What is freeBSD?
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Joined: 04 Oct 2003
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Ibm recently ran a really informative article on the freeBSD operating system. Read the article. It answers most of the questions you might have had about just what it is that makes freeBSD so powerful and unique. This website runs on freeBSD by the way, and will hopefully continue to do so for a long time.

Below are some of the key points from the article.

:: Quote ::
The FreeBSD operating system is the unknown giant among free operating systems. Starting out from the 386BSD project, it is an extremely fast UNIX®-like operating system mostly for the Intel® chip and its clones. In many ways, FreeBSD has always been the operating system that GNU/Linux®-based operating systems should have been. It runs on out-of-date Intel machines and 64-bit AMD chips, and it serves terabytes of files a day on some of the largest file servers on earth....

FreeBSD is an operating system, not just a kernel. This statement does not mean quite as much as it used to, however, because the very notion of a kernel is fairly arbitrary. In a UNIX context, it means that users can't access certain libraries and executables after booting has finished. The kernel manages the hardware for applications, even though today many UNIX-type operating systems would give user-level threads a role in managing kernel resources...

If you were to compare the contents of a complete Linux kernel download and a FreeBSD download, there would be much that the downloads have in common. Both have IP stacks, memory-management routines, file system implementations, and so on. The file system hierarchy has demonstrably similar origins, and most command-line applications have identical names and similar command-line semantics....

FreeBSD works immediately after it has been installed. It works because a FreeBSD system installs a working system using the FreeBSD installer, also known as sysinstall, and it uses a package-management system that has clear UNIX origins. But FreeBSD goes much further than that: Package management has been thoroughly streamlined; binary and source packages are not subject to the whims of the package-management system de jour, an affliction common to Linux distributions. FreeBSD integrates package management and Internet-wide updates with the Ports system, allowing you to address source download and compilation in one procedure....

Other benefits can influence your choice to take FreeBSD more seriously. Although not in the same league as OpenBSD with regard to code-level security, FreeBSD comes with a formidable array of security mechanisms that work out of the box. Since FreeBSD V5.0, it is possible to add fine-grained access controls and security policies that have their origin in the DARPA-funded TrustedBSD project.

Anyway, it's a good read, check out the article. I've been coming across more and more good articles from www-128.ibm.com, looks like IBM is doing more than paying lip service to supporting free and open source software.
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