Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

BSD: The Other Free UNIX Family

Filed under

Over the years, BSD code has found its way into a large number of systems. Many commercial UNIX variants began as forks of BSD code, and a BSD TCP/IP stack was used in earlier versions of Windows. BSD was also very popular in academia. One project, the Mach Microkernel at CMU, used a modified version of BSD to run UNIX programs. The Mach project was used by a company called NeXT as the foundation for their operating system. When NeXT was bought by Apple, a lot of the old BSD code was replaced with code from the NetBSD and FreeBSD projects. Mac OS X can be thought of as a close cousin to the BSD family: Although it uses Mach as an abstraction layer, much of the kernel is BSD-derived.

It is worth noting that the BSDs are complete systems. Linux is just a kernel, and to be useful it is usually combined with the GNU userland. The BSDs include their own userland—although some parts, such as the compiler, are imported from the GNU project. A BSD system can be installed with no third-party applications—and work. It is more common, however, to add additional packages such as and a desktop environment (the same applications traditionally run atop Linux).

The FreeBSD project underwent some radical changes between versions 4 and 5. Much of the kernel was redesigned to better support multiprocessor systems. One developer, Matt Dillon, was unhappy with the direction it was going, so he set up Dragonfly BSD, a fork of FreeBSD 4. While FreeBSD 5 and later use a system of shared resources and locks, Dragonfly BSD uses message passing between concurrent threads—a process common on microkernel operating systems including Amiga OS (where Matt Dillon first made a name for himself).

Dragonfly BSD is designed as a cluster operating system, and should be able to be installed on a cluster of machines, presenting the appearance of a single large multiprocessor machine to end users.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

A tour of Google's 2016 open source releases

Open source software enables Google to build things quickly and efficiently without reinventing the wheel, allowing us to focus on solving new problems. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and we know it. This is why we support open source and make it easy for Googlers to release the projects they're working on internally as open source. We've released more than 20-million lines of open source code to date, including projects such as Android, Angular, Chromium, Kubernetes, and TensorFlow. Our releases also include many projects you may not be familiar with, such as Cartographer, Omnitone, and Yeoman. Read more

Viewing Linux Logs from the Command Line

At some point in your career as a Linux administrator, you are going to have to view log files. After all, they are there for one very important help you troubleshoot an issue. In fact, every seasoned administrator will immediately tell you that the first thing to be done, when a problem arises, is to view the logs. And there are plenty of logs to be found: logs for the system, logs for the kernel, for package managers, for Xorg, for the boot process, for Apache, for MySQL… For nearly anything you can think of, there is a log file. Read more

At Long Last, Linux Gets Dynamic Tracing

When the Linux kernel version 4.9 will be released next week, it will come with the last pieces needed to offer to some long-awaited dynamic thread-tracing capabilities. As the keepers of monitoring and debugging software start using these new kernel calls, some of which have been added to the Linux kernel over the last two years, they will be able to offer much more nuanced, and easier to deploy, system performance tools, noted Brendan Gregg, a Netflix performance systems engineer and author of DTrace Tools, in a presentation at the USENIX LISA 2016 conference, taking place this week in Boston. Read more