Re: FreeBSD vs. Linux

From: Greg Lehey <grog(at)>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:56:30 +0930

On Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 10:56:08AM +0100, Thomas Eichmann wrote:

X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0.1 (32) [G]

Das wird wohl der Grund sein, warum Deine Mail so verstuemmelt ankommt.

> Ich moechte hier keinen Krieg anfangen. Ich bin (bis jetzt noch) Linux
> Anwender,
> hatte aber schon etliche Probleme mit Linux. Deshalb moechte ich einmal
> wissen,
> ob FreeBSD wirklich besser sein soll. Bitte schreibt nur an meine email
> Adresse,
> da sonst einige in dieser Liste vielleicht nichts zu diesem Thema hoeren bzw.
> lesen wollen.

Ich habe folgendes für die zweite Ausgabe von "The Complete FreeBSD"
geschrieben. Ich freue mich auf Eure Meinungen dazu.


Linux is a clone of UNIX written by Linus Torvalds, a student in Helsinki,
Finland. At the time, the BSD sources were not freely available, and so Linus
wrote his own version of UNIX.

Linux is a superb example of how a few dedicated, clever people can produce an
operating system that is better than well-known commercial systems developed by
a large number of trained software engineers. It is better even than a number
of commercial UNIX systems.

Obviously, I don't think Linux is as good as FreeBSD, or I wouldn't be writing
this book, but the differences between FreeBSD and Linux are more a matter of
philosophy rather than of concept. Here are a few contrasts:

               Table 1-1. Differences between FreeBSD and Linux

FreeBSD is a direct descendent of the Linux is a clone and never contained any
original UNIX, though it contains no AT&T code
residual AT&T code.

FreeBSD is a complete operating system, Linux is a kernel, personally maintained
maintained by a central group of soft- by a Linus Torvalds. The non-kernel
ware developers. There is only one programs supplied with Linux are part of
distribution of FreeBSD. a distribution, of which there are sev-

FreeBSD aims to be a stable production Linux is still a ``bleeding edge'' de-
environment. velopment environment, though many dis-
                                           tributions aim to make it more suitable
                                           for production use.

As a result of the centralized develop- The ease of installation of Linux de-
ment style, FreeBSD is straightforward pends on the ``distribution''. If you
and easy to install. switch from one distribution of Linux to
                                           another, you'll have to learn a new set
                                           of installation tools.

FreeBSD is still relatively unknown, Linux did not have any lawsuits to
since its distribution was restricted contend with, so for a long time it was
for a long time due to the AT&T law- the only free UNIX-type system avail-
suits. able.

As a result of the lack of knowledge of A growing amount of commercial software
FreeBSD, not much commercial software is is becoming available for Linux.
available for it.

As a result of the smaller user base, Just about any new board will soon have
FreeBSD is less likely to have drivers a driver for Linux.
for brand-new boards than Linux.

Because of the lack of commercial appli- Linux appears not to need to be able to
cations and drivers, FreeBSD will run run FreeBSD programs or drivers.
most Linux programs, whether commercial
or not. It's also relatively simple to
port Linux drivers to FreeBSD.

FreeBSD has a large number of afficiona- Linux has a large number of afficionados
dos who are prepared to flame anybody who are prepared to flame anybody who
who dares suggest that it's not better dares suggest that it's not better than
than Linux. FreeBSD.

In summary, Linux is also a very good operating system. For many, it's better
than FreeBSD. It's a pity that so many people on both sides are prepared to
flame each other. There are signs that both sides are learning to appreciate
each other, and a number of people are now running both systems.
Received on Thu 23 Oct 1997 - 02:28:41 CEST

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