Same Old BSD Vs LINUX Debate!

Posted on 22 April 2009

I, like most of the people out there, would agree that Unix-style OS is a smart choice. But, the point where I have conflict of opinion is which is the better/superior Unix-style distribution to use. I have installed FreeBSD on my computer, whereas a lot of my friends run Linux (Red Hat, Fedora etc).


I think that BSD communit{y,ies}, generally speaking, understands Linux far better than the Linux communit{y,ies} understands BSD. I have a few theories of my own of why that is, but that’s not really important. I think a lot of Linux users don’t use BSD because they don’t really understand how and why it’s created. Thus, this rant; as a BSD user, I want to make my point, in trying to explain how BSD works (in a way that Linux people can understand and absorb).

Both operating systems are have lots of similarities (in most cases), but there are also some major of differences. As you look more closely into the differences, you find that both Linux and BSD emerge from deep-seated disagreements. These disagreements include that over development methodology or deployment and some over its usage. Also, there are debates as to which one is more superior.


But, in this case, in-order to compare “apple with an apple” you need to taste the apple not look at it. What I mean is, that by just comparing the surface, you cannot tell anything properly. It’s the deeper differences that both explain and justify why each group does things the way they do.

What isn’t this?

  • Similar Commands; ” ‘netstat -rnfinet’ on BSD = ‘netstat -rnAinet’ on Linux”
  • How to administer and run a BSD box.
  • BSD instead of Linux, the advantages.
  • Linux instead of BSD, the pros.
  • Why use this BSD instead of that BSD.
  • Why use this Linux instead of that Linux.
  • Why BSD is Right and Linux is Wrong.
  • Why Linux is Right and BSD is Wrong.

I personally feel that I have the best of the two OS installed on my computer i.e BSD. But, that’s me. I won’t tell you to believe me right off the bat. But, I want you to learn the facts, analyze the origins behind these facts and make your own choice.

Some Differences

There are a lot of difference of opinions between BSD world and the Linux world.

First of all, “Unix”, the trademark is actually a trademark of The Open Group. The code (Unix-the –code) is owned by SCO, whereas the BSDs, in general, are direct-line descendants of the BSD from Berkeley, which was a direct-line descendant of the original AT&T Unix.

So you cannot really say that BSDs are really Unix. In fact, the USL Vs UCB lawsuit episode was also triggered by such statements. But, in many ways, the BSDs can be called direct derivatives of traditional Unix.

BSD shows some of its Unix features in the following ways:

  • ·         In the design of the base system
  • ·         The packaging of add-ons
  • ·         In the partitioning of the mass storage.
  • ·         In detail of the commands.
  • ·         The attitudes and reflexes and prejudices of the developers, which are reflected in the code and in the users.

In short, BSD is designed, whereas Linux is grown. Perhaps that’s the only precise way to end this debate. If there is anyone out there who has used BSD and still thinks Linux is better then you are most welcome to explain your point of view in comments. I’d be happy to debate on that.

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This post was written by:

R. MAK. - who has written 232 posts on ixibo.

How Should I describe me?... Well! I am a simple dude, who likes to indulge in intelligent conversation with an intelligent people, specially on technology topics hope you are one of them :p

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12 Responses to “Same Old BSD Vs LINUX Debate!”

  1. Very good info, thanks for the post.

  2. lennart says:

    BSD is designed and Linux is grown. That’s true.
    But the whole idea of “Linux is thrown together” and “BSD is a complete fine-tuned OS” is a bit overrated and old. Linux distro’s such as Ubuntu are so mature (with Debian’s system) that it would be unfair to say that it’s unstructured and chaotic in use.

    In the end it’s about the applications and MAKING THINGS WORK. And they do with the top Linux distro’s.

    Also, BSD is dying.. as is Unix.
    Maybe sad, but true.

  3. Steve says:

    Given that we’re all supposed to be on the same side, I’m not sure why these posts exist.

    I’ve used (Free)BSD and Linux. I chose Linux because ultimately I had more experience with it so it was easier for me to find my way around.

    For some reason BSD wouldn’t read my pendrive, but that might be because I was trying that on a SPARC box and the USB was dodgy.

    I found PC-BSD to be pretty good. Nice graphical installer, good selection of packages.

    Ultimately though, I’m not sure why anyone thinks either Linux or BSD is ‘better’ than the other. There’s very little to tell between them (not like Linux or BSD against Windows, for example) and you can achieve the same on each.

    As a Linux user there’s nothing in BSD to make me want to change. If I were a BSD user, I can’t imagine there’d be much to make me want to change there either!

  4. Kirn Gill says:

    Unix, as in the code, is not owned by SCO. In SCO v. Novell, it was found that Novell, and not SCO, was the rightful legal owner to the System V Release 4 UNIX operating system and it’s derivatives.

  5. Clifford says:

    Anyone who says BSD is dying is a damn idiot. The growth rate does not match that of Linux. Steady usage is not dying.

    As far as usage goes I would be more apt to use BSD for a server than a desktop. Linux compatibility layers still have to be installed in order to use BSD as a full functioning desktop.

    But I know that when it comes to stability in a networked environment I would choose BSD over Linux. The stability of the BSD line is far more stable than Linux. Although Linux stability does make other operating systems look like they are built on a sandy foundation.

    You could have this debate all day long and get nowhere. It is as pointless as the KDE vs Gnome debate.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This post is the first section of this much longer review. I can’t see where this blog is giving credit where due.

    http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/bsd4linux2.php

  7. Dude says:

    When people say “BSD is dying” it means that BSD has not proven itself useful to JOHN DOE.

    For the *nix l33t sure we can compile programs to work on BSD but how many dumbass JOHN DOE’S can actually do or UNDERSTAND what compile means?

    Bottom line is, BSD still needs a few “hacks” for stuff to work unlike linux where it JUST works.

    This is the main reason why Manufacturers like HP and Asus chose Linux over BSD. You may not like the idea but IT IS easier to use.

    Stability and Security of BSD over Linux has long been used as an argument of BSD FANBOYS but I agree this debate will get nowhere unless you define what you mean by “STABILITY”

    Even Microsoft has published a “MY OS IS MORE STABLE THAN YOURS” argument

  8. josh says:

    I like BSD for a few reasons design wise, but there are some benefits one has in choosing linux that they just dont have with BSD.

    The main reason is the fact that linux has way more bleeding edge software and hardware support. Half the computers Ive owned can’t run BSD well (if at all) because modems, wireless cards, motherboards (ACPI issues), just arent compatible…

    but linux ran just fine on all of them.

    as someone else says it really comes down to what works. Hell windows ME is the best choice if its what gets you the most use out of the computer (unlikely lol)

  9. Lionel says:

    I find it strange that nobody even mentioned licensing, one of the major differences is that BSD allows more flexible licensing than Linux.

    I would choose BSD over Linux for a server any day, unless I need to run software that doesn’t work on BSD, which is sometimes the case.

    BSD doesn’t really target desktop users as much as Linux does, it’s more geared towards networking and security.

    Also, I would choose OpenBSD over FreeBSD, unless I needed foreign language support which is sadly missing in OpenBSD.

  10. Lionel says:

    P.s. I have years of experience with both Linux and BSD, personal preference is BSD, but I have nothing against Linux either.

  11. Rishikeshan says:

    GPL Sucks. thats why people prefer BSD. Keep in mind
    FreeBSD is better than linux
    OpenSSL is always better than GNU TLS
    Apache is better than any other servers
    PostgreSQL rocks, MySQL sucks
    cURL is better than wget
    miaChat is better than phpfreechat
    Phorum is better than PHPBB
    Do you know I stopped visiting wikipedia because GFDL sucks? I am working for a research about visiting Wikipedia.
    I don’t want to be blackmailed and I don’t want to blackmail by choosing copyleft.
    I am interested on creating a list of ‘permissive software’, open source php scripts using PostgreSQL.
    Anyone want to help me, Send a mail by using sourceforge to rishikeshan.

  12. Tombelaz says:

    I love linux, its simple and use friendly. My documents is free from VIRUS, no one virus can dstrub me again.


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