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I have heard that SSH was originally for BSD.

Is this correct? And what alternatives to SSH do GNU users use?

Or do people just not use GNU for SSH or an SSH type application?

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We use openssh, it is Free Software as defined by Free Software Foundation, Debian, and other. Openssh is a rewrite of the original ssh. (see wikipedia for more). – richard Sep 19 '12 at 15:04
Also the GNU project is not a project to write software, but a project to ensure that there are Free Software versions available, and to promote the use of Free Software. – richard Sep 19 '12 at 15:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm not sure what you mean by GNU users. Do you mean people who only use software from the Free Software Foundation, or only software with a GPL license, or only free software, for some definition of free? I think that you will find very few people who are that dogmatic about the software that they use. Most people just use what suits their purpose, without worrying too much about the philosopy or politics behind it. Some try to use free as in beer, or free as in open software, when possible, but will use commercial software as necessary. Then there are the Mac OS users who use a commercial OS that contains quite a bit of open source software. And I think that you'll find that almost everybody uses OpenSSH.

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good points.. and crucial last sentence "And I think that you'll find that almost everybody uses OpenSSH." And you've advanced my understanding.. i'm sure you then wouldn't call linux or the linux based OS people use "GNU/Linux" ! – barlop Aug 31 '10 at 22:43

OpenSSH is primarily written for OpenBSD, but they also maintain a 'portable' version that is widely used with Linux.

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You can read about some of the history here. The first open source version of SSH, OpenSSH, was in fact originally developed for OpenBSD, but it has since been ported to linux and "OpenSSH" is still what most linux users use today. – Jarvin Aug 23 '10 at 20:50

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