Subject: Re: Document: What's the difference between Linux and BSD?
To: Greg Lehey <>
From: Rahul Siddharthan <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 04/27/2000 10:35:34
Greg Lehey said on Apr 27, 2000 at 13:17:38:
> I'm writing a "white paper" to describe BSD to people who know Linux.
> You can find it at
> I'd like feedback on the following aspects:
> 1.  Have I forgotten something?
> 2.  Is it accurate?
> 3.  Is it fair?

Section "Why isn't BSD better known?"
       product contained AT&T copyrighted code. The case was settled out
       of court in 1994, but the spectre of the legislation continues to
       haunt people. As recently as March 2000 an article published on
Should be "litigation", I imagine.

Some additions on "why use BSD instead of linux": 

* Linux users who're buggered by the difficulty of cleanly upgrading
  their system (a major kernel upgrade or C library upgrade may require
  upgrades to 10 or 20 other components, and may in addition break some
  packages) may like the ease of BSD's "cvs/cvsup / make world" way of
  upgrading, and the greater continuity in major upgrades (eg FreeBSD
  3.x -> 4.x was I believe a fairly smooth change, though I haven't done
  it yet, but glibc 2.0 -> 2.1 on linux breaks a lot of stuff, and  
  libc5 -> glibc 2.0 broke even more). 

* FreeBSD's ports collection is also a major plus point, though I've 
  heard that Debian's pkg system is comparably good and there are
  now some tools for auto-tracking RPM dependencies too.

* FreeBSD's binary compatibility with linux.  I can run
  linux-Netscape 6 and the Mozilla linux builds on FreeBSD, and they
  work fine, but I can't run them on our linux machines because I
  haven't worked up the courage to upgrade to glibc 2.1 yet.

* OpenBSD's reputation for security, for security-critical situations
  or for the paranoid.

On the whole, a very nice article which boosts the BSD's without
FUDding linux or sounding patronising towards it the way so many 
BSD users like to.