[TUHS] SunOS vs Linux

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Jan 10 01:57:59 AEST 2017

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:32 AM, Arno Griffioen <arno.griffioen at ieee.org>

> Buying a BSD license was way outside a student's budget at that time
> and universities were not very forthcoming in giving them access.

‚ÄčA little strange statement... student did not have to buy it and
Universities got it for $100 tape copying fee ( and were free to do with it
at they wanted - i.e. "dead-fish license").  FYI: CMU made us sign a
document of some type stating it was AT&T's IP to take the undergrad OS
course in 1976, but they certainly did not try to keep the code under lock
and key with a guard on the door.  Also, the whole idea of the 1956 AT&T
consent decree was that AT&T >>had<< to make the IP available -- by law (so
they did - which is why they later lost the BSDi/UCB case).   They were
given a monopoly if the world access to their patents.

Also by the late 1980s, early 1990's - i.e. Linus' time for early Linux,
most Universities world wide were using Vaxen and Sun systems.   On the
Vaxen, then tended to have BSD which is what the 386 code was based.   To
get a copy of it you needed a BSD license and almost all Universities had
them by that point in the USA and the EU.   Hey were were having USENIX
conferences hosted in the the EU pretty regularly, and lots of development.

Your comment about not being "forthcoming" I get, as people that power
often take a conservative approach if they are not sure.   But the US Gov's
deal with AT&T was certainly not supposed to have been that way.

I just don't buy it that the code was not available to Linus.    Linus'
school had access to the code base.  He has gone on record as saying he had
used Sun systems there before he started hacking and they had BSD based
Vaxen.   I think it was purely and situation of "not knowing" who or how to

Not the it matters now.   But it certainly made for a large fork, confusion
 and much unnecessary churn.

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