| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 44, 12 April 2004
Welcome to this year's 15th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. Last week was a slow one when it comes to distribution releases with only MoviX and Danix coming up with new versions. However, the new Danix live CD could be of interest to those waiting impatiently for Knoppix 3.4, as the distribution comes with kernel 2.6.3, KDE 3.2.1 and many other up-to-date software packages. Although the main language of Danix is Czech, it can be booted into English environment by specifying 'lang=en' at the boot prompt. Happy hacking!
Which comes first - the chicken or the egg?
by Robert Storey
Lately I've been noticing some hair loss on my head. It's not because advancing age is causing premature baldness, but rather it's because frustration with Linux documentation is causing me to tear my hair out. It's enough of a problem that I might start wearing a safety helmet whenever I install a new Linux distribution (which offers the additional benefit of protection from banging one's head against the wall).
All jokes aside, my frustration is a real one. I confess to be a distro junkie, and in the past week alone I've installed four new flavours of Linux that I'd never tried before. Unfortunately, all four proved to be disappointing in one way or another, though at least one looks like it might stick around for awhile. However, even this sole survivor (if it does indeed survive) is plagued by what is becoming a recurring problem - insufficient documentation.
Rolling your own Linux distro has now become a popular pastime, and if you frequently visit Distrowatch you'll see that at least two or three new distros make their debut every week. When I say "two or three new distros," I am not counting home-brewed "Linux From Scratch" projects that aspiring geeks create for their own entertainment. Even I played with Linux From Scratch (not too successfully, I'm sorry to say). No, when I say "a new distro," I'm talking about a project that gets beyond the home hobby/education stage. That is, somebody gives their project a name, creates a downloadable iso file, puts it online and tries to take on Debian or Mandrake for market share.
The majority of these projects are but a flash in the pan - they will whither and die before anybody even notices. Occasionally, though, one of these micro brews will suddenly take the world by storm. It's probably the dream of every true Linux hacker to create the next Gentoo or Knoppix.
I mentioned above that I installed four distros this week - now I will reveal which ones: Buffalo, Slax, Adios and Arch. Each of the four had at least one unique feature that attracted me, but within minutes of installation (or attempted installation in the case of Slax - it appears to be a live CD only) I was running into problems. In desperation, I went scrambling in search of a README, HOW-TO or FAQ file for these various distros, but came up mostly empty-handed. In a fit of frustration, I fired off an email to one of the developers, and surprisingly he wrote back:
"YES DOCUMENTATION IS A PROBLEM," he wrote (all in caps). "Wish I could afford to hire a full-time tech writer!"
The sad reality is this - good developers are rarely good technical writers. And good technical writers are rarely good developers. These are two different skill sets.
A distro can make up for a lack of documentation if there happens to be a great user community waiting in the wings to answer questions. Mailing lists, forums, news groups and IRC (debatable) can make a huge difference. With some distros, such as Slackware, there is a lot of documentation but it's notoriously out-of-date, and the user community basically provides an online "update service" (Note: before you Slackware users start flaming me to a crisp, please be advised that I use Slackware and I like it, and I'm writing some updated documentation for it myself). But for many new distros, if you can't figure out your own problem, you're sunk - there is simply no place to turn for help.
I think that we now have so many distributions that any of them that fails to provide solid documentation plus mailing lists/forums is going to go nowhere. Developers who hurl out release after release are probably wasting their time until they have a more complete user infrastructure in place. On the other hand, building user infrastructure is not trivial.
Since I like happy-happy Hollywood endings, I'm going to end this article on a positive note. There are a number of web sites out there with some pretty useful general Linux/Unix information that is worth reading. So below are some practical recommendations. I'd also like to hear suggestions from the user community - do you know of any good online resources aside from what I've mentioned below?
So without further ado, a short list:
- The Linux Documentation Project. This attempts to document everything and the kitchen sink. If you don't have broadband, you can even order the entire web site on a single CD.
- Cafe Computer. Cafe Computer is a commercial outfit, but their web site has a number of useful links. Section 8 in particular has links to many other FAQs, some of which are distro-specific, some more general.
- O'Reilly ONLamp. From the folks who brought you great computer books, O'Reilly has a huge number of great online articles, HOW-TOs, etc. There's enough here to keep you reading for weeks (or months).
- Introduction to Unix. The book "Introduction to Unix" by Frank G. Fiamingo is available online as a free downloadable PDF.
- The 85321 System Administration Study Guide, by David Jones. An absolutely outstanding online textbook for general Unix/Linux students. You can download it as a PDF or postscript file.
Is SELinux too complex?
Users who have been testing the latest Fedora Core test release have had a chance to be exposed to SELinux and its mandatory access control mechanism that attempts to implement a radically improved security model in Fedora Core 2, and later in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. Although the effort expended by the Fedora developers has to be commended, there are signs that not everybody is impressed with the complexity that SELinux brings to the table. This is a reaction by one of the readers to last week's article at LWN called First SELinux impressions (subscribers only until Thursday):
"SELinux may give administrators extra flexibility, and add some extra 'layers' of protection for critical files (depending on how the policies are set). But security pros usually consider complexity to be the enemy of good security - and this system is nothing if not complex. I suspect that for every properly configured SELinux install, there will be several that leave gaping holes because they've been misconfigured."
If you have tried the latest Fedora test release, how do you feel about its implementation of SELinux? Do you think it is worth the effort to learn about the policies and get them work to your benefit and greater security of your servers? Or do you believe that it is an unnecessarily complex system, where the negatives far outweigh the positives? Please discuss below.
Fight against European software patents
If you are anywhere near Belgium this week, do try to make it to the walking demonstration against software patents, which will be held on Wednesday, 14 April, at Square de Meeus (200m from Place du Luxembourg) in Brussels. You can find out more about the demonstration, including train schedules and accommodation, on demo.ffii.org.
|Released Last Week
A new version of MoviX is out: "MoviX 0.8.3 fixes the little boot problem that was recently found in 0.8.2. Since it seems bad to release a new version just to fix a single file, a few interesting features and fixes were also added: the 'install.pl' script is now able to install automatically MoviX on a HD partition and make it bootable (but do not use this script to install MoviX on a partition shared with another OS!); when booting from HD, most files will not be loaded in RAM but rather used from the HD, so that you'll get full MoviX features already with 64MB of RAM; Russian and French menus have been updated; a Russian version of the README has been added...." Read the rest of the announcement.
A new version of Danix, a Czech Knoppix-based live CD, has been released: "What is in the new Danix? Everything you wished for. Kernel 2.6, ALSA, KDE 3.2.1, GIMP 2.0pre, Mozilla 1.6.x, Openoffice.org 1.1.1, KOffice1.3, and over a thousand of other packages. A simple installer in our mother tongue and support for Czech on the console. What is missing? Java, which is not open source, and MPlayer until we can figure out how to modify it legally." You can find more information (in Czech) on danix.cz.
Screenshot: Danix 2004.06.04 comes with kernel 2.6.3 and KDE 3.2.1
(full image size 271kB)
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Gibraltar Firewall 2.0
The developers of Gibraltar Firewall have announced that version 2 now nears completion: "At the moment, our partners have the opportunity to test Gibraltar v2. In addition to many usability enhancements in the web interface, Gibraltar v2 will include the following new features: proxy server support in the web interface (http, SMTP, pop3, FTP); advanced Spam protection; professional virus protection; addresses and port aliases; content and URL filtering; user authentication." Find out more at gibraltar.at.
Yellow Dog Linux 4.0
As was widely reported in Linux media, Terra Soft has announced two new releases of Yellow Dog Linux: "'Yellow Dog Linux' -- Terra Soft's 32-bit offering will continue to be offered from Terra Soft pre-installed on Apple computers, from Terra Soft's on-line Store in Geek Edition and box set packaging, through retail stores world-wide, and for download from YDL.net Enhanced and the public FTP mirrors. 'Y-HPC' -- Terra Soft's new 64-bit offering will be available pre-installed on Apple, IBM, and Momentum 970-based hardware, from the Terra Soft Store, and for download from the forthcoming YDL.net Professional account." Read the Terra Soft press release for further details.
|Web Site News
Your requests fulfilled: *BSD projects now included in DistroWatch
Ladies and Gentleman, one of your most often requested additions to DistroWatch is now a reality - as of today, the three major BSD flavours of FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD are now included on these pages, and will be tracked, monitored and updated in the same fashion as Linux distributions.
Some of you might remember that in the past I always rejected the idea to include BSD distributions on DistroWatch, so what brought the change? Well, this is one of those never dying requests - you can reject it a thousand times, but the next day you will get the same request again. But perhaps more importantly, users somehow expect to find FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD listed on these pages, despite the fact that they are not Linux. These expectations might stem from other Linux sites, such as Linux Weekly News or Linux Today, which do publish BSD related news. Freshmeat also lists BSD projects. Like Linux, BSD distributions are open source projects, they use applications developed for Linux and UNIX, and they are extremely popular. Not to mention that, as many devoted BSD users will tell you, BSD is much better than Linux :-)
The three pages are somewhat incomplete at the moment, but they will be expanded in the next few days with the addition of historical releases, as well as their respective development trees, updated daily. Other information will also be added - if you know of any related web sites and resources, recent reviews and other useful information, please mention them in the forum below, or email me directly. I have to admit that I never really used any BSD distribution and I would welcome some information about things like multilingual support, journaled file systems and any information missing from the tables. Are there any BSD-specific packages that would be useful to track? If so, mention them and I'll do my best to include them in the tables. Other BSD projects listed on this page will also be included in due time.
New on the waiting list
- FreeBSD. FreeBSD is a UN*X-like operating system for the i386, IA-64, PC-98, Alpha/AXP, and UltraSPARC platforms based on U.C. Berkeley's "4.4BSD-Lite" release, with some "4.4BSD-Lite2" enhancements. It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz's port of U.C. Berkeley's "Net/2" to the i386, known as "386BSD", though very little of the 386BSD code remains. FreeBSD is used by companies, Internet Service Providers, researchers, computer professionals, students and home users all over the world in their work, education and recreation.
- NetBSD. NetBSD is a free, secure, and highly portable UNIX-like Open Source operating system available for many platforms, from 64-bit AlphaServers and desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research environments, and it is user-supported with complete source. Many applications are easily available through The NetBSD Packages Collection.
- OpenBSD. The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Our efforts emphasise portability, standardisation, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. OpenBSD supports binary emulation of most programs from SVR4 (Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, BSD/OS, SunOS and HP-UX. OpenBSD is freely available from our FTP sites, and also available in an inexpensive 3-CD set.
- Rocks Cluster Distribution. Rocks is a complete "cluster on a CD" solution for x86 and IA64 Red Hat Linux COTS clusters. Building a Rocks cluster does not require any experience in clustering, yet a cluster architect will find a flexible and programmatic way to redesign the entire software stack just below the surface (appropriately hidden from the majority of users). Although Rocks includes the tools expected from any clustering software stack (PBS, Maui, GM support, Ganglia, etc), it is unique in its simplicity of installation.
- LinVDR. LinVDR is a complete, breathing Linux system smaller than 50 MB with a complete digital Video Disk Recorder (VDR) / Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and several plugins. For easy access we installed additionally the browser frontend VDR Admin and a Samba share for uploading and downloading music or DVD images with Windows clients.
- EduMorphix. EduMorphix is a GNU/Linux live CD distribution for education containing several tools for effective curriculum transaction.
- Debix. Debix can create a live filesystem from any existing linux system or create a fresh system with debootstrap. By using the device mapper from LVM 2 the live filesystem only needs a new initial ramdisk and otherwise uses the existing system unchanged as loopback image. When creating a live filesystem from scratch Knoppix-like autodetection features and the official Debian boot-floppies and/or debian-installer can be included to make a more comfortable installation.
Does anybody have any information about the status of PHLAK? This high-profile rescue CD seems to have disappeared from the Internet - its web site has been inaccessible for weeks and its project page from Freshmeat has been removed. Is this the end of PHLAK? Does anybody know?
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 280
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 3
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 66
Jeremy H writes: "I am a big fan of DistroWatch and think you are doing a fantastic job! I was reading on the site stoppoliceware.org about proposed laws regarding policeware on new computers sold in the USA. Apparently this could affect users of alternate operating systems like Linux. Maybe you would want to have a read and provide a link on your site. Keep up the good work!"
Two SUSE user forums merge
Adam C writes: "Just to let you know the two user forums you have mentioned on your entry for SUSE have now merged together to become one forum. This is located at suseforums.com or forums.suselinuxsupport.de. You may wish to amend your entry to reflect this."
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Thanks, Distrowatch! (by Linus van Pelt on 2004-04-12 11:05:57 GMT) |
Thanks for addind Berkeley Software Distributions to your lists!
There's a lot of unnecessary animosity between Linux and BSD users and it mostly derives from lack of knowledge. I use Debian GNU/Linux and NetBSD and I think they are both great operating systems. BTW, here's a good link for browsing what software is available in pkgsrc (NetBSD's package management system, also ported to Linux):
You might like to add this to your NetBSD links. :-)
2 • The *BSDs use "soft updates" rather than journaled FSs (by J. J. Ramsey at 2004-04-12 13:23:32 GMT)
"I have to admit that I never really used any BSD distribution and I would welcome some information about things like multilingual support, journaled file systems and any information missing from the tables."
AFAIK, there are no journaled filesystems for the *BSDs. Rather, they use what are called "soft updates." I'm not sure what the technical details of soft updates are, just that soft updates are a different way to insure filesystem integrity in case the power goes out unexpectedly.
3 • xorg-x11 (by Jukka on 2004-04-12 14:40:37 GMT)
I'm not sure whether this is the right place to ask, but: would it be possible to add xorg-x11 to the main package list? At least from Fedora xfree86 has now completely disappeared, and the xorg-x11 versions seem to get updated rather quickly.
Regarding SElinux. I can only speak for myself, but when I suddenly started getting lots of policy messages in my boot log, I just rebooted, added selinux=0 to my kernel line, and that was that. I like tinkering with bleeding edge versions, but I just don't have the time to fix forty messages in my bootlog.
4 • short BSD comparison (by MET on 2004-04-12 15:19:22 GMT)
Here are a couple articles that compare the newly added BSDs for those curious like myself.
Welcome to the DW club!
Now, which one shall I download first....
5 • request (by peyman at 2004-04-12 15:47:43 GMT)
Many thanks for your fascinating web-site.
Could you please add "Linux With Special Features" category which could possibly contain a distro with the newest core (Kernel)?
6 • BSD additions (by seetru at 2004-04-12 17:46:55 GMT)
This was a positive step for this website, in my opinion.
my feelings on the best OS to use are, why limit yourself? try them all!
7 • FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD on DW (by Anonymous on 2004-04-12 20:20:59 GMT)
That's a wise decision!
8 • BSD Live CD's? (by popuman at 2004-04-12 20:26:32 GMT)
any BSD live CD's around? I'd like to check them out.
9 • re: BSD Live CD's (by mike on 2004-04-12 21:05:49 GMT)
DragonFly appears to qualify as a seperate *BSD distro (or "fork" as bsd folks say), independent of FreeBSD.
10 • Live BSDs (by Scott on 2004-04-12 21:09:35 GMT)
Here's a couple of Live BSDs:
I know there are a couple more, but I can't remember them at the moment.
11 • OpenBSD (by Federico Calboli at 2004-04-12 22:19:39 GMT)
First off, great idea to add the BSD variants to DW. Second, I thought that OpenBSD were a CANADIAN project, on the ground of Theo deRaadt being canadian and strong crypto being illegal in the US...
12 • Documentation sites: www.yolinux.com (by Penguin on 2004-04-12 22:27:34 GMT)
Here's a nice Linux documentation site that I recently discovered while surfing on the net:
YoLinux Information Portal
It has - besides of a funny theme - quite a comprehensive list of links to Linux documentation online. A recommended visit.
However, I question a bit the inclusion of several links to some "Underground Hacker Sites" on the YoLinux frontpage... But I guess that could make browsing the site all the more tempting...;-)
13 • BSD (by Penguin on 2004-04-12 22:37:54 GMT)
Now as the BSD distros are included too (which is good, I think), that should make people soon to excpect to find more BSD related information on DistroWatch, like reviews and articles, too.
So, how about, for example, reviewing the new NetBSD 2.0 release? It also seems that OpenBSD (Ultra security) and FreeBSD (speed, features, software) have got most of the attention these days - though NetBSD may be as good if not better in many of its features. And NetBSD is, as many know, perhaps the most portable OS anywhere ever.
14 • Lunar Linux review? (by Penguin on 2004-04-12 22:53:23 GMT)
Also at least one advanced source-based Linux distribution comes to my mind that might deserve a review - at least somewhere:
Lunar Linux: http://www.lunar-linux.org/
Both of Lunar's cousin distros, Sorcerer and Sourcemage have already been reviewed on DistroWatch and elsewhere many times, and most other source-baased distributions too, but I have never seen a Lunar Linux review anywhere yet.
What makes Lunar Linux different from Sorcerer and Source Mage? They seem to have more in common than how much differ from each other. But at least Lunar Linux commands of managing software don't sound like spells from the latest Harry Potter book ;-) but they use a space/Lunar theme instead..:). Also, both Source Mage and Sorcerer seem to have accepted the new XFRee86 4.4 with its new license (that is GPL-incompatible) while Lunar seems to have chosen to have the GPL compatible X like most other major distributions (the good choice IMHO).
15 • BSD LIVE CDS (by godsmonster at 2004-04-12 22:53:32 GMT)
Live CD http://livecd.sourceforge.net
FreeBSD live-FS - http://user.berklix.org/~dgw
FreeBSD Disc 2 - http://www.freebsd.org
NetBSD live ftp://iso.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/iso/1.6/i386live.iso.bz2
NetBoz Firewall http://www.netboz.net
16 • BSD books (by Gary Routh at 2004-04-12 23:51:49 GMT)
My foray into BSD after years of linux has just enriched my knowledge and skills in linux. I still use Slack on my my main machine, but enjoy FreeBSD on my test machine.
One of the key strengths of BSD for me has been the excellent books - you just don't find many books like Greg Lehey's Complete FreeBSD. I don't buy computer books much anymore, but this one is a gem!
Very happy to see DistroWatch make this move, I am sure it will enrich the community as a whole.
Thank You! happyg
17 • BSD live CD's (by popuman at 2004-04-13 05:45:38 GMT)
Thanks for the info guys.
18 • BSD's (by Andrew on 2004-04-13 06:56:09 GMT)
Cheers for putting these on Distrowatch!
I've missed some important BSD releases because I spend too much time here reading up on Linux distros, now I can truly kill two birds with one stone.
19 • Any news on PHLAK? (by PHLAK FAN on 2004-04-13 12:24:14 GMT)
So anyone have an update on PHLAK??
I will be sad to see this go!! Glad I downloaded 0.2-1 when I did!
20 • On the inclusion of the *BSDs (by Maximus at 2004-04-13 14:08:16 GMT)
Most welcome a decision and implemntation. I agree with some of the views here i.e. GNU/Linux and the various *BSD have MUCH that UNITES them then things that DIVIDES them. For starters, they are ALL Open Source OSes. And users of BOTH OSes can and do on a daily basis use one another's tools/programs e.g. the startup scripts of Slack (BSD scripts); and GNU's GCC is in ALL the *BSDs. I'm in the process of installing FreeBSD on a spare hard drive already. Sincerely hope that distrowatch will become as much a HOME for the *BSDs as it is a HOME for GNU/Linux.
- Just A Debian/Slackware fan -
21 • RE: The *BSDs use "soft updates" rather than journaled FSs (by Jörg Sonnenberger at 2004-04-13 15:27:27 GMT)
Soft updates try to achieve similiar goals to journaling. In principle the FFS can be hold in a mostly consistent state if ensure certain changes are written to disk before others. If you want to delete an inode, it is important to first delete the directory entry and _afterwards_ decrement the link counter. Similiar if you want to create a new file, the inode is allocated and setup first with the incremented link counter and afterwards the directory entry is created.
The advantage is no additional overhead for keeping the filesystem is in fully _recoverable_ state. The disadvantages are as follow:
- still have to run fsck to garbage collect inodes / blocks / update inode counters.
- depends on working disk hardware not faking e.g. writes while the data is still in a disk cache.
- much more complex algorithm than Journaling.
So softdep is an optimization of the best case, e.g. stable hardware with UPS, while Journaling is one for the worst case. It should be mentioned that the idea of softdep can be used for many filesystems, not only UFS. IIRC does the NetBSD implementation of ext2 support softdep as well.
22 • Re: Policeware (by utabintarbo at 2004-04-13 16:57:26 GMT)
I think the policeware provisions of the CBDTPA would best serve us by being put into law:
- So many people would be subject to prosecution that the public would recoil, leading to:
-- A general revolt against such laws.
-- A re-examination of the role of the government in such matters.
-- Probably some of the main actors being booted from office.
-- Rampant jury nullification.
This would be a VERY good thing!
23 • OpenOffice (by Anonymous on 2004-04-13 17:51:29 GMT)
There are native OpenOffice.org and Opera releases for FreeBSD!
Here you can buy FreeBSD on CDs and other stuff (i.e.: t-shirts)
I've also found a site with lots of FreeBSD links
Well you can also find Slackware Linux links and other stuff.
Now we can monitor both Linux and *BSD all in one place, isn't that great?
24 • Gates just luvs BSDs, why shouldn't we? (by GP on 2004-04-13 18:55:50 GMT)
Gates just luvs BSDs, why shouldn't we?
It greatly cuts the development costs of our beloved corporation. A little tweak, and you get a new MSFT standard. And when you're a good boy, the corpy throws a few tidbits at you, like Apple does.
Down with bone heads such as RMS! Great move!
25 • Reminder: FreeBSD can run Gentoo,Debian and Redhat userland (by BSD_boi on 2004-04-13 22:33:16 GMT)
26 • FreeBSD CD2 (by Anonymous on 2004-04-14 17:19:42 GMT)
Just a quick note:
The second CD of FreeBSD is a Live CD and isn't required to install FreeBSD.
If you have installed and used Slackware Linux, you'd find FreeBSD similar in some aspects such as the sysinstall installer (it's a setup tool as well), the BSD init scripts, ...
You should give it a try. It's worth.
Thanks for adding FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.
27 • Very similar to Slackware? (by GP at 2004-04-14 21:41:47 GMT)
"If you have installed and used Slackware Linux, you'd find FreeBSD similar in some aspects such as the sysinstall installer (it's a setup tool as well), the BSD init scripts,"
If you use Slackware, my advice is "Stay with Slackware" and encourage its efforts instead of BSD's , the reason being a little acronym called GPL.
Shit, what is happening here is hardly believable. The BSD license is an invitation to patenting some of its work and right on the top of this page is an advertisement against software patents in Europe.
Why such a stupid license? Because the «B» stands for Berkely, and all this university wanted after its disagreement with ATT, was an OS they could teach that would permit its students to go work for the big corporations after their course was over. For instance, it's no mystery that people familiar with the BSDs are feeling quite at home with OS X.
The philosophy is exactly at odds with GNU-Linux. The proposed cohabitation is a very clear indication of the complete ignorance of the Linux philosophy by the maintainer of this site.
It might make MSFT's trolls very happy, but it certainly is a sad day for Distrowatch, which cannot be counted anymore as site promoting GNU-Linux interests.
28 • BSDL (by Anonymous on 2004-04-14 23:38:15 GMT)
I have to disagree with you.
BSD encourages anyone including corporations to use their technology even making it proprietary. I think BSDL is less restrictive than GPL. Thanks to that, the TCP/IP stack is almost on every OS on earth, as it was born on BSD Unix and BSD licensed. You can fork a BSD-licensed project and relicensed under the GPL; could you do that the opposite way?
Think as if you were a corporation. You might have done some changes that you don't want to reveal because you would be revealing some trade secrets.
OK. Another case. You're a corporation that wants to license everything under the GPL. It's OK. But remember, not all corporations think like you. So, it doesn't matter if that piece of software is OSS or proprietary if it gets the work done.
The good thing is that there isn't an unique license for open source software. The bad thing is that some projects with different licenses don't interchange code because of this. This means less compatibility.
Please don't make false arguments and be polite. There's nothing wrong if you don't like something. FreeBSD has some GNU things. GNU/Linux has also some BSD tools and applications.
DistroWatch is doing a great job promoting open source operating systems (GNU/Linux and *BSD)
29 • 2 cents (by warpengi at 2004-04-15 06:49:10 GMT)
Well I ahve to say I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I am glad to see the BSD's being listed here. From what I know of them they are very good OS's, stable and secure, and deserving of support. On the other hand the GPL is a very important part of Linux and the Linux community and for some of the same reasons that the previous poster made I think it is important we support the GPL in the strongest manner possible.
In this age of supreme IP protection we need the philosophy that the GPL holds at it's core. That is that not everything in this world is better when it is done for capitalist reasons. There are a lot of flaws in capitalism and not everything should be under capitalist/corporate control.
If the people don't assert their rights over certain values and freedoms then everything will be controlled by corporations. Ideals of democracy and freedom are being lost as corporations buy up the rights to our genetic structures, our land, our environment and especially our elected politicians.
Who owns the right to a sunset, a wilderness beach, our imagination, our creations, a school, a library?
Well I guess I believe Linux is where it is today because people found that the GPL enables and empowers them. I certainly hope that continues to be true. Then there will certainly room for the BSD's and their different license.
30 • GPL (by Anonymous on 2004-04-15 10:21:35 GMT)
IMHO, many corporations they want to stay away from the politics of the GPL and Linux. In fact many of them, don't embrace Linux because of the GPL.
Some Linux distroes for the masses (Xandros, Lindows, Lycoris) include proprietary installers and other kinds of tools. If you go to Walmart and see a desktop PC without Windows, you'll probably see that comes with any of them pre-installed.
Why those tools are proprietary? Because they're being developed by them and are the things that distinguish them from other Linux distroes. They want to make money. That's another different world. Please note that use open source on a daily basis but I think that everything has its place (including proprietary tools). Anyway, I prefer open source software. :)
If you want to promote something, promote open source, not just GPL'ed stuff.
GPL = for people
BSDL = for everyone, including corporations.
31 • The Mumbo Jumbo license (by GP at 2004-04-15 17:52:27 GMT)
"I have to disagree with you. BSD encourages anyone including corporations to use their technology even making it proprietary."
Here you agree.
"I think BSDL is less restrictive than GPL. Thanks to that, the TCP/IP stack is almost on every OS on earth, as it was born on BSD Unix and BSD licensed."
This is the full bullshit main argument of the BDSs. Microsoft had absolutely no interest for the net when the BSD stack was developed. Hence theur non-intervention.
"The bad thing is that some projects with different licenses don't interchange code because of this."
The bad thing is that the BSD license allows any company to steal code and go their own way, putting open standards in peril.
The pretention that the BSD license leads to a freeer world is pure mumbo jumbo.
32 • Help site (by hughesjr at 2004-04-16 00:44:43 GMT)
Want linux help ... go to:
33 • Re: The Mumbo Jumbo license (by Den on 2004-04-16 08:47:15 GMT)
Don't like the BSD license?
Then don't use GNU/Linux;
Why? Because there are BSDL'ed apps in GNU/Linux: the mount command (among others), some KDE apps, (KDE panel, KNewsTicker, Kaboodle, etc), LILO (the LInux boot LOader), XFree86, Apache, to name a few of them.
FreeBSD has GPL'ed apps too. I don't see anything wrong in both cases as both are open source operating systems.
Take it easy!
34 • Den: where are your sources? (by GP at 2004-04-16 18:22:51 GMT)
Because I didn't know what Kabbodle was, I checked it first. Here goes:
«All of the source code to the program is made available under the GNU General Public License.»
As for Apache:
"The Apache Software Foundation is still trying to determine if this version of the Apache License is compatible with the GPL."
XFree's license is so clear that it needs a FAQ right below it but I'm afraid it has nothing to do with a BSD license
So, maybe those applications use BSD code, but they aren't BSD licensed. So provide your sources, it's not normally for your readers to check what kind of bullshit you're giving them.
OTOH, to my surprise, lilo uses a BSD license:
"The above license is copied from the BSD license"
So, what's the point? BSD has had a long existence and was the first to provide open source code. And Microsoft, Apple and Linux have borrowed from it. Does this mean that BSD is the license to use as Microsoft got hold of more than 95% of the desktop market share? I really don't believe so.
That's going to be it for me now. I think I made my opinion clear and those who haven't understood yet, certainly never will despite all arguments I could still provide.
35 • BSD Licenses (by Brandon on 2004-04-18 05:29:56 GMT)
I don't know about you, but I'm glad that Microsoft has a stable TCP/IP stack. I know that Microsoft could have coded their own, but I believe that it would be bug-ridden.
Which would you rather the most popular desktop in the world had? I choose the stable TCP/IP stack.
The BSD license has its merits.
36 • BSD license has historical reasons (by A. Nonnymouse at 2004-04-18 06:29:14 GMT)
Don't forget that the BSD's got their start in UC Berkeley, where academics researched and developed it for well over decade. The UC system is at least partially funded with taxpayers money, meaning millions of California (and even non-California US residents) contributed money to it.
I believe that these are two of the reasons for the extreme freedom granted by the BSD license, i.e firstly the longstanding tradition of making the results of your research available to anyone who is interested, and secondly, the fact that the public spent money to develop it and therefore deserved to get relatively unrestricted access to the result.
IANAL, but there might well be rules that force publicly funded universities to make those results obtained using public funding available to the public.
37 • No subject (by GP at 2004-04-18 15:13:23 GMT)
"Which would you rather the most popular desktop in the world had? I choose the stable TCP/IP stack."
As I said, if the TCP/IP stack was to be invented today, Microsoft would borrow it from BSD, add a few lines to make it its own standard. The said lines would make it buggy, no doubt They would justify an upgrade pretty soon, then another, then another and mean greater compatibility with M$ products, since they're also buggy.
Gee, those guys who put together the TCP/IP stack did make quite a reputation for BSD, didn't they?
I can see that. The GPL makes the code available "to the public". It just makes sure the companies continue contributing instead of using the taxpayers money to fleece them some more.
In a world where software has become ubiquitous, it's the only way to set standards. Wake up, people! Gone are the seventies when a few geeks in rare universities where sharing their first programs.
38 • Linux help ? (by Linux forum at 2004-05-08 15:11:41 GMT)
BTw.. those geeks from 70es has resulted in Linux , internet and so more.. I just got a article and found that open source system was developed most likely due to those geeks..
more linux help : http://www.linuxsolved.com
Number of Comments: 38
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