BSD is dying -- not even close!

Brian Somers brian at
Fri Aug 5 13:36:42 BST 2005

On Fri, 5 Aug 2005 10:15:48 +0100 Gerald Davies <gerald.davies at> wrote:
> On 8/5/05, Brian Somers <brian at> wrote:
> Brian, you say this...
> > 
> > But I digress!!  I'm a developer, and my job entails being able to
> > produce software.  The software has to work 100% of the time (!!),
> > but when my manager sits in an office with me and asks ``how are we
> > going to make sure that this sort of thing (bug... ok, 95%) doesn't
> > happen again?'' I want to be clear on two points:
> > 
> > 1.  This had better not happen again (ie., I'd better be able to
> >     fix it or explain why it must remain broken).
> > 2.  This had better not have happened before!
> > 
> but then you say this...
> > Linux owns most of the embedded and server marketplace, well, it's > only a matter of time.  Either linux gets a clue or FreeBSD will take >over.
> > 
> > [.....]
> I like bsd for servers, but that's it (and yes i have used it as a
> desktop for years too).  do you really see freebsd taking over?  i've
> heard it before when people say bsd does linux better than linux. 
> okay, remove the linux compatibility then.  personally, i don't see it
> taking over anything, much the reverse.  i think it's a shame that
> people tend to laugh at bsd advocates, but this superior attitude from
> bsd folk doesn't seem to be paying off with more users just heading
> straight to linux.

I think you misjudge the ``superior attitude''.  What I'm saying is
that the BSD way is better from the perspective of having control over
the software.  If the linux folks don't get a clue about controlling
their OS, BSD will steal it's market.  I'm no zealot... I realise how
technically good linux is, but I think their development practises
stink^Wleave something to be desired.

Of course nothing can really be done by the core linux folks on this
front as linux is just the kernel and the numerous distributions are,
well, just that.  It would be up to one of the distributors to provide
a working build infrastructure, but I'd bet they consider this their
IP and wouldn't want to give it away!!  Maybe the Debian folks will
be the ones to bring coherency to linux!

All of this is *only* from a development POV though.  As has been
pointed out several times in this thread, the linux way is more right
than the BSD way for end users.  IMHO BSD's first step towards gaining
any share in the end user market is to integrate ports/misc/bsdiff
into the base system and start providing quick-to-apply updates, but
I must say I don't have a great deal of interest in using such things.

> this is for anyone:
> out of interest (i haven't really looked at this in depth), does a lot
> of driver support, etc, on bsd come directly from bsd people or are
> people porting/re-writing linux drivers and basing code on this?

Driver support comes either from BSD folks or as contributions from
outside.  Most linux drivers are GPL'd, so porting/re-writing them
would just pollute our kernel.

Brian Somers                                          <brian at>
Don't _EVER_ lose your sense of humour !               <brian at>

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