHz | KDE
4.6.0 | GeForce GT 420 | 16GB Ram
Eee PC 1201n: oS 11.4 64 bit | Intel Atom 330@1.60GHz | KDE 4.7.4 |
nVidia ION | 3GB Ram

I like your style Martin - you seem very open-minded and straight forward. My personal choice is Linux because I started with Linux years ago and only recently looked into OpenBSD. OpenBSD is much more difficult for a novice to use than Linux, especially OpenSuse and one needs to know very much about UNIX style administration in order to get very far with OpenBSD. My quick take on the those who are BSD guru’s is they do not like to help novices and prefer talking to only those who are developers or long time users who have a deep breadth of Operating Systems knowledge, something which I do not, even though compared to the average Windows user, I do.

According to one article I scanned recently, there was a rift between BSD and Linux developers over some driver code and use of the GPL license and how it applied and hence the main rift; Also BSD still has to deal with licensing issues which Linux does not as I understand it (not very well though.)

I would give freeBSD a try if they made it a bit easier.

On my last attempt, I got errors booting the install CD.

It looks to me as if it has to be installed on a primary partition. What with Windows claiming 2 primary partitions these days, that becomes a problem.

I actually liked FreeBSD better, and the help seemed clearer than OpenBSD but I could never get a DE to compile on my system, whereas OpenBSD comes with xdm prepackaged. I have since installed through pkg_add both gdm and kdm, but I find tthem to be less stable in a sparc64 world than xdm.

The article greatly oversimplifies the early debates about Linux which can be found at Appendix A - The Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate. Twenty years ago BSD was going nowhere and there was a threatened fork - Linux was seen as a usable stop-gap until the arrival of Hurd.

That was a fascinating read John! I have an overview of the history surrounding the development of Linux and the drive to share and use GNU software, but being able to read this historic debate is very illuminating to understanding the nuances of the Linux (and other OS development) at the time. There’s even some forecasting there (I’ll leave others to discover) - which is interesting now looking back. :slight_smile:

It’s also worth noting that despite the rivalry in kernel development, there is much in common in the application space. Most of the apps and servers are available on both platforms, because at the bottom they use the Unix API.

Is the article available online? If so, do you have a link?

The controversy is mentioned in his wiki page.

Theo de Raadt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

de Raadt is also well known for his advocacy of free software drivers. He has long been critical of developers of Linux and other free platforms for their tolerance of non-free drivers and acceptance of non-disclosure agreements.

Clash with Linux developers

In April 2007, de Raadt was involved in a controversy involving the use of GPL code from the Linux bcm43xx driver in the BSD bcw driver.[11][12] Linux developers accused the BSD community of infringing GPL code, but de Raadt denied infringement, arguing that the BSD driver was not “released”. He also maintained that the conflict was not about GPL, but the way Linux developer Michael Buesch handled the situation… etc.

Another clash occurred in August 2007, when a group of Linux developers attempted to modify the license of dual-licensed ath5k driver. De Raadt summarized the issue as follows:[14]

GPL fans said the great problem we would face is that companies would take our BSD code, modify it, and not give back. Nope—the great problem we face is that people would wrap the GPL around our code, and lock us out in the same way that these supposed companies would lock us out. Just like the Linux community, we have many companies giving us code back, all the time.
But once the code is GPL'd, we cannot get it back.

Yes, hence the name “Free BSD!”

Linux did have some projects that explored this. There was a microkernel Linux and there was even a nano kernel Linux.
L4Linux - Overview

Feel free to Google these. Have fune. :smiley: