How BSD/FreeBSD different from Linux?


Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is a prominent version of the Unix operating system that was developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) from the University of California at Berkeley. This operating system was originally made for the PDP-11 and DEC VAX computers.

BSD was initially called Berkeley Unix because it was based on the source code of the original Unix developed at Bell Labs. In the 1980s, BSD was widely adopted by workstation vendors in the form of proprietary Unix variants such as DEC Ultrix and Sun Microsystems SunOS due to its permissive licensing and familiarity to many technology company founders and engineers.

Several operating systems are based on BSD, including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and DragonFly BSD. Both NetBSD and FreeBSD were created in 1993. They were initially derived from 386BSD (also known as "Jolix") and merged the 4.4BSD-Lite source code in 1994. OpenBSD was forked from NetBSD in 1995, and DragonFly BSD was forked from FreeBSD in 2003.

BSD was also used as the basis for several proprietary versions of Unix, such as Sun's SunOS, Sequent DYNIX, NeXT's NeXTSTEP, DEC's Ultrix and OSF/1 AXP (now Tru64 UNIX). NeXTSTEP later became the foundation for Apple Inc.'s macOS.

And Linux is a family of open source operating systems like CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu etc. built around the Linux kernel. All these operating systems are also termed as “Linux distribution” for both desktop and server utilization. Defining component of Linux distribution is “Linux Kernel”. Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. It is the leading operating system on the servers. Linux also runs on embedded systems, video game consoles, smartwatches, smartphones, tablets etc.

Let's find out how BSD/FreeBSD different from Linux?

  • The biggest difference between Linux and BSD is that Linux is a kernel, whereas BSD is an operating system which has been derived from the Unix operating system.

  • The Linux kernel is used to create a Linux Distribution after stacking other components. Combine Linux kernel with GNU software and other components and you’ve got Linux operating system. In the case of BSD, the makers create the complete operating system.

  • FreeBSD originally started as a Unix distribution, whereas Linux built as an alternative to Unix.

  • Graphics drivers are numerous and better on Linux compare to BSD.

  • Vendor support is great for Linux distributions.

  • Linux is basically a kernel written in assembly and C language whereas FreeBSD is a complete operating system in itself having multiple components like package, binaries, user programs and so on.

  • Linux is comprised of various components from different source codes, whereas FreeBSD is released and maintained as a complete product.

  • Linux is available under GNU (General Public License), whereas FreeBSD is available under BSD license.

  • FreeBSD default shell is “tcsh” whereas Linux uses Bash as its default shell.

  • Linux kernel is mostly controlled by Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. On the other side, BSD is not controlled by any one user, it uses a core team to manage the product.

  • Linux project focus on the kernel alone. And FreeBSD project maintains the entire operating system.

  • FreeBSD has a base system that encompasses numerous tools. On the other hand, Linux does not really exist, as Linux is a bunch of smaller components.

  • Linux support for hardware is far and wide for example- Graphics support for Linux is way ahead as compared to FreeBSD.

  • Applications for Linux are delivered in form of pre-compiled binary packages, In contrast, in FreeBSD, ports are used to install applications on the operating system, there are more than 25,000 ports available in FreeBSD Ports collection.

  • Linux supports hardware much sooner than BSD does.

Comments (0)

  • To add your comment please or

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you personalised advertising. Please read our cookie policy and privacy policy.

Got It!