[TUHS] If not Linux, then what?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Aug 27 10:48:48 AEST 2019

On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 7:28 PM Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:

> BSD was in decent enough shape at the time to run on PCs. Though it
> fragmented early through no fault of Linux. And the AT&T lawsuit created a
> lot of FUD in the area without actually protecting System V. It's unclear
> if another thing would have popped up to fill the void... Linux flourished
> in the confusion, but without it, it's hard to know if something else would
> have been developed before the AT&T lawsuit settled.

But what really allowed Linux to take off the AT&T vs. UCB/BSDi lawsuit.
At the time Linux, didn't have networking much less a window manager
etc...   so lot of people, mysef included (incorrectly thinking is was a
copyright case) thought we were going to lose a UNIX for our inexpensice
(i.e. 'cheap' 386 based systems) so we all started started to hack on Linux
0.99xxx [my first real serious taste was an early Slackware version on a
billion floppies fairly soon after Linus made it available and Patrick
pulled together his first distribution].

But ... (and as I have point out elsewhere - see
.... *if AT&T had won the case, all the other UNIX flavors* (Linux included
would have had to have been pulled from the market).
So in many ways, this question is not really a fair one.

AT&T lost the case, and Linux got the ball and ran for it.

That said, I'll drop into the hypotheical, if AT&T had lost and Linux had
not been there ..... then... I do think some flavor of BSD would have been
the winner.    The two wild cards are from Sun and OSF/CMU.   As Larry says
is what about SunOS and Solaris, although the legals of Sun doing that I
wonder.   The other question is Mach/OSF (I know Larry does not like the

But one of the *BSD, Mach or an FOSS Sun code base would have had the most

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