Passionate BSD'ers

Story: FreeBSD and the GPLTotal Replies: 2
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Feb 19, 2010
1:47 PM EDT
On FreeBSD itself vs. Linux, there is Arturo Fernánde's relatively benign 'Comparing GNU/Linux and FreeBSD ; The real winner is the community' found at Fernánde quotes this significant difference between GNU/Linux and FreeBSD:
Quoting:In contrast with GNU/Linux, where all the pieces are developed separately and brought together in distributions, FreeBSD has been developed as a complete operating system: the kernel, device drivers, sysadmin’s tools and all the other pieces of software are held in the same revision control system.
Then there is this slightly more passionate comparative generalization between BSD in general and Linux:
Quoting:I think that [the]BSD communit{y,ies}, generally speaking, understands Linux far better than the Linux communit{y,ies} understands BSD
(this sentiment from Maria's 'Same Old BSD Vs LINUX Debate!' found at

And then there is Brett Glass's slightly more passionate ExtremeTech piece 'The BSDs: Sophisticated, Powerful, and (Mostly). FreeBSD vs. Linux' found at,1697,1150127,00.asp
Quoting:The BSD philosophy also differs from that of Linux. Proponents of Linux tend to take a "revolutionary" stance, seeing their work as a war to compete with, and destroy, Microsoft and other commercial software vendors. But the BSDs are content to coexist with commercial software, and in fact are happy to allow commercial software to use what they create.

The BSDs are focused not on winning a political or economic battle, but rather on technical excellence. Changes to the code tend to be more carefully considered, refined, and presented at technical conferences before they become part of what's released to the world at large. For this reason, administrators and users who need to keep systems up and running 24x7 often prefer the BSDs to the more "edgy" and experimental Linux.

At the extreme-end of any sort of BSD vs. Linux comparison is the intensely passionate disdain OpenBSD leader Theo de Raadt expresses against Linux. Here is just one example of this:
Quoting:NEW YORK - Theo de Raadt is a pioneer of the open source software movement and a huge proponent of free software. But he is no fan of the open source Linux operating system.

"It's terrible," De Raadt says. "Everyone is using it, and they don't realize how bad it is. And the Linux people will just stick with it and add to it rather than stepping back and saying, 'This is garbage and we should fix it.'"
(from 'Is Linux For Losers?' found at )

AAMOF, Theo de Raadt has been censured within the BSD community itself for somewhat similar passionate comments:
Quoting:In December 1994, de Raadt was asked to resign his position as a senior developer and member of the NetBSD core team, and his access to the source code repository was revoked. The reason for this is not wholly clear, although there are claims that it was due to personality clashes within the NetBSD project and on its mailing lists. De Raadt has been criticized for having a somewhat abrasive personality: in his book, Free For All, Peter Wayner claims that de Raadt "began to rub some people the wrong way" before the split from NetBSD; while Linus Torvalds has described him as "difficult"; and an interviewer admits to being "apprehensive" before meeting.
(quote from )

Finally, there is Rick Moen's Linuxmafia thread which compares Linux to BSD from a Linux user's perspective instead; 'bsd-linux-comparison' from In the ending comment here, an Orlando Andico fires right back at the passion BSD'ers have for their own OS:
Quoting:Basically what it means is, for most tasks I find Linux to be the best fit. Sure, it doesn't have "years behind it" -- but FreeBSD for example is not demonstrably faster; NetBSD is basically a curiosity, besides, you can run Linux on everything from iPAQ to mainframe, which you CANNOT say for NetBSD; and OpenBSD is for Theo and his zealots.

For desktop, the killer factor is drivers. And Linux leaves all the other X86 Unixes behind by a mile.


Feb 19, 2010
3:20 PM EDT
I'm an ex-NetBSD user. I ran it on SPARCStations for several years. I joined the NetBSD email list just as the Theo de Raddt brouhaha hit. Nothing on that list made sense for several months.

I did put Red Hat 3.0 on a DEC UDB (Alpha CPU) in 1998, but I was mostly a NetBSD user until 2002, when I bailed from my aging SPARC hardware. I also wanted to try things like "User Mode Linux" that just weren't available for NetBSD, and get more frequent updates than NetBSD provided.

Now, I'm a Slackware and Arch user.

Just for the record, Brett Glass' ExtremeTech article has annoying in-lined ad words. Running your mouse-pointer over the phrases "operating system", "software" or "conferences" gets you a pop-up with a Microsoft ad for "Resource Center" in it. This is the kind of advertising that kills the credibility of the websites that use it, as it demonstrates that Microsoft wants to disrupt any communication about other operating systems, software or conferences. And don't give me that bilge about "advertising is seperate from editorial", we all know it isn't, and I'm not going to put up with that weak attempt at deflecting criticism of advertising any more.

Feb 19, 2010
3:34 PM EDT

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