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Ten ways Linux and BSD differ

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I hear it all the time: people lumping together Linux and any of the BSDs. On occasion, I've even done it myself. Of course, there are plenty of similarities. Both are based on Unix and have mostly been developed by non-commercial organisations. They also share a common goal — to create the most useful, reliable operating system available. But there are also significant differences that shouldn't be ignored, and I thought it would be worth highlighting them here.

1. Licences

As we all know, the Linux operating system is licensed under the GPL. This licence is used to help prevent the inclusion of closed-source software and to ensure the availability of the source code. The GPL attempts to prevent the distribution of binary-only source.

The BSD licence is much less restrictive and even allows for the distribution of binary-only source. But the essential difference is that the GPL gives you the right to use the software however you want, provided you make the source code available to the next person who uses it or your variation of it. The BSD licence carries no such requirement.

2. Control

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