BSD Merger Announcement

From: Wolfram Schneider <wosch(at)>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 11:50:56 +0100

   [1]DæmonNews: News and views for the BSD community
     [2]March 2000 [3]Search [4]Submit Article [5]Contact Us [6]Join Us
Changes are a' comin'!

  Gregory Sutter, [8]gsutter(at)
   There's big news in the BSD community today, as two important mergers
   are occurring. First, Berkeley Systems Design, Inc., better known as
   BSDI, and Walnut Creek CDROM, the primary backer of FreeBSD, are
   merging. The combined company, BSD Inc., will have a strategy of
   promoting BSD on all levels. This merger, combining the two primary
   corporate supporters of BSD, will allow the new company to really
   focus its efforts on the improvement and promotion of BSD.
   The other merger is that of the codebases of BSD/OS and FreeBSD. This
   merger will occur over (hopefully) the next year and result in a
   single operating system, still named FreeBSD. FreeBSD will remain
   completely open source and primarily under the BSD license, as it is
   today. Certain commercial drivers and components of BSD/OS which
   remain under NDA will be administered by BSD Inc. as add-on
   components. These components, along with the commercial backing, will
   be the value-added features separating FreeBSD from BSD/OS, which will
   continue as a commercial product (with FreeBSD at the core).
   But how friendly is the merger? Look no further than the Principal
   Architect's chair. David Greenman, who has been Principal Architect
   for FreeBSD since its inception, and Mike Karels, who holds the
   position's analogue (Chief Systems Architect) at BSDI, will be
   co-architects for FreeBSD. This will essentially double the
   architectural leadership for the project.
   In addition to the architect position, having the BSDI developers
   working on FreeBSD should greatly improve response time for creation
   of new hardware drivers and advanced features. These developers have
   managed to keep a closed-source BSD competitive with its open source
   cousins--no mean feat.
   As far as the code goes, this merger can do only good--and lots of it.
   Additional people, energy, and spirit can only result in a more rapid
   development pace. Right away, the biggest issue will be selecting the
   code to use from both systems; the second will be merging back changes
   from the current incarnations of each OS. Now that the business end of
   things has been cared for, the developers have a great deal of work
   ahead of them.
   Although BSDI is merging its codebase with FreeBSD, the other open
   source BSDs are not being left in the cold. Both NetBSD and OpenBSD
   are welcome to either contribute code, suggestions, and improvements
   to FreeBSD, or to take BSDI's code contributions and use them in their
   own projects. Once BSDI releases the code to FreeBSD, it will fall
   under a very liberal license. Basically, if the code is incorporated
   into an existing open source project, it will fall under the licensing
   terms of that project. This means that any open source project can
   incorporate BSDI's code--quite a gift, especially when compared to
   other commercial entities' offerings.
   The BSD community has watched as Linux appeared, exploded, and
   produced a host of commercial entities. Linux is now the
   second-most-widely-used PC operating system in the world, firm proof
   that the open source concept is completely commercially viable. With
   BSD, Inc. as a backer, and an ever-growing pool of talent to draw
   from, BSD can be taken from the realm of the hacker, the academic, and
   the power user into that of the everyday, average user -- without
   sacrificing any of its power or stability.
   Yes, indeed, changes are a' comin'.
              Author maintains all copyrights on this article.
   Images and layout Copyright © 1998-2000 Dæmon News. All Rights Reserv
   [9]Read and post comments about this article.


   4. mailto:articles(at)
   5. mailto:editors(at)
   8. mailto:gsutter(at)

Wolfram Schneider <>
To Unsubscribe: send mail to majordomo(at)
with "unsubscribe de-bsd-announce" in the body of the message
Received on Thu 09 Mar 2000 - 11:54:44 CET

search this site