Updated June 8, 2023
Overview Of FreeBSD
Today we are going to discuss the term FreeBSD. So what is FreeBSD? Let us understand it from a very basic. If we try to go in-depth and try to split the term “FreeBSD,” it is divided into two terms: FREE and the other is BSD. Let us understand each term first and then try correlating it with the word “FreeBSD.”
The FREE term here means Free and Open Source, something free to use and open to modification. Also, the latter term is an acronym for Berkeley Software Distribution. Hence, merging means FreeBSD is open-source software that is free to use. It is inherited from Berkeley Software Distribution, based on Research Unix. It is very similar to a Unix-like operating system.
FreeBSD was initially released back in 1993. However, in 2005 it was FreeBSD, one of the most popular and famous open-source operating systems in the BSD category. FreeBSD was capturing more than 75% of BSD systems installed.
It has very close similarities with Linux. However, FreeBSD has two significant differences in terms of licensing and scope.
Let us look at how FreeBSD differs from a typical Linux operating system. Let us first understand it in terms of scope. It typically maintains a complete system. Here an entire system means the project delivers a kernel, device drivers, and documentation, whereas Linux only has drivers and a kernel. Linux generally relies on third parties for mandatory system software.
If we discuss licensing, FreeBSD is monitored under a permissive BSD license, whereas Linux is monitored under Copyleft GPL.
If you go in deep, it is worth knowing that all FreeBSD projects include a security purpose that monitors all software under base distribution. Also, it is worth knowing that many additional third-party applications could be installed by compiling source code, using FreeBSD Ports, or using a package management system.
Now, moving to our next topic, which is FreeBSD, any utility or software developed or distributed has its major use. Let’s dive deep into this and look few of its major uses.
What is the use of FreeBSD?
FreeBSD’s first and most significant advantage is that it could be used as a general-purpose operating system. As of now, we know that it could be used as an operating system and hence could be used for various reasons. Let us look at each one by one.
1. As a Server – A FreeBSD generally contains significant software related to servers in the base system and the port collection. This significant software availability allows us to configure FreeBSD easily and use it as a web server, Firewall, FTP server, DNS server, mail server, or router.
2. As Embedded System – It could be used as an embedded system as it could be easily extended to support PowerPC, MIPS, and ARM
3. In Networking – TCP/IP stack of FreeBSD greatly contributes to the widespread of these protocols. It supports a wide range of networks like IPSec, SCTP, and IPv6, whereas wireless networking over others. Even FreeBSD supports legacy protocols such as IPX and AppleTalk. Also, as of now, it supports CARP, which stands for Common Address Redundancy Protocol. Common Address Redundancy Protocol was imported from OpenBSD. CARP helps us to allow multiple nodes to share a common set of IP addresses. The basic advantage is that if one node crashes, then others are there to serve the request.
Moving to our next advantage of FreeBSD is its important facility related to storage. It generally releases soft updates that could protect a UFS filesystem’s consistency. Here UFS stands for Unix File System. This maintenance of the UFS filesystem helps us in case the system crashes; filesystem snapshot allows the creation of a file instantly during other useful processes; these snapshots will enable us to take a reliable backup of a live filesystem. A modular framework named GEOM currently provides RAID of levels 0, 1, and 3, caching, concatenation, full disk encryption, and access to network-backed storage. GEOM also allows the building of complex storage solutions chaining with these mechanisms.
The next big advantage is Portability. Let us have a look at it.
4. Portability – Generally, the FreeBSD project divides complete architectures into different tiers. These tiers characterize the different levels of support provided. Tier 1 architecture is fully supported and most mature, whereas Tier 2 architectures have significant development. If we discuss Tier 3 architectures, they are experimental and do not go through development now; Tier 4 architectures have no support.
With this use of FreeBSD, let us know what we can do with it in our next section.
What can you do with FreeBSD?
Following is the list of things for which we generally use FreeBSD. Let us have a look at it.
- For NAT firewall along with Packet filtering
- For using it as Home media servers
- Web content filtering proxy
- As NAS – 4x1TB with ZFS
- As a home serves for storing files of different extensions
- For Dynamic DNS service
- As of Apache web servers
- As DNS
Advantages and Disadvantages
Now let us have a look over its advantages and disadvantages.
- FreeBSD is an extremely clean and predictable OS.
- It can act as an excellent alternative to traditional UNIX platforms
- Security is its primary concern as it is a monolithic kernel.
- It is stable
- Good Documentation
- Issue of hardware compatibility as of now
- Also, there is less developer support
- A bit complex to understand
- It needs a good amount of practice
Why should we use it?
Of course, there are several reasons why one should choose FreeBSD. Several points, as mentioned in its pros section, are self-explanatory to using FreeBSD. It is highly customizable, and you can customize it as required.
How will this technology help you in career growth?
Well, this is one of the upcoming technology which is more or less replacing traditional UNIX or LINUX-based operating systems. One can opt for it surely to learn more about it as its demand will automatically grow with the rising demand for an excellent secured operating system.
We can surely say that it has many advantages; one can try to learn it to have good exposure to the wonderful operating system.
This has been a guide to what is FreeBSD. Here we have discussed the understanding, Use, career, Advantages, and Disadvantages of FreeBSD. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –