BSD vs Linux = Mac vs PC?



  • I'm not exactly the most experienced IT man on this site, and as I've said I'm trying to learn Linux more and more each day (@Joyfano who is an awesome study buddy). Switching from a GUI only existence to a CLI integrated existence is not exactly an easy switch. But when you start to learn new tricks that take you seconds opposed to minutes or hours done via command line... its obvious which is more efficient.

    Now here is where I'm coming up short, BSD. I know its a UNIX like operating system... but what exactly is it? What makes it better or worse than say, a Linux distribution? From my understanding its more closed than Linux? Or is there something I'm not getting here? Why would I want BSD instead of Linux?



  • haha Sorry RAM the only thing i can do is reading your post and will apply whatever their answers to your questions, I am sure they will arrive soon to reply your post.



  • BSD is actually more open than Linux. It lacks the viral license forcing down streamers to remain open (Apple being an example.)

    Key differences are that Linux is a reference to a kernel and to all operating systems built on that kernel.

    BSD is a reference to a license and a family of long ago related operating systems that share everything except a kernel. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and Dragonfly are actually four distinct OSes, not derivatives of the same kernel like Linux distro. That's why the term distro does not apply to BSD.



  • When people say BSD they normally mean FreeBSD which is maybe 95% of the BSD market or more.



  • Since the entire stack of any BSD and Linux are completely different they work very differently even though they look the same. Different code, different design decisions. Different strengths and weaknesses.

    BSD is renown for its network stack. Linux for app performance.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Since the entire stack of any BSD and Linux are completely different they work very differently even though they look the same. Different code, different design decisions. Different strengths and weaknesses.

    BSD is renown for its network stack. Linux for app performance.

    How well do the integrate with one another? I know cross platform integration is a pain no matter how you attack it.

    I guess this all returns to blind ignorance on my behalf, not knowing if BSD is a good product or not only because I'm afraid to touch it.



  • FreeBSD is an amazing product. Very powerful, very secure and a huge userbase both hobbiest and enterprise. NetApp is BSD. FreeNAS, Netgear ReadyDATA and others are BSD. Mac and iOS are BSD.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    FreeBSD is an amazing product. Very powerful, very secure and a huge userbase both hobbiest and enterprise. NetApp is BSD. FreeNAS, Netgear ReadyDATA and others are BSD. Mac and iOS are BSD.

    Very interesting... I'm not a MAC person so I won't start that fight (its a stupid fight), but I have to say from my experience they do work pretty well in a network situation, the MAC network sharing and screen sharing has always been a phenomenal bit of power that was far more accessible and far more powerful than any other OS I've ever used. That's a shockingly amazing new bit of information. Thanks Alan ;-). (sorry gotta drop it in every once in a while).

    So as for network situation, BSD is fantastically powerful depending on the intended goal. I don't know now if I'm interested in a BSD based NAS, or a Samba based NAS for my home... this adds a new check box...



  • As far as integration, that’s a complex subject. Everyone uses the term differently. Windows and Linux integrate just fine. But then people actually mean that they want Windows management tools to manage Linux, most of the time (not an obvious point from just saying “integration.”) But, unlike Windows and UNIX which have their own ecosystems, all UNIX integrate pretty closely together since they generally share an ecosystem.

    So, for example, NFS is the default network filesystem for all of the UNIX world. So *BSD, any Linux distro, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Mac OSX, etc. can all talk via the same native file sharing mechanism. That is a big deal. They don’t need to “integrate” since they already talk the same language. Same for user management… they all share, at least as de facto standards, the same local user management facilities as well as the same access to NIS, NIS+, LDAP and other central user management facilities. It is equally native to all, so no need to even deal with integration since they are all peers.

    Now apps cannot just be installed anywhere. Unlike the Windows world, the UNIX world has no one, single hardware architecture (Windows only has AMD64.) The UNIX world has scores of architectures that are supported. So application compatibility can be complex but the vast majority of software is available for most platforms (most software in the UNIX world is open source and so each OS community is free to port it to their own OS and to their preferred architectures.)

    The de facto apps and toolsets between Linux and the *BSD worlds are mostly shared. There are differences in default shells, commonly used monitoring apps, filesystems, etc. but most tools crossover and things far above the OS layer, like the Windowing Experience layer (KDE, Gnome, MATE, LXDE, etc.) are so much more important and unifying that if you installed OpenSuse Linux with KDE and PC-BSD with KDE you’d swear that they were the same thing.



  • Just happen to stumble on a good link about the history of NetBSD.

    http://bsdfreak.org/2012/06/23/the-evolution-of-netbsd/#more-119



  • Great BSD info page here: http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/explaining-bsd/comparing-bsd-and-linux.html

    Here is a breakdown of the four main BSDs:

    • FreeBSD aims for high performance and ease of use by end users, and is a favourite of web content providers. It runs on a number of platforms, including i386™ based systems (“PCs”), systems based on the AMD 64-bit processors, UltraSPARC® based systems, systems based on Compaq's Alpha processors and systems based around the NEC PC-98 specification. The FreeBSD project has significantly more users than the other projects.

    • NetBSD aims for maximum portability: “of course it runs NetBSD”. It runs on machines from palmtops to large servers, and has even been used on NASA space missions. It is a particularly good choice for running on old non-Intel® hardware.

    • OpenBSD aims for security and code purity: it uses a combination of the open source concept and rigorous code reviews to create a system which is demonstrably correct, making it the choice of security-conscious organizations such as banks, stock exchanges and US Government departments. Like NetBSD, it runs on a number of platforms.

    • DragonFlyBSD aims for high performance and scalability under everything from a single-node UP system to a massively clustered system. DragonFlyBSD has several long-range technical goals, but focus lies on providing a SMP-capable infrastructure that is easy to understand, maintain and develop for.



  • @scottalanmiller Thank you for the explanation. I will do my best to figure out this stuff. Seems my brain is need some reboot this weekend.



  • I wouldn't look into BSD until you are comfortable on Linux. It will just make things more confusing while you are still working on learning the UNIX basics.



  • Yeah i think..but it is good to learn sometimes..just to have an idea


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