FreeBSD, or “Free Berkeley Source Distribution” was conceived in 1993 and intended as a continuation of 386BSD, a Unix-like
operating system. It ran on 32 bit PC compatible computer systems on the 80386 microprocessor.
From humble beginnings, FreeBSD code has been widely disseminated across other Unix based operating systems and can be found
in diverse platforms such as Apple’s Mac OSX, OpenSolaris and Sony PlayStation’s OS.
Focus on stability and performance
Includes kernel and drivers
Built in security and network performance optimizations
Handles high volume traffic effectively
Wide open licensing
As a complete stack, FreeBSD maintains rock-solid security by providing an architecture which offers control on individual users, processes, networking and jails for each service.
Implementing a number of innovative storage features, FreeBSD offers the ZFS and UFS file systems which allow for fast and efficient filesystem snapshots, disk encryption, journaling and caching.
FreeBSD has a reputation for providing complete, up to date and well referenced documentation.
FreeBSD is renowned for best-in-class network performance. WhatsApp is reported to have achieved 2 million tcp connections on a single server.
The code base of FreeBSD is tightly controlled and has more conservative change policies in place. As a server OS, FreeBSD requires less updates & maintenance than with Linux, often making it the OS of choice for applications where downtime is not acceptable.
FreeBSD has a steep learning curve and is considered much less user-friendly than Linux. As a desktop operating system, FreeBSD is for time-rich technical enthusiasts only.
As a niche operating system, FreeBSD has a much smaller community compared to Linux and less technical users may have a difficult time getting help and support
Due to the conservative philosophy of FreeBSD and the smaller developer community, security or bug-fixing patches can be delayed
Vendor support is much lower for FreeBSD for hardware drivers and there are far fewer applications packaged ready for use with FreeBSD compared to Linux
It can be difficult and expensive to hire qualified FreeBSD administrators and developers due to its lower market penetration.
FreeBSD is a free and open-source operating system with no costs association with installation or updates.
FreeBSD is free software and aims to use the FreeBSD license where possible, however certain nonfree hardware abstraction layer modules are included for specific drivers in their source tree.
As FreeBSD grew out of a controlled engineering background, and it is focused on enterprise usage - development is well structured and conservative when introducing new features.
The FreeBSD Foundation supports the community through grants, project funding, education & advocacy and through sponsoring events & developer summits.
We offer the latest stable version of FreeBSD. You also have the opportunity to install a specific version of FreeBSD using our IPMI interface.
There are at least two branches of FreeBSD under development at any given stage, the ~CURRENT branch represents the bleeding-edge and includes developmental features. A ~STABLE branch is created for each major version from which ~RELEASE is made every 4 to 6 months.
The latest stable version of FreeBSD is 11.1 released in July 2017, 11.2 is expected to be released in June 2018.
While FreeBSD can be run on a desktop computer, it is most commonly used as a server OS.
FreeBSD is not well suited for novice users. It is a better choice for experienced system administrators.
FreeBSD is not designed for gaming and would not be a good unix choice if the primary purpose of the OS installation is for games.
There are a number of operating system distributions based on FreeBSD including OpenServer, TrueOS, FreeNAS and DesktopBSD. Darwin, the core of MacOSX, includes a virtual file system and network stack derived from FreeBSD.
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