Subject: Re: embedded customers are asking for linux
To: None <,>
From: Ian Zagorskih <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 09/19/2003 00:15:55
On Thursday 18 September 2003 16:44, wrote:
> On Thursday 18 September 2003 04:39, Michal Pasternak wrote:
> > Ian Zagorskih [Thu, Sep 18, 2003 at 11:57:41AM +0000]:
> > > 8. It has perfect network capabilities.
> >
> > KAME and IPv6! Don't forget to point this out explictly :)
> >
> > > 10. From my point of view, NetBSD's kernel architecture is well
> > > designed and code is well and carefully. Cannot say the same about
> > > code from
> >
> > ... and we know, who included which part - and when - to the system
> > sources This may be a bit low, but in this case you could use SCO's
> > FUD. Anyway, it's Torvalds fault he didn't use any versioning system
> > early.
> On the other hand, he is a tremendously charismatic personality, and the
> Linux kernel has basically grown up around him as a direct result of
> that charisma's effects on others. He's also been tremendously
> consistent in his aims and hasn't bent his personal values
> significantly (if at all) as a result of massive commercial pressure.
> Sometimes I think it'd be nice if such a personality made his way into
> NetBSD core. :)

Oh of course, it mine embedded stuff would be running on pure charisma essense 
i would choose something like Linux :)

On the other hand, Linux is much more popular in embedded systems at least 
from my experience. Just two facts comes in mind:

1. DiskOnChip isn't supported by BSD style OSes, only QNX, Linux and so on *). 
And it's more then popular boot and data flash in x86 PC104 boards world. 
Actually, M-Systems, DOC owner, refuses to support BSD. I.e. i need to have a 
huge volumes in order to get DOC SDK so i could write drivers by myself.

2. ARM boards. I checked several different vendors who sales PXA255. They 
usually support two things: Windows CE and Linux. This is great they support 
at least Linux, but there are no BSD. I checked ARM specifications and it 
dosn't seems to be trivial for me to port even NetBSD on some exact ARM 

2.1 This boards usually have on-board soldered flash arrays so there is no 
need to deal with DOC sockets or alike stuff. But.. as usually, flash drivers 
are closed, specs arn't available and so on. Distributed only as a binary 
pre-compiled code for Linux.

This is great that different embedded boar manufacturers support Linix. At 
least i have a choise and not stuck with DOS, Microsoft or propertially RTOS. 
But if you want to use BSD it easily may become not so trivial to get a 
suitable board and force BSD work on it. In average case you'd to fix OS by 
hands here and there, in worsest you can do nothing :(

And that's while NetBSD serves as OS for embedded designs at least same as 
good as Linux does. But vendors prefer to support some one but popular 
platform, and AFAIU BSD usually isn't one of them.

*) Yes, i know FreeBSD has some piece of binary code for DOC. From my 
experience it dosn't work. And anyway cannot be maintained by people course 
it's distributed in pre-compilled form without sources code.

JSC Novosibirsk Geophysical Equipment Development Center.