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Differences between Linux and BSD.

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CastilleV

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#1
Hi,

I am a newbie to linux, but I want to try our a BSD flavor.
But before that, I would like to know some key differences between the two, and aside from that, how does programming a *nix (BSD) go? Are there certain things some BSD flavors can do that others can't? And why isn't BSD more well known than linux?

~CastilleV
 

SirDice

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#3
Biggest difference in my view is that linux is a kernel, nothing more, nothing less. It's the distros that use that kernel and a collection of other tools that turns it into an OS. BSD is a full OS.
 

gilinko

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#4
I would divide it into 3 main segments:

1. Kernel
The kernel is the main difference, BSD has it's kernel and to be exact Linux is a kernel(not a OS). So the core is the major difference

2. Base system
BSD has it's own base system with the most important binaries as cp, ls etc, while a Linux based OS is using external binaries for the same functions(usually it's the GNU versions)

3. Full OS
Absolutly no difference here(with a few exceptions). A browser that works on a Linux based OS works on a *BSD OS. You can run GNOME, KDE, Firefox, Eclipse, NetBeans, Pidgin etc under both with no difference to the user. If you as a user are unaware of the base system, a *BSD based desktop system can and will function exactly like a Linux based desktop.

In short:
A "linux" os is: Linux kernel + GNU utilities
A "bsd" os is: bsd kernel + bsd utilites

Everything else is the same.(with some exceptions for proprietary software like skype and flash).
 

CastilleV

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#6
Alright! ;)
I've also done some studying and have a few questions to ask, but I will ask them via IRC. :p
Other than that, I think i'll switch. :)

Looks like you guys don't backport things like GIMP. :)
THATS pretty tempting as well!
And why does BSD need a linux compatibility layer? :S
 

graudeejs

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#7
BSD doesn't need it. I don't use it.
But if you want to use some commercial apps like vmware, you need linux compatibility, because most commercial apps ships only linux.

Also using linux compatibility + linux firefox is one of ways to get flash on freebsd.





what does backport means?
 

gilinko

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#8
killasmurf86 said:
what does backport means?
Essentially taking bugfixes an such and applying them to an earlier version of the same software(ie put patches for GIMP 2.6 into GIMP 2.4). It's a common way in some of the larger Linux distributions (Debian and Redhat).

Nothing is backported in FreeBSD as the ports tree is an moving target as the installed software from ports is separated into the /usr/local portion and not as most Linux distributions integrated with the base system itself which I find is one of the best features of FreeBSD when compared to any other *nix type of system.
 

Oko

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#9
gilinko said:
Essentially taking bugfixes an such and applying them to an earlier version of the same software(ie put patches for GIMP 2.6 into GIMP 2.4). It's a common way in some of the larger Linux distributions (Debian and Redhat).

Nothing is backported in FreeBSD as the ports tree is an moving target as the installed software from ports is separated into the /usr/local portion and not as most Linux distributions integrated with the base system itself which I find is one of the best features of FreeBSD when compared to any other *nix type of system.
That is not necessary good thing. RedHat is commercial distribution so it must support its customers for certain number of years. The same goes for Debian even though they claim that they are free distribution.

FreeBSD on the another hand is more of academic project so it can brake backward compatibility easier. That makes it very lean and mean comparing to let say Solaris.

I personally have strong preference for incremental changes of packages over moving target approach. That is one of the reasons I prefer OpenBSD over FreeBSD. Unfortunately OpenBSD project doesn't have enough human resources now to maintain stable packages so if the problem occurs you will have to patch package
yourself. However RedHat has enough money so they are doing exactly that.
 

DavidMorgan

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#10
gilinko said:
Essentially taking bugfixes an such and applying them to an earlier version of the same software(ie put patches for GIMP 2.6 into GIMP 2.4). It's a common way in some of the larger Linux distributions (Debian and Redhat).

Nothing is backported in FreeBSD as the ports tree is an moving target as the installed software from ports is separated into the /usr/local portion and not as most Linux distributions integrated with the base system itself which I find is one of the best features of FreeBSD when compared to any other *nix type of system.
Why do you find it preferable?
 

Alt

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#11
CastilleV said:
I am a newbie to linux, but I want to try our a BSD flavor.
But before that, I would like to know some key differences between the two
Imagine airplane engine - this should be linux. With wings from 2nd vendor - this should be what they call "linux distro"

Imagine aircraft engine+wings from one vendor - this should be bsd
 

sk8harddiefast

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#12
BSD & Linux seems to be the "same" but in fact they have some differences.
First of all as gilinko said

A "linux" os is: Linux kernel + GNU utilities
A "bsd" os is: bsd kernel + bsd utilites

BSD use oss (like solaris) and not alsa for sound
Have BSD License

As killasmurf86 said, linux compatibility is not something you really need it, except if you want a linux base for some tools that they cannot be found on BSD.
Also there is a little difference when you try to extract tar files from terminal and copy a folder
Code:
cp -R folder & cp -R folder/
They use Different kernel
BSD have BSD kernel and not linux kernel

Use Ufs/Zfs filesystem (witch is also solaris fs)

And haven't 700 distros (thanks god :) )

This are some differences i saw the last 5-6 months i use Freebsd but i am too noob to understand all the differences
 

fronclynne

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#13
A refreshing and wonderful move, I might add

sk8harddiefast said:
A "bsd" os is: bsd kernel + bsd utilites
To be honest, we have a good number of GNU things in base, including gcc, but yes, there is certainly does seem to be a move afoot to push the GPL out to ports.
 

SirDice

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#14
fronclynne said:
To be honest, we have a good number of GNU things in base, including gcc, but yes, there is certainly does seem to be a move afoot to push the GPL out to ports.
True, but I believe that even if you would remove all the contributed stuff you'd still be left with a complete and running OS.
 

ckester

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#15
And why isn't BSD more well known than linux?
- Because most BSDer's don't have the same evangelical zeal as Linux people do? Most of us just aren't all that interested in getting Windows users to switch. Some of us even think that it would be a bad thing if the Windows masses switched, since the cost would probably be having to sacrifice many of the things that make Unix unique. (In fact, some of us see the same danger in an influx from the Linux world.)

- More well known by whom? It doesn't bother me one whit that some pimply Linux fanboy playing videogames in his mother's basement hasn't heard about BSD. Dittos for the "journalists" and bloggers who cater to the interests of that fanboy or to those of certain corporations who are using Linux as a pawn in their battle against Microsoft. BSD is already well known amongst those who matter.

- Popularity and renown are overrated. 90% of the things that are popular or "well known" is crap. You shouldn't need to have your choices validated by the crowd; instead, learn how to judge things for yourself and have some confidence in your decisions. (This kind of knowledgeable self-reliance, btw, is one of those things that makes Unix special.)

/rant
 

fairy

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#16
ckester said:
Some of us even think that it would be a bad thing if the Windows masses switched, since the cost would probably be having to sacrifice many of the things that make Unix unique.
In FOSS everyone free to use whatever they want, i.e. you're not forced to use desktop-friendly distro and even there you can turn off all whistles by simply recompiling. Stop spreading BS that's only possible with proprietary software when your choice is restricted.
 

fronclynne

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#17
fairy said:
In FOSS everyone free to use whatever they want, i.e. you're not forced to use desktop-friendly distro and even there you can turn off all whistles by simply recompiling. Stop spreading BS that's only possible with proprietary software when your choice is restricted.
Right, but I'm (a) not a terrifically advanced user, (b) I need wireless to work, & (c) for whatever weird political reason I don't want to use ALSA.
 

zspider

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#18
FreeBSD is a complete UNIX operating system. It tends to be better organized and documented and things work when you need them to.

For instance I have never been able to find very good documentation on the ipchains firewall and thus I had to use firestarter to make rules, whereas today I looked up a couple of documents about IPFW and it worked and loaded the first time out and additionally I learned something about it.:p

I also tend to agree if *BSD suddenly got popular you would have a bunch of people whining that it was too hard to use and demanding that it be dumbed down for them. :\ .
 

fairy

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#20
fronclynne said:
Right, but I'm (a) not a terrifically advanced user, (b) I need wireless to work, & (c) for whatever weird political reason I don't want to use ALSA.
(a) I don't think freebsd will ever be entirely desktop-friendly from the get go but having ifdefs for such features would be useful. Besides, there is always netbsd to run away to.
(b) as long as maintainers interested, otherwise you're free to step up to support obsolete drivers
(c) ALSA compatibility is only going to make audio software easier to port. It'd be even better if it brings long awaited software midi sequencer to OSS.
 

carlton_draught

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#21
CastilleV said:
Hi,

I am a newbie to linux, but I want to try our a BSD flavor.
But before that, I would like to know some key differences between the two
Most of it comes down to history of both BSD and linux, which is as easily googled as me doing it for you. Or read here on the site.
And why isn't BSD more well known than linux?
I suspect that it is because Linux was out there as FOSS first, by two years. That was enough to get a community and momentum behind it, and hence the Linux community grew faster due to network effect.

But popularity and "suitability for purpose" are two different things. There are benefits to popularity, mainly stemming from larger community size. But if popularity was the only thing that mattered I'd use mysql over PostgreSQL. Well, I wouldn't even do that, I'd still be using Windows, and accepting that programming is some mysterious and arcane art best done by someone else. ;)
 

hydra

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#22
I don't like the "bsd r0x, linux sux" (or reverse) attitude. Both systems are fine, I've been using FreeBSD for 4 years, Linux for 5 years and I like both. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, try them and see yourself. Simply ignore the kiddie "r0x/sux" groups.
 

kdemidofff

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#23
hydra said:
I don't like the "bsd r0x, linux sux" (or reverse) attitude. Both systems are fine, I've been using FreeBSD for 4 years, Linux for 5 years and I like both. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, try them and see yourself. Simply ignore the kiddie "r0x/sux" groups.
Sometimes there rumors about difference between Russian and Indian programmers..
If u compare high school in russia with indie and how many notable russian scientist around there u can see difference.. The way education done is a day and night. The indians also like writing theirs resumes much more than writing good and understandable programs... That's the point to be in higher social class rather to do work right. The point of linux is provide free for free much more than stability and usability.

The linux community IMHO much like to release new GPL code and omg features (like indians like their fake resumes) rather perform performance and reliability checks on their code (see postgress performance case).

BSD is a business class by design, linux is economy en masse much more like fragmented breadboard for everything and every device rather than a complete product or solution.

The question is did u like quality and real performance and usability or flaky code.

Yes u can use both systems but linux don't stop sux if someone pay you for working on it.

Its no way flame war it's just differentiation in products.. linux - indie OS make like all indie programs done
 

hedwards

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#24
gilinko said:
Nothing is backported in FreeBSD as the ports tree is an moving target as the installed software from ports is separated into the /usr/local portion and not as most Linux distributions integrated with the base system itself which I find is one of the best features of FreeBSD when compared to any other *nix type of system.
Ports are never backported in FreeBSD, but I thought that people sometimes refer to MFC (For the OP's benefit Merged From Current) as backporting.
 

hydra

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#25
@kdemidofff
I'm running several Linux boxes in production and haven't noticed any problems with performance or stability - they simply work. While I do prefer FreeBSD on my workstation(s), I wouldn't generally state that "Linux sux".

Your experiences with Linux are so bad that they crash, malfunction, perform bad all the time ? Which distributions if I might ask ?
 
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