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Why Switch to FreeBSD?

by CenTexAdmin

Are you facing issues while working with Linux or Windows operating systems? Or want an OS that is meant only for professionals and serious hobbyists? If yes, then it is high time to switch to some other operating system that can accomplish all these needs.

FreeBSD is an open-source Unix-like operating system designed to provide a full-featured environment for applications. Several reasons are available that give FreeBSD an edge over other operating systems. Many features contribute to the popularity of this operating system.

Introduction About FreeBSD

FreeBSD is an open-source operating system used to run modern desktops and embedded platforms. The first version of this OS was launched in 1993, and currently, the 12.2 version is available in the market.  This operating system has similarities with that of Linux OS, but a few advancements make it a favorable choice for buyers.

Due to this, many people want to switch to FreeBSD to achieve the best experience while working. Scope and licensing are the two biggest aspects that work in favor of FreeBSD. It further also maintains a complete system and provides several modern and security features that improve the performance of this OS and provides speed and stability.

From easy installation to powerful internet solutions, FreeBSD offers a plethora of features that make it convenient for individuals to utilize it in the long run. It is available free of cost, and buyers need not pay any amount to install it on their desktops. Linux users mostly prefer to shift from Linux to FreeBSD as Linux doesn’t provide unique features, and the users often experience some problems due to it.

Features of FreeBSD

·       Storage

FreeBSD provides multiple unique features related to storage. In the event of a system crash, the soft updates feature of the BSD protects the consistency of the UFS filesystem. For the 7.0 version and higher, the ZFS file system is supported by FreeBSD. However, the company is still working on it to make it more efficient using the OpenZFS project.

·       Portability

FreeBSD offers portability with various types of instruction set architectures. Moreover, the FreeBSD project is categorized into different tiers based on the level of support that is offered.

Tier 1– Fully supported and mature

Tier 2– Undergoing crucial developments

Tier 3– Under the experimental stage or no longer under development

Tier 4– Don’t support at all

·       Security

FreeBSD operating system is packed with many security-related benefits such as Access control lists, mandatory access controls, and many other finely structured capabilities. These security enhancements are developed by the TrustedBSD projects. They run to enforce the common criteria for Information technology security evaluation and orange book.

This project has received support from ample of big organizations like DARPA, NSA, McAfee Research, and many more. The FreeBSD encompasses three different kinds of firewall packages, which are IPWF, pdf, and IPFilter. Talking about them, IPWF is the native firewall of FreeBSD, pf sourced from OpenBSD, and lastly, IPFilter ported by Darren Reed into FreeBSD.

·       Hardware compatibility

The devices that are supported by FreeBSD have listed in12.1-RELEASE Hardware Notes. This notes or document allows one to gather information about what devices are supported by FreeBSD. If one is looking for a rough, automatically-generated list of devices supported on FreeBSD, then a third-party repository is the place where they are available.

In 2020, an all-new project was introduced in the series of FreeBSD projects. This new project aims to collect the information on tested hardware configurations automatically.

Advantages of Using FreeBSD

FreeBSD is an operating system that focuses on stability, security, and consistency with all of its features. This OS is good for several reasons, which are as follows:

  • FreeBSD is capable of running various applications with ease. It delivers more than 24,000 ported applications and libraries for desktops, servers, and embedded environments. It also works well with modern and advanced embedded platforms.
  • FreeBSD OS can be downloaded in several ways, such as CD-ROM, DVD, or on a network using FTP. You can also make use of the company’s guide for installing the software using anyway.
  • It provides you with a lot of advanced features. It develops a great Internet and Intranet server, which is possible because of the strong network services. It allows it to expand memory and work with increased loads. This helps to sustain good response time even when the user is working on numerous processes.
  • The license of FreeBSD allows the user to integrate the use of proprietary software. This facility is ideal for organizations that focus on generating revenues. Due to this reason, Netflix also makes use of FreeBSD Servers.
  • It allows the user to contribute to the FreeBSD code-base. You have to only locate this section for modifying it. You have to remain careful for doing this task. Persons who want to contribute are free to improve FreeBSD’s artwork and documentation, among other projects.

Why Choose FreeBSD over Linux?

Linux is a popular operating system preferred by users for a past long time. However, with advancements in technology and changes in customers’ requirements, operating systems also witnessed several modifications, and some new OS came to the market. FreeBSD is among those operating systems that attracted users towards it, and even they switched from their existing OS.

Now the question arises which factors or things led to this shift of users from Linux to FreeBSD. The answer lies in the numerous changes which are present in the latter OS. It has changed the user experience and provided convenience in its operations. Here are the detailed points that can explain this switch from one OS to another.

1.    BSD is Not Restricted to Kernel

This is the first thing that users point out while making the decision. The actual point is that Linux is limited only to the Kernel, which is not in the case of FreeBSD. The Linux OS or Linux Distro consists of the Kernel and some applications and packages chosen by the creator of the Distro.

Sometimes, it creates restrictions on installing new applications. There is a possibility that the system is not compatible with new applications and, hence leads to a system crash.

This similar thing is not present with FreeBSD. A typical BSD contains the Kernel and a complete collection of packages that can furnish the user with everything. It allows a person to do every necessary thing. Most of these packages are developed by the project. This leads to enhanced responsiveness as well as strong integration.

The FreeBSD project is regulated by a huge community of developers having existence all around the world. They can fall under any of these categories, namely the core team, committers, and contributors.

2.    Linux is Extremely Clattered

Many people experienced this aspect with Linux Distro. They faced the same problem that all the software or hardware didn’t work properly, and they were not able to make them work correctly. Due to this reason, these users preferred to switch to FreeBSD.

The interesting thing is that the BSD worked appropriately, and they didn’t encounter any such problem. Further, it is easy to choose between several BSDs available. This is because only six BSDs are actively developed by the creators, and therefore, it is easy to make a quick decision. However, all of them have different purposes, such as OpenBSD for security and FreeBSD for desktop or server.

On the other hand, changes in the newer version of Linux Distro is limited only to new icons or themes. The lesser number of BSDs leads to less duplication of efforts and more focus on them.

3.    Trustworthy Packages of FreeBSD

Linux users also have trust issues with the packages of Linux. The simple reason is that all the packages are not provided by Distro developers. They are made available from different sources, i.e., a part by Distro developers and another portion by third-parties. In third party apps, the issue of hidden malware remains in the picture.

FreeBSD has resolved this problem as all of its packages are developed and maintained by a centralized package system. Every package is part of a single repository combined with security systems at each step. This acts as a safeguard for this application and provides stability to FreeBSD for an extended period. It makes it more secure than Linux.

4.    Slower but Stable Advancements

Linux is known for its regular modifications and comes with a new version at least once a year. You will find this thing even with the slowest Linux distro. In the case of FreeBSD, this is not available as big changes take a longer time to come into the market. It simply means that FreeBSD pays attention more to quality rather than quantity. As a result, the user gets the right thing.

The world of Linux has experienced some quick and major changes that the user can easily identify. On the other side, the newer version of FreeBSD undergoes proper testing before it becomes permanent in the market. It increases the possibility of getting an appropriate version.

5.    License

There is also a difference between the licenses of both the operating systems. Linux is not truly free because it restricts the user on how to use the software. It is also too large to interpret and understand, which sometimes leads to legal problems.

On the other hand, the FreeBSD license doesn’t have so many provisions and has only three clauses. This allows everyone to purchase the software and make changes you wish to make. Further, it provides protection to the developer of the software.

6.    ZFS Support

It is one of the factors that lead to switching to FreeBSD. Even ZFS Support is the aspect that kept the user with FreeBSD for a longer period. This thing is not available with Linux. OpenZFS is accessible only with a few Linux distros. ZFS is built for FreeBSD Kernels, and it provides better performance on this platform.

7.    Some Additional Benefits

  • FreeBSD doesn’t have any software issues because it uses JAVA. It can run Windows using Wine and .NET programs using Mono.
  • It is more convenient to contribute to FreeBSD. The entire OS is secured, which is not in the case of Linux as it only preserves the kernel and a repo.
  • FreeBSD has merely a single documentation that provides virtual solutions to every problem. It doesn’t provide a lot of documentation and guides.
  • The package system of FreeBSD allows you to compile software with some specific configurations. This avoids conflicting dependency and issues with the version.

Endnotes

FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system that provides additional unique features as compared to other operating systems. However, the option of switching to FreeBSD depends largely on a few factors, including what you want to use it for, technical knowledge, ability to learn new stuff, and preferences. After knowing all these aspects, you can make a wise decision regarding shifting to FreeBSD OS.

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