Did someone compare the number of ports with packages in Linux distros?

Dag-Erling Smørgrav des at des.no
Mon Mar 18 15:55:17 UTC 2013

Chris Benesch <chris.benesch at gmail.com> writes:
> Lets take gcc for instance.  To install gcc on BSD, you need the gcc
> port and a few support packages, such as readline, gettext, intl,
> etc... but thats it.  On Linux you need gcc, gcc-devel, gcc-headers,
> kernel-headers, gcc-libs, a whole lot more complex.  The difference
> comes from a basic philosophical difference.

Yes and no.  FreeBSD ships headers, static libraries, debugging symbols
etc. as part of base, and as part of each package.  Most Linux
distributions ship these separately and don't install them by default.
However, it's not as complicated as you make it out to be: just run
'apt-get install build-essentials' (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint) or 'yum
groupinstall "Development Tools"' (RHEL, Fedora, CentOS).

> BSD IMHO seeks to be truly open source, [...]
> Linux seeks to straddle the line of open and closed source.

Neither statement is correct, and the issue is far too complex to be
summarized in two sentences, or even two paragraphs.

> The GPL is overly long and convoluted if anyone bothers to actually
> read it instead of just saying yes.

It's as long as it needs to be to express what its authors wish it to
express.  If you're in a hurry or have a short attention span, just skip
the preamble and stop when you get to the disclaimer of warranty.

> The answer lies in the marketing.  Linux and its rebellious beginnings
> appeal to people better than BSD for some reason, when in actuality it
> was a guy from Scandinavia experimenting with the new 386 processors
> vs. a group that was there when Unix was originally invented.

Neither characterization is correct.

(BTW, I'm "a guy from Scandinavia", and so is one of the founders of the
FreeBSD project)

Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des at des.no

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