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Linux vs. FreeBSD

Posted on 2002-06-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hello,

I am completely new to Linux.

All my webservers are running Win2K/IIS, but I would like to change and get something else, something more stable, cheaper ($$$) etc.

So, I wonder what is the difference between Linux and FreeBSD. Is FreeBSD the same as Linux, or is it completely different?

How about administering, install etc. FreeBSD? Is it difficult to learn? I think I am a very good Win-Sys administrator, will it be difficult for me to getting into FreeBSD?

And how about security? Is FreeBSD really so much more secure than Linux?

delphiheaven
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Question by:delphiheaven
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by:ahoffmann
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The main difference between Linux and *BSD is the license, GPL for Linux vs. FreeBSD-GPL on FreeBSD (which is more restrictive).
In terms of security, both are very similar. If security is the main focus, I suggest to use OpenBSD.

Admin and install is completely different to Win, in particular for a server. You need to know what you want to do. There is no click&believe-it-works solution.
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Whats FreeBSD-GPL? AFAIK, FreeBSd is under a BSD license, which is basically public domain with the difference that you have to credit the original author.
And of course, security depends on the admin, not the OS.
I would recommend trying out both, on good hardware and going with the one you like. Srart off by reading a unix book, and the FreeBSD handbook. There are lots of things in common to both, but some subtle differences exist, and these are importan from an admin point of view.
http://www.linuxnewbie.org/
http://www.dsl.org/cookbook
http://www.freebsd.org/
http://www.linuxdoc.org/

And note that documentation written for one is often applicable to the other.
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by:ahoffmann
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> .. some subtle differences exist,
agreed

> And of course, security depends on the admin, not the OS.
totally agreed :)
I just meant that the default settings in *BSD seem to be more secure than in Linux.
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by:DVB
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Hmmm, don't let the gentoo people hear that. Yes, the defaults used to be pretty bad in most Linux distros, but then, lots of them were aiming for the desktop, instead of the server space.
And for a proper server install, defaults really don't matter. But they help.
The main advantage of *BSD appears to be the ports system, which helps a lot in maintaining the system. Otherwise, once you build the box, and secure it, there should not be much difference, except in how you update (commands and syntax, that is).
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by:ledhund
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Another difference between FreeBSD and Linux is the speed. FreeBSD is much faster and more stable.
Linux though is more widely used, so its easier to find newsgroups, FAQs and HOWTOs for any problems you might have.
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by:delphiheaven
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so, for running a webserver with high traffic, FreeBSD is the better solution, am I right?

delphiheaven
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by:DVB
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Stability, it depends mostly on how you configure it. I have had problems with Linux kernel 2.4 and multithreaded applications. No problems with mail servers OTOH, which are much more disk intensive.
Kernel 2.2, OTOH has been rock solid for me, even more than my freebsd box (which has been way solid too).
Currently, I would recommend FreeBSD as a webserver if you have the hardware (I couldn't load FreeBSD on a IBM netfinity, but Linux loaded just fine).
Again, I would say learn both, and use the one you prefer.
Both are easy to use once you know the basics for a unix system. Your investment will be your time.
Learning curve for the first one will be steep, but for the next it will be shallow.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
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delphiheaven:
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by:paullamhkg
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No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to:

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