Linux Called 'Garbage' By Open-Source Rival

According to a report in Forbes magazine, the founder of OpenBSD, Theo de Raadt, pulled few punches when asked about Linux, the far more popular open-source operating system.

"It's terrible," De Raadt told Forbes. "Everyone is using it, and they don't realize how bad it is. And the Linux people will just stick with it and add to it rather than stepping back and saying, 'This is garbage and we should fix it.'"

OpenBSD is one of the three open-source variations on BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Unix, which is also the basis for Apple's Mac OS X operating system. (The others are FreeBSD and NetBSD.) OpenBSD prides itself on its security, touting on the home page of its Web site "Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 8 years!"

Although Linux often gets high marks from researchers when comparing the quality of its code with commercial software, De Raadt sang a completely different tune.

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"I think our code quality is higher [than Linux], just because that's really a big focus for us," De Raadt said to Forbes. "Linux has never been about quality. There are so many parts of the system that are just these cheap little hacks, and it happens to run."

He also credited Linux's commercial success on hardware companies who are essentially getting free development by taking advantage of the open-source community.

Companies like HP and IBM, both which have bet heavily on Linux, used to have in-house engineering staffs to add new features to their Unix code. "Now they just allow the user community to do their own little hacks and features, trying to get to the same functionality level, and they're just putting pennies into it."

The Forbes article can be found on its Web site.