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Date:      Mon, 31 Aug 2009 11:00:07 -0400
From:      Jerry McAllister <jerrymc@msu.edu>
To:        Julian R A Manning <julian.r.a.manning@gmail.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: questions about FreeBSD
Message-ID:  <20090831150007.GF47604@gizmo.acns.msu.edu>
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On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 09:12:39PM +1200, Julian R A Manning wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam
> 
> I have some questions about FreeBSD. The questions I had in mind are: 
> 
> .         What type of OS is it? Is it single/multi user, multitasking, what
> family does it belong to? 

It is a BSD UNIX operating system, originally based on the original full
featured Unix developed at Berkeley and distributed through Berkeley
Software Distributions (thus the BSD) of UC Berkeley.  That was based
on the original Bell Labs (AT&T) UNIX, but due to significant development, 
improvements and some lawsuits, was rewritten so there was no Bell Labs
code left in it.  Later AT&S started another UNIX family too called SVR4
(meaning System five Release four) and Linux is somewhat based on that
strain of the beast.

All UNIXen are naturally multi user, multitasking and nowdays multithreading.

> 
> .         General features (at least three)? Firewall, GUI, Networking and
> so on. 

Yup.   All completely the latest and greatest.
BSD UNIX in general and by nature is quite secure, although in any
human created system, mistakes can be discovered.  In general, the 
process of creating and vetting FreeBSD and the other BSDs militates
against mistakes and poor code, but it can happen.

> 
> .         Minimum Hardware Requirements? Processors, RAM, Hard drive space,
> type of monitors and so on. 

You really need to read up on the FreeBSD web site for this information.
It is all there. 
                        http://www.freebsd.org/

Each release has a list of what it will support in hardware.
Generally, although it began life on the i386 family of processors
(which continued through 486, 586, 686, pentium, etc) nowdays it
is available for most commodity CPUs such as AMD, Sparc, etc.  
I have run it on as little as 128MB memory and 4 GB disk, but some
have gone lower.   The top end will handle most anything that is
currently available in the general marketplace.


> 
> .         File system supported? 

Same response.   Do your homework.
Generally UFS, UFS2, ZFS.  Will mount most Microsloth filesystems
but those are non-native and have some limitations.

> 
> .         Applications (at least three)? eg. wordprocessing and so on. 

Everything you can imagine.   There are thousands of things in the "ports"
that you can install.    

Again, read the documentation to understand what this means.

> 
> It would be very helpful if you could just pass on this email to someone who
> has experience with FreeBSD. 
> 
> Yours sincerely, Julian Manning

Sounds like you are working on a class homework project or were sent
to survey things by a non-informed boss.   The best thing you can
do is get on the FreeBSD web site and start reading - following the
many links to the documentation.   Some of those links will point
you to other sites too, such as Onlamp.com and many other places.

Try doing some Google searching for FreeBSD too.

Do your homework.

Have fun,

////jerry

> 
>  
> 
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