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This is correct. While large companies like Facebook and Google do contribute code back to the Linux community, they aren't required to contribute back all of their modifications. It's great that they contribute back to the community, but you can bet that Facebook, Google, Twitter etc. haven't released *all* of their changes back to the community.
Netflix's decision to use FreeBSD for their CDN was based on the technical merits of FreeBSD and because the engineers in charge of that project like FreeBSD. It's a great operating system with solid performance. It just doesn't have the mindshare of Linux-based operating systems. I use FreeBSD and Linux-based distros, and each have their strength and weaknesses.
In addition, Netflix uses plenty of Linux. Just look at the job descriptions for the open positions.
Nobody is kidding here. Just because you don't see FreeBSD on HPC doesn't mean it's not there. FreeBSD runs on Panasas blades and serves the high performance PanFS to Linux clients over infiniband. It's strong evidence that it's extremely capable of pushing serious data ... and that's exactly what Netflix does except that it doesn't use 40 gigabit low latency connections.
Nobody is saying FreeBSD is not able to work for them. They can use Solaris or Windows as well. The main point is their stupid announcement and another one the decision wasn't technical.
Novell and Panasas serve as big gaping holes in your silly conspiracy theory.
My theory is MS does everything to make Linux weaker - Novell pact, Xapian and their mono and moonlight, secure boot. Netflix has very close relation with MS, so they chose MS friendly and anti-Linux FreeBSD.
What you call the "real open source community" is hostile to anyone and anything not ascribing to GPL, even if it is also open source.
BSD community have nothing to Linux and GNU. People should realize only Linux and GNU are the right way. BSD licensed products just makes Community weaker. It's Linux and GNU that's the essence of Open Source and they're fighting against monopoly. On opposite - BSD just serves them.
Ever give away any of your old stuff and say, "Well, it has to be used this way and that way" ... that's the kind freedom GPL offers. You can have my old shorts as long as you wear it with a black or blue shirt and they must be the same brand.
That's the kind of Freedom stupid folks don't understand. It's not about the code being 'whore', so you can do what you want with it. It's about Freedom to use, modify, protect your software and what's the most important - compete. BSD is a 'whore' license while GPL is a 'virgin' one.
Thinking that a company like Netflix choose an OS based on "sympathy", or because they have a "FreeBSD fan club" is just stupid!
How hold are you guys? Do you know how much money is involved? Do you know something about the real world?
For most of you, u*nix history starts when linux starts, that's not true.
Both Linux and FreeBSD have their strong points, and if you can't understand this, you are just a bunch of Linux kiddies.