Subject: Re: LINUX support; was: File systems, geometry, zones...
To: Andrew Cagney <>
From: Luke Mewburn <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/25/1994 11:55:44
> Um, I look at it as:
>   LINIX has x86 free-unix market share (1).  For NetBSD to hold its own
>   in that market, it is going to want (post 1.0) to include `LINUX
>   compatibility' (file system, ELF ABI ...).  Think of it the same way you
>   think of DOS compatibility :-)

But I don't _want_ DOS compatibility. The way I see it, NetBSD is for
people who want to run a UNIX that has code that is portable for
multiple architectures that have exactly the same programming
interface (and that interface is rather ``portable'' if such a unix
standard exists (POSIX, X/OPEN, whatever))

I don't know what status Linux is at WRT non-i386 ports, but given the
plethora of code out there that is ``ported'' to linux (i.e, the
"porter" does a lot of os-specific stuff wrapped in #ifdef linux)
that makes huge assumptions about i386-isms, I will make an educated
guess and say that a lot of ported_to_linux code will have to be
reported_to_linux when architectures that are non-i386 like (e.g, big
endian, etc)...

> While idealisticly it may SUX, I don't think that we've got much choice.
>  Now if we can just get `LINUX compatibility' on NetBSD.MIPS ... :-^

Yes we have got a choice. If people on linux want to get access to BSD
filing systems, they can do what they did WRT the OS/2 and Chicago
FS's - add support into linux. Asking netbsd to support ext2fs is like
asking os/2 to support ext2fs - a waste of time and the wrong way
about doing things...


I'm the first to tell people who have little unix experience to get
linux because I have no time to hold their hands, as there's more
people out there willing to help clueless newbies (and others) who
have i386 machines with thousands of different peripherals and who
want to be able to have OS/2, WinNT, DOS, and Linux on their machine
so they can get a big ego about how they run 4 different OS's at home
because they can, not because they need to. (`` Hey D00D, I'm so kewl
cause I run unix and Os/2 at home''... Gimme a break)

But I didn't expect to see linux (which at the author's (Linus') own
admittance is not UNIX but a UNIX-like OS) users telling every other
unix ``make yourselves compatible with linux''... Wrong approach...

PS: Off the thread, but does anyone else out there get as annoyed as
I do when they use archie to find software and instead get matches on
600 mirror sites of a linux-port archive. Maybe there's a way to setup
archie to tag files as ``official release'' or ``official mirror''...