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I'm a Linux user. I like it because I'm a software developer and this OS lends itself more easily to development than Windows I'd say. Not sure about Apple, never ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux vs Unix


    I'm a Linux user. I like it because I'm a software developer and this OS lends itself more easily to development than Windows I'd say. Not sure about Apple, never used one. I don't understand all the antagonism between Linux users and "true" Unix users. Linux users seem to say Linux is best because it is open source. But as I understand it Linux wasn't created by the open source community. Rather it was a copy of AT&T's Unix at the time. Is this correct?

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    I like it for the same reasons, but as for
    But as I understand it Linux wasn't created by the open source community. Rather it was a copy of AT&T's Unix at the time. Is this correct?
    I believe you have it *exactly* backwards. Unix was a corporate project, and the guys who wrote it were not allowed to take it with them when they left, so they created the Gnu toolset which was a clone of the tools they made when they were corporate lackies. Linux is actually just the kernel, and the system is more properly known as Gnu/Linux, all created by the open source community.

    Unix is closed source and always has been. Does anyone actually use it these days?

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    Well even if the GNU tools were clones, they were clones of a corporate, closed system. They weren't created with the intention and spirit of open-source.

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    Actually UNIX was a open and free product before any one was talking about such a thing. Bell Labs luminaries Thompson and Richie were involved in a project in the '60's called Multics. Bell pulled out and the two, along with others developed what was to become UNIX. Bell was owned by AT&T who was prohibited from entering the computer business because of some anti-trust ruling and in the early 70's Thompson was freely shipping it to people who asked. AT&T gave out licences complete with source code. It wasn't until the US gov't broke up Bell that AT&T could enter the computer market - in the early 80's.

    That was when GNU entered the picture and BSD began to write a kernel that had no AT&T code in it.

    UNIX has always been free and open in some form though there have been many closed commercial versions over the years. I programmed for a Telco for a number of years. The requirements of a highly available and fault tolerant system were not met by Linux in the early days. BSD met the reliability test but didn't provide the tools that commercial products like AIX, Solaris and others did.

    Things change and so does the software market. Despite having worked with many UNIX varietals I can't say that I've been privy to any wars between users of different ones but at one time I think the valid opinion was that Linux wasn't hardened enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeglaz View Post
    Well even if the GNU tools were clones, they were clones of a corporate, closed system. They weren't created with the intention and spirit of open-source.
    Is this trolling? Faulty logic? Ignorance perhaps? Google is your friend. Do some reading.

    So: If I write my own version of a closed source program and give it away under the GPL, I haven't done it "with the intention and spirit of open-source?" WTF!?!

    Have you read the GPL? I'm no lawyer, but it's a bit like the infamous EULA, except opposite in intention.

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    Also back then drivers weren't loadable and had to be compiled into the kernel so had to have source code so you could add new hardware. When I worked at Sun I was on multi-platform support for NFS. Many of are calls ended up being walking customer thru building a new kernal with NFS support. Or the big nightmare was driver incompatiblitie because they were from how different companies had modifed the kernel source.


    Linux didn't it get it start from Andrew Tannenbaum'ss version of Unix call Minux. Minux was a small Unix created to teach OS design and writing. I thought Torvalds used it as his starting point. But every version of Unix has is differences. IBM's AIX, HP's HP/UX. When worked for Banyan under the hood it was actually AT&T Unix. Apple had A/UX back in the 90's way before OS/X based on Darwin BSD. Even Microsoft had the first x86 Unix called Xenix that it later sold to SCO. HP/UX was the one people dreaded having to use because they changed a number of common things. There are cool graphic on the internet if you look for them that show the history of UNIX and the hundreds of variations. It started with AT&T UNIX and because of their closed source code BSD was created and everything can be traced back to one of those two Unix's.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

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    There is definitely a philosophical difference between Linux and the BSD systems and that can be seen clearly in their licences; and in their development models.

    Linux is licensed under the GPL; this grants all the necessary freedoms to use, study and modify the software as you see fit but if you make any changes to the code you must make the source available under the GPL although I believe it can be a later version. Anybody can contribute to a GPL'd project and each project is separate.

    BSD has it's own licence which is even more permissive in that you have all the freedoms but you don't have to give your changes back to the community. All you have to do is give proper credit to the author. There is nothing stopping you from giving back apart from the desire to release a proprietary product which has obviously endeared it to a certain software / hardware company. The BSD project has a tightly controlled source tree where all the required software sits. This apparently makes for a better quality of code. I believe it is the BSD licence and development model that slows the progress of the operating system compared to Linux especially in the area of hardware support. I am unsure where the ports tree sits in all of this!

    I can't say I've ever seen a war although I do know that Richard Stallman isn't a fan of the BSD style licence...
    "I used to be with it, then they changed what it was.
    Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you too."

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    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post

    I can't say I've ever seen a war although I do know that Richard Stallman isn't a fan of the BSD style licence...
    is Richard Stallman of fan of anything he didn't write?
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

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