free Unix-like operating system

FreeBSD is an operating system for many different kinds of computers. This means that if the user has a computer around the house and want to run FreeBSD on it, the user probably can. Computers that run Microsoft Windows will also run FreeBSD. It is based on BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley.

DeveloperThe FreeBSD Project
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release1 November 1993; 30 years ago (1993-11-01)
Marketing targetServers, workstations, embedded systems, network firewalls
Package managerpkg
Platformsx86-64, ARM64, ARM32, IA-32, MIPS, PowerPC, RISC-V, 64-bit SPARC
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel
user interface
Unix shell
LicenseFreeBSD License, FreeBSD Documentation License

Open source


FreeBSD is open source. This means that anyone can download the source code and change, or learn from it. The people who work on FreeBSD do not usually get paid. They keep working on it because they enjoy it or want to become more experienced programmers. Most open source software that runs on Linux will run natively on FreeBSD without the need for any compatibility layer.

Operating systems based on FreeBSD


There are a lot of operating systems, which are based on FreeBSD.

Operating systems with a GUI


Several projects created an operating system, based on FreeBSD, which has a GUI by default.

Examples for that kind of operating systems are:


Further reading

  • Lavigne, Dru (24 May 2004), BSD Hacks (First ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 448, ISBN 0-596-00679-9
  • Lucas, Michael W. (14 November 2007), Absolute FreeBSD (Second ed.), No Starch Press, p. 744, ISBN 978-1-59327-151-0, archived from the original on 17 February 2018, retrieved 17 July 2020
  • Lavigne, Dru; Lehey, Greg; Reed, Jeremy C. (20 December 2007), The Best of FreeBSD Basics (First ed.), Reed Media Services, p. 596, ISBN 978-0-9790342-2-0
  • Tiemann, Brian; Urban, Michael (15 June 2006), FreeBSD 6 Unleashed (First ed.), SAMS Publishing, p. 912, ISBN 0-672-32875-5
  • Korff, Yanek; Hope, Paco; Potter, Bruce (March 2005), Mastering FreeBSD and OpenBSD Security (First ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 464, ISBN 0-596-00626-8
  • Lehey, Greg (April 2003), The Complete FreeBSD (Fourth ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 720, ISBN 0-596-00516-4, archived from the original on 2020-03-13, retrieved 2020-07-17
  • McKusick, Marshall K.; Neville-Neil, George V. (2 August 2004), The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System (First ed.), Addison–Wesley, p. 720, ISBN 0-201-70245-2
  • Mittelstaedt, Ted (15 December 2000), The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide (First ed.), Addison–Wesley, p. 432, ISBN 0-201-70481-1
  • Stokely, Murray; Lee, Chern (1 March 2004), The FreeBSD Handbook, Volume 1: User Guide (Third ed.), FreeBSD Mall, p. 408, ISBN 1-57176-327-9
  • Stokely, Murray (1 September 2004), The FreeBSD Handbook, Volume 2: Admin Guide (Third ed.), FreeBSD Mall, p. 537, ISBN 1-57176-328-7

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