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Linux & BSD Brief An StadtMuenchen, von Julian H. Stacey

Unterliegendem Seiten (Brief) sind in Deutsch - Underlying letters mostly German only.
Munich city council are dumping Microsoft from their 14,000 PCs, & going Linux (project "LiMux"). I wrote a letter to the council to tell them BSD exists, (Linux is big in Germany, bur BSD not well known outside high competence technological circles).

The top half of this page is related to the letter sent (in German), the latter half of the page is other related & subsequent info & references.

Das Brief (The Letter - In German only)

Antworten (Answers - In German only)

  • (An answer from the SPD party 24th June, I've seen an earlier reply from the Greens too I think.)
    • Ascii Text with Umlauts 4K.
      This text was extracted from the nasty .doc (below) using Antiword, one of the 8633 (@ June 2003) ported packages that run on FreeBSD and other Free operating systems
    • LinuxVariante_A.doc: Microsoft Format .Doc 24K. Original (nasty proprietary Microsoft Format) the SPD sent BCC'd to unknown Recipients. Well, SPD will wean themselves off MS.doc soon enough now smiley face icon
    • Original Email 36K
  • A 2nd answer from the SPD party 30th June, Re. Support
  • English language newspaper article. More info than I've seen in the German articles (more time passed for info to leak out ? ). USA Today
  • August 2005, Someone at BIM Stammtisch told me Stadt Muenchen have seen the light, & are switching to Debian from SUSE. (I haven't had time to confirm this)


Copyright CDROM Images

  • Innocents Assume ...

    Innocents tend to assume, just because they receive, or can can download a Linux CDROM image from the net & burn it, that it's `Free' - Often Not So - look at the copyright licence ! CDROMs from commercial Linux companies are usually copyright that company. Most of the content may be FSF'd GNU Linux based, but not all (X etc), & an aggregation copyright may well pertain to CDROM images, as well as extra copyrights to install tools etc. Look carefully at your own CDROMs to ascertain detail.
  • Personal Use Only ?

    Many companies take some sort of mid course between Free & Commercial they often allow personal & or time limited use, but require payment for commercial use. Of course they'd like you to first get to know Linux, & their version in particular, & if you later decide you like it & then want to clone a few hundred CDROMs to convert your company, & only then realise you can't just do that free of charge, but must likely buy copies or negotiate a bulk licence, well, they'll be happy to accept money.
  • Un-bundling

    Un-bundling is a computer industry trick: Removing facilities to make EG a reduced `Personal' or `User' version from a full `Professional', `Server', or `Development' version. One PC Unix company now in the Linux business used to cripple its base by un-bundling, which increased 3rd party support & development costs. Check if your `free' version include all the standard Unix tools your technical colleagues will expect to be present to provide proper service - is it a stripped version ? The commercial temptation to unbundle remains, probably mainly held in check only while average user remain aware that full functionality remains available from the non commercial organisations, replete with developers, who don't want to unbundle.
  • A Cautious Manager

    Considering cost savings for his/her company or organisation may prefer to start with a CDROM where if sampled, liked, & man hours invested in adopting that version, you know you Can clone the CDROM a few hundred or thousand times free if need be, & not trapped to pay licences & be dependent on remote commercial Linux CDROM companies. Really Free CDROMs tend to come from the non profit organisations EG Debian FreeBSD NetBSD OpenBSD, rather than the commercial companies. (OK, the non profit organisations also often encourage you to buy from the commercial suppliers who sponsor them, but there's not an obligation usually).
  • Roll Your Own

    Rolling your own special operating system version or CDROM version is possible, &/or installing & using net servers for remote net installs, but it involves technical, management & copyright etc issues beyond the scope of this web page. (VSL offers customised BSD CDROMs & Unix server configuration).

Specific Instances Re. Copyright

A couple of examples limiting use of CDROM images are appended, feel free to mail me additions &/or corrections etc. I don't have much time to monitor Linux companies' latest offerings. I prefer BSD ! Provide me exact references to specific CDROM Image Copyright limitations, & I'll include them in this list:
  • Caldera Open Linux eServer 2.3

    • On printed label:
      C. 2000, Caldera System, Inc. All Rights Reserved
    • On CDROM: Massive Ascii license text, poorly formatted, which discourages reading. Not a company to allow mass copying & commercial use of their CDROMs, free.
  • Dead link Mandrake

    • Mandrake90-cd1-inst.i586.iso didn't seem to have mandatory legal restrictions I could notice, but did include ...
    • Dead Link ftp. leo. org/pub/comp/os/unix/linux/Mandrake/Mandrake/iso/README ftp'able README Re. money: Before downloading our products, we ask for your support by joining the Dead Link Mandrake Linux Users Club
  • SUSE Linux 7.0 Personal

    • CDROM#1 /COPYRIGHT.yast
      It is forbidden to reproduce or distribute data carriers which have been reproduced without authorisation for payment without the prior written consent of SuSE GmbH or SuSE Linux. Distribution of the YaST programme, its sources, whether amended or un amended in full or in part thereof, and the works derived thereof for a charge require the prior written consent of SuSE GmbH.
  • Red Hat & Others

    • Investigate & mail me specific quotes & references if you want.

What is BSD ? - Only heard of Linux before ?

  • What BSD is

  • German Linux History

    In Germany while youngster were making pin money, selling sets of Linux floppies in CT & other magazines, older professional programmers in real jobs, also interested in free (often BSD) Unix, were at work on better paid projects, & wouldn't distract to earn less selling BSD floppy sets. Then CDROMs became popular, the Linux floppy sets expanded to CDROMs, & the Linux market boomed, user recommending to new user. Little did we BSD people realise how those first Linux floppies would seed a new market, which commercial companies would later build on !
  • Commercial CDROMs

    There are no commercial firms advertising & pushing their own particular variant of any of the BSDs, bundled on CDROM, instead BSD CDROMS firms sell the generic; but with less to distinguish their offering from another similar generic, there is less incentive to risk advertising budget. There are companies spending heavily on advertising `their' Linux. No surprise the name Linux is heard more ! But think why they're advertising & promoting their version: they want to hook you on their particular extensions to the generic Linux kernel +FSF tool set.
  • Technical Merits

    The technical merits of Linux & BSD are not proportional to percentage of users or `market share', but related to history & marketing etc. Both Linux & BSD are very attractive compared to (proprietary, binary only etc) Microsoft, & BSD & Linux can be made to appear identical to most normal end users. The relative merits of Linuxes & BSDs varies with time & user requirements etc. It's best to be cautious receiving opinions comparing Linux & BSD, as there are certainly more people willing to express an opinion, than are qualified, competent, & currently informed to do so. It's extremely difficult if not impossible to remain current on all the BSDs & Linuxes, & many productive programmers in Linux & BSD prefer to spend time developing public code for whichever Unix they happen to prefer, & adopting code from other public Unixes where it helps, rather than spend too much time making negative comparisons that rapidly become obsolete as all the Linuxes & BSDs continue to improve.

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