[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian/GNU Freebsd

On Thu, Feb 18, 1999 at 11:21:10PM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> > We should call it Debian GNU/BSD, not Debian GNU/Freebsd.  There are 3 BSD's
> > out there, but they are all BSD at heart.
> And which kernel do you want to use?  The one from FreeBSD?  Or the
> one from NetBSD?  Or even the one from OpenBSD?

Well, that's a good question obviously and there are some issues with
this as explained to me on an irc channel whose inhabitants are mostly
BSD people.

If we use FreeBSD, we're limiting ourselves to i386 for the moment. 
FreeBSD does not run on anything else yet, but they're expanding.

If we use NetBSD, we can expect it to run on anything that still runs on
household current.  Notebook or PDA?  Not likely.  Fair warning about
NetBSD is that if we try to make what they will consider an "Impure"
NetBSD port, the NetBSD people _WILL_ sabotage the effort in any way
possible.  This is not a "they might", they will do whatever they can to
make sure it doesn't happen.  When the OpenBSD people tried to create a
newsgroup the NetBSD people voted against it because they said OpenBSD
wasn't "worthy" of a newsgroup.  Disgruntled doesn't begin to describe
them.  If you want OS bigots, look there.  I know not everyone in the
NetBSD camp is like this, but the people I'm referring to are the
equivalents of Linus and Alan here.

OpenBSD is very stable, but a GNU/OpenBSD would not be any more stable
than GNU/Linux or GNU/FreeBSD would be.

The recommendation I was given was if we're going to do it, do it with
FreeBSD.  We'll have the best results with it.  Many FreeBSD people will
not like it more than the ports system and they're confused as hell by
our inclusion of tons of software with the distribution, all of it in
/usr.  Initial reaction will vary from very supportive to believe that
we're trying to "Linux-ize" FreeBSD.  As long as we show that we're
intending to provide more alternatives for people and broadening our own
horizons rather than just trying to "steal" FreeBSD out from the people
who work hard on it, we can expect them to warm up to the idea somewhat,
but don't expect many of them to convert.

Instead, expect a few Linux users to convert to FreeBSD, it's more likely
to happen that way.  However isn't that what it's about, the freedom to

> > Actually, I've often wanted a Linux distro that was the reverse of what
> > people want here:  A distro based on FreeBSD, but with the Linux kernel
> > plunked in, and the appropriate accompanying software.
> Go ahead and invent it.  But I've been told and I had to learn that
> package maintenance and *BSD seem to live in two different universes.
> Thus, using Debian GNU together with a FreeBSD or NetBSD kernel people
> can retry to use *BSD.

I've gotta agree with seeS here:  Bizarre.

I think a Linux which was built with some of the (unwritten) policy
FreeBSD uses would be popular with FreeBSD people, moreso than Slackware
is now certainly.  But built using BSD userspace, well..  No, it wouldn't
work without a lot of effort and the number of people who would WANT a
BSD userspace isn't really enough to justify it IMO.

I hope we can do this, not to further the myths that BSD makes a better
server than Linux or that Linux makes a better desktop than BSD or that
the hurd will always be only half implemented or anything else of the
matter, but because we can and we should broaden our horizons a bit and
move outward from Linux.  Debian is about Free Software is it not?  We
should not ignore a valuable platform like BSD just because we already
have Linux and hurd.

"There are 3 things to remember about being a Starship Captain: 
 Keep your shirt tucked in, go down with the ship, and never, 
 ever abandon a member of your crew."
                        -- Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Reply to: