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(operating system)
A free operating system based on the BSD 4.4-lite release from Computer Systems Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley.

FreeBSD requires an ISA, EISA, VESA, or PCI based computer with an Intel 80386SX to Pentium CPU (or compatible AMD or Cyrix CPU) with 4 megabytes of RAM and 60MB of disk space.

Some of FreeBSD's features are: preemptive multitasking with dynamic priority adjustment to ensure smooth and fair sharing of the computer between applications and users. Multiuser access - peripherals such as printers and tape drives can be shared between all users. Complete TCP/IP networking including SLIP, PPP, NFS and NIS. Memory protection, demand-paged virtual memory with a merged VM/buffer cache design. FreeBSD was designed as a 32 bit operating system. X Window System (X11R6) provides a graphical user interface. Binary compatibility with many programs built for SCO, BSDI, NetBSD, 386BSD, and Linux. Hundreds of ready-to-run applications in the FreeBSD ports collection. FreeBSD is source code compatible with most popular commercial Unix systems and thus most applications require few, if any, changes to compile. Shared libraries. A full compliment of C, C++, Fortran and Perl development tools and many other languages. Source code for the entire system is available. Extensive on-line documentation. or try your nearest mirror site listed at the home site or buy the CD-ROM from Walnut Creek.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(Berkeley Software Distribution) The software distribution facility of the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) of the University of California at Berkeley. CSRG helped develop the TCP/IP protocols for DARPA and the ARPAnet and released them in the early 1980s along with the Unix source code from AT&T. BSD charged for the media, and a license from AT&T was required for use. Throughout the 1980s, this operating system release from BSD was known as "BSD Unix."

Bill Joy ran the group until 1982 when he co-founded Sun Microsystems, bringing 4.2BSD with him as the foundation of SunOS. The last BSD version released by BSD was 4.4BSD.

Many Offshoots
In the 1990s, the AT&T kernel was removed from the BSD release, and several different groups developed new kernels to replace the AT&T code.

BSD/386 and BSD/OS
In 1991, former CSRG members founded Berkeley Software Design, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO, and released BSD/386 for the Intel platform. A decade later, Wind River Systems ( acquired BSDI's software assets and turned the OS into its BSD/OS Internet Server product.

FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD
Out of all open source BSD operating systems, FreeBSD ( is the most widely used. It runs on Intel and Alpha platforms and is known for its ease of use. NetBSD ( runs on the greatest number of platforms, and OpenBSD ( is the most security-oriented. OpenBSD evolved from NetBSD and also runs on a variety of hardware. A long-established BSD support site can be found at
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References in periodicals archive ?
Customers using Share360 will now have access to FreeBSD, a Unix-based platform that offers an alternative operating system to Windows and Linux.
RIA server appliances come preloaded with Red Hat Linux 6.2 or 7.0 or FreeBSD 4.2.
At that time, Oracle said it was evaluating a number of different operating systems including FreeBSD, NetBSD, Plan9, a version of Solaris and Linux, and that it would pick the one that developers ask for in the final packaged product.
The coverage of Linux and FreeBSD (emerging platforms for eBusiness Internet sites) provides new-age system administrators time-proven guidance on building and maintaining high-performance, world-class environments.
Oracle has road tested FreeBSD, NetBSD, Plan9, a version of Solaris and Linux.
In other open-source news, O'Reilly and Associates is expanding the hugely successful Perl Conference and Open Source Town Meeting it ran in August 1998 into a series of conferences on Linux, FreeBSD, Apache and Sendmail as well as Perl.
SecureBridge 5.0 allows protecting TCP/IP traffic not in Windows only, but in MacOS, Linux and FreeBSD as well.
Sophos Anti-Virus supports the following UNIX platforms; Linux Intel, FreeBSD Intel, Solaris SPARC, Solaris Intel, AIX for RS6000 and SCO.
Linux will also be able to read the partition table formats for FreeBSD, SunOS and Solaris.
Programmers engaged in Cross-Platform Development can just put the components on the form, select the Target platform - and an application for Win 32, Win 64, Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS or iOS is done.
Microsoft Corp has reportedly admitted that it is using FreeBSD open source code in several major products.
The command line version of RAR is available for Linux, FreeBSD and MAC OS X.