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From: murthy@cs.cornell.edu (Chet Murthy)
Newsgroups: alt.os.linux
Subject: Meta-Question
Date: 10 Apr 92 17:34:27 GMT
Organization: Cornell Univ. CS Dept, Ithaca NY 14853

Please do not misunderstand this question.  I am very much 
in favor of what Linux is about.  What Ihave been wondering, though,
as I watch this group, and see the activity, and wish I had a laptop
to run Linux on, is this:

  What relation does Linux have to the GNU  Hurd Project?
  Essentially, what I'm trying to figure out, is why all
  this work on Linux is being done in what seems complete
  disconnection from GNU, when the aims of this group,
  and GNU in general, are almost identical.

(Of course, I mght be mistaken about that, but I think I saw
where Linus had written that he didn't want people to hoard
source code, or prevent its free dissemination, which, in a sense,
is the central spirit of GNU)

In any case, I think that what you guys are doing is great, and
first chance I get to get myself a 386/486 machine, I will be
ftp-ing Linux, and getting busy using it.

Thanks,
--chet--

From: murthy@cs.cornell.edu (Chet Murthy)
Newsgroups: alt.os.linux
Subject: Re: Meta-Question
Date: 10 Apr 92 17:55:06 GMT
Organization: Cornell Univ. CS Dept, Ithaca NY 14853

Another question that occurred to me was:

Is there any relatoin between this project and the 386 BSD project?
It seems that their aims are quite similar; hence one might imagine
that quite a lot of work could be saved by collaboration.

But perhaps I'm just not understanding.  I really don't want to start a flame
war or anything - I think that the freer Unix is, the better.
But on the other hand, it sure would be a waste to constrct two
free unixes which are "almost", rather than one, which is "there".

--chet--

From: tytso@athena.mit.edu (Theodore Y. Ts'o)
Newsgroups: alt.os.linux
Subject: Re: Meta-Question
Date: 11 Apr 92 03:39:48 GMT
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In-Reply-To: murthy@cs.cornell.edu's message of 10 Apr 92 17:34:27 GMT
Nntp-Posting-Host: sos.mit.edu

In article <1992Apr10.173427.15796@cs.cornell.edu> murthy@cs.cornell.edu 
(Chet Murthy) writes:
>  What relation does Linux have to the GNU  Hurd Project?
>  Essentially, what I'm trying to figure out, is why all
>  this work on Linux is being done in what seems complete
>  disconnection from GNU, when the aims of this group,
>  and GNU in general, are almost identical.

Well, Linux is being distributed under the GNU GPL, and most of its
utilities are the GNU utilities, including the GNU C compiler and the
GNU shell bash.  Other than that, not much.

One big difference between Linux and GNU Hurd is that Linux works now.
In fact, Linux was the first working free Unix to be generally
available.  Hurd can (sort of) boot and be useful, but it's not very
stable at all.  While Linux is hardly commercial production quality,
it's stable enough for a large number of people to do development, which
is simply not true of the other free Unix systems out there.

The big difference between Hurd and Linux is that Hurd is Big.  (At the
very least, it has been Architected Big.)  If you wish, think of Hurd as
GNU Emacs, and think of Linux as /bin/ed or vi.  Seen in this light, it
is hardly surprising that Linux has reached stability first, despite the
fact that the people at GNU have been working on Hurd for longer than
Linus has been working on Linux.

While Hurd will eventually have many more features than Linux, it is not
clear how much disk space or memory will be required to run it.  And for
most people, those extra features may or may not be useful.  Time will
tell.

As for the BSD 386, from what I can tell from other people's reports (I
have not tried running BSD 386 yet myself), Linux is slightly more
stable, but only slightly.  BSD 386 has the advantage that (except for
the 386/AT&T-free modules which were newly written), the majority of it
is vintage code, which should be pretty robust.  It's disadvantages are:
it's big; it doesn't have shared libraries; it wants to take over your
entire hard disk (Linux and DOS can co-exist on the same hard disk; BSD
can not); it doesn't have SCSI drivers (yet).  It's one big, big, big
advantage is: It has networking in the kernel already.  For people with
Ethernet cards, things like FTP at close to 100Kbytes/second and NFS are
very big draws.

I think Linux has a place, but I think the one thing it needs fast is
networking code in the kernel.  (That, and X11 :-) This features will
eventually come, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.  Is
anyone working on networking in the kernel right now?  I know there were
a few people interested in it, but I don't know if any of them are still
working on it.
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Theodore Ts'o				bloom-beacon!mit-athena!tytso
308 High St., Medford, MA 02155		tytso@athena.mit.edu
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