[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Mar 16 05:45:24 AEST 2017

Sorry -- finger fumble...

SVR4 (aka UnixWare) was available for source  - the problem is many people
did like the price to see it.   It was $100K.  But the source was available
it was open and many, many of people with PC and had access to it, wrote
drivers for it etc.  There were books published about it.  It was hardly

That said, BSDi was $1K until the law suite and the pretty reasonable at
the time, and NET2 would eventually become free in the same way as Linux -
purely a copying fee.

Linus has gone on record if he had know about the 386BSD download, he would
have used it. It was a case of not knowing.   But as Larry points out, some
people still are not happy with the results.  It's also not clear that
people like me would still not gotten scared when the court case came --
which clouded things...

I'm not sating Linux was (and is not) important.

Just saying please don't say UNIX was not Open.   It was.  Unix was not

On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 3:28 PM, Josh Good <pepe at naleco.com> wrote:

> On 2017 Mar 14, 21:11, Clem Cole wrote:
> >
> > My point is that you (and many others)  equate "open" and "free" - I ask
> > you to please not make that error.   Open means we can talk about it and
> > share it, see it.  Which is exactly what we did "back in the day".  But
> as
> > people pointed out you had to pay AT&T to be a member of the UNIX club if
> > you were commercial, although any University type could be apart for
> free.
> What UNIX for PC in the '90s had the option to buy a source code license
> for that specific version, so that PC hackers could write drivers for
> their hardware and tune the kernel internals to their liking, or be able
> to fix themselves a bug in the serial port driver, etc.?
> Certainly not OpenServer, not UnixWare nor SCO Xenix. Did DELL Unix
> offered a payware source code license for their product? I'm not aware
> of such.
> From System V onwards, UNIX became closed source in what matters, that
> is, the version running on your hardware and the version with the drivers
> you are using (unless you were an employee at IBM, DEC, HP or SUN running
> propietary hardware and happened to be in the right group).
> It is obvious to me that RMS's GNU movement was aimed at solving that
> very problem. And if that was a problem, then the "UNIX openness" you
> talk about does not seem to have been very practical at all. At least,
> it was totally useless to PC hackers, like Linus Torvalds - he had to
> write his own UNIX, because he was not able to get any UNIX source code
> he could readily compile and run on his i386.
> --
> Josh Good
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