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From: ro...@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (Stephen Rozum)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1993 20:48:20 GMT
Subject: Why would I want LINUX?
Message-ID: <55270001@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM>
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Co., Loveland, CO
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I have a simple question to all those who use LINUX.

 *** Why should I want to use LINUX? **

Before you start flaming me with "If you need to ask the question then
you don't need LINUX" please tell me the applications you are using it for.

I know that LINUX is UNIX operating system for PC's, but unfortunately
it can't run my DOS base programs (i.e., Borland C++ compilier, Amipro,
games, Mktools, etc...).  

Yes, I have read the FAQ listings.

Thanks for the help,

Stephen Rozum
ro...@hpmtay.hp.lvld.com  

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s_titz
From: s_t...@ira.uka.de (Olaf Titz)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc
Date: 13 Aug 1993 18:52:52 GMT
Organization: Fachschaft math/inf, Uni Karlsruhe, FRG
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A couple of good reasons:

1. I'm familiar with Un*x anyway, and I like the way things are done
with it. In fact, I think the Un*x simplicistic approach to OS
services provides an overall appearance that is superior to most other
OSs. This is a reason for Un*x in general.

2. I like to run several things at once, i.e. when I've started a long
compiler run I want to be able to switch to another window or console
and continue work on another thing. This is a reason against MSDOS,
since as far as I know all multi-tasking add-ons for it are brain-dead
and a gross waste of resources. (Yes, I know this from experience.)

3. I like the genuine GNU Emacs. It runs best on Un*x. (For the
record, back when I was using DOS I've got stuck to that wonderful
Freemacs even when the first version of GNU Emacs for DOS came out but
didn't work due to a collision with the memory manager. The next Emacs
that I tried was under Linux...)

4. I need to run mail and news, the software for which being available
for Un*x in a sufficient number of nice and stable versions.

5. I need a decent application development platform. Un*x combined
with powerful tools such as the abovementioned GNU Emacs and the
obligatory make, RCS et cetera provides IMHO the best that you can get
for less than megabucks. And GCC is surely one of the best compilers
out anyway.

6. I need to run TeX, and I've tried the DOS version compared to the
Linux version on the same box - the latter is *much* faster (esp.
metafont) and uses less space, so another good reason to abandon DOS.

7. I am neither able nor willing to spend big bucks on software when I
can get good material for less. :-) Especially not since Linux is
actually the best OS you can get for the 386 class of hardware, if you
consider things like speed, memory usage, availability of software,
even support (from friendly net.people etc.)

8. Finally, yes I have some experience with computers and are one of
the "fix-problems-myself" types. I'm not sure whether Linux fits well
to newbies (but Windogs doesn't either! Read the chapter in the manual
about memory management.) But installing and maintaining Linux for
others could make a good business :-) (and a "better", not in the $$$
sense, business than selling proprietary software that is obsolete as
shipped.) You see, I support the GNU idea.

Olaf
-- 
        olaf titz     o       o...@bigred.ka.sub.org          praetorius@irc
  comp.sc.student    _>\ _         s_t...@ira.uka.de      LINUX - the choice
karlsruhe germany   (_)<(_)      u...@dkauni2.bitnet     of a GNU generation
what good is a photograph of you? everytime i look at it it makes me feel blue

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From: ea...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US (Greg Earle)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Date: 15 Aug 1993 13:44:25 -0700
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In article <24gnu4$...@nz12.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de>,
Olaf Titz <s_t...@ira.uka.de> wrote:
[ Someone else who uses DOS asks why one would want Linux]
>A couple of good reasons:
>...
>7. I am neither able nor willing to spend big bucks on software when I
>can get good material for less. :-) Especially not since Linux is
>actually the best OS you can get for the 386 class of hardware, if you
>consider things like speed, memory usage, availability of software,
>even support (from friendly net.people etc.)

Uh, do you have empirical proof of this?	(-:

On the other hand, perhaps you have a point.  Back in the early days of Linux
and 386BSD, it seemed (to an outsider; I use a Sun clone and SunOS all the
time) like Linux was an interesting research project (no offense intended to
Linus; when a single person writes a whole O/S kernel, one can't help but have
an initial impression of it being an "interesting research project" (-: - of
course, it has mushroomed considerably since then).  And it seemed like 386BSD
was the spirit of BSD & Net-2 reincarnated, and therefore more likely (just due
to that fact alone, with the inherent right-off-the-bat software compatibility
issues that this promised) to become more largely adopted.  The fact that it
had the Net-2 networking code and Linux' early support for networking and thus
X were considered suspect no doubt fueled this perception.

Now it seems like (emphasis on "seems like") 386BSD and NetBSD have dissolved
in a hail of acrimony, including bickering with the Jolitz's, a (hostile?)
takeover of the software that smacks of "Hey!  That was a great idea!  Glad I
thought of it!"  Meanwhile, there's the fact that there are more than 7 times
the number of postings to the Linux groups than to the 386BSD/NetBSD groups:

isolar:2:40 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/386bsd | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
     226
isolar:2:41 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/linux  | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
    1593

So, at least, it would appear that Linux has won the "popularity contest".
Whether it is the "best OS you can get for the 386 class of hardware" is still
an IMHO statement, I would think.  An interesting turn of events, nonetheless.

Again, these are just the observations of an interested bystander/outsider.
Further comments/observations from an insider's perspective welcomed ...

-- 
	- Greg Earle
	  Phone: (818) 353-8695		FAX: (818) 353-1877 [Out of order now]
	  Internet: ea...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US
	  UUCP: isolar!ea...@elroy.JPL.NASA.GOV a.k.a. ...!elroy!isolar!earle

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From: b...@transit.ai.mit.edu (Brian D. Carlstrom)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Date: 16 Aug 1993 01:41:29 GMT
Organization: MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab
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In-reply-to: earle@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US's message of 15 Aug 1993 13:44:25 -0700

In article <24m779$...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US> ea...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US 
(Greg Earle) writes:


   isolar:2:40 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/386bsd | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
	226
   isolar:2:41 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/linux  | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
       1593

   So, at least, it would appear that Linux has won the "popularity
   contest".  Whether it is the "best OS you can get for the 386 class of
   hardware" is still an IMHO statement, I would think.  An interesting
   turn of events, nonetheless.

i would hardly give the volume of postings any credit for indicating
anything, since i could claim that linux users are often coming from dos
not unix and ask a lot of newbie unix questions ( i would guess) and
since they are playing a lot of catch up with their network software i
could claim that they talk about that while we dont. not that any of
this is true, but given the s/n ratio on usenet as a whole, its hardly a
scientifc mesaure =)

-bri

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From: burg...@hrd769.brooks.af.mil (Dave Burgess)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Date: 17 Aug 1993 14:25:11 -0500
Organization: Armstrong Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX
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In article <BDC.93Aug15214...@transit.ai.mit.edu> b...@transit.ai.mit.edu 
(Brian D. Carlstrom) writes:
>In article <24m779$...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US> ea...@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US 
Greg Earle) writes:
>
>
>   isolar:2:40 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/386bsd | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
>	226
>   isolar:2:41 % ls -R1 /var/spool/news/comp/os/linux  | egrep '^[1-9]' | wc -l
>       1593
>
>   So, at least, it would appear that Linux has won the "popularity
>   contest".  Whether it is the "best OS you can get for the 386 class of
>   hardware" is still an IMHO statement, I would think.  An interesting
>   turn of events, nonetheless.
>
>i would hardly give the volume of postings any credit for indicating
>anything, since i could claim that linux users are often coming from dos
>not unix and ask a lot of newbie unix questions ( i would guess) and
>since they are playing a lot of catch up with their network software i
>could claim that they talk about that while we dont. not that any of
>this is true, but given the s/n ratio on usenet as a whole, its hardly a
>scientifc mesaure =)
>

On the other hand, there are a lot of disk labelling questions in
c.o.3.* that aren't in c.o.l.  :-)

Opinions and possibly skewed history follow...

My personal opinion is that there was an active comp.os.minix group that
was eagerly awaiting the release of a Net/2 derived Unix for the 386.
Bruce Evans (I think) released a series of 'unofficial' changes to minix
that allowed it to work pretty well on the 386.  Shortly after that,
Linus broke from the fold (with a resounding 'F' from ast for
reinventing the monolithic operating system) and release Linux in it's
original unusable version (no shell??? or something).  Then a BUNCH of
people jumped ship from minix to Linux.  My resounding opinion is that
none of this would have happened as quickly as it did without Andrew
Tanenbaum's work on minix and the introduction of comp.os.minix.

Lots of people were still waiting for 386bsd to be released while the
rest were writing new code for Linux.  By the time the 386bsd 0.0 
version was released (I am getting old, memory may be fuzzy here), 
Linux was fully on the way to becoming a REAL operating system.  

Many people were (and still are) more comfortable with an OS that was 
written from scratch than one that had any relationship with USL.  There
are MANY factors that people can cite that have a bearing on which OS
people are using.  One advantage each:

Linux:  Uses shared libraries (crufty or elegant, I don't know but have 
heard both)  which reduces the amount of disk space required for the 
executables, thereby making the software 'cheaper'.   

386BSD: Had networking code first.  This was a big draw for many early
users that HAD to have a working network available from the start.

One of the other features that seems to seperate the two systems is the
'feel' of the systems.  Linux has evolved into a very POSIX compliant
system, which gives it a feel like SysV.  *BSD has very much a BSD feel 
(duh).

Most of Europe seems to have adopted Linux as their system of choice.  I
expect that this is (in part, at least) to the fact that Linus is from
Europe.  Why put up with those silly export restrictions and long
distance network connections when Linux is available right there on the
continent.  

One final point.  The seeming stagnation of 386bsd early in its growth, 
while the patchkit was being put together, may have turned many potential 
supporters off.  Linux was growing virtually before your eyes, while 
386bsd was being fixed ever so slowly.  Whether that was because it was
an inherently better system of not is just bait for a flamewar.

Whether 386bsd or Linux is a better operating system ultimately boils
down to point of view.  Linux has the advantage of not being fragmented
quite as much as the Net/2 derived systems, but the Net/2 derived
systems have the advantage of years of use on other systems before they
were ported to the 386...
-- 
------
TSgt Dave Burgess
NCOIC AL/Management Information Systems Office
Brooks AFB, TX

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From: Martin.Krae...@mch.sni.de (Martin Kraemer)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Date: 19 Aug 1993 08:22:09 GMT
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Dave Burgess (burg...@hrd769.brooks.af.mil) wrote:
: Most of Europe seems to have adopted Linux as their system of choice.  I
: expect that this is (in part, at least) to the fact that Linus is from
: Europe.  Why put up with those silly export restrictions and long
: distance network connections when Linux is available right there on the
: continent.  

Nope. I ("we  europeans") had  access to  386bsd as well  as to  Linux.
[[Also these "export restrictions" on  DES etc are really just  a joke.
Every   mailbox   or   ftp   server   offers   you   a   multitude   of
better-than-original  crypt software packages  like ufscypt  etc.]] The
reason that I decided to go the Linux way was the sheer size of 386bsd.
In order to get  a running system plus kernel sources, you  just need a
hard disk with a size multiple of what you need for Linux. When I first
installed  Linux (Oct/Nov. 1992), it was so  slender that you could get
all  the base utilities including cc,  emacs and kernel sources into as
much as a 32 MB hard disk!

Plus there is  much more support for  "cheap" hardware and for  two-or-
more-OS's-on-one-harddisk. Traditionally, when you wanted UN*X, you had
to buy the hardware  that was supported. And  imho, 386bsd still has  a
bit of this attitude. Linux goes the other way: it makes  the OS run on
the hardware you've already got.

    Martin

--
#include <std/dsclm.h>       /* SNI SU BS2000 SD124 - Muenchen, W. Germany */
 Martin Kraemer                                   [Martin.Krae...@mch.sni.de]
------------ Vs lbh ner ernqvat guvf lbh unir gbb zhpu serr gvzr ------------

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
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From: mike@ichips (Mike Haertel)
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
In-Reply-To: Martin.Kraemer@mch.sni.de's message of 19 Aug 1993 08:22:09 GMT
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Sender: n...@ichips.intel.com (News Account)
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Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1993 18:59:14 GMT
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In article <24vd7h$...@horus.mch.sni.de> Martin.Krae...@mch.sni.de 
(Martin Kraemer) writes:
>hard disk with a size multiple of what you need for Linux. When I first
>installed  Linux (Oct/Nov. 1992), it was so  slender that you could get
>all  the base utilities including cc,  emacs and kernel sources into as
>much as a 32 MB hard disk!

This has, alas, been fixed in recent versions of Linux, which seems to
have come down with a very serious case of The Bloat.  I remember a
time (early 1992) when the Linux kernel was under 25K lines of
code.  The 0.99.12 kernel, at 118K lines, is nearly five times
the size.  It does not offer five times the functionality.

Similarly, things like the full SLS release have really bloated out--I
helped a friend install SLS last fall, and the full installation with
X came in at around 40 Megs.  Just recently tried again, and got
upwards of 80 megs.  Yeeow.

(NetBSD kernel: 195K lines.  Linux is rapidly catching up.  I predict
it will pass NetBSD in bloatedness within 1 year.)
--
Mike Haertel <m...@ichips.intel.com>
Speaking for myself, not Intel.

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From: torva...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Date: 20 Aug 1993 00:48:11 +0300
Organization: University of Helsinki
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In article <MIKE.93Aug19115...@pdx800.jf.intel.com> mike@ichips (Mike Haertel) 
writes:
>
>This has, alas, been fixed in recent versions of Linux, which seems to
>have come down with a very serious case of The Bloat.  I remember a
>time (early 1992) when the Linux kernel was under 25K lines of
>code.  The 0.99.12 kernel, at 118K lines, is nearly five times
>the size.  It does not offer five times the functionality.

No, it doesn't offer 5 times the functionality, but looking at the
kernel, most of the "bloat" is in fact device drivers (and the addition
of networking code since the early versions).  The current kernel has
about 95k-lines of C code (and almost 15k+ lines of headers and 5k lines
of assembly), but the breakdown is rather interesting:

kernel proper:			 4600 lines
memory management:		 2300 lines
virtual filesystem layer:	 6200 lines

That's the "essential" services, but you don't get far with just those:

each filesystem at about:	 2500 lines (ranging from 1700 to 4000 lines)

character device drivers:	12000 lines
FPU emulator:			 7200 lines (+4000 of the 5000 lines of asm)
block drivers:			18600 lines (12000 of which is SCSI supprot)

networking:			21000 lines

+ various other sources, some of them used for the build process, rather
than for the kernel proper. 

As can be seen, the real kernel isn't really very big, and has actually
not gotten *that* much larger since the early days.  The device drivers
amount for about one third of the kernel (FPU-emulator counting as a
"device driver"), and they have indeed grown a lot (but that's not
bloat: it's mostly just the diversity of PC hardware which makes for a
lot of problems). 

The filesystems are about 20000 lines of C code total: about a fifth of
the kernel.  The individual filesystems haven't bloated very much, but
there are more of them (minix, ext, ext2, msdos, xiafs, nfs, isofs and
proc-fs).  Most of the code bears more than a passing resemblance to the
minix-fs code, so the "new" code is to a large part an adaptation of the
minix-fs code. 

Networking is similarly about 20000 lines of C code (this is including
the driver code which is not yet separate as the rest of the drivers). 

Back in early 1992 (version 0.12), there was no networking code, only
one filesystem (minix), no scsi devices or CDROM drivers, a much smaller
math-emulator (the one still in use by 386bsd right now?), no mouse
drivers etc.  Totally new code since then: at least 60klines of C code
(of 95klines!), mostly drivers. 

			Linus

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.386bsd.misc
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cs.utexas.edu!uunet!pipex!uknet!cf-cm!cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Why would I want LINUX?
Message-ID: <1993Aug20.095031.14077@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <24rbb5$t51@hrd769.brooks.af.mil> <24vd7h$frk@horus.mch.sni.de> 
<MIKE.93Aug19115915@pdx800.jf.intel.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1993 09:50:31 GMT
Lines: 6

To be fair most of the 'bloat' in Linux is removable. With no networking,
no silly extra file systems, no SCSI and no SYS5 IPC Linux is still pretty
close to the size it started as (apart from the VFS).

ALan

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