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The effect of external optical feedback on resonant frequency, threshold gain, and spectral linewidth of distributed feedback (DFB) semiconductor lasers is theoretically analyzed. The analysis applies to any type of laser cavity formed by a corrugated waveguide limited by partially reflecting facets. It is shown that the sensitivity to optical feedback on a facet is closely related to the power emitted through this facet. Numerical results on wavelength selectivity and on sensitivity to optical feedback are given for conventional DFB lasers having an AR-coated facet and for quarter-wave-shifted (QWS) DFB lasers with AR-coatings on both facets. Both laser types are found to be more sensitive to optical feedback on their AR-coated facet than Fabry-Perot lasers for low . On the other hand, QWS-DFB lasers are found to be relatively insensitive to optical feedback for large .