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

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Feb 23 04:24:40 AEST 2017


On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:00:59PM -0500, Clem Cole wrote:
> > A lot of us were pretty sick of that legal bullshit.
> >
> ???Actually - that was exactly the point.   A lot of folks did not think that
> the AT&T copyright mattered any more.  I think most of us at the time we
> sick of it.     The code base had been rewritten.  

Sorry to keep yapping on this, but I think we're trying to get at accurate
history, right?

So what is written there was not how I felt at all.  I personally felt
like AT&T had a case, I thought it was copyright not trade secret.  I went
through the code, I had access to the AT&T code and the free code.  I was
a UFS/FFS hacker at the time so that's what I read.  I found routines
that were bit for bit identical in both in less than 5 minutes.  The one
I remember was bmap(), I found a couple of others that I don't remember
(just remember there were more) and I gave up in disgust.  I was pretty
disappointed that CSRG considered this not AT&T source, it was.

That left me with a strong feeling that AT&T was going to win.  I was
wrong but it didn't matter, BSD was sort of dead to me.  I can't tell
you how painful that was for me, I was very much a BSD guy, SunOS was
BSD plus the stuff you would want fixed, fixed.

Linux wasn't BSD but it wasn't going to get taken away from me like
SunOS was taken away and now BSD looked like it was going to be taken
away.  It just looked like a bad investment to work on BSD so I worked
on Linux.


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