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OS X Open Source Upgrades Linux

Torvalds: Free OS X Is No Threat To Linux 314

Posted by timothy
from the craft-brewed-fair-trade-shade-grown-moka-beans-vs-airline-coffee dept.
jfruh writes "Apple is now offering upgrades to the latest version of OS X for free. When Linux inventor Linus Torvalds was asked whether this threatened Linux (presumably by someone who had only a passing knowledge of all the things 'free' can mean when applied to software) it gave him an opportunity for a passionate defense of open source. Torvalds also says that he'll keep programming until it gets 'not interesting,' which hasn't happened yet." The newest version of OS X may be gratis for Apple hardware buyers, but it's notably far from the original, (literally) un-branded sense of "mavericks."
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Torvalds: Free OS X Is No Threat To Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:36AM (#45224099)

    This is a clever ruse on Linus' part. The real issue, which he completely ignores, is the genuine threat to Linux provided by Microsoft's release of a free Windows 8.1 upgrade.

    Even if he doesn't want to talk about it, at least publicly, I know he's scared shitless.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602)

      The real issue, which he completely ignores, is the genuine threat to Linux provided by Microsoft's release of a free Windows 8.1 upgrade.

      ROFLMAO

      Only free to users of win 8, who got a raw deal having to use win8. :)

      8.1 may not yet be perfect, but its a huge improvement. Right clicking the new start button gives you direct access to control panels, device manager, event viewer, computer management, powershell, add/remove programs, shutdown/restart... I hadn't realized this until a couple days ago as everyon

      • by ais523 (1172701)
        You can do that in Windows 8 too, right-click the very bottom-left corner of the screen. (The main problem with that is that it's basically impossible to discover until someone tells you about it.)
        • by vux984 (928602)

          Heh, yep, did not know that, likely wouldn't have found it. On the upside, with 8.1 being free for 8, I figure within a year 8.0 is going to be rarer than Vista.

    • by ruir (2709173)
      yeah, yeah, Windows is really a threat to Linux and Apple. What memo do you failed the ones using Linux and Mac are using it because they want a quality product, and the ones that want to keep cost down "pirate" it? I don't see a threat anywhere. Anyway, Microsoft can't have the luxury of giving free upgrades because they don't sell hardware. Only if it is free upgrades for the surface, but nobody on his right mind buys a surface to run linux...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by camperdave (969942)
      Windows has always been free. It is preloaded on practically every (non-Apple) machine you can buy. You have to go significantly out of your way to get a PC without Windows, and even if you can find one, it won't cost any less than one with Windows pre-loaded.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        You don't have to go out of your way to get something without the current Windows, often you just have to remember to ask for it, though granted you will not find this at your GenericBigBuyStore. You always will rarely get any sort of discount.

        It can actually be more expensive to leave the OS off because many manufacturers image the hard drive in order to have some test tools in place, so that it is extra work for them to use a blank drive or to erase the computer. Even if they could include no OS at no e

  • by Rob Riggs (6418) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:37AM (#45224115) Homepage Journal
    That article jerked around from one disjoint topic to another, and appears to have been written by someone who is functionally illiterate in computer technology.
  • Come on... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:37AM (#45224117)
    It is 'free' if you own OSX. Therefore it is a free update. In terms of the number of changes it may be larger, but in actuality it is no different than windows 8.1 or a Service Pack.

    Open source (free as in speech), as a different beast entirely, and we are doing very well, TYVM.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's free if you own a sufficiently new preceding version of OSX. If your current version is too old, you have to buy an intermediate version, upgrade to that, then upgrade to that again. Odds are, however, that such a machine doesn't meet the system requirements anyway.

      The power management changes are genuinely a Big Deal this time around. They've learned a lot from mobile. Be interesting to see if MS tries something similar in 8.2.

      • by FreonTrip (694097)
        Timer coalescing's been a feature in x86/x86_64 versions of Windows since Windows 7, and was added to Linux a bit before that.
        • by jbolden (176878)

          On Windows it is a system service off by default that applications can use. On OSX it is a system on by default that applications can pass additional information to. Big big difference.

      • It's free if you own a sufficiently new preceding version of OSX. If your current version is too old, you have to buy an intermediate version, upgrade to that, then upgrade to that again. Odds are, however, that such a machine doesn't meet the system requirements anyway.

        Actually, no. You must own an Apple branded computer (that's the license requirement), and obviously you must have a Mac that is capable of running 10.9. In that case, it is free. If your current OS is too old to support the app store, it's a bit more difficult to get it, but not impossible. (Basically, ask someone else to download the installer for you and put it on a memory stick).

      • by jbolden (176878)

        The power management changes are genuinely a Big Deal this time around. They've learned a lot from mobile. Be interesting to see if MS tries something similar in 8.2.

        They can't. Many of the power improvements that Apple has done break compatibility badly. You have to be willing to force applications to upgrade like Apple does to do what they've done in the same way. Microsoft is going to have to approach the problem via a much more complex and lengthy process.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          They can't. Many of the power improvements that Apple has done break compatibility badly. You have to be willing to force applications to upgrade like Apple does to do what they've done in the same way. Microsoft is going to have to approach the problem via a much more complex and lengthy process.

          Except Apple has done a lot of work to give a conservative default to old apps. Just running on Mavericks gets you App Nap by default [arstechnica.com]. What Apple did was they used system libraries to notify the kernel about the ap

    • It is 'free' if you own OSX. Therefore it is a free update. In terms of the number of changes it may be larger, but in actuality it is no different than windows 8.1 or a Service Pack.

      It's more like an upgrade from Windows 7 or XP to Windows 8 - it's a complete OS installer, not a mere upgrade, and you can do a clean install [mashable.com].

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Exactly, it's an apples and oranges example.

      And the oranges are free... :)

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      And that's essentially why it's free, it has extremely minimal improvements over what people already have. Not sure why they actually charge for Lion and such since it's very similar, except that there was probably a built in set of customers prepared to open their wallets for whatever came out of Cupertino.

  • Wrong Mavericks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:38AM (#45224119)

    The S is in there for a reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavericks_(location) [wikipedia.org]

    • You are expecting journalists with a passing knowledge of technology to research things before they express opinions?

      And why is Apple starting to copy Microsoft on using Locations to name the OS rather than Cats? We haven't run out of cat species have we? I was hoping for Ocelot or something for the next release.

      God forbid we get Mac OS Longhorn -- no the animal, not the location!

  • by SchroedingersCat (583063) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:41AM (#45224145)
    OSX - free as in mousetrap cheese.
    • A couple of points of fact.

      1. You can run non-MacOS software on Mac hardware. (E.g. Windows, Linux.)
      2. You can run MacOS on non-Apple hardware (though it is a violation of the license agreement).

      I take your point, but I think it would be more apt to say "free as in bar mix". Yes, it's figured into the overall bill. Yes, it makes you want more of the product for sale. But it's not really a trap. More of a loss leader.

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:43AM (#45224175)

    Free OS X Is No Threat To Linux

    Since Mavericks only runs on Apple hardware unless you hack the OS, I'd say that's pretty obvious so why get up on a soap box and make noise about it? And just for the record the OS X core components [wikipedia.org] are open source.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Since the core components are FOSS, can't anyone simply take it, recompile it on a standard PC and then make it available? Sorta like the Hackintosh project, for PC users who don't wanna buy a Mac?
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Since the core components are FOSS, can't anyone simply take it, recompile it on a standard PC and then make it available? Sorta like the Hackintosh project, for PC users who don't wanna buy a Mac?

        The open source bits, sure - you can just get them directly from Apple, in fact.

        The UI that runs on the top though is not open, and they won't give you the source to that.

        You can just install OS X on an appropriately-constructed PC though (i.e., find parts that are common to Macs to minimise driver issues). Apple won't stop you as a home user (no DRM or encryption on the installer except a text file that says "please don't steal OS X"). If you try to make a business out of it though, they might take notice

  • Pointless point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:47AM (#45224239) Journal

    The fact is, most Linux users get interested in installing/using it because they've got (typically older) hardware in front of them that they'd like to make useful without spending more money on it.

    The only Mac system users I've encountered who ran Linux were using very old "legacy" Macs that have long since been abandoned by Apple with software updates or support.

    So generally, the use-cases for OS X or Linux just don't really cross much.

    • Not completely true (Score:4, Informative)

      by Marrow (195242) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @03:03PM (#45227113)

      I am running xubuntu on a retina because I prefer the Linux environment. There are a lot of comfort points for me in linux that are not present in OSX. I like the terminals, the command line, the mouse handling, the cut/pasting better in linux. I like the easy free software availability. And there are a lot of pain points in OSX.
      Granted, sound is still a pain in linux even after all these years, but I like to live in linux better than OSX.

  • Silly article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <{onyxruby} {at} {comcast.net}> on Thursday October 24, 2013 @11:56AM (#45224331)

    Free OS X doesn't compete with Linux except on a very limited basis - it's free.

    Unless you build a hackintosh and blatantly violate the license you can't even install OS X anywhere except a Mac. It's very distinctly not open source and arguably just as proprietary as Windows. It's free, but only if you purchased the hardware to begin with, and Apple has never been accused of making price competitive hardware by anybody except a fanboy.

    You can certainly run Linux on your Mac, but that's a pretty limited subset of people to begin with. Considering the last Mac OS only cost $20 to begin with and you likely didn't have too many people holding out for cost reasons alone. In other words, the people that wanted to have the Mac hardware with Linux almost certainly made that move a while ago. This really doesn't impact much of anyone.

    • by Pinhedd (1661735)

      The core components of OSX are completely open source in the form of the Darwin operating system.

  • desktop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday October 24, 2013 @12:05PM (#45224439) Homepage Journal

    When I read about the OS X Maverick's free release...

    I didn't think about how it would affect Linux on the desktop at all...thought never crossed my mind...

    Linux is just irrelevant to the desktop market. Is that harsh? Not intended to be...I still hate M$ and think Apple is a little fruity...

    But srsly...after 8 years on /. reading ridiculous thread after thread debating Debian vs Red Hat or w/e (try Gentoo!)...

    The open source world just hasnt' evolved the maturity to make a universal desktop OS **that people use**

    It's totally possible...it *will* happen...but Linux destop fanbois need to rethink some shit

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > Linux is just irrelevant to the desktop market.

      So is MacOS really. This was true even when it was competing with MS-DOS of all things.

      So any "helpful suggestions" will likely be total nonsense.

      Computing history is littered with the corpses of companies that conformed to whatever "advice" you care to come up with.

      • So is MacOS really. This was true even when it was competing with MS-DOS of all things.

        we should probably just say "The desktop market is irrelevant" right?

        that's what always got me, going way back to the olden days...you brought up DOS...I remember when Windows 3.x came out I really didnt' understand what the big deal was...it was just a staging area to run the actual programs you wanted to use...that's what the OS does (heh not saying its easy to make one!)

        i love that an Open Source desktop option exists.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Pity the most heavily used environment isn't open source. If only something like Android existed.

      Unless you define desktop ever more narrowly open source is finally doing fine in that space.

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      The open source world just hasnt' evolved the maturity to make a universal desktop OS **that people use**

      That's really nor fair, Linux is quite mature. Google sells Linux on more shipping CPUs than just about any other OS, they just call it "Android." If Google were to decide that they wanted to seriously make a push for the desktop with Android or Chrome, they probably would. Apple makes a killing selling computers with a rebranded and modded BSD distro, after all.

      The reason we don't see Linux everywhe

      • The reason we don't see Linux everywhere on the desktop is strictly due to marketing

        oh boi...didn't mean to fan the flames...maybe you're not...let's see were you're going with this...

        Linux is mature enough to run workstations and servers, it's just missing something on the level of an iPhoto.

        fanboi alter!

        caught you...

        Linux is industry standard on W, Y, & Z...the only thing it doesn't do is X.

        Where X = what 99% of computer end users do on a computer

        understand this: it's not good enough...it's just not.

      • by amorsen (7485)

        "Regular" Linux and Android are almost entirely distinct, with only the mostly-shared kernel in common. You can install some utilities to get a more Unix-like environment, but most users don't do that. It is probably easier to port a GNU/Linux application to Mac OS X (with the X subsystem) that it is to port it to Android.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @12:11PM (#45224523)

    In my recollection, Linus has never been much for getting worked up in fanbois pissing matches (pertaining to platform "greatness" or market share) What gets him riled up is stupid brain-dead code stupidly done by stupid people for stupid reasons. That stuff he'll take issue with regardless and argue about forever.

  • So you're saying that it won't be free for my Franklin Ace [oldcomputers.net]?

  • Apple has always said "Mavericks" is named after the surfing site not animals, not persons. Just like Longhorn was not named after the animal but a bar like Whistler.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday October 24, 2013 @12:24PM (#45224715) Homepage
    ...Apple does not have to fail for Linux to succeed, nor visa versa.

    The comments on this thread remind me of heated conversations I had as a 13 year old, when my friends and I couldn't agree on which was better, the Commodore 64, the Apple IIe or the Atari 800. Anyone who's read my previous comments probably knows that I was firmly in the Commodore 64 camp.
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      This is why I try to keep my hand in all the pots at the same time... I say try, I just can't justify the cost of having enough hardware to be mucking around with iOS, Android and Linux on tablets at the same time.

      I should just give in and get me one of those cheap nexus 7 tablets and accept that it won't be a production system in my dirty little hands.

    • I fondly remember the month of the Amiga desktop.
  • Was this ever even really a concern? Any person running Linux on a Mac is not doing it because of the cost of the OS (which comes included with the hardware anyway). It's cool that Apple is making their upgrades free, but even $30 for previous upgrades is not that expensive if it's something you want or need.

  • If OSX really wants to be a threat to linux, then they need to have apt or rpm repositories of pre-built open source software for OSX. That MIGHT make me think about booting OSX again. Maybe.

    • I doubt Apple is really bothered about being a threat to Linux.

      For the server market, Linux and Windows largely have this tied up. For the enterprise desktop market (excluding pros), Microsoft largely has this tied up. Apple's computers with the exception of the Mac Pro are aimed at the consumer market - those people who have disposable income and are cool with spending an extra $100 or so to get a Mac.

  • OSX mavericks is free — as in beer; but not free as in speech.

    linux is free (as in speech), but may not be free as in beer (since open source companies typically charge for services and not software).

    OSX is free (as in beer). but only employs 'free as in speech' to parts of the whole system — they lockdown the engine, and use & contribute to open source — significantly, the darwin kernel is actually open source, and they use open protocols (xml).

    either of these is still better than win

  • I'm struggling to comprehend why people are making such a big deal out of Apple's free upgrade. This is no different than what Microsoft has been doing for well over a decade, offering service pack upgrades for free.

    I'm convinced that the fundamental motivation behind Mavericks being free was because of the recent release of Windows 8.1. That was billed as a fairly substantial update compared to Mavericks which, at least superficially, hasn't changed a whole lot. Apple wouldn't have come out of this looking

  • According to our experience every installer version since Leopard upgraded the previous version without checking anything except for Apple hardware. iTunes doesn't care. Our institution eventually paid for OS upgrade licenses once a year, but by that time we already had the latest version installed. It seems to be Apple policy to move users to the latest OS version whether you pay for it or not. Now they are just making it official for the latest upgrade.

  • Wasn't the standard line from Apple that they always wanted to give away updates for free, but shucks, Sarbanes-Oxley prevented them from doing so?

    I guess Apple finally found an accountant that could make it happen...

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