Was talking to one of older colleagues who were professional developers, when raised.

Got an unpopular opinion that it was not that great people were speaking of it. There were more superior POSIX compillant OSes, e.g. . Lots of features Linux has now were there about 19 years ago.

Why people are so obsessed with Linux then? Is it a hype, and in 10 years we'll call Linux an awful legacy?

@alexcleac BSD when Linux was released originally was license-encumbered, for a start.

By the time 386BSD was properly released, Linux already had a following and by 2000 it was significantly larger, which meant more drivers and support.

IBM had hardware virtualisation in the late '60s, consumers didn't get it till the mid 00s. Not strictly related but commercial unix vs free unix-like, I guess.

@alexcleac My best guess is that Linux became so popular because unlike other Unix systems of the time it was completely free and able to run on home computers.

That helped heavily with making Linux popular, now it is essentially a standard in the FOSS world.

@Broetchen if it is truth you're speaking then Linux is Windows of FOSS movement :/

@alexcleac Except many parts of the core system and libs as well as software are free.

Microsoft actually jumped onto the OSS wagon in some way, albeit following a different license more and more parts of their operating system become open software that anyone is allowed to modify.

Licensed UNIX systems like AT&T's variant were commercial products and its components not allowed to be modified and redistributed.

That's were Linux comes in with its open-minded structure.

Linux was the first of them to be free software with a stable legal situation, while BSD was still in litigation for another year or so, so it had the first-mover advantage when competing for mindshare. I only learned of *BSD after I had already installed Linux back in 1993.

It's possible that the copyleft license managed to attract and keep more people and contributions. Regardless of license issues, the more freewheeling development and contribution model almost certainly helped.

@clacke I always wondered why there seemed to be a notion that BSD was "better" than Linux as @alexcleac mentioned. What killer-apps did BSD have that Linux did not?

@brianl @clacke I am not telling about "applications" but about OS features itself. But nice example of thing there was in FreeBSD before linux got it is jail concept.

I don't know about any BSD system, just telling what people told me before ;)

@alexcleac @clacke I've only heard it from others also, I only used commercial Unix like Solaris / AIX before using Linux, and only as an end-user, not seeing any of the sys admin side of those Unix OS's

@brianl @alexcleac Weirder 'make' and a 'cat' with fewer options.

Kidding aside, BSD kernels and userspace have a unity of purpose and integration that the cobbled-together Linux distros lack. GNU and Linux compensate by having more people working on them.
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