[sdnog] Freebsd is not Linux ?

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Thu Mar 26 05:35:47 SAST 2020

On 2020-03-25 23:08:51 (+0800), Samir Abdullatif wrote:
> Both are derived from Unix but they are different Linux is Technically 
> a Kernel while FreeBSD is a full Operating system. I believe we have 
> an freebsd ambassador on the list who might explain it better.

I can't explain it much better than Nishal did. ;-)

To expand on this a little bit, though.

FreeBSD and Linux are both operating systems that smell a lot like Unix. 
  FreeBSD is directly descended from Unix.  It is based on a set of 
patches from the University of Berkeley that made Unix more usable in 
the 1970s and 1980s and has been developed continuously by a healthy 
open source community since the early 1990s.  By contrast, Linux is a 
rewrite from scratch of the Unix kernel.  Many different projects 
distribute the Linux kernel together with a collection of libraries and 
tools -- also mostly rewrites of traditional Unix implementations -- and 
the resulting distributions behave more or less like Unix.

Some people like the way Linux distributions behave and the way they are 
developed.  I personally don't.

In addition to operating systems, FreeBSD and Linux are also open source 
projects with their own cultures and customs.  The FreeBSD Project is a 
fairly well-structured community of individuals with more or less 
aligned goals on how an operating system should behave.  The FreeBSD 
community strongly believes in the "principle of least astonishment" 
when making architectural decisions.  Linux, on the other hand, is 
developed by a great number of different communities all with distinct 
-- and often diametrically opposed -- views.  This leads to what I call 
a "culture of surprise".

When you install an open source operating system, you also install an 
open source culture.  With FreeBSD, you install a predictable culture: 
progress will be steady but upgrades will be uneventful and your 
deployment will be easy to understand and maintain.  With Linux, you 
install a culture of surprise: progress will be fast-paced and every six 
months or so, most of your deployment will change drastically.  Unless 
you have the manpower (and the willpower!) to keep up with the pace of 
development, upgrades will be full of surprises and fraught with peril.

But clearly, I am biased. :)

There is a lively and helpful community in Sudan that will be able to 
support you no matter which operating system and culture you choose.


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Alternative Enterprises

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