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FreeBSDIn November 1993 Jordan Hubbard started the FreeBSD project, in which he took source code from the 386BSD. At present, FreeBSD is developed by about 200 developers which pass modifications on the source code to a central team which in line are responsible for the next release. FreeBSD bases on 4.4 BSD Lite release for x86 computers of March 1994 and has his strengths in the network area. FreeBSD has proved itself in use everywhere where large amounts of data are transfered. The text based installation program makes the individual customization for the planned use possible. FreeBSD is developed in three branches: CURRENT contains latest features in the development, STABLE contains tested source code and RELEASE is the published version which only is updated for bug fixes. According to Netcraft were 2.5 million servers installations counted with FreeBSD in 2004.
The name of devices like fixed storage disks in the "/dev" directory following a scheme of its own. So e.g. the first partition is described as ad0s1 on the first IDE fixed disk, ad0s2 is the second partition. Installation of ported system software and packages or update of installed programs can made easily over a software list. In every port descriptions are the latest updates includet which can be installed by an freely eligible installation medium like CVS (Concurrent Versions System). If the user prefer already compiled programs, he can use the binaries. About 8,000 programs are available for FreeBSD by now. FreeBSD stands under the BSD license, is free usably and freely copyable as long as the copyright notes remains with the BSD licence.
For FreeBSD are security extensions under the project name TrustedBSD available which correspond to the B1 security level. Access Control Lists (ACL) and Mandatory Access Control (MAC) are only few of those.
Field of Application
Internet, intranet and file server
proven TCP/IP stack
max. 4 CPUs
File system: ufs
32-bit Intel, 64-bit UltraSPARC, alpha (experimental)
Read/Write: FAT, ISO9660, NTFS
runs transparently and stable
binary compatible: DOS, SCO UNIX, BSDI, NetBSD, Linux and 386BSD
In the version FreeBSD 5.3 of 11-05-2004 was besides security and bug fixes the hardware support mainly improved and extended. Techniques like ACPI, Bluetooth, Firewire, Serial ATA, USB 2.0 and Wireless LAN are supported completely now. Support for the FAT32 file system was improved and software like KDE 3.3.0, Gnome 2.6.2 and Mozilla 1.7.2 taken to the newest stand.
FreeBSD 6.1 was completed on May 8th, 2006, it offers an automatic configuration of Bluetooth devices now, increased stability of the file system as well as new drivers and updated software packages.
FreeBSD 7.0 was published for several computer architectures on February 27th, 2008. The greatest improvements concern the strongly increased performance and SMP scaling ability. The new process scheduler ULE with improved performance and response time can optionally be used beside the default 4BSD scheduler. The implementation of the jemalloc memory management functions is revised, the ported file system tmpfs from NetBSD can be used. Tmpfs is designed to run completely in memory and handles resources very efficiently. WLAN (802.11) was optimized together with TCP. FreeBSD 7 contains the updated components X.Org 7.3, KDE 3.5.8, GNOME 2.20.2 and GNU C compiler 4.2.1, besides further program updates.
The DragonFly BSD project has split up in the year 2003 from the FreeBSD 4.x operating system line to let flow the newest innovations and techniques i nthis new derivative. The project of Matthew Dillon released the version 1.0(a) in July 2004. This Release contains a new messaging API, a revised I/O model, kernel threads and interrupt preemption. In a next version the package administration and threading model shall be improved. Release 1.2.0 of this operating system was published in 04-08-2005. The network subsystem and the TCP stack was improved, IPv6 and NFS version 3 were includet. New device drivers were added, the support of USB was improved. DragonFly BSD 1.4 was published at the 2006-01-08, the used standard compiler is GCC 3.4 now.
It is target of the ekkoBSD project to create an operating system based on FreeBSD which is simple and safe to configure. Special value is attached to a democratic project control with open mind for new ways of thinking. EkkoBSD was terminated in the middle of July 2004, thankfull words to the involved members was released on the web site for conclusion.
The derivative PC-BSD bases on FreeBSD and was published for x86 computers with the version 0.5 beta in April 2005. A graphical installation process, the automatic hardware detection and the integrated KDE surface are parts of the special features. The developers of PC-BSD have set themselves the goal to offer a particularly user friendly system for beginners in the home and office area which isn't reached by previous BSD derivatives. PC-BSD 0.7.5 beta was released in June 2005. The source code was published under the BSD licence, numerous bugs became eliminated and single graphical details improved. PC-BSD 1.0 was brought out at the end of April 2006, it based on FreeBSD 6.0 and the new KDE 3.5.2 interface. More than 50 languages are supported, the installation of software was improved and the automatic hardware recognition extended. A month later PC-BSD 1.1 came out, it based on FreeBSD 6.1, KDE 3.5.2 and X.org 6.9. In July 2006 PC-BSD 1.2 appeared with the progressive FreeBSD ULE scheduler, optimized for Intel 686 processors. For common graphics cards the 3D hardware acceleration is supported.
PicoBSD is called the FreeBSD derivative which fits on one single floppy disk. It bases on FreeBSD 3.0 and needs very few hardware resources. A 386 processor with at least 8 mbyte RAM is enough to set up a router, firewall or a Dial-in Server. The current version 0.41 was already published in October 1998. With the Development Kit available every interested one can create his own specified version of PicoBSD.
The aims of DesktopBSD as a FreeBSD derivative are a stable distribution with the simple use of applications with the KDE interface. BSD shall get accessible for simple users with that better. The installation simplified by programmes and configuration of certain tasks. DesktopBSD 1.0 with KDE 3.5.1, new functions and bug fixes appeared in March 2006.
DesktopBSD 1.6 was published aon January 9th, 2008 as 32 bit and 64 bit version and is based on FreeBSD 6. The operating system supports several processors and includes the new versions of KDE 3.5.8, X.Org 7.3 and many others.
Date - Version
1993 Nov. - FreeBSD 1.01994 April - FreeBSD 1.11995 Jan. - FreeBSD 2.0, based on 4.4BSD-Lite Code1995 Nov. - FreeBSD 2.11996 Nov. - FreeBSD 2.1.61997 March - FreeBSD 2.21998 July - FreeBSD 2.2.71998 Oct. - FreeBSD 3.0, based on 4.4BSD-Lite2 Code1999 Dec. - FreeBSD 3.42000 March - FreeBSD 4.02000 Nov. - FreeBSD 4.22001 Sept. - FreeBSD 4.4, support for the Crusoe CPU, SEE for Intel CPUs, SMB + Tools2002 June - FreeBSD 4.6, general update, performance and security improved2002 Aug. - FreeBSD 4.6.2, security fixes2002 Oct. - FreeBSD 4.7, general update, new drivers2003 March - FreeBSD 4.8 STABLE2003 Oct. - FreeBSD 4.92003 Jan. - FreeBSD 5.0 technology release, new SMP implementation, gcc 3.2.1, new Disk-I/O system, experimental harddisk encryption2003 June - FreeBSD 5.1, new technologie release for i386, IA64, Alpha, MIPS, PC98, PPC, SPARC64 and AMD64 CPUs2004 Jan. - FreeBSD 5.22004 Nov. - FreeBSD 5.32005 May - FreeBSD 5.42006 May - FreeBSD 5.5, last stable release for the 5.x main branch2005 - FreeBSD 6.0, SMPVFS as virtual file system for SMP computer2006 May - FreeBSD 6.12007 Jan. - FreeBSD 6.22008 Jan. - FreeBSD 6.32008 Feb. - FreeBSD 7.0