Department of Computer Science

Vrije Universiteit

Comparison of Linux Code with MINIX Code

Original comment Follow up Code comparison Rebuttal

A message I received from Alexey Toptygin

"Around the middle of April, I was contacted by a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to do some code analysis on a consultancy basis for his boss, Ken Brown. I ended up doing about 10 hours of work, comparing early versions of Linux and Minix, looking for copied code.

My results are here. To summarize, my analysis found no evidence whatsoever that any code was copied one way or the other. (I realize that Minix predates Linux, but I did the comparison bidirectionally for the sake of objectivity).

While I was working on this in my spare time, Ken kept pestering me to hurry up and finish. He told me he had a paper awaiting publication, and that my analysis was the last bit of data he needed. I sent the final results (which are, exactly as given to Ken Brown, at the above URL) to him on May 17th.

When I called him to ask if he had any questions about the analysis methods or results, and to ask if he would like to have it repeated with other source comparison tools, I was in for a bit of a shock. Apparently, Ken was expecting me to find gobs of copied source code. He spent most of the conversation trying to convince me that I must have made a mistake, since it was clearly impossible for one person to write an OS and 'code theft' had to have occured.

So, I guess what I want to say is, pay no attention to this man; to the best of my knowledge he is talking out of his ass. I apologise for any inconvenience I may have caused you by participating (however indirectly) in Ken's pet project.

Please feel free to reproduce this email and the contents of my analysis webpage."

--Alexey Toptygin

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