We’re guessing that we have something in common with a substantial number of our readers in that this post is being written on an open-source operating system. A well-known GNU/Linux distribution provides everything you might expect from a PC, but of course it’s not the only open-source game in town. A year-old piece from [Unixsheikh] caught the eye with the title “Why you should migrate everything from Linux to BSD“, and being naturally curious, it was worth a read. It’s interesting enough to talk about here not because of its BSD advocacy, but because of its examination of some of GNU/Linux’s shortcomings. Using and appreciating an operating system shouldn’t mean slavish fandom, it’s worth every Linux user taking a moment to consider its points.
There are two main thrusts to the argument, firstly that GNU/Linux has become a bloated kernel with a fragmented operating system, and secondly that the interests of the various big businesses that derive income from Linux-based products have led to the resulting ecosystem being shaped by those businesses and in their interests. The piece points to the huge disconnect between kernel developers and operating system users, and the seeming lack of concern over some of the problems this can create. It’s a jarring read for an open-source software enthusiast because while there is much good in the world of free software even the most devoted of fans should admit that it’s not without problems. We think it’s worth a read not necessarily to agree with but in order to stir discussion and debate. Every community needs to look in the mirror sometimes.
As for BSD, it’s worth admitting there lies a shameful gap in a Hackaday scribe’s knowledge. One that deserves to be plugged, in the interests of better understanding.
Header: Tux, Larry Ewing, CC0.