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  1. #1
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    Sep 2009

    BSD and GNU/Linux

    I won't be surprised if there won't be any (or many) replies in this thread, as the BSD section of these forums seems to be pretty inactive, but i thought this is worth sending here as well.

    Sorry if some of the following makes little sense due to a lack of initial knowledge.

    Not getting into licence stuff, AT ALL.

    Linux is a kernel. The first (actual) comparison should be made with the BSD kernel.
    Testing on a large enough number of different hardware, how would the kernels perform, given an equally compatible and effective set of other software?
    Any differences worth mentioning? Or will there be nothing but negligible differences changing from verison to version of the kernels?
    How would results change when including/excluding different hardware /types/ like Laptop, Handheld, old hardware, different CPU architectures, etc.?
    Any more differences worth mentioning this time?

    Linux distributions use GNU tools. BSD use their own tools. (Correct me if i'm wrong, or not fully correct.)
    The important question is:
    Could you mix the GNU and BSD utilities, using either one of the BSD or Linux kernels? (Or hey, even the OpenSolaris kernel...)
    A secondary question then would be:
    How do the whole GNU and BSD tools compare? In case they cannot be mixed. Or is this just something like KDE vs. GNOME?

    BSD uses the ports system, to be devided as `base system' and `ports'. Linux distros are normally more of a `random' mix (not to be taken as a con).
    Is it (or, how much is it) technically possible to implement the BSD design philosophy on a GNU/Linux distribution (or any other OS)?

    --- END of questions. ---

    I would find it really cool to have, say an OS that uses the Linux kernel, with a mix of GNU and BSD tools, using the BSD design philosophy.
    But i guess someone would have done it by far if such a thing would be any easy or actually efficient to do...


    In case you don't know much about BSD and this post has drawn your attention, here's a perfect article on `BSD vs Linux':
    BSD For Linux Users :: Intro

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast meton_magis's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    I've never used BSD before, so I can't comment on stuff specific to it.

    for #3, I'm not sure of what your asking about or what point you're making with the base system + ports vs 'random mix'. What do you mean by random mix? Usualy software in a package manager's repository are whatever software the people in charge determine to be important. Even with a ports based system I could see it being the same.

    If the ports system interests you, look up the Gentoo distrobution. It is a rather fun distro if you're interested in learning a lot about your system, as well as being a very usable desktop OS, and a rock solid server OS. All software in the package manager, portage, are distributed in source form, and when you install it, you are just using an automated toolset to compile everything localy. This is takes longer, but you have explicit control over what support gets compiled, and what is left out.
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  3. #3
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    I don't know too much about the actual technical stuff.

    My BSD knowledge comes wholely from these writings of this guy called Matt Fuller: BSD For Linux Users :: Intro
    (If you ever feel like flaming him, think he's biased or whatever, take a look to part 11: Responses. Seriously, you have to appreciate him for those writings.)

    And from what i understand, the `base system + ports tree' design philosophy is one of the main differences between the BSDs and GNU/Linux distros.

    Yes, Linux distros have package managers, and no, i don't know the exact/technical differences, but as far as my basic understanding goes, the package managers are just a way to manage the installed software whereas the ports tree is really a system that individually attaches (ports?) them to your base system, so you can, for example, install two different versions of the same program and they'll happily run at the same time. (But i could be totally off here.)

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  5. #4
    The systems are similar.
    You can look into the Debian Project, linuxlator, emulation on BSD for more information.

    Kernel builds are different due to each processor having different assembly languages. You can't run ARM9 binaries on a x86 and vice versa.
    Some kernels are special built for certain functions.

    GNU tools are used on BSD systems. There is some work of making pcc the default compiler.
    The BSDs have pkg systems also but they can have multiple instances running. You can only have one instance of any package manager running in most linux distributions.
    Gentoo, I am told, is an exception to this.

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