A Few Cheers For OpenBSD

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With all of the hollering about Linux, Ubuntu or otherwise, there's another open-source operating system that just celebrated getting a new 4.2 release out the door. It's one that hasn't been quite as widely-celebrated as Linux but is still deeply important in its own way: OpenBSD.

The quick primer, for those not in the know: OpenBSD is one of several common flavors of BSD, another Unix-derived OS. Linux is of course the other big "Unix-like" OS out there right now, although you quickly find out Unix-derived and Unix-like aren't the same thing.

To wit: OpenBSD was written to be more of a descendant of the "classic" AT&T (NYSE: T) Unix (and Unix in general); Linux was built from the ground up with many Unix-like features. As one other wag put it, BSD is what you get when Unix guys port Unix to the PC; Linux is what you get when PC guys write Unix for the PC. And as knowledgeable Apple fans will be happy to tell you, Mac OS X is itself a derivative of BSD -- or, rather, derived from the NeXTSTEP / OPENSTEP project, in turn mined from BSD.

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