BSD is dying

Frank Shute frank at
Thu Aug 4 06:29:16 BST 2005

On Wed, Aug 03, 2005 at 03:23:52PM +0100, Paul Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 03, 2005 at 12:11:33PM +0100, Brian Somers wrote:
> > I guess I have a few comments on the state of BSD in the UK.... it'd
> > be a shame not to bore the people here with them!
> That's the spirit!
> > it has been for the past few years.  In fact, I'd say that awareness
> > of the OS is greater than it ever has been.
> I'm "aware" of torturous dictatorships, it doesn't mean I would seek to
> implement one within my office.
> There's a lot of talk about 'awareness' but ultimately, when push comes
> to shove, nobody outside of a very small clique is prepared to actually
> deploy. That's the shame.

IMO, the lack of deployment is inertia. Nobody with half a brain wants
to jump platforms in any great hurry.

This will change but it will surely and inevitably change.

When companies are offering FreeBSD cheaper than Linux that's saying
to me "FreeBSD is less effort to run than Linux & hence cheaper":

> > BSD has been sitting in the background, maturing.
> Stroking its white cat, muahahaha'ing?
> > whole "what do you want out of your release engineering department"
> > argument.
> Most organisations genuinely do not want release engineering. The reason
> why portupgrade is so successful is because instead of having to track a
> gazillion mailing lists, I can do:
> # cvsup -g -L1 /root/ports-supfile
> # pkg_version -l '<'
> ... peruse list to see what might break...
> # portupgrade -a
> If it wasn't for the fact I had to go over a version number with
> buildworld, I'd still be doing binary updates as well.
> I look after a lot of servers. I write a lot of code. I write reports,
> have meetings to go to, try and help run seminars and events, and
> occasionally I like to try and have a normal life.
> I don't want release engineering tasks.
> I want to type in 3 commands.
> Always.

Agreed. Lack of admin is the deal maker IMO. When Linux comes up with
such hassle free computing, then I'll use it again.

but I don't see that ever happening. Linux development is
fundamentally broken & the result is a crufty mess.

> > Given the choice, the lawyers preferred to just avoid the whole GPL
> > thing.
> Well, that doesn't surprise me but I would be amazed if that was what
> got FreeBSD mindshare a few years from now. We need to change culturally
> and technically, IMHO.

I think the licensing will get mindshare. ATM people equate free
software with the GPL & the GPL is a's like reading

A simple license with no strings has to be attractive to all

> > So I guess what I'm saying is that I believe BSD, and FreeBSD
> > specifically is poised to take market share away from linux.  Not
> Poised is one thing. Doing it is quite another.
> I think in the desktop space, Apple is not only poised to take away
> market share from BSD and Linux, but is actually doing it.

It will take a percentage but only ever a small percentage. There are
plenty of people like me who can't afford the hardware & software.

I need software that runs on non-fritz chipped IA32.

> > We've always been lacking the enthusiasm and drive of the linux
> > folks, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  We're not as
> I think it not so much enthusiasm and drive, I think it is that we have
> cynical pessimism and argumentative tendancies in abundance.
> Look at -jobs recently, or the whole NetBSD/OpenBSD camp.

Have you ever had a look at Linux mailing lists & newsgroups?! They're
stuffed full of trolls & lamers & people reading tea-leaves (the GPL)
and giving their interpretation.

We're the model of sanity in comparison :)



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