[TUHS] Dynamics between BSD and Linux

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri Feb 2 16:29:55 AEST 2018

On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 11:11 PM, Bakul Shah <bakul at bitblocks.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 01 Feb 2018 19:44:48 -0800 Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> Larry McVoy writes:
> >
> > It's a bummer because BSD brings minimalism to the table.  You can run
> > a BSD machine in 128MB and it works.  Hell, it used to work great in 4MB.
> I think this is the crux of the issue. As a group gets bigger,
> minimalism is hard to maintain. To have a fighting chance you
> have inculcate new people in the same minimalism culture and
> that takes time. This puts a higher bar to entry.

Though even in the early days of Linux, it could run in a slightly smaller
footprint. It just grew more quickly than BSD, though retained a better way
to subset that let it retain much of the lower end that BSD had grown too
large for for many years.

> The BSD stuff isn't being taken seriously because the BSD people aren't
> > interested in taking new people seriously.  Which is a shame because the
> > work that Netflix and other BSD people have done is really cool.
> If you think what BSD folks have done is cool, just join in.
> Why not ignore the personalities and the popularity contest.

Honestly, most of the heavy BSD contributors do just that. There's drama
here and there, but it's mostly away from larger contributors...  And so it

> Regardless of how we got here, the reality is that BSD at this
> point has a tiny footprint in the market.  Even Linux has a
> small footprint in the desktop + laptop market, compared to
> Windows and Mac. BSD isn't even counted separately any more
> there. In the server market Linux is basically it. In the
> cloud market it is mostly Linux (almost all of it, if you
> don't count Azure). In the Mobile+desktop+laptop market, other
> than Android, Linux is under 1%. BSD numbers are just in the
> noise.

Yet, according to Sandvine, Netflix serves 35% of peak internet traffic,
all from FreeBSD. Go figure :)

> The reality is that BSD just doesn't matter to most folks. The
> same with minimalism. So it goes. [And neither fact matters to
> me for my non-pay work.]

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