Subject: Re: NetBSD/Linux 'distribution'
To: None <>
From: Matthew Orgass <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/20/1999 21:52:25
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Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 21:52:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Matthew Orgass <>
cc: netbsd-advocacy@NetBSD.ORG
Subject: Re: NetBSD/Linux 'distribution'
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On Fri, 19 Feb 1999, David Welton wrote:

> Someone brought up the idea of using most of the current Debian
> userland tools on top of a BSD kernel, which of course sparked
> discussions about which one might be most appropriate (at this point,
> I should note that no one has actually *done* anything about this, and
> I sort of doubt it will ever be more than speculation).

  I do not know what your reasons are for doing this, but probably the
most obvious reason to use NetBSD is to add over a dozen platforms to
what Linux currently runs on...

> What I was curious about was what sort of reaction this might engender
> in the NetBSD community, should something similiar come to pass.  And
> no, I'm not trying to troll - I'm truly curious whether we might be
> the brunt of a lot of the more vitriolic anti-linux flames that one
> sees (and yes, of course, it goes both ways, but I am not interested
> in flamewars), whether we might actually get help, or if people would
> generally behave neutrally.  I (we) know that the BSD community in
> general prefers that license, and of course, whatever BSD kernel and
> software they use, so this isn't the question at hand, but rather, how
> might we be looked upon for 'taking' this work and using it in our own
> way?

  I suspect that the enthusiasm from the NetBSD community will be roughly
equal to the volume of code you contribute back to NetBSD under BSD
license plus the number of companies you convince to sell NetBSD binaries
minus the number of posts on the NetBSD mailing lists from your users and 
the number of changes between the kernel you use and the real NetBSD

  If you are planning on GPLing all changes you make and running
everything in Linux emulation or making Linux binaries the native format,
then I suspect that you will be in a position only slightly worse then
that of FreeBSD/alpha and as long as you make it clear that your OS is not
representative of NetBSD in any way then you will probably be ignored.

  On the other hand, if you encourage your developers to improve NetBSD
code under BSD licence or encourage companies to use NetBSD binary
format, then I suspect you will be regarded as a positive influence on

  Of course, in that case why not make your userland into a NetBSD
package?  That would probably generate some interest in the NetBSD 
community and is almost certainly the only chance you have of getting any

Matthew Orgass