[TUHS] SunOS vs Linux

Wesley Parish wes.parish at paradise.net.nz
Mon Jan 9 08:52:55 AEST 2017


I remember reading the same. I just can't remember where I read it. I'll try to track it down.

Wesley Parish 

Quoting Angus Robinson <angus at fairhaven.za.net>:

> I think at one point Linus said that if he had known or if 386bsd was
> available he would not have started Linux
> 
> (If I remember correctly)
> 
> On 6 Jan 2017 05:57, "Dan Cross" <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 12:08 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 11:17 AM, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com
> >>
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=rminnich@gmail.com>>
> 
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Larry, had Sun open sourced SunOS, as you fought so hard to make
> happen,
> >>> Linux might not have happened as it did. SunOS was really good.
> Chalk up
> >>> another win for ATT!
> >>>
> >>
> >> ​FWIW: I disagree​. For details look at my discussion of
> rewriting
> >> Linux in RUST
> >>
> <https://www.quora.com/Would-it-be-possible-advantageous-to-rewrite-the-
> Linux-kernel-in-Rust-when-the-language-is-stable>
> >> on quora. But a quick point is this .... Linux original took off (and
> was
> >> successful) not because of GPL, but in spite of it and later the GPL
> would
> >> help it. But it was not the GPL per say that made Linux vs BSD vs
> SunOS et
> >> al.
> >>
> >> What made Linux happen was the BSDi/UCB vs AT&T case. At the time, a
> >> lot of hackers (myself included) thought the case was about
> *copyright*.
> >> It was not, it was about *trade secret* and the ideas around UNIX. *
> >> i.e.* folks like, we "mentally contaminated" with the AT&T
> Intellectual
> >> Property.
> >>
> >> When the case came, folks like me that were running 386BSD which
> would
> >> later begat FreeBSD et al, got scared. At that time, *BSD (and
> SunOS)
> >> were much farther along in the development and stability. But ....
> may of
> >> us hought Linux would insulate us from losing UNIX on cheap HW
> because
> >> their was not AT&T copyrighted code in it. Sadly, the truth is that
> if
> >> AT&T had won the case, *all UNIX-like systems* would have had to be
> >> removed from the market in the USA and EU [NATO-allies for sure].
> >>
> >> That said, the fact the *BSD and Linux were in the wild, would have
> made
> >> it hard to enforce and at a "Free" (as in beer) price it may have
> been hard
> >> to make it stick. But that it was a misunderstanding of legal thing
> that
> >> made Linux "valuable" to us, not the implementation.
> >>
> >> If SunOS has been available, it would not have been any different.
> It
> >> would have been thought of based on the AT&T IP, but trade secret
> and
> >> original copyright.
> >>
> >
> > Yes, it seems in retrospect that USL v BSDi basically killed Unix (in
> the
> > sense that Linux is not a blood-relative of Unix). I remember someone
> > quipping towards the late 90s, "the Unix wars are over. Linux won."
> >
> > Perhaps an interesting area of speculation is, "what would the world
> have
> > looked like if USL v BSDi hadn't happened *and* SunOS was opened to
> the
> > world?" I think in that parallel universe, Linux wouldn't have made
> it
> > particularly far: absent the legal angle, what would the incentive had
> been
> > to work on something that was striving to basically be Unix, when
> really
> > good Unix was already available?
> >
> > Ah well.
> >
> > - Dan C.
> >
> >
>  



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