Because the government of EUA finances BSD communities in the development of imperative technologies for intelligence and the Department of Defense (DARPA)?

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Sat Jul 12 18:20:40 UTC 2014

On 10/07/2014 10:15, Polytropon wrote:
> On Wed, 9 Jul 2014 16:51:33 -0300, françai s wrote:
>> > 2014-07-09 16:24 GMT-03:00, Polytropon <freebsd at>:
>>> > > On Wed, 9 Jul 2014 16:03:53 -0300, françai s wrote:
>>>> > >> Because 90% of open source projects created within Google are BSD
>>>> > >> license?

>>> > > Is this per number of projects, per LOC or where does this
>>> > > value come from? Yes, Google is a big contributor, but assuming
>>> > > that 90% of the (existing?) open source projects has been
>>> > > created _by_ Google (or within Google) doesn't look right.
>>> > > Can you provide a source for that number?

>> > This number comes from a subject posted on FUG-BR ( Group Brazilian of
>> > Users  FreeBSD) by a university teacher  that perhaps remains FreeBSD
>> > developer, but it is written in Portuguese from Brazil.

> In my opinion, it doesn't seem to be true. Most BSDs are being
> developed and maintained by projects that are not part of Google,
> especially FreeBSD and OpenBSD share few relations to Google and
> can hardly be called "parts of Google".

It certainly isn't the case that Google corporately has any particular
interest in developing code solely for the FreeBSD project.  Google
certainly does support FreeBSD by eg. sponsoring conferences -- they
like open source development projects like FreeBSD and many others for
two reasons:  such projects are an excellent source of the sort of
development talent that Google has a seemingly insatiable appetite for
employing[*], and secondly, because such projects often result in
innovative new web based services or improvements in the general
internet infrastructure[+]: they are "good for the Internet", and what
is good for the Internet is good for Google.

However, this is somewhat beside the OP's point: most open source
projects developed within Google use the BSD-ish Apache source license.
 The exceptions are for things like modifications to the Linux kernel
where there is a pre-existing requirement for different licensing.

This does not imply anything about Google's intentions with respect to
any of the *BSD projects or to Linux.  It certainly doesn't mean they
are going to throw away their Linux based standard OS on all their
millions of servers and replace it with something BSD-ish.  It's simply
down to their corporate preference for the license itself.

Although it does say something good about BSD-style licensing that a
company that has been aggressively hiring the very best and cleverest
people it can find should prefer it.



[*] There are several active FreeBSD developers that are also Google
employees, and not a few more Google people who used to be.

[+] Capsicum is a case in point here.  This is very much a project
originated and driven by FreeBSD people, but something that interests
Google a great deal, which has resulted in their sponsoring research at
Cambridge University and working to port Capsicum to Linux.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

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