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Date:      Fri, 15 May 1998 15:36:08 -0600 (MDT)
From:      Brett Taylor <>
To:        Randy Foo Jong Suan <>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Difference between FreeBSD & Linux
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001bd8042$816022c0$>

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On Sat, 16 May 1998, Randy Foo Jong Suan wrote:

> Dear Chuck,

I'm now pretending to be a little demon.  :-)

> 2) It seems to me that FreeBSD is like Linux BUT it is not classed
> together with the Linux distributions. (GNU Public Licensing aside. . .) 
> So if I were to install, learn and use FreeBSD on my PC, am I learning
> Linux or UNIX or what?!? By using FreeBSD, can I correctly claim that I
> am learning Linux?? 

No - Linux and FreeBSD are 2 separate beasties, but still similar.  Linux
evolved from Minix - Linus created Linux when he wanted to play with Unix
but couldn't get the source to BSD (at the time).  FreeBSD is developed
directly from the BSD source (which was released 2 years after Linus went
to work making Linux - I think that time is about right).  

Learning FreeBSD will help you run Linux in the sense that both are Unix
or Unix-like, but Linux is more like SYS V and FreeBSD is obviously more
like BSD.  

As noted there is a difference in licensing philosophy which we DEFINITELY
don't need to go into here.

> 3) Are there any major technical differences between Linux and FreeBSD?
> Or was it just the GNU licensing thing that sets them apart?

See above.  Linux tends to support more new and lower end hardware.
FreeBSD tends to support new stuff, but focuses more on the high end
hardware (although most low end hardware works just fine).  I won't go
into licensing.  You would find Linux and FreeBSD very similar for the
most part.

In terms of technical differences I'll leave those specifics to someone
else.  I do find that FreeBSD is better under high load situations.  The
Linux server in the dept tends to bog down under high load whereas I can
be doing a make world, running netscape, reading mail, serving web and ftp
requests and have 3 or 4 others telnetted into my machine and although 
it's a little slow to respond, it's still very usable.

> I am somewhat confused. Moreover, Red Hat seemed to be a very popular
> choice.  Should I touch on FreeBSD then?

Sure - investigate each.  Play around with both and see which one you like
better and use it.  

Brett Taylor

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