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

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, kernel, Links, Linux, News, UNIX last updated October 30, 2008

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.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

6 comment

  1. 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…

  2. … 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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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