BSD derivatives

Chad Perrin perrin at
Sun Jun 3 05:44:36 UTC 2007

On Sat, Jun 02, 2007 at 08:53:52PM -0500, Kevin Kinsey wrote:
> Blake Finley, MA, ABD-2 wrote:
> If you are familiar with Linux, search at Google with the string "BSD Linux
> Matthew Fuller rant".  It's a fairly well thought-through tirade on some of 
> the
> differences Linux users perceive when they look at (Free)BSD.  If you 
> _aren't_
> familiar with Linux, let's just say that FreeBSD is to Linux as Ferrari is
> to Pontiac (or, maybe vice-versa, depending on whom you read --- of course, 
> many
> people these days are pathological liars and can't be trusted, right?), and 
> then leave it dead somewhere near there.  Both are computer operating 
> systems with several similarities, enough that if you can "drive" one, you 
> can probably
> "get around" in the other.  They just aren't the *same*.

I'd say it's probably more like Linux is a two-rail snow sled with an
Exocet rocket motor bolted to it while FreeBSD is a racing snowmobile.

At least, that's how they feel in comparison with one another, to
someone who made the switch from Debian to FreeBSD starting in November
of last year (that's me).  I prefer the snowmobile, but some people just
like an out-of-control ride at 315m/s.  Go figure.

> You will need to be more specific.  *-BSD systems are under the "BSD 
> Copyright",
> which I'm sure you can find with a web search.  Some software on FreeBSD 
> (and
> by extension PCBSD and 'Desktop BSD') may also be under the FSF's "GPL".  
> The
> compiler comes to mind, for starters.  I believe that one of the goals of 
> many
> BSD developers is to ultimately be rid of GPL'ed software; but, then again, 
> one
> of many humans' goals it to ultimately build a Utopian society without many 
> of
> the societal ills we face.  It's not so likely to happen very soon at all.

That's something I've been wondering about.  Do you (or anyone else
here) happen to know if there's an ongoing project/effort to replace gcc
for the *BSDs?

> Actually, OpenBSD does have an excellent security track record.  They
> might also welcome a large monetary donation, should you be so endowed and
> inclined.
> OTOH, it's totally "Free", also, in rather the same way as FreeBSD. OpenBSD
> "forked" from NetBSD many years ago for some reason or another that I'm
> sure you can read up on with resources on the WWW (or, maybe the 
> aforementioned
> Mr. De Raadt will Set Me Straight(TM)).

Totally free except the format of the official installer, that is.  It
may seem like a minor matter, but for perfect accuracy it should
probably be mentioned at least in passing.

> Let me encourage you to read appropriate sections of, or even all of
> the FreeBSD handbook (  It is probably the best
> open-source operating system documentation in existence (and perhaps better
> than any proprietary OS docs, also).

Judging by my experience with proprietary OSes, they tend to be worse
than pretty much all of the major Linux distros, which puts FreeBSD even
further ahead of proprietary OS documentation.  YMMV.

CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ ]
Paul Graham: "Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
build programs out of the wrong concepts."

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