freebsd or linux

Alejandro Imass aimass at
Tue Dec 11 16:27:46 UTC 2018

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 3:36 AM Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at> wrote:

> On Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:51:31 -0500
> Alejandro Imass <aimass at> wrote:
> > But I wonder if the
> > whole Free Software-later-Open Source movement would have played out in
> > much the same way. Ironically, FreeBSD is more free than "Free Software"
> > per the FSF-GPL.
>         The GPL is older than Linux and the GNU software collection even
> older (GNU Emacs dates to 1985, gcc to 1987, bash around the same time). I
> had a GNU tape aroud 1988 which had GNU versions of most of the classic
> unix tools including gcc and bash. By 1991 GNU was already a unix system in
> search of a kernel.
Yes, GNU is much older but was stalled and would not have gone anywhere
without Linux, IMO anyway. Actually, Linux not only put GNU and GPL on the
map, but it fundamentally changed the mindset of the Cathedral development
into the Bazaar (borrowing the terms coined by ESR's musings), and also
changed the corporate mindset into opening up, and brought to surface some
fundamental issues in intellectual property (e.g. software patents),
amongst many other things.

FreeBSD still bears some of the Cathedral model but I wonder if Linus was
actually truthful about 386BSD, and the story would have played out with
FBSD, then would "Open Source" (per OSF definition) have evolved in much
the same way? Maybe not, maybe the corporates would have stepped in way
earlier because of the BSD license. Maybe Mozilla would have never
happened, who knows.

Anyway, my point is that the timing was so close that it's really curious.
Call it collective subconsciousness, noospheric sewer, quantum entanglement
(much like when Calculus was 'invented' simultaneously), or maybe it was
just east vs. west coast bullshit (MIT vs. Berkley), or Linus' ego, plain
and simple. LOL.

In any case Jobs (or someone close to him) chose BSD, and IMHO they made a
great choice.


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