[TUHS] Why Linux not another PC/UNIX [was Mach for i386 ...]

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Feb 23 02:11:14 AEST 2017


On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:36:08AM -0500, Clem Cole wrote:
> I think your counter point is that while I believe folks like yourselves or
> Linus could have gotten BSD UNIX if you had tried to find it it was
> available and folks like Keith and Bill were trying to get it out the door,
> but  have suggest that you don't think so.   You think the walls were too
> high, the access was only for the "chosen few" and a difference was the
> Linux really was available to what Larry referred to as the great unwashed.

The way it felt to me at the time was yes, you could, maybe, get access 
but it was proprietary source code.  If you put it up for FTP you were
going to get sued or something.  It was not freely available.  

You keep saying that 386BSD was up for FTP as a poorly kept secret. 
Why was it secret?  Because it wasn't legal to get it.

A lot of us were pretty sick of that legal bullshit.  Linux didn't 
have that problem.

> To that I say, fair enough.   You could be right, I do hope you are not.  I
> don't think that was the intention/theory - but in practice, it seems
> different.

I think most hackers wanted it to be free, though even there it was
sort of hit and miss.  The BSDi guys thought they saw a market 
opportunity so they weren't so excited about free.


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