OpenBSD Journal

The BSDs: Sophisticated, Powerful ...

Contributed by jose on from the compare-and-contrast dept.

Josh Steele writes:
"Extemetech.com has an article about the history of BSD. Its been mentioned on several other news site's, but I just thought the OBJ crowd might want to check it out. Article can be found at http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,556188,00.asp "
The article has a few shortcomings, but does provide a decent introduction to people about the BSDs. Worth checking out and remembering when people ask about the differences between the projects.

(Comments are closed)


Comments
  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Nice article, but it would be a lot better if he didn't seem to have some massive hatred/agenda against those microsoft hating linux users. Both camps have their merits, bugs me when people seem blind to that.

  2. By Warthog () warthog at yonderway dot com on http://yonderway.com

    And all this time I thought that Linus Torvalds wrote the Linux kernel. Glad this guy could clear it up for me.

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Yep, he wrote the kernel. not the programs around it. The article tells that.

      Comments
      1. By RC () on

        Let's quote, shall we?


        > Around the same time, Linux surfaced. Based on
        > the Minix kernel written by computer science
        > professor Andrew Tannenbaum

        In even the most liberal translations, that statement is dead-wrong.

        Comments
        1. By Jeffrey () on

          I don't recall, but wasn't he inspired by the fact that he did not like Minix or something..? To say "based on the Minix kernel" I agree is inaccurate, but I don't do Linux at all. Hence, ICBW...

          All I know is I like OpenBSD best! =)
          The article, though inaccurate in some/many places, could be a useful read for many insofar as it might make them say, "I didn't know that." Which in turn might make them say, "I want to learn more about *BSD." Then they go out and actually find accurate documentation.

          Comments
          1. By Anonymous Coward () on

            > wasn't he inspired by the fact that he did not like Minix or something..?

            I have heard (2nd-hand of course) that Linus wanted a replacement for Minix both because Minix was not very cheap, and because it couldn't run the GNU utilities, and the author had shown no interest in updating it.

            Even with that said, while Linux's development may have been provoked by lack of a cheap an capable alternative, it certainly had nothing to do with the Minix directly...

            And no. I certainly wouldn't refer someone to an article with many false statements. It wasn't that great of an article anyhow.

            Perhaps an article like the following would be a better choice: http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-501149.html?legacy=zdnn


            Comments
            1. By Anonymous Coward () on

              Linux was meant to be a Minix clone, so it might be fair to say it was based on Minix, but the code of course is not Minix code. I think the article made a reasonable statement given how broad of an article it was. <br> <br> Here is Linus' announcement on Linux. It should clear things up a bit: <br> <br> From: Linus Benedict Torvalds (torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI) <br> Subject: Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT <br> Newsgroups: comp.os.minix <br> Date: 1991-10-05 08:53:28 PST <br> <br> Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your needs? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then this post might be just for you :-) <br> <br> As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution. It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it. <br> <br> Sources for this pet project of mine can be found at nic.funet.fi (128.214.6.100) in the directory /pub/OS/Linux. The directory also contains some README-file and a couple of binaries to work under linux (bash, update and gcc, what more can you ask for :-). Full kernel source is provided, as no minix code has been used. Library sources are only partially free, so that cannot be distributed currently. The system is able to compile "as-is" and has been known to work. Heh. Sources to the binaries (bash and gcc) can be found at the same place in /pub/gnu. <br> <br> ALERT! WARNING! NOTE! These sources still need minix-386 to be compiled (and gcc-1.40, possibly 1.37.1, haven't tested), and you need minix to set it up if you want to run it, so it is not yet a standalone system for those of you without minix. I'm working on it. You also need to be something of a hacker to set it up (?), so for those hoping for an alternative to minix-386, please ignore me. It is currently meant for hackers interested in operating systems and 386's with access to minix. <br> <br> The system needs an AT-compatible harddisk (IDE is fine) and EGA/VGA. If you are still interested, please ftp the README/RELNOTES, and/or mail me for additional info. <br> <br> I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got minix. This is a program for hackers by a hacker. I've enjouyed doing it, and somebody might enjoy looking at it and even modifying it for their own needs. It is still small enough to understand, use and modify, and I'm looking forward to any comments you might have. <br> <br> I'm also interested in hearing from anybody who has written any of the utilities/library functions for minix. If your efforts are freely distributable (under copyright or even public domain), I'd like to hear from you, so I can add them to the system. I'm using Earl Chews estdio right now (thanks for a nice and working system Earl), and similar works will be very wellcome. Your (C)'s will of course be left intact. Drop me a line if you are willing to let me use your code. <br> <br> Linus <br> <br> PS. to PHIL NELSON! I'm unable to get through to you, and keep getting "forward error - strawberry unknown domain" or something.

            2. By Anonymous Coward () on

              Linux was meant to be a Minix clone, so it might be fair to say it was based on Minix, but the code of course is not Minix code. I think the article made a reasonable statement given how broad of an article it was.

              Here is Linus' announcement on Linux. It should clear things up a bit:

              From: Linus Benedict Torvalds (torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI)
              Subject: Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT
              Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
              Date: 1991-10-05 08:53:28 PST

              Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your needs? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then this post might be just for you :-)

              As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution. It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it.

              Sources for this pet project of mine can be found at nic.funet.fi (128.214.6.100) in the directory /pub/OS/Linux. The directory also contains some README-file and a couple of binaries to work under linux (bash, update and gcc, what more can you ask for :-). Full kernel source is provided, as no minix code has been used. Library sources are only partially free, so that cannot be distributed currently. The system is able to compile "as-is" and has been known to work. Heh. Sources to the binaries (bash and gcc) can be found at the same place in /pub/gnu.

              ALERT! WARNING! NOTE! These sources still need minix-386 to be compiled (and gcc-1.40, possibly 1.37.1, haven't tested), and you need minix to set it up if you want to run it, so it is not yet a standalone system for those of you without minix. I'm working on it. You also need to be something of a hacker to set it up (?), so for those hoping for an alternative to minix-386, please ignore me. It is currently meant for hackers interested in operating systems and 386's with access to minix.

              The system needs an AT-compatible harddisk (IDE is fine) and EGA/VGA. If you are still interested, please ftp the README/RELNOTES, and/or mail me for additional info.

              I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got minix. This is a program for hackers by a hacker. I've enjouyed doing it, and somebody might enjoy looking at it and even modifying it for their own needs. It is still small enough to understand, use and modify, and I'm looking forward to any comments you might have.

              I'm also interested in hearing from anybody who has written any of the utilities/library functions for minix. If your efforts are freely distributable (under copyright or even public domain), I'd like to hear from you, so I can add them to the system. I'm using Earl Chews estdio right now (thanks for a nice and working system Earl), and similar works will be very wellcome. Your (C)'s will of course be left intact. Drop me a line if you are willing to let me use your code.

              Linus

              PS. to PHIL NELSON! I'm unable to get through to you, and keep getting "forward error - strawberry unknown domain" or something.

          2. By Anonymous Coward () on

            > wasn't he inspired by the fact that he did not like Minix or something..?

            I have heard (2nd-hand of course) that Linus wanted a replacement for Minix both because Minix was not very cheap, and because it couldn't run the GNU utilities, and the author had shown no interest in updating it.

            Even with that said, while Linux's development may have been provoked by lack of a cheap an capable alternative, it certainly had nothing to do with the Minix directly...

            And no. I certainly wouldn't refer someone to an article with many false statements. It wasn't that great of an article anyhow.

            Perhaps an article like the following would be a better choice: http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-501149.html?legacy=zdnn


        2. By Peter () pboosten@hotmail.com on mailto:pboosten@hotmail.com

          Quote again:

          > Around the same time, Linux surfaced. Based on
          > the Minix kernel written by computer science
          > professor Andrew Tannenbaum

          I read this as: Professor Andrew Tannenbaum wrote the Minix kernel (a google-search tells me the same). Linus was inspired by this to write his own kernel.

          Not very hard, is it?

        3. By Anonymous Coward () on

          Huh?

          Yes Minix was written by Tannenbaum and yes Linus wrote Linux 0.01 based on the Minix kernel.

          Get your facts right before you post this crap.

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Li what?

  3. By Jeffrey () on

    It seems OpenBSD doesn't distribute a copy of "The UNIX system family tree: Research and BSD" which is found on both FreeBSD and NetBSD in the file /usr/share/misc/bsd-family-tree . Hmmm, I wonder why?

    This was probably the best single reference I found when I wanted to learn the history of UNIX-like systems. It led me to all sorts of _other_ interesting (and hopefully accurate) documentation.

    Shouldn't OBSD have a copy too? No biggie; just curious...

  4. By Shane J Pearson () shanep@ign.com.au on mailto:shanep@ign.com.au

    I find it depressing, that the forums at that site for that article are full of loud strong posts that are very technically wrong and biased toward Linux.

    It astounds me that people think that "Linux is and will evolve faster than the BSD's", when FreeBSD and NetBSD have such an excellent record of stability and efficiency even under extreme loads, and OpenBSD has this plus the Worlds greatest security record. Then to make the opinion even more ridiculous, Mac OSX has excellent stability and probably the nicest GUI ever.

    I have been using Linux for about 5 years, starting out with Red Hat and using a few until I settled on Debian and Gentoo (as far as Linux goes. I'm an OBSD+OSX user first and foremost.) It just seems to me that Linux falls somewhere between MS OS' and the BSD's as almost irrelevant due to it's shaky and haphazard development nature. I think the changing of the VM (MID "STABLE" KERNEL!), which gave me terrible performance and stability problems illustrates this problem the best.

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