On Tuesday 12 September 2006 06:16, Jeff Rollin wrote:
> I let a lot of BSD comments about Linux go "unpunished", but this one has
> always got me. BSD had to be *almost totally rewritten* to  avoid AT&T
> licensing issues... added to the fact that I wouldn't be surprised if it's
> hard to find a single line of code IRIX, Solaris et al these days share
> between themselves and with V7. Not only that, but I understand that a lot
> of Unix sysadmins download the GNU tools as well, because (among other
> things) they do nifty things like being able to unzip, gunzip or bunzip a
> tarball before untarring it. And the amount of software available from
> people like KDE to install in FreeBSD is staggering.

I find the phrase "almost totally rewritten" to be misleading.  It is true 
that the majority of the OS had been rewritten by the time of the lawsuit.  
That is what happens as hardware and software changes.  You'd vomit if you 
had a V7 kernel on modern hardware (even if you got all the hardware 
supported the internals were designed for a different time period).  The code 
had evolved slowly over time from the base of where it had started.  By the 
time the lawsuit was brought up and the licensing issues went to court only 
0.016% of the files had to be removed and another 0.388% of them had to add 
copyright notices.  I hardly find needing to rewrite less than half a percent 
(0.404%) of the operating system as a total rebuild.  Along with that less 
than half a percent was a legal order to not use the name "Unix" but the 
99.59% of code that was Unix one moment didn't suddenly cease to exist or 
change forms when that name was removed.

"The lawsuit was settled in January 1994, largely in Berkeley's favor. Of the 
18,000 files in the Berkeley distribution, only 3 had to be removed and 70 
modified to show USL copyright notices. A further condition of the settlement 
was that USL would not file further lawsuits against users and distributors 
of the Berkeley-owned code in the upcoming 4.4BSD release."  [From: 
but easily found elsewhere as well if one investigates.]

Does the OS have any original code left in it?  I certainly hope not but the 
pedigree is there.  It started from the original code and changed a little 
bit at a time.  Even though FreeBSD can't be called Unix today, it evolved 
from Unix.  Linux arose from ideas as presented in the POSIX standard and GNU 
community.  I agree that Linux is not an "emulator."  It is just a different 
interpretation of Unix.  Solaris is different, BSD is different, AIX is 
different, etc.  While some did evolve from the actual roots and Linux 
didn't... I do not believe that is reason alone to snub Linux.

Anyway, all modern day Unix systems have different code than the original Unix 
systems.  It's part of the reality of software.

As for the GNU tools, yes most sysadmins use some of them (although not 
always).  I know that BSD tar handles gzip and bzip2 just fine ( -z and -j 
respectively).  So I know I wouldn't download gtar just for that feature.  
And I don't even consider it that large of a feature.  If I had a tar which 
lacked it, I could certainly still manage that with one command line.

GNU utilities have their benefits.  Mainly, in my experience, that they're 
fairly common in the open source world and often you need them to use 
something which is created by them.  I've had to download gawk and gsed 
before just to install a program without rewriting all the awk and sed code 
in it to be posix compliant, for example.

I do have KDE on several computers I maintain for people and use a lot of 
software outside the base install.  Once everything is setup... and for the 
most part, the difference between using BSD or Linux is minor.  It's not 
anywhere near the difference between using Windows and Mac (for example).

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