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Date:      Wed, 17 Jun 2020 14:18:57 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
Subject:   Re: Why does FreeBSD not use the Linux kernel?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 11:33:25 +0800, kindu smith wrote:
> Why does FreeBSD not use the Linux kernel? The structure of FreeBSD is
> very good, such as the startup and directory structure, and the user
> island program. The only shortcoming is poor hardware support. This is
> mainly due to the lack of drivers provided by the kernel.

While there are certain basic drivers in the kernel, the
majority of drivers is provided by loadable kernel modules,
either developed by the FreeBSD team itself, or available
from the ports collection. They use interfaces provided by
the kernel.

NB: Terminus technicus: "userland". :-)

> The Linux
> kernel is assisted by developers around the world. Changing to the
> Linux kernel can make up for this shortcoming. For the system
> architecture, package management pkg, and user island programs can
> still use the original FreeBSD.

But in fact, that wouldn't be FreeBSD anymore.

When we say "Linux", we usually refer to a "GNU/Linux distribution",
which means the Linux kernel + GNU userland + preinstalled and
preconfigured packages, depending on the distribution's choice.
The problem that occurs when FreeBSD is deprived of the FreeBSD
kernel and it is replaced by the Linux kernel is that the result
is no longer FreeBSD: It's a something/Linux. That "something"
would be... yes, what would it be? FreeBSD userland that no
longer works because the Linux kernel is not compatible?

By the way, there was (is?) a GNU/kFreeBSD project where a GNU
userland is combined with a FreeBSD kernel. Interesting, isn't
it? Assuming that the FreeBSD kernel is so "inferior"... ;-)

> Among the unix-like systems, the most popular except macos is ubuntu.
> This does not mean that ubuntu is good enough.

In my opinion, it is _exactly_ the proof that Ubuntu is good
enough. :-)

> It is still very poor
> compared to archlinux and other distros.

Depends. Arch Linux is not designed for novice users primarily.
While it offers a Linux experience that is, more or less, quite
comparable to a UNIX experience, it's not what "Joe Q. Sixpack"
would expect - "too complicated"; this is where Ubuntu delivers
a much more welcoming experience.

> But it is still the most
> popular because it takes a road from users, servers, to the cloud.

FreeBSD is a multi-purpose operating system; it is _one_ OS to
be used in appliances, desktops, laptops, servers, VMs ("cloud
instances"), and you don't have to choose a different "distribution"
if you want to move from one field of application to the other.
In my experience, only the "lower level Linusi" offer such a
wide range of possibilities, while "advanced Linusi" are already
taylored to fit exactly one of those fields mentioned above.
So the Ubuntu that you run on your home laptop is hardly suitable
to run as a "cloud instance" to process heavy database load.

> That
> is to first increase the user's utilization rate, then increase the
> popularity, and then seek the popularity of the server and cloud
> fields.

Isn't that basically the same way FreeBSD also goes?

> I think the reason why FreeBSD has reduced the number of users is
> because it does not take care of the experience of ordinary users, and
> it takes the opposite path from a server, cloud to users.

As I mentioned, this doesn't seem to be the case. However, you
can hardly tell anything about the number of people who use
FreeBSD. It's quite possible that the Linux system you're using
that the moment on your home PC (assumption) connects to the
Internet using a device that runs FreeBSD - and you don't know
about it! So it's quite possible (but cannot really be proven)
that the "usage share" (derived from "market share") is much
higher than one might think.

As with any operating system, users and admins are involved.
Especially admins choose FreeBSD for specific reasons, and
if you ask for those reasons, they can explain them in a
technical way, rather than just "No Sir, I don't like it.",
and sometimes they will choose FreeBSD over Linux for valid
reasons. They do so because they judge from a technical point
of view, instead of looking at the shiny packaging paper. :-)

> Positioning
> such an excellent operating system as just server usage has greatly
> reduced its popularity.

Again, I don't think this is correct. FreeBSD has been
positioned for decades as a multi-purpose OS, and has been
in use as such for many many years.

Trying to simply exchange the kernel doesn't lead anywhere,
I would say.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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