Free BSDs vs Linux

In this comparison of FreeBSD’s vs Linux, we’ll explain the basics of what FreeBSD’s are and explain the BSD license. We’ll highlight some of the features of FreeBSD’s that you might want to know about and give you a side-by-side look at the differences between FreeBSD’s versus Linux to help you determine which suits your needs. Then we’ll hear from reviewers and highlight any specific areas of interest for writers.

FreeBsD’s vs Linux

  • What is FreeBSD Software?
  • What is BSD license?
  • Is BSD free to use?
  • What’s the latest version of FreeBSD?
  • Should I use FreeBSD or Linux?

FreeBSD’s vs Linux: Basics

FreeBSD software is a UNIX version descended from (BSD) or Berkeley Software Distribution. FreeBSD was created to give users an OS without strings attached that would be both stable and fast. There are no restrictions in the license on use of code other than not claiming credit for writing it, not removing or modifying the license, and not suing if it breaks. Source tree code that does fall under the GPL or LGPL license may have additional strings attached.

FreeBSD is labeled free because there is no required cost involved, though donations are accepted, and because the code is freely accessible for use to accomplish whatever tasks you want other than the three items listed above. Developers who are interested in contributing and working with code in FreeBSD can join the FreeBSD-current mailing list to receive the most up to date information. For users not interested in contributing to development or those that are less technically inclined, join the
FreeBSD-Stable.

FreeBSD’s vs Linux: Features

The focus of FreeBSD’s is in its features, stability, and speed to create an operating system that is easy to administer and utilizes every resource available. With roots that developed out of the BSD software releases from Berkley, it comes with over two decades of system development. Below are just some of the features that make FreeBSD a great choice for busy websites:

  • Advanced Networking
  • Security
  • Storage
  • Compatibility

There is no cost for FreeBSD, and it’s easy to install FreeBSD from different media like DVD, CD-ROM, NFS or FTP, which is something that most users will enjoy.

The latest version of FreeBSD 10.X now uses “pkg” which is a New Binary Packaging System. A legacy-free and BSD licensed hypervisor that can run all supported versions of FreeBSD and even Linux and Open BSD with aid from the grub-bhyve port. Additional features include Jails, DTrace, Firewalls, Network Virtualization, The Ports Collection, and Linux emulation.

The FreeBSD operating system develops very quickly. It’s easy to install, offers server and Advanced Embedded Platforms which make it ideal for commercial projects. There are several variations including FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.

FreeBSD’s vs Linux-Side-by-Side

While Free BSD’s are not exactly like Linux systems, there are some things that the two have in common. FreeBSD is a complex operating system that is used to drive modern desktops, servers, and embedded platforms. Development has been going on for over thirty years. Both FreeBSD’s and Linux are Unix-based operating systems even though FreeBSD is rooted in the Unix of days gone by and Linux was written from scratch as an alternative to Unix.

Also, both operating systems are open-source which means development is done openly and users are free to modify the source as needed for their needs. Many of the applications and tools that are available can be shared for FreeBSD and Linux are both POSIX-compliant and use fairly standardized system designs and patterns when it comes to things like the filesystem tree divisions, shells, and API programming.

2017 FreeBSD’s vs Linux: What Reviewers Say

Linux-vs-Free BSDs

Reviewers consistently rave about the stability and longevity of the FreeBSD operating system. FreeBSD also offers significant features such as ZFS and DTrace that Linux still doesn’t offer or support. Reviewers like that FreeBSD offers choices that include pre-packaged options or do it yourself.

There are several events scheduled in 2017 for BSD for users and developers of the BSD systems. The Tokyo University of Science in Japan is hosting the AsiaBSDCon 2017 March 9-12th, 2017. If Japan is further than you can travel, plan to attend the BSDCan2017 from June 7-10th, 2017, hosted by the University of Ottawa, Canada. For additional events, throughout 2017, subscribe to the FreeBSD events calendar.

Free BSD’s vs Linux for Writers

If you’re a writer, who needs to avoid the many distractions that are available on other systems, installing a minimalist version of FreeBSD may be just the ticket. For help with the installation, refer to the FreeBSD Handbook. Writers can also add familiar tools such as OpenOffice, Abiword or LaTeX based Winefish for documents as well as ispell, FireFox browser, and Nano which is a more advanced copy of Pico for writing.

There are literally hundreds of applications for editors, fonts, themes, and languages available through the FreeBSD Ports Archive website. With all the choices available, it won’t be difficult to create just the right writing environment to help you finish and format that novel or screenplay.

Summary Linux vs FreeBSD’s

What it comes down to is that whether to use FreeBSD’s vs Linux is a matter of personal preference, skill level, and project need. Long time Linux users have switched to FreeBSD with no regrets, others have barely gotten past the setup process.

The consensus seems to be that although the setup of a FreeBSD operating system may be a longer and more involved process, it’s well worth the time invested to switch. If you’re looking for a quicker switch that is more automated and less involved, you may want to explore Linux distros such as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, or Elementary OS.

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