Debian gets FreeBSD kernel support

The open-source Debian operating system (Linux) gained support for the FreeBSD kernel last weekend (unstable / experimental), allowing users to run the same operating system on two different software cores.

The project was announced in a message to the Debian developers’ announcement list.

More on zdnet.co.uk

Will it be useful? Time will tell – internetnews.com

The Debian kFreeBSD Team have listed their reasons for enabling the FreeBSD kernel.

Differences between BSD and Linux

Geekmalaya has a post with 18 points on why the writer thinks FreeBSD is better than Linux

  1. BSD license allows users/companies to modify a program’s source code and not to release changes to the public
  2. BSD has the so-called “core system” (without packages)
  3. On BSD systems, all add-on packages are strictly installed into the /usr/local directory
  4. BSD systems use the system of “ports”, which are fingerprints of applications in the /usr/ports directory
  5. BSD systems have also their stable version
  6. Of course, the kernel is absolutely different
  7. BSD has FFS file system
  8. BSD systems divide their partitions internally
  9. Unless you make a good kernel hack, BSD systems can only be installed into the primary partition
  10. System configuration is manual for most of the time, but various clones like PC-BSD break this convention
  11. All BSD systems have a Linux emulation support
  12. BSD systems have less support from driver vendors, thus they lag behind in this view
  13. BSD systems do not use the Unix System V
  14. BSD kernels can be set to several security levels
  15. BSD’s have everything under one ROOF
  16. Generally, BSD systems boot and reboot faster than Linux
  17. In comparison to BSD, most Linux distributions are overbloated
  18. If you compile programs from ports, you will not stumble into compilation errors

I’m only linking to this article for information – please don’t start a flame war here. Read the whole article and the reasoning here.

Source: geekmalaya.com – 22/01/2009

Software licensing; GPL, BSD or public domain?

The discussion on GPL vs BSD  licensing will probably never end, unless one or both licenses cease to exist.

There’s an interesting post about the GPL license and BSD license, and the writer’s suggests that the public domain license is the license to be chosen for real freedom, as the other two lay restrictions on the user.

About the GPL license he notes:

That’s what the GPL really is. A binding contract : That is a set of restrictions on those who use, develop or modify content licensed under it. It is not now or has ever been a formula on “freedom”. The GPL is not the definition of “generocity” that is giving without expecting any return. I hope all you GPL advocates would stop treating it as such and call it what it is. A license and a binding contract. Nothing more.

I.e. GPL restrictions are there to keep the freedom to change, modify, and share the code.

With regards to the BSD license he remarks:

Unlike the GPL, the BSD license doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t and users of BSD license are well aware that, like all licenses, it is a binding contract between developers, distributors, and users. They have no delusions about how much “freedom” both licenses afford however the BSD still being a license it still has usage restrictions. Namely the copyright and disclaimer.

Developers using the BSD license don’t care nor want to police the actions of users once the source is copied. They’re not interested in “freedom” through coersion, which is actually slavery. They just want to make sure their products and sources are available from them regardless of need or future availability. If the users want to share their own modifications, then more power to them. But they’ll be damned if it’s by force.

I.e. the BSD license lets users do whatsoever they want with the software, even using it commercially (in closed source).

If real freedom is to be chosen, the author suggests going down the public domain route. This license places basically no restrictions whatsoever on your software. Anybody can use the software, may sell it or do with it what (s)he wants.

Read the post in its entirity.

Talking about blog posts discussing GPL vs BSD, here’s another recent one: BSD vs GPL (nevali.net – 30/12/2008)

7 Reasons why BSD is better than Linux

Matt Hartley, who is using Linux full time himself gives 7 reasons why BSD operating systems are preferred over Linux (but he also admits that BSD has its shortcomings):

  1. BSD is dead simple
  2. Create your own OS
  3. Speed
  4. Stability
  5. Software packaging
  6. Security
  7. Suitability for intellectual property (IP)
Follow this link for the full reasoning.

And a related sort of article I thought I’d link to:

Why you should use a BSD style license for your Open Source Project

This document makes a case for using a BSD style license for software and data; specifically it recommends using a BSD style license in place of the GPL. It can also be read as a BSD versus GPL Open Source License introduction and summary.

Please don’t start a flame war on BSD and GPL; I know all the pros and cons; I’m only providing links to articles, so if you don’t agree with the views held, please leave comments on the website I’ve linked to

Some advice for Microsoft: dump Windows

It’s time for Microsoft to dump Windows.

In fact, ten years ago would have been a good time to start. At the risk of berating the obvious, it’s clear that security will continue to be a major problem for Microsoft. The reason is their tether to legacy code, and their patchwork attempts to shore up their OS core. It’s time to let it go.

Apple did it, and did it well. They created a virtualized environment to run Classic MacOS apps in order to ease the transition. When they switched processor architectures, they developed Rosetta, which allows PowerPC apps to run on an Intel platform without modification, again, easing the transition. It can be done. It has been done. It should be done.

What would happen to Linux and FreeBSD if Microsoft decided to create a new UNIX based operating system? This is an article by Paul Venezia on Infoworld.com.

Read the full article