Are the BSDs dying?

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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? Are the BSDs dying?
# 1  
Old 01-31-2018
Are the BSDs dying?

The open source Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) versions of UNIX suffer from a lack of eyeballs on their code, and that hurts their security

a quick google search making clear that this isn't really new, and if we look at our bsd Forum we see that its the only operation systems forum with the last comment dated to June last year, whereas all the others have more recent comments.
One comment dated to 2014 is exactly what I think of this issue:
Linux is developed by many companies, individuals, and institutions on constant basis, so the quality of the code and capabilities of Linux generally surpass every OS out there minus some very specialized ones a la z/os specifically designed to work on mainframes. Nowadays, all is see is how feature A from Linux is going to get ported to BSD, never the other way around, which suggests that all BSD projects are dead or dying of they have completely stagnated.

Beside windows, there will be only linux in a near future.Smilie
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# 2  
Old 01-31-2018

Whilst there's no question that Linux is the dominant OS in the UNIX(ish) family, I don't personally think that the BSDs are going to go away any time soon.

For example, looking at OpenBSD, there has been some ongoing native innovation happening there. They've implemented their own Web and mail servers for instance, and also have recently added a replacement for sudo. Some of that work has also been cross-ported to FreeBSD. And all of this has happened within just the last few years. Now, the question of whether doing such things is worthwhile is a separate issue and an exercise left for the reader, but nevertheles there are things happening in the BSD world that don't have anything to do with Linux, and which are happening entirely under their own momentum.

Likewise, don't count out the commercial UNIXes just yet. Oracle just yesterday released the first beta of Solaris 11.4, and have committed to provding extended support for Solaris 11.x until 2034. I've not really got any involvement with the AIX or HP-UX worlds at all myself, but I'd again be surprised if these OS's up and die any year soon. There's just too much to be gained from some very lucrative (and very locked-in) customers for them to pull the plug on their in-house UNIXes any decade soon.

And to play the real Devil's Advocate here, don't forget the most popular UNIX distros in the world in terms of number of installations and sites: iOS and macOS. OK, my tongue is definitely a bit in my cheek as I type this, and the user interface and use-case design targets for these are wildly different from anything in the "proper" UNIX/server world, but there's no denying that they are genuine proper all-in-caps-trademark UNIX systems, and again show no signs of disappearing in anything like the near future.

So whilst there's no doubt that Linux is the de facto winner of the UNIX-a-like OS wars, and ultimately almost all new deployments taking place will be on Linux and not the BSDs or any proprietary UNIX, the other survivors will continue to do quite nicely in their own little niches for a long time to come, I think.

And who knows what the future has in store ? In the early 1990s there weren't many people predicting that the established big boys (Sun in particular) would meet the fates that the ultimately did. All things must pass, and in the end Linux too will be replaced by something else that we can't currently see or imagine.
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# 3  
Old 01-31-2018
Originally Posted by drysdalk
And to play the real Devil's Advocate here, don't forget the most popular UNIX distros in the world in terms of number of installations and sites: iOS and macOS.
macos certainly, but ios? It took years for it to even become multitasking. I don't think it's an implementation of UNIX.
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# 4  
Old 01-31-2018

Functionally-speaking, you're absolutely correct of course - you couldn't with a straight face call an iPad a UNIX workstation. But kernel-wise at least I believe iOS is UNIX underneath, as it runs a variant of the same Darwin/XNU kernel that macOS uses. So very strictly/technically/legally speaking, I believe iOS still counts as UNIX, but not in any actually useful real-world sense, no.
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# 5  
Old 01-31-2018
So whilst there's no doubt that Linux is the de facto winner of the UNIX-a-like OS wars, and ultimately almost all new deployments taking place will be on Linux and not the BSDs or any proprietary UNIX, the other survivors will continue to do quite nicely in their own little niches for a long time to come, I think.
little niches, thats the point. OK Solaris will run some legacy code for a while, and I guess some managers still remember the happy days at a VAX running encumbered BSD. However they are already old and all the BSD heroes like McKusick, Bostic, etc.. are even older too. BSD without them?
# 6  
Old 01-31-2018
Has it ever been wildly popular? It's been influential but that's not the same thing.

Much of that influence is from the BSD license. You can take anything you want, if you attribute (or, apparently, even when you don't.) Bits and pieces of it have ended up in everything.

I suspect it will remain what it's always been: A "reference implementation" for a standard system and kernel which you can build your own products out of.
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# 7  
Old 02-01-2018
There is nothing "dead" about BSD. BSD lives in the heart and soul of MacOS, and MacOS is a very popular computer operating system. All software changes over time, and BSD is no exception and BSD changed the heart of the MacOS forever:


BSD Overview

BSD Overview

The BSD portion of the OS X kernel is derived primarily from FreeBSD, a version of 4.4BSD that offers advanced networking, performance, security, and compatibility features. BSD variants in general are derived (sometimes indirectly) from 4.4BSD-Lite Release 2 from the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California at Berkeley. BSD provides many advanced features, including the following:

Preemptive multitasking with dynamic priority adjustment. Smooth and fair sharing of the computer between applications and users is ensured, even under the heaviest of loads.

Multiuser access. Many people can use an OS X system simultaneously for a variety of things. This means, for example, that system peripherals such as printers and disk drives are properly shared between all users on the system or the network and that individual resource limits can be placed on users or groups of users, protecting critical system resources from overuse.

Strong TCP/IP networking with support for industry standards such as SLIP, PPP, and NFS. OS X can interoperate easily with other systems as well as act as an enterprise server, providing vital functions such as NFS (remote file access) and email services, or Internet services such as HTTP, FTP, routing, and firewall (security) services.
Memory protection. Applications cannot interfere with each other. One application crashing does not affect others in any way.

Virtual memory and dynamic memory allocation. Applications with large appetites for memory are satisfied while still maintaining interactive response to users. With the virtual memory system in OS X, each application has access to its own 4 GB memory address space; this should satisfy even the most memory-hungry applications.
Support for kernel threads based on Mach threads. User-level threading packages are implemented on top of kernel threads. Each kernel thread is an independently scheduled entity. When a thread from a user process blocks in a system call, other threads from the same process can continue to execute on that or other processors. By default, a process in the conventional sense has one thread, the main thread. A user process can use the POSIX thread API to create other user threads.

SMP support. Support is included for computers with multiple CPUs.

Source code. Developers gain the greatest degree of control over the BSD programming environment because source is included.

Many of the POSIX APIs.
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