SCO = Losers, as if Anyone Doubted it

Well, it seems to be the buzz around the tech related blogs is that SCO lost against Novell. Novell retains the rights to UNIX. Apparently what SCO bought (from Novell) was a license to sub-license UNIX. Personally I thought the Open Group owned UNIX but this is part of the debate because Novell, that owned The Open Group (then known as the X/Open Company), sold it to SCO. It now seems apparent the the rights to UNIX source code didn’t transfer over.

For those that don’t know, SCO –can be described nothing short of a “stupid ogre” of a company that– claimed its code had been robbed but (AFAIK) never came up with this code to prove the point. They intimidated other companies into forking over millions of dollars to avoid being sued for (re)distributing GNU-Linux, despite that they themselves made their GNU-Linux based distro publicly available. This is the sort of logic — or lack thereof— for which SCO is known. This threat of litigation was not limited to companies but also consumers, as this is what caused Sun to contribute 10 million dollars into SCO. I can sum SCO up in one word, “idiots”!

What effect does the SCO vs Novell outcome have on GNU based projects using a BSD kernel kernel? Personally I hope they move full steam ahead and provide equally and even “better than Linux based” alternatives, regardless. That is, I hope the lessening of legal problems does not negatively affect the GNU-BSD projects in the way of diminishing motivation for further development. In short, the BSD kernel is a more stable kernel (than Linux if not as widely or quickly implemented on newly released hardware) with a longer history and because of its older age (some claim) has had more debugging, and is of academic quality due to its origins. But it certainly looks as if Linux will move forward, now that the pressure of SCO’s allegations is no longer.

What?!? GNU user-land and the BSD kernel together? There are two Debian projects that –in part as a response to SCO’s claims — have replaced the Linux kernel with BSD kernels and placed it into Debian’s flavoured GNU user-land. These are GNU/kFreeBSD and Debian GNU/NetBSD. Sun has done something similar with Nexenta (incorporating Debian’s admin tools and their own Solaris Kernel, a BSD derivative). In contrast to “mainly Linux based” operations such as Debian, Sun was not recently at risk from SCO due to their past cooperation.

Maurice Cepeda

Further Reading

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