Operating system

Published on June 6th, 2017 | by Guest

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Thinking Which BSD Flavour You Should Choose?

Introduction

It’s a saying “BSD is what you get when a bunch of UNIX hackers sit down to try to port a UNIX system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a UNIX system for the PC”. Just like GNU / Linux, BSD’s are also UNIX-like operating systems (not Kernel’s). So, for who is this article? This one is for those who are already comfortable with Linux and came across BSD. Next question is, why BSD when Linux is working great for me? The answer to this is: then please stick to Linux. The final question, is BSD better than Linux? The answer is a little dicey but, yes for maximum of the cases and no for a very rare set of cases. BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) was official UNIX (from AT&T), the code was given to the students at University of California, Berkeley to do their research but, students wanted to make it available for all. This resulted in re-implementation of the official UNIX code creating the first open source BSD, known as FreeBSD in 1992. So, this means an original free UNIX? Not exactly because of UNIX license issues.

Desktop

The ones who like to use desktop based distribution in the Linux world can go for GhostBSD which will provide them with desktop environments like MATE and XFCE. TrueOS is another great desktop BSD based on its own new desktop environment, Lumina. Both GhostBSD and TrueOS are not as popular as the Linux Distros because of the late support provided to the latest hardware. The other way is to get FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD or DragonflyBSD as the base install and then install the desktop environment and other system apps. Desktop environments which are officially available in the ports are GNOME, MATE, LXDE, KDE, XFCE and Cinnamon (with display managers GDM and Slim).

Command Line Interface

FreeBSD is the most commonly known BSD, and for most of the BSD users it has been their first BSD. FreeBSD had implemented the first IPv4 and IPv6 protocol on any UNIX-like system which was officially being used by UNIX and UNIX-like systems in the future. It has a core team of development not focusing on marketing to get the most stable code base that creates a server which is very difficult to hack into and can also be used to create a rock solid desktop.

NetBSD is what its tag line says “Of course it runs NetBSD”. It has such a wide hardware support that even Linux lack such hardware support. NetBSD has the capability to even run on a toaster. It can be the perfect OS for the IoT devices.

OpenBSD a fork of FreeBSD and is famous for its implementation of OpenSSH used by all of the UNIX-like operating systems now-a-days.

DragonflyBSD is a fork of FreeBSD and its aim is to port the desktop to the BSD environment directly and is suitable for installing Desktop environments on the command line BSD to make a custom OS suiting users need.

What all software can I get?

You can find from Firefox to GIMP almost everything including LibreOffice of course. But all this software has to be downloaded separately.

What about WINE? (Just Like Linux)

Do not worry! WINE is currently available for FreeBSD that to with a choice to either run on x64 or on x86 architecture of the OS. Work for WoW (Windows x86 on Windows x64) is in progress and would soon be available.

Linux Compatibility Binaries

FreeBSD allows you to install and Linux Compatibility Binaries. This will give you an interface which can run .rpm packages. In most of the cases it has been seen that Linux programs run better on the FreeBSD than seen running on the Linux OS.

What if I’m stuck?

The FreeBSD handbook is available online. It is the most easy to read and understand documentation of the OS that would not have been available for LINUX, UNIX and Windows.

A word of advice: Free and Open Source Lovers – On the desktop: Stick to Linux and On the Sever: Shift to BSD as it is used by such a less number of people that nobody even cares to hack it.

 

About the author:

Amogh Madan – I am a huge software technology fan, from open source to proprietary software I love to check it all over the internet. I like testing new operating systems and software, and what I love the most is when people interact with me and I guide them with what’s the best alternative for them in this big world of technical race.

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