Church of BSD
Unix Program

Return to Church of BSD

The FreeBSD Project


- Take 386BSD base and improve it
- Concentrate on PC systems only
- (Later decide to support Alpha also)
- Aim to support all common peripherals
- Use Walnut Creek for CDROM distribution
- Funding from sales of CD.s etc
- Good project organisation
- Core team - decide project direction
- Developers - write the code
- Initial release FreeBSD 1.0 Dec 1993
- Available on CD / via the net
- Project forced to move to BSD-lite base
- Much boot code had to be rewritten
- FreeBSD 2.0 shipped Nov 1994
- unified source code tree
- branches for development/stable base
- Latest stable version FreeBSD 4.7
--- IPV6
--- support for gigabit NIC.s
--- ATM
--- SCSI raid controllers
- development version FreeBSD 5.0 (incl. o.a. sparc)

The FreeBSD Project Strengths
- Easy installation
- Good documentation
- FreeBSD Handbook
- Support for multiple processors
- Widely use for .large. servers
- Native threads => wine etc
- Most popular *BSD system
- commercial support from BSDi

The NetBSD Project


- Formed at the same time as FreeBSD
- Aim to support different platforms
- follow original Berkeley Philosophy
split machine dependant/independent code
- Emphasis on clean, well structured design
- Code portability for new platforms
- Good project organisation
- Core Team - decide project direction
- Portmasters - head up platform teams
- Developers - write the code
- initial release NetBSD 0.8 Apr 1993
--- I386 only
- BSD-lite release NetBSD 1.0 Oct 94
--- I386 Amiga HP300 M68K SPARC
- Unified Source Tree
- Production/Development branches
- Latest Version 1.6
--- IPV6
--- VLAN support
--- Strong Encryption
--- new VM system
---- 15 supported architectures (52?)

The NetBSD Project Strengths
- Available for a wide range of systems
- Easy to port to new platforms
- Used in several commercial products
- Good USB device support
- Excellent support for non-native binaries
- Reliable and secure
- Commercial support from Wasabi Systems

The OpenBSD project


- A spinoff from NetBSD in 1995
- Idealogical split in the .core. team
- Focus on improving security
- CDROM distribution funds development
- Canadian Base sidestepped export regulations
- Similar platform support to NetBSD
- General goal is to be .most secure O/S.
- Current record
--- 3 yrs without a remote exploit (default install)
--- 2 yrs without a local exploit (default install)
- Security achieved by:
--- extensive source code audit
--- provision of cryptographic interfaces
--- Support for hardware cryptography
- Unified Source Tree
- Latest version 2.8 (2.9?)
--- IPV6
--- Over 500 prebuilt packages
--- OpenSSH /SFTP server
--- better hardware crypto support
--- console mouse support on i386

The OpenBSD Project Strengths
- Security
- Available for a wide range of platforms
but not as many as NetBSD
- Excellent support for non-native binaries
Reliability
- Commercial support available

Comparision with Linux


- Licensing issues vs Linux
- BSD license for kernel code
- BSD license for most utilities
- Can be used as commercial base
- Long Term stability
- NFS code very reliable
- good memory management
- Each BSD has a single distribution
- Each BSD has a single bug/security repository
- Less hype
- Trackable code base
- Negative points
--- not as well known
--- fewer commercial applications
--- BSD religion sometimes unhelpful
--- no BSD documentation project !
Installation may frighten unix newbies