Difference between FreeBSD and Linux

Key Difference: FreeBSD is a Unix like operating system. It is based on BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) series of Unix variants. Linux is also an open source operating system which is modeled on UNIX. They are quiet same in performance. However, some differences occur in aspects like License, source availability, etc. FreeBSD is generally preferred as a web server whereas, Linux is preferred for the desktops.

FreeBSD is a free and open source operating system which has its roots in Unix variants form Berkeley Software Series.  It is widely popular for its modern and scale file systems. The development of this operating system started in 1993.

It has enhanced and grown during the twenty years of work. It focuses on performance and networking. Its Stack is based on the 4.2 BSD implementation of TCP/IP. It also provides various utilities for the management of ports and packages.

Linux is also an open source operating system which is modeled on UNIX. Linus Torvalds wrote the initial version of Linux and posted on the internet in 1991. Since then, Linux has been growing with the help of collaboration from a number of people over the internet. It is a free and open source operating system.

The main components of Linux systems are kernel, system library and system utility. Kernel is the core component of Linux and deals with all important activities related to the operating system. System Library is used to access kernel’s feature. System Utility has been designed for dealing with specialized and individual level tasks.

FreeBSD comes with a BSD license which even allows distribution of binary only source. On the other hand, Linux GPL license is bit strict than that of FreeBSD. Linus Torvalds remains the controller of Linux kernel, whereas FreeBSD code is not controlled by a single user. However, it is controlled by many people. On the basis of maturity, BSD systems boast of having a better reputation for reliability. BSD is capable of executing Linux binaries, whereas Linux cannot execute BSD binaries. Unlike Linux, FreeBSD has a central repository.

Comparison between FreeBSD and Linux:

 

FreeBSD

                Linux                   

Definition

FreeBSD is a Unix like operating system. It is based on BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) series of Unix variants.

Linux is also an open source operating system which is modeled on UNIX. They are quiet same in performance. However, some differences occur in aspects like License, etc.

Company Developer

The FreeBSD Project

Community

License

BSD

GPL

Initial Release

1993

1991

Kernel Type

Monolithic with dynamically loadable modules

Monolithic (Linux kernel)

Source Availability

Necessary sources accompany FreeBSD to recreate the base system

Mostly developed by open source licenses

Integrated Firewall

IPFW2, IPFilter, and PF firewalls.

Netfilter firewall, normally managed with the iptables front end

Nomenclature

Uses a different name for each device

Predefined names for each device type

Version Representation

Kernel has two numbers, first for the major version and second for the minor new releases

The first number represents the major version number—at the moment this is ‘2’; the second number indicates if it is a stable (even number) or development version (odd number); last number is patch number

Image Courtesy: freebsd.org, scienceblogs.com

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