freebsd is really bsd?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Tue Dec 13 15:30:29 UTC 2011

On 13/12/2011 14:46, LinuxIsOne wrote:
> Is freebsd simply bsd name, means it is free so they appended the word
> 'free' is it like this?

Yes, it is really BSD: it is the direct lineal descendant of Unix code
released by the University of California, Berkeley.  The beginnings of
the FreeBSD project were based on the 386BSD code that ultimately came
out of BSD 4.3 and 4.4.  See here, for instance:

"Free" in the sense of "available to use in any way the user may see fit
and without onerous licensing terms or fees" -- that's implicit in the
BSD part of the name[*].  Still, no harm in repeating ourselves.

Besides, it was necessary to distinguish this project from NetBSD and
later OpenBSD (plus various other more recent BSD variants).



[*] Although you can still be BSD, even under commercial licensing terms
and closed source, but in that case, the name tends not to contain those
letters.  eg.  SunOS (before v5), NeXTSTEP, MacOS X.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at               Kent, CT11 9PW

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