Chad Perrin perrin at
Sun Mar 30 12:25:42 PDT 2008

On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 01:25:40PM +0100, computer tech wrote:
> Hi there
> I run my own website and would like to link to FreeBSD.

People link to the FreeBSD website all the time, without getting specific
permission, and nobody minds.  In fact, in general, I think the fine
folks at the FreeBSD project probably like it when people link to them,
and encourage it.  Since the FreeBSD project is an open source project,
and not so much a "company" per se, you're probably not very likely to
get a direct, "official" response by posting your request to this mailing

> Normally I know most people just go ahead and link anyway, however I always
> believe in asking as I know some people / companies don't like linking to
> other websites so I would like to know if its ok to add FreeBSD to my links
> page when I get this part up?
> Secondly I am currently doing my systems page on my website and currently
> doing network based systems and the operating system would be FreeBSD and a
> few other distributions of linux, what I would like to know is would I be
> allowed to host the image files of amd64 and i386 if not would I be allowed
> to link to your download page so visitors can get these?

Technically, FreeBSD is a BSD Unix and Linux distributions are not -- so
FreeBSD is not a "distribution of Linux".  They have different OS
kernels, different typical core utilities, and different typical
development processes.  In fact, the term "Linux" in "Linux distribution"
refers to the Linux kernel -- and since FreeBSD doesn't use the Linux
kernel (it uses the FreeBSD kernel), it's wholly inaccurate to call it a
"distribution of Linux".

When you ask about hosting "image files", I assume you mean disk imates,
i.e. the ISO files for creating installation CDs.  That being the case,
FreeBSD itself is largely distributed under the terms of the BSD license,
with a couple of additional bits using other open source licenses (like
gcc, which is distributed under the terms of the GPL).  That means you
can legally distribute it all you like.  Additional software such as that
found in the ports collection, on the other hand, is sometimes
distributed under other licenses -- and you might want double-check
exactly what you'll be distributing.  As far as I'm aware, the basic
install CD should be free of such encumbrances, however.

On the other hand . . . you're probably better off just pointing a link
at the download pages on instead.  This ensures that people
will have the most timely, up-to-date access to disk images possible.

If you're really interested in providing download bandwidth, however, you
may want to look into providing an official up-to-date mirror of FreeBSD
downloads and the ports collection.  I haven't looked into that myself,
so whatever's involved in doing so is something you should investigate.
I imagine it must be a little less involved than it would be for Debian
GNU/Linux, however -- and I *have* looked into that in the past.

CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ ]
Ben Franklin: "As we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of others
we should be glad of an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of
ours, and this we should do freely and generously."
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