The Silent Heroes of Unix

Since FreeBSD 11-RELEASE is almost out, I decided to try the ALPHA and BETA versions to see whether my Intel Haswell bearing ASUS ultrabook is finally supported in the graphics department. As always, I was refreshed by the quality and smoothness of the ncurses CLI installer. Certain positive surprises happened to me, too. Apparently the urtwn kernel module for Realtek wireless adapters no longer requires signing a license agreement with Realtek. Hence, for the first time in Unix history I could do a CLI install of an operating system with a wireless USB dongle out-of-the-box. How amazing is that, eh? GNU/Linux can suck it with its myriad of hackish and confusing networking tools that need additional configuration.

That in turn brought to my attention the fact that in terms of manpower, the BSDs are almost unmanned when compared to GNU/Linux operating systems. The disproportions are simply huge! Sometimes, I think of BSDs as this antiquated Soviet submarine with a crew full of diehard veterans. What they lack in numbers, they compensate with experience and cunning. Projects such as OpenSSH or LibreSSL don’t have as many programmers as leading GNU/Linux projects, yet they received Microsoft’s recognition. Surprisingly enough, the BSD world is largely a community of doers not talkers. We don’t hear or read about any of the BSDs even in magazines devoted to building server infrastructures or GNU/Linux. The word is not there…

…hence, I think we should seriously start spreading it. We should show the world that BSDs are worth investing (time, effort, money, etc.) in. Do you like FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD? Do you see opportunities where a BSD operating system would be more suited than other offerings? Do you see resources going to waste? Get the word out!

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