[linux-elitists] PengPod engineers for a new project

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Thu Aug 8 15:57:24 PDT 2013

begin Tilghman Lesher quotation of Thu, Aug 08, 2013 at 05:30:40PM -0500:
> On Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM, Greg KH <greg at kroah.com> wrote:
> > Remember, there isn't just "one" Linux, unlike there has been in the
> > past with single-systems.  There are thousands of Linux versions out
> > there, for hundreds of thousands of different types of systems, being
> > used in a myriad of different ways.
> There are thousands of Windows versions out there, too, just as there
> are thousands of MacOS (probably hundreds, if you only count Mac OS X)
> versions, but we generally count each of those as being singleton
> competitors.  Yes, the versatility of Linux means that if you live on
> the bleeding edge, there are thousands of different kernels in use at
> any one time, but most of us who aren't kernel developers tend not to
> run anything other than what is packaged.  We have more important
> things to do than rice up our kernels like some sort of Gentoo user.

Every special snowflake Linux product, whether it's
a phone in your pocket or a huge rack-mounted beast
in a data center somewhere, has some kind of special
snowflake kernel in it.

Each one of those kernels could be taken from idea on
the white board to working product in the customer's
hands without negotiating a license, but modifying the
kernel isn't so much a hobbyist thing--maintenance
and customization effort and skill is a complement
to the free kernel.  And you know what they say about
complementary goods.

Something that makes Linux different from the other
common OSs is that it has high-value developers and
code as a free good, instead of disposable developers
and code as an asset.  This means that there's no
single point of control to talk to about using Linux,
and it also means that more of the value of the system
ends up in the hands of live, active developers.

Don Marti                      +1-510-332-1587 (mobile)
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/        Alameda, California, USA
dmarti at zgp.org

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