Would The Internet Exist Without Linux? Yes, Very Likely.

by on October 30, 2008 · 6 comments· LAST UPDATED October 30, 2008

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This is the dumbest article ever.

Would the internet as we know it exist without Linux? Absolutely not. Where Linux shines the most is in its server applications - no question, says Rich Menga:

Linux was literally the only OS out there that had the right price (free), ran similar to a Unix and could use existing computers of the time to connect customers. Anything else would break the bank way too easily. What would you have used that you could afford? Netware? Lotus Domino? HP-UX (that requires those refrigerator-sized HP servers)? I don't think so.

This is really bold claim but the Internet would certainly exist without Linux. UNIX and the Internet go together. Linux is successful because of the Internet and small group of hackers connected via the Internet. Berkeley Software Distribution (*BSD) is the Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1977 to 1995. Also, most major ISPs and enterprises powered by commercial proprietor platforms such as Cisco. Just look at early successful web applications and companies such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Sony,Amazon and many others. What OS are they using at the time of starup?

Linux is a base platform; you need Perl, PHP, MySQL, Python, MTA and many other open source apps to make it work. Technically, Linux is kernel not even OS. Linux distribution is complete OS. If Linux was not around, Sun, *BSD and other UNIX like oses may have acted as internet servers, period.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brainfucker October 30, 2008 at 10:28 am

Hi, holly warriors! What about FreeBSD? More of Russian ISPs using this great OS.


2 Валяк October 30, 2008 at 1:11 pm

It’s maybe sad that Linus came up with a kernel, if he hadn’t the *BSD wouldn’t have dropped behind with featuers and hw support…
Unfortunatelly linux is far far ahead compared to *BSD and maybe that’s because the more ppl and organizing in linux communities? Dunno but all the three *BSD projects are very cool and have their purposes, but compared to linux features and support are far behind…


3 cosmix October 30, 2008 at 6:14 pm

… and do not forget SCO Open Server …
it could run on i386 … but was not free …

Well, i think that for now on … Linux ( as distribution ) will be as Oracle said once … unbreakable …

Big Iron ( IBM ) has validated Linux on its HW..
and they know what they are doing …

any BSD flavor could be good enough …. but Linux is a better choice all way long …
( just a personal opinion , of course )

in short :
internet == any form of UNIX


4 KMSelf November 1, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I’ve got to disagree with your characterization. The quote was “would
the Internet as we know it exist”. As we know it: no.

Don’t underestimate the value of free, the power of the GPL to promote
collaborative software development, or the power of the BSD license (of
which the Apache license is a variant) to promote standards.

As TFA notes: the period in question was the early/mid 1990s. The
Internet and World Wide Web were only two of numerous computer networks
available to the general public at the time. AOL, Prodigy, and
Compuserv were the mindshare leaders. The Internet existed, but was
still largely an edu and gov playland with a few major tech corporate
players. Enthusiasts were still playing on dialup BBSes, which relied
on UUCP, Fidonet, and yes, inermittent Internet access, for
connectivity. Microsoft were eyeing this space but visualized MSN as
something very much other than an anyone-to-the-party, open-standards

The existence of Linux liberated the nascent Internet on numerous
fronts. Commodity x86 hardware (and over time, other platforms) could
be used for servers. Standards were open. Constraints on both
end-users and server operators were largely erased. Entrepreneurial
opportunities were enhanced by lifting cost and usage restrictions of
proprietary software (Google and Craigslist are among the examplars of
this phenomenon, though there are tens of thousands of other cases).

In the absense of Linux, Apache, GNU, and the GNU GPL and BSD licenses,
we’d likely have seen years of competition between closed proprietary
(and largely ineffectual hobbiest dialup) networks, a huge damper on
both technical and entrepreneurial innovation, a possible
eventual win for the Internet/WWW model (though by no means assured),
and a vastly more prominent role for Microsoft.

I’d say that Mr. Menga is spot on.


5 Hareesh November 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Linux really rocks. A pool of variants to select from and freedom to customize and be a part.


6 Tweety20 November 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Without Linux there wouldn’t be only a couple of servers running on the net, do you know why?
Because all the net would be using Micro$oft Servers, and 99% of them will be down due to hacking problems :)



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