Erlang vs Linux

Vance Shipley <>
Wed Feb 26 19:06:02 CET 2003

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 05:21:25PM +0000, david wallin wrote:
}  Wasn't there something about FreeBSD being in some sort of legal battle 
}  with AT&T which made it possible for Linux to gain momentum?

Yes, BSDi was being sued by Unix Systems Labs (AT&T) for alleged reuse
of the SYSV source code which Berkeley had a license for.  It was mostly
decided in BSDi's favour.  The result was 4.4 BSD-lite which FreeBSD,
and the other BSDs, have their heritage with.

I've always assumed that this is why Linux was born to begin with.
Why would you start building an opensource  Unix kernel/os when a
good one was already available?  In any event the intensity with which
USL/ATT pursued those who got access to the source without a license
created enough fear and uncertainty that an unencumbered alternative
was a very desirable thing.

An interesting update to all of this is that USL sold off SYSV a few years
later to Novell (maybe they were going to bet the farm on Plan 9).  Novell
sold it a few years later to SCO.  SCO was bought by Caldera the Linux 
vendor.  So now a Linux vendor owns the sacred SYSV source code.  I told
them to release it Opensource.  They ignored me.  :)


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