At 03:44 PM 1/6/2004, David Schwartz wrote:
> FreeBSD does need more advocacy if it wants to get the kind of
> visibility
>and credibility that Linux has in the public perception. Frankly, I'm kind
>of baffled that it doesn't. I've always found the two OSes more or less
>interchangeable and tend to install whichever one whose CD I can find first.


I used to teach an introductory class on UNIX which used Linux. I would
start with the history of UNIX and eventually we'd be using simple shell
commands.


When FreeBSD (or other free UNIX OSes) were introduced, the question that
always came up was "What's the difference between Linux and FreeBSD?"

In order to keep things on track, my stock answer became "For the work
you're doing, there is none."

At this point a student would usually ask "Then why haven't I ever heard of
FreeBSD?"

My opinion on that has to do with the story behind these two OSes. The
popular story behind the origins of FreeBSD is that it was borne out of a
clash between academic elitism and corporate greed. The Linux story, on
the other hand has a benevolent Finnish student who wanted nothing more
than to create a great OS and share it with the world.* It's the same
reason that the local kid who starts a neighborhood canned food drive gets
more airtime than the soup kitchen sponsored by a major corporation. It
just makes for a better story.

Chip Morton

* - I know that this is a grossly simplified (if not completely inaccurate)
view of the FreeBSD/Linux origin stories. But you know as well as I do
that it's the way the mainstream press treats it.

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