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Comparing GNU/Linux and FreeBSD

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GNU/Linux is the most popular operating system built with free/open source software. However, it is not the only one: FreeBSD is also becoming popular for its stability, robustness and security. In this article, I’ll take a look at their similarities and differences.


FreeBSD is an operating system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), which itself is a modification of AT&T’s UNIX, and was created by the University of California. During the development of FreeBSD, to avoid any legal problems with the owners of the source code, the developers decided to re-engineer the original BSD, rather than copy the source code.

In contrast with GNU/Linux, where all the pieces are developed separately and brought together in distributions, FreeBSD has been developed as a complete operating system: the kernel, device drivers, sysadmin’s tools and all the other pieces of software are held in the same revision control system.

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