Why userland , basesystem and Kernel are together?!

Cordula's Web cpghost at cordula.ws
Thu Dec 11 11:06:59 PST 2003

> > 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.

All Linux distributions use glibc; while BSDs use their own version
of libc.

But these are only technicalities. More important is that the BSDs
use a central CVS repository for the whole OS (minus third party
packages), whereas in the Linux world, the "vendors" maintain
separate (mostly with source, but sometimes binary-only as well)
collections of separately maintained software.

If the developers of Linux' base utilities, glibc, kernel etc...
submitted all their source code to a "Linux CVS" repo, and all
distributions were built on top of that, they would have adopted
an important part (though not everything) of BSDs philosophy
[putting the different licensing schemes aside for a moment].
However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon (if at all),
mostly for political reasons: the FSF, Linus, and a lot of other
developers would have to agree to share a single repository,
and this is particulary difficult to achieve.

Anyway, both development models are quite viable, and it is
amazing to see how both "camps" are making excellent progress.

Cordula's Web. http://www.cordula.ws/

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