OpenBSD 4.4 – the Source Wars

Every *nix type of OS has it’s own little logo and a story to go with it. The image accompanying the OpenBSD 4.4 release is a bit different though, with a take on a classic Star Wars poster from 1977 (I’ve copied a thumbnail on the left – click to see the full image on the OpenBSD site).

But wait there is more!

OpenBSD goes a step further with the official song for OpenBSD 4.4 (yeaah they’ve got a song too) is – Trial of the BSD Knights which is hilarious. It basically recounts the good fight of BSD against the Evil Empire.

So being a good Star Wars fan myself let’s compare the OpenBSD Rebellion to Luke Skywalker’s Rebellion. Like the members of the Star Wars Rebellion, the roots of OpenBSD lay in the earlier BSD Unix which like the Republic in Star Wars was a source stability for a period of time (arguably in both cases). Yet just like Master Yoda told Obi Wan Kenobi in Empire Strikes Back – ‘there is another..“.

In this case the ‘other” isn’t Princess Leia it’s Linux.

BSDs in general and OpenBSD in particular have not had the same level of attention (in the media and elsewhere) as Linux or the remaining proprietary Unix’s (HP, IBM and Sun). A lack of a big entity with $$ to push the message has always been a problem. Then again, Linux has benefited from OpenBSD too, most notably from the OpenSSH project which is core to OpenBSD.

Ben Kenobi also famously said in Star Wars that,”… the Jedi Knights were the guardians of Peace and Prosperity in the Old Republic until the Dark Times, until the Empire.”

Were BSD devs the equivalent of the Jedi Knights in the early days? Maybe. But times have changed much and  the Empire that the early BSD devs fought against is not the Empire that current open code developers fight against.

Still all good fun to think about. OpenBSD 4.4 is a solid distribution and continues to fight the good fight against the Empire (however you choose to define it).

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