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Difference Between FreeBSD and Linux

Main Difference

There are plenty of similarities between Linux and BSD: They are both based on UNIX. For the most part, both systems are developed by noncommercial organizations. Still, there are significant differences as well.The BSD code is not “controlled” by any one user, which many people see as a big bonus. Whereas the Linux kernel is mostly controlled by Linus Torvalds. BSDs are much more similar to UNIX because they are, in fact, direct derivatives of traditional UNIX. Linux supports hardware much sooner than BSD does.

What is FreeBSD?

FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot use the Unix trademark, it is a direct descendant of BSD, which was historically also called “BSD Unix” or “Berkeley Unix”. The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993, and today FreeBSD is the most widely used open-source BSD distribution, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed systems running open-source BSD derivatives

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What is Linux?

Linux is a Unix-like and mostly POSIX-compliant computer operating system (OS) assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds.

Key Differences

  1. The Linux operating system is licensed under the GPL. This license is used to help prevent the inclusion of closed source software and to ensure the availability of the source code. The GPL attempts to prevent the distribution of binary-only source. The BSD License is much less restrictive and even allows for the distribution of binary-only source.
  2. The BSD code is not “controlled” by any one user, which many people see as a big bonus. Whereas the Linux kernel is mostly controlled by Linus Torvalds
  3. The BSD project maintains the entire operating system, whereas the Linux project focuses primarily on the kernel alone.
  4. BSDs are much more similar to UNIX because they are, in fact, direct derivatives of traditional UNIX. Linux, on the other hand, was a newly created OS loosely based on a UNIX derivative.
  5. Many will say that the Linux base system is the kernel. The problem is a kernel is pretty worthless without any usable applications. BSD, on the other hand, has a base system that encompasses numerous tools.
  6. Because of the way BSD is developed, you can upgrade your entire base system to the most recent release by issuing a single command. Or you can download the sources to whatever build you want, unpack them, and build them as you would any application. With Linux, you can also upgrade a system by using the built-in package management system.
  7. It’s unlikely that you’ll see a BSD running a bleeding edge version of anything. Linux, on the other hand, has plenty of distributions that offer bleeding edge packages
  8. In general Linux supports hardware much sooner than BSD does.
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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss