I don't wish to get into a shouting match, but I don't think I
completely agree with some of the things you say here.

On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 11:39, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> You are comparing apples and oranges. Linux is a kernel, not an
> operating system. "Distributions" is a specially ill-choosen word in
> the Linux world. 

I don't see why. I think "distribution" is a perfectly fine term for
what it describes. My comments below explain why.

> There are several operating systems, Debian, RedHat,
> Mandrake, which only have in common to use the Linux kernel. 

This is incorrect. All relevant Linux distributions are not only based
on the same kernel, but almost almost all of the same userland software
as well. (Specifically, GNU software, much of which is a core part of
FreeBSD as well.) The main areas where they differ are the configuration
details (what files are where, how to configure services such as init
scripts and networking, etc) and package management. There are of course
other differences, but these two are the biggies.

> Forget
> the word "distributions" which seems to imply that an operating
> system is defined by its kernel.

Again, there's nothing wrong with the word "distributions." What you're
really saying is that you just don't like how the Linux community places
so much emphasis on the kernel instead of the entire operating system as
a whole. Linux-based operating systems first came together in the early
90's by taking various pieces of software and fitting them all into a
system that worked. FreeBSD (unless I misunderstand) has always been a
cohesive whole. While there are advantages to this in the sense that the
left hand always knows what the right hand is up to, there are plenty of
applications (for example, embedded ones) that benefit from a more
disconnected and flexible framework.

> And there are several operating systems based on a BSD kernel, too:
> FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, there is even now a Debian/BSD which uses a
> NetBSD kernel instead of Linux.

Except that these are forks of the entire operating system, not just the
kernel. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Like you said, the comparison between Linux and BSD is an
apples-and-oranges issue. Similar in some ways, different in others, and
both have differing abilities even if many of those abilities overlap.

Charles Ulrich

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