Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

Michael Cardell Widerkrantz mc at hack.org
Mon Jul 25 10:30:09 UTC 2011

Gary Gatten <Ggatten at waddell.com>, 2011-07-18 21:44 (+0200):

> I've always been curious why "Linux" seemed to take off so fast when
> other FOSS / non Winblow$ OS's were available for some time with not
> much traction; OS/2, BeOS, *nix with X11, etc.

I'm not sure what you mean by "fast" here. It took a few years, at

I think most of the initial users of Linux were frustrated Minix users
and then MS-DOS users who would otherwise had gone to Minix. I bet most
of them didn't know about any alternatives. I, for one, certainly didn't
know about 386BSD when it was released in 1992. By then I was using
SunOS (not Solaris!) on a Sun 3/60 at home and was no stranger to BSD,
but still didn't know anything about the 386BSD efforts.

I first met Linux systems at work in 1995. Several developers dual
booted it on their standard issue PCs to get a better X terminal than
the crappy proprietary X server on Windows 3.11 the company had bought.
I was one of the lucky ones with a real NCD X terminal so I didn't even
have a PC in my office.

> Not just on the desktop, but servers as well. "Supported" versions of
> Linux such as RHEL, Suse, etc. seem to have made more headway into the
> enterprise computing environment in the last ten years than *BSD did
> in the last 30.

AFAIK BSD had a tremendous impact on 'servers' [1] and was much used,
especially in academical settings.

>>From my personal experience - which is relatively limited - it seems
> applications just work on Linux? When I need to compile an app, it
> takes a few mins on Linux - but may take me a few weeks on FBSD.

Weeks to compile!? How slow *is* your computer? *grin*

Seriously, I think you have stumbled on a well known problem called All
the World's a Linux Syndrome [2]. Many software developers develop for
Linux and only for Linux. They don't know much about portability.

[1] It seems a bit silly to call VAXen and PDP-11s with character
terminals 'servers', but you know what I mean.

[2] Previously "All the World's a VAX Syndrome".

Use plain text e-mail, please. OpenPGP welcome, 0xE4C92FA5.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list