[TUHS] Why BSD didn't catch on more, and Linux did
robert at timetraveller.org
Wed Feb 7 11:02:57 AEST 2018
On Tue, 6 Feb 2018, Andy Kosela wrote:
> I think that if somebody was already exposed to BSD code in the 80s it was
> more natural for him to adopt open source *BSD. Otherwise he went with
> Linux. Initially I think it was a little bit smaller and simpler too.
Here's a case study...
I installed Linux on my PC in June 1994 after my university exams had
finished. I only decided to go with Linux over NetBSD the night before I
was heading to university to start downloading the 30 or 40 floppy images
I'd need to do the install.
The *nix enthusiasts on campus were split fairly evening between Linux &
NetBSD at the time so I was fairly assured of advice and help
regardless of which way I went.
I chose Linux over NetBSD for one reason. Linux had a DOS emulator
(DosEMU). Even then I wanted to run an emulator rather than multiboot.
NetBSD got support for the dos emulator later but by then I'd made my
As an aside, while downloading the floppy images I came to the notice of
local sysadmins. I had to go see one of the sysadmins about my usage of
system and network resources. That sysadmin was George Michaelson, who is
on this list. Hi George! George and I have since worked together.
IIRC the university introduced a local Slackware mirror soon after.
 FreeBSD wasn't getting as much attention among enthusiasts at my
campus and OpenBSD was still a glint in Theo's eye.
 A year later I founded a computer club on campus which embraced all
flavours of *nix hobbyist. It's still running 23 years later.
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