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Re: *BSD myths
>I'm in the process of putting together a web page (or set of pages) that
>try to counteract some of the myths that have grown up around FreeBSD.
>You can see a (very early) snapshot of it at
>After posting this to the FreeBSD-Advocacy mailing list, it was suggested
>that most (if not all) the myths aren't specific to FreeBSD, but are
>common to NetBSD and OpenBSD as well.
GOOD START, thank you, and yes, most of it applies to OpenBSD as well.
Under the Bazaar vs Cathedral:
- you missed a chance for a good pun on Bizarre, but I won't tell you
which platform(s) that applies to :-)
- OpenBSD's snapshots aren't as frequent, so you might say something
like "at various intervals for the different BSDs, but often enough
to keep you up to date". And instead of "16" for the core, maybe "a
small dedicated core".
Maybe add this:
Myth: Linux is mature and established, while *BSD is a new upstart.
Reality: The three BSD distributions are directly based on 4.4BSD, which
is the culmination of over twenty years' continuous developement at
Bell Laboratories and the University of California at Berkeley. Linux
is the young upstart.
MYTH: Linux is better standardized than BSD.
REALITY: There are three major "distributions" of BSD, which do differ
rather significantly in their kernel internals. Each of them, however,
complies rather closely with POSIX and related operating system standards.
MYTH: There is no commercial software for BSD.
REALITY: 1) The free software world really got its wings under
Berkeley UNIX (BSD), which was the dominant operating system in the
early stages of the Internet. In fact, it is the system that the
U.S. Government DARPA specifically funded in order to establish a
2) Most of the freeware that Linux users take for granted originally
was developed on a BSD-based system. BSD users can generally compile
this software using either GNU configure, or the "ports tree".
The Ports Tree is a BSD specific mechanism for distributing free software.
Since BSD runs on so many different hardware platforms (PC, SPARC, Alpha,
MIPS, Atari, Amiga, etc.,) we tend to prefer to download and compile
software; the Ports mechanism makes this easy. Instead of having to
remember how to use RPM, and look through 4 or 5 CD's, we just type,
make install (as root, using su or sudo)
and the secure remote shell ssh will be downloaded, checked, unpacked,
patched, compiled, and installed while you watch. It's just one of the
five to fifteen hundred programs (depending on which BSD) that are
available in the ports tree. For those who prefer
instant gratification :-), compiled "packages" of the more common "ports"
are available both by FTP and on the distribution CD-ROMs; check the
relevant BSD's home page.
3) Although it was not distributed in source form like the current
BSD's, SunOS4 is a BSD-based system, a rather successful one,
and there is plenty of software for that! If you're running OpenBSD (or
NetBSD??) on a SPARCstation, you can run most of the SunOS4 software in
4) If you're on a PC, you can run most Linux software in Linux emulation
mode. For example, one of the contributors to this page routinely
runs "ApplixWare for Linux" on his OpenBSD 2.4 P133 system.
For "Commercial versions" for OpenBSD, you can list
<A HREF="http://www.rtmx.com">RTMX, Inc.</A>, produces an OpenBSD derived,
IEEE POSIX real-time extended operating system. See also
<A HREF="http://www.openbsd.org/users.html">OpenBSD's list of products</A>.
Hope this helps.