blog posts

What is The FreeBSD Operating System?

If you are not familiar with FreeBSD, in this article we are going to shine a light in the darkroom of what this term is so that you can get to know FreeBSD completely. FreeBSD is an operating system derived from Unix, which most of us consider a Linux operating system, in the following we will explain it clearly and provide some features and advantages of FreeBSD and its differences and similarities. We will check with Linux.

The FreeBSD operating system is one of the popular Unix-based distributions, which has become an ideal choice for servers, desktops, and embedded systems due to its excellent features such as stability and high speed. It is certainly the high performance and power that has made FreeBSD one of the leading operating systems for virtual servers.

Table of Contents

  • What is the FreeBSD operating system?
  • History of the FreeBSD operating system
  • Features of Free BSD
  • Familiarity with FreeBSD versions
  • Advantages of FreeBSD
  • Disadvantages of FreeBSD
  • What are the similarities and differences between FreeBSD and Linux operating systems?
  • Conclusion



What is the FreeBSD operating system?

is a popular, multipurpose server platform and a free, open-source, Unix-like operating system developed for desktop computers, laptops, servers, and embedded systems based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) and running on a variety of platforms. It focuses more on performance, networking, storage, speed, and stability.

tailored to your needs; FreeBSD can be used as a powerful desktop or a development machine; It also supports network services such as web, email, files, and other applications. One of the most well-known features of FreeBSD is its reliability as an Internet server, It is interesting to know that two famous companies, Netflix and Sony, rely on FreeBSD to provide reliable services for their PlayStation consoles.

This operating system was developed by the FreeBSD project and it is the only operating system of this company that is freely developed like Ubuntu, which means that anyone can access its source code and freely add features to it. put in public; As a result, developers will be able to make amazing changes based on the base code in the versions created on this platform, which results in the creation of commercial products and different versions of the FreeBSD operating system.

As an advanced operating system like Lightning, Free BSD has extremely fast performance and with its unique features such as stability, high security and flexibility, Free BSD has attracted fans by integrating system management and complete documentation to Each computer allowing it to realize the full potential of the face.

Today, FreeBSD is the most up-to-date operating system of the BSD family, which is introduced using the available educational materials; Many people benefit from it to do their project work. This family includes other operating systems, of which we will refer to 3 examples:

  • NetBSD operating system: It is a branch of FreeBSD that can be installed on any type of hardware; With pkgsrc, this operating system has made it possible to install any type of application on any operating system, even Solaris.
  • OpenBSD operating system: In this type of operating system, the goal of its developers is to maintain and increase its security. Essen operating system has many useful features, one of the most interesting of which is the presence of OpenSSH (the same SSH server) which is used for remote access.
  • dragonflybsd operating system: It is almost a new member of the FreeBSD family, which implements a powerful kernel for large servers and uses the hammer file system; Presented and created.


History of the FreeBSD operating system

in 1974; AT&T licensed the Unix source to the University of California, Berkeley. With the help of DARPA, the Computer Systems Research Group began updating and improving AT&T’s research Unix, which was called a modified version of “Berkeley Unix” or “Berkeley Software Distribution” (BSD), and in 1976 the project was created by Bill Joy. ; BSD included technologies such as TCP/IP, virtual memory, and the Berkeley Fast File System.

Networking Release 1, or Net-1 for short, was the first public release of BSD, released in June 1989; After the first version was released in 1991, Net-2 was launched, without which the AT&T files would remain incomplete.On June 19, 1993, the name FreeBSD was assigned to the project, and in November 1993, the first version of FreeBSD was released.

Features of Free BSD

The popular operating system Free BSD has unique features; We will talk about some of its most important features.

In the Free BSD operating system, multi-user access is possible; This means that several users can simultaneously perform their tasks and use accessories in a shared manner; They will be without disturbing each other’s work.

Another outstanding feature of the Free BSD platform is that it allows new file types, network protocols, or binary emulators to be loaded into the system without the need to create a new kernel.

FreeBSD can also communicate with other systems thanks to full TCP/IP connectivity; It can not only act as a main server but also perform important functions such as FTP, firewall, email service and network file system.

In the FreeBSD protocol stack, TCP/IP is based on the implementation in 4.2BSD; FreeBSD also supports the wireless network and IPv6 protocol, and also allows the use of the CARP protocol from version 5 on this side, providing space for several devices to use a common IP address; In this way, with the disruption of one device, other systems can continue to provide services, which is a commendable feature.

FreeBSD operating system with a memory protection mechanism; to control possible problems and eliminate disruptions while performing the tasks of users who collaborate simultaneously; and ensures that a process is not affected by the operations of other users.

It is necessary to mention that installing and running Ports Collection, which is a collection of 23,000 third-party programs; In the Free BSD operating system, it is possible that answers your need to access a large number of third-party programs.

FreeBSD runs many advanced and diverse applications, and thanks to its powerful network services; has a role in maximizing memory; This operating system is the best operating system to perform thousands of processes simultaneously and maintain response time and service delivery. Also, the FreeBSD kernel supports various important tasks such as process management, communications, booting, and file systems, and has an integrated kernel and modular design, where modules are used to design different parts of the kernel, including drivers.

It is worth noting that FreeBSD also supports the IPFW firewall and IPFW is available in its kernel as a module; The IPFW firewall also includes a dummynet function that allows network administrators to simulate adverse network conditions such as latency, packet loss, and bandwidth limitations.

If we want to mention other features of this operating system; It can be said that Free BSD has the ability to run DTrace, which is a performance analysis and troubleshooting tool, and it is always being developed and updated.



Familiarity with FreeBSD versions

So far, 13 versions of FreeBSD have been released, which we will discuss below:

The story of the distribution of FreeBSD versions with the release of the first official version of FreeBSD as 1. FreeBSD 1 was launched in November 1993, with the release of the Ports Collection, which includes a set of port-related features; Launched. Among the features of the first version of FreeBSD; We can mention the addition of ported programs such as XFree86, XView, InterViews, elm, nntp and the resolution of problems related to 386BSD import.

On November 22, 1994, version 2. FreeBSD 2 was released, the first version to be widely used in the early days of Internet server development. This version had significant changes compared to the first FreeBSD distribution, including:

  • Having phkmalloc instead of BSD malloc
  • Existence of kernel modules from NetBSD
  • ELF functionality for Linux emulation
  • Support MS-DOS, unionfs, kernfs system files

After these changes and extensive use of this version; FreeBSD from distribution 3. FreeBSD 3 appeared on October 16, 1998; FreeBSD 3.0 was the first sub-branch to enable symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems through the use of Giant locks, specifying the move from a.out to ELF executables, and FreeBSD 3.1 was the first release to include USB capability. provided, while the 3.2-RELEASE was the first release to support Gigabit network adapters.

in March 2000; 4.0-RELEASE was released; FreeBSD 4 was the preferred operating system for ISPs and the web, praised for its reliability and unmatched performance, and widely regarded by hosting providers as the most reliable operating system in the Unix family.

FreeBSD 5.5 with its distribution on January 14, 2003, was a seal of approval on the reliability and excellent performance of this operating system in future FreeBSD 5.x distributions; In this distribution, encryption was considered by default and Bluetooth was supported.

With the release of FreeBSD 6 on November 1, 2005, changes were made to optimization, threading, and SMP, increased network performance, support for hardware performance countering (HWPMC); After 3 years of FreeBSD6 distribution, FreeBSD 7 distribution on February 27, 2008 with features such as; Support for ARM, jemalloc, SCTP, UFS journaling, a test port of Sun’s ZFS file system, GCC4, and updates and optimizations of core network and SMP performance, etc. were released.

With the release of FreeBSD8 in 2009; A new virtualization container called “vimage” was added to the FreeBSD platform and started supporting USB 3.0; In addition, the FreeBSD netisr framework was rewritten to provide threading capabilities, and the FreeBSD TTY was updated with its new instance to support SMP and provide flawless resource management.


Advantages of FreeBSD

You might want to know that the FreeBSD operating system that underlies much of the infrastructure of many well-known systems from Netflix to Mac Os; What are the advantages? Next, we will say what are the pleasant advantages of this platform.

Easy installation

By providing detailed and comprehensive documentation and training packages for installing its own operating system and even other operating systems such as Linux and Unix, FreeBSD makes the installation easy for all people, whether beginners or professionals and leaves no room for confusion and worry. . The existence of educational resources available for installing the desired operating system is considered an important advantage for many users; FreeBSD has a simple installation process that can be installed either via DVD, CD or directly via NFS or FTP.


FreeBSD developers always try to keep their operating system safe from vulnerabilities; To make this operating system as safe as possible with the solutions and features they provide.

FreeBSD has tried to maintain the security of its environment by providing 3 firewalls under the title of PF, IP firewall, and IP filter, and from version 5 onwards FreeBSD added support for the access control list to the advanced security features of this platform; In addition to the access control list, capabilities such as OpenBSM, mandatory access control were also developed.


Fortunately, Unix and BSD have been able to gain a good industrial reputation due to their very good security and stability, although it cannot be said that they are 100% flawless, but they have gained credibility in the last 20 years in this field.


It is natural that with the features that we have mentioned about this attractive operating system, it will subconsciously create an impression in the audience’s mind that with all these features, this operating system is not paid and is available to users for free. We must say that yes it is possible; This free operating system is at your service and you can easily install it from by accessing its code and enjoying its features.

Ability to save simultaneously on two separate computers

One of the advantages and capabilities of FreeBSD is the storage of information with maximum access, which with the help of this feature can simultaneously store information on two hard disks in different and separate computers; This feature in FreeBSD supports NTFS, FAT32, SMBFS, ext2 and network file system to store information in its operating system. The most basic framework for storage on this platform is the ZFS file system, which is supported from FreeBSD version 7 onwards; This file system has features such as compression, rationing, prevention of storing duplicate information on the disk.


In addition to the high security of the FreeBSD platform; Stability is another advantage of it; FreeBSD servers have been running for years without any problems, and this advantage alone can be reason enough to prefer this operating system to other operating systems.

Disadvantages of FreeBSD

Every flower has a thorn; FreeBSD also has disadvantages in addition to its capabilities, although its advantages outweigh its disadvantages. In addition to being less compatible with hardware and not supporting plug-and-play, it also has other disadvantages, including:

  1. Less support and support from the development community: one of the most obvious problems of this operating system; The low and weak support of its developers is a major concern for beginners when facing problems.
  2. Complexity in working with the operating system: the complexity of the new operating system, even with its attractive user interface, is still considered a problem for users, and coping with it will not be an easy task; Especially since the supporters and developers of this operating system do not perform very well in support.


What are the similarities and differences between FreeBSD and Linux operating systems?

Although FreeBSD has many similarities with Linux distributions, there are major differences between them in many important aspects. Both FreeBSD and Linux operating systems have a Unix-like nature and are open source and free, and users can view the source and change it as they wish, and also develop the operating system in the arm space without restrictions; In fact, FreeBSD evolved from the Unix operating system over the years after numerous updates and changes; While, Linux was originally developed as a different alternative to Unix; The common Unix-like behavior is mainly due to the compatibility of both families with POSIX. In both operating systems, the design of the systems is relatively standard, and similar patterns are used; Also, the file system hierarchy is similarly divided, shell environments being the primary method of interaction for both systems

But both have similar shell environments that act as the main method of interaction; Apart from these, these two operating systems have similar API programming features, and due to various similarities, both Linux and FreeBSD can share many programs and tools with each other; In general, compared to FreeBSD, Linux is more popular in the market.

Some differences between Linux and FreeBSD are as follows:

Difference in license

One of the major differences between Linux and FreeBSD is their licensing; All Linux distributions, Linux kernel, Linux programs, and GNU-based programs are under GNU General License or GNU GPL, also known as GNU GPL Copy Left; On the other hand, FreeBSD has its own license called BSD license, in fact the FreeBSD kernel and all tools will be under this license.

In terms of permissiveness, the BSD license is almost the same as the GNU GPL, and anyone can easily access, share, or modify its source code without contributing to modifications or publishing updated source code. ; Also, the GNU GPL license provides users with an open and free ecosystem along with sharing; In this case, proprietary software should be careful to rely on GNU-based software.

However, BSD-licensed software can be easily and freely incorporated into proprietary programs and their source; This makes BSD software more attractive to most businesses and developers hoping to commercialize their software because they can sell the software directly while keeping its source.

Differences of ancestry

Another difference between Linux and FreeBSD is in the history and lineage of operating systems; Linus Torvalds developed a Linux kernel to replace MINIX, which was very limited for educational purposes at the University of Helsinki; He then combined the extended Linux kernel with several GNU components to create a complete Unix-like operating system; We come to the conclusion that Linux was completely developed from scratch without using the features and features of the existing Unix operating system;

But FreeBSD has close relations with the Unix operating system; As we explained at the beginning; BSD was developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and is an extended version of the Unix operating system that expanded the feature set of AT&T’s Unix operating system and had acceptable license terms. Later, it was decided to replace AT&T’s original operating system with open-source alternatives as much as possible so that users would not need to obtain a license from AT&T to use BSD; Eventually, all of AT&T’s original Unix components were rewritten under the BSD license and ported to the i386 architecture as 386BSD, and finally FreeBSD was re-based on an incomplete version called BSD-Lite due to licensing issues.

During a long and multi-stage process, Free BSD was freed from licensing restrictions, but maintained its close connection to its past; The developers invested in making the Unix method authoritative in the way they worked to create the system because they expected FreeBSD to always operate under an explicit license from Unix.

Separation of the main operating system from additional software

A key difference in terms of system development and design effort between FreeBSD and Linux distributions is system scope; The FreeBSD team develops the kernel and the underlying operating system as a cohesive unit, while Linux technically refers only to the kernel, with other components tied to different resources; Although it is a minor difference, it actually affects how each system interacts and is managed. In Linux target distribution developers; Performance improvement is a set of components that originate from different sources; A distribution may maintain different repositories based on which teams are responsible for specific packages so that the core development team only has to worry about a subset of the available software.

In contrast, FreeBSD is responsible for maintaining a main operating system; The kernel and a suite of software, many of which were created by the FreeBSD developers themselves, are maintained as a single unit. The integrated design of the FreeBSD system makes it very difficult to replace a single component of the entire core assembly, but instead the FreeBSD team can carefully manage the operating system thanks to this feature and ensure precise integration and greater predictability. . Just like Linux distributions, FreeBSD offers a large collection of optional software that is managed separately, and the main system as a standalone unit and optional software can be updated separately.


FreeBSD has its best performance in the network and the ability to transfer information; This feature has made the world’s most famous sites such as Yahoo, Freesoftware, Qwest, Hotmail, etc. to use this operating system. Linux is also unique in terms of efficiency and processing speed, but according to researchers, in an experiment conducted in a traffic-heavy network environment, it performed about 30% weaker than FreeBSD, although the kernel makers claimed that this weakness was caused by using version 4. 2/ The Linux kernel, which has a virtual container like FreeBSD, can be solved. In any case, due to the open-source nature of both operating systems, they will always be progressing and developing, and they will not have fundamental differences due to each other’s role models.

being safe

In terms of security, FreeBSD has always been recognized as the most secure platform among users and experts; As we mentioned the capabilities of FreeBSD in the field of security in the middle of the article; This operating system has done its utmost to secure its space by using all the tools and modules provided in every aspect; FreeBSD includes all security levels inside the kernel, and in this operating system, the administrator is allowed to determine the access level of users even in the internal functions of the kernel, in addition to firewalls, intrusion detection tools, and packet filling in order to increase Security is considered.

Regarding Linux, it should be said that this operating system also has firewalls and IDS tools, but due to the open-source of this operating system, its development may sometimes fall into the hands of those who do not have the necessary knowledge in the field of security; Especially, many Linux developers expand it with the aim of improving its efficiency and performance; This makes us conclude that the FreeBSD operating system is more focused on the security of its platform.

File system

FreeBSD uses the Unix File System (UFS), which is more advanced compared to the system used by Linux and has better performance in asynchronous disk reading and writing (Asyschronous I/O) and by supporting File Flag, prevents writing Damaged tracks on the disk and the deletion of the file become clear. The file system used in Linux has good capabilities, but its lack of stability has caused the weak performance of this file system, and unfortunately, the possibility of data loss with the smallest failure in the file system. There is.

Development environment

The programming and development environment in the FreeBSD platform is complete for C++ language and compatible with Java, Perl and Python programming software; In Linux, these software can be run, but there is a problem when you compile a program with one Linux, it may encounter problems and not run in another Linux.


FreeBSD is supported by many sites and companies, and it is possible to use its free services through newsgroups and e-mails such as <!– e –><!– e –>. Linux is also supported by its developers such as Redhat, Mandrake, etc. and you can easily fix it while facing a problem.


FreeBSD, with many similarities to Linux, is a free, open source and secure Berkeley operating system and a suitable and complete server platform built on Unix operating systems; FreeBSD is one of the most popular and common BSD operating system distributions, recently due to its extraordinary security and unparalleled performance of its platform; It has attracted the attention of many users.

In this article, we introduced the FreeBSD operating system and its advantages and features; We hope you now have a better understanding of the FreeBSD operating system.