Tillman Hodgson wrote:

On Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 09:14:41PM -0500, David D.W. Downey wrote:

And how is that different from Linux? FreeBSD is an Operating System, so is
Red Hat, Debian, Stampede, SLS, Slackware, and on and on. FreeBSD does the
same thing. FreeBSD didn't develop OpenSSL but it includes it, nor did it
develop SSH or swat, but it includes them. Just as linux distributions do.

That's somewhat incorrect in my view. See http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/explaining-bsd/index.html for details.

My attempt at a summary:

RedHat et al may /distribute/ an operating system, but they did not
write it. An analogy in the motorcycle world are the custom bike shops
(some of which make extremely nice motorcycles!) versus Harley-Davidson.
The custom bike shops carefully (one hopes) select components from the
open market and put the polish on the resulting product. H-D may also
use open market products (electrics *cough*, carbs *cough*) but are
considered a /manufacturer/.

Both sell motorcycles (operating systems). There is a distinction,


I know this one may be seen as sacrilege to some, but think about this:

1. *BSD uses a fairly significant amount of GNU and GPL licensed (opposed to the BSD license) code in it. gcc, Perl, XFree86, Apache, GNU Make, autoconf, mysql, PostgreSQL, etc etc. While it can be argued many/most of these are not part of the core OS, what about: gcc, objective c, libreadline, cvs, diff, tar, sort, patch and friends? (from /usr/src/gnu and /usr/src/usr.bin )

2. It can be argued that the 'core OS' (kernel and _required_ system tools) in *BSD are mostly BSD licensed versus GPL (Linux), but I'd wager a significant number of driver developments, kernel code (or perhaps design), as well as many programs required by most systems running either OS(insert distro here if you're offended), at least share bug fixes and new developments to some respect. If I'm not entirely wrong (which is certainly possible) I thought Alan Cox of Linux kernel fame has also done some work on the BSD kernel(s?)?

Note that I don't entirely disagree with the response- IMHO, RedHat and SuSe are in fact merely distributions, but Linux as a collection of kernel + core programs is certainly an OS, in the same manner as *BSD is. Even RH AS/ES 2.1 is little more than a RH tweaked kernel + a few 'commercial' apps (stronghold, not sure of others offhand, haven't ever needed them!), on top of RH 7.3, which is really a Linux kernel + tools snapshot (many of which programs are at least heavily driven by Linux development in the first place), + RedHat or SuSe 'themes' and defaults, some customized rc/init scripts, and an installer.

Anyways, I realized I may now be totally missing the point here so am going to now shut my mouth/keyboard...my comments still apply, but I'm not sure whom I'm disagreeing/agreeing with right now.. ;-)


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