And now it can get legally drunk in every country on the Earth, where drinking is legal ;)
Be nice and send it a birthday gift!
Just like Linux taught me to appreciate FreeBSD, FreeBSD taught me to appreciate OpenBSD. OpenBSD -- the world's simplest and most secure Unix-like OS. Creator of the world's most used SSH implementation OpenSSH, the world's most elegant firewall PF, the world's most elegant mail server OpenSMTPD, and the OpenSSL rewrite LibreSSL. OpenBSD -- the cleanest kernel, the cleanest userland and the cleanest configuration syntax.
As someone who has been using FreeBSD professionally since 1998, and built the first VPS provider on it and then built all of rsync.net on it, I am a huge proponent of FreeBSD.
However I (and others) have been frustrated for years by the culture of new and shiny that has displaced a culture of stability and long term support.
Rather than rehash it all here, let me suggest that if you are interested, you may read this mailing list posting:
... which I wrote in January 2012. Much of it remains true today. That being said, when we reworked the rsync.net platform from the ground up in late 2012, we did indeed go forward with FreeBSD.
 JohnCompanies "Server Instances", based on FreeBSD jail, were made available in Fall of 2001. A year or so later the world settled on "Virtual Private Server" as the de facto descriptor.
Nope, that's DragonFly BSD. FreeBSD is far more conservative in comparison, occasionally integrating some more daring idea. In contrast, NetBSD used to silently innovate all the time (and I think still do, what with rump kernels) and even OpenBSD, despite being rather vanilla on the outside, is internally innovative in the area of security.
For performance, FreeBSD beats OpenBSD in all cases. The thing is, many of us would do just fine on OpenBSD while finding configuration and installation easier and the whole experience of using the system more consistent.
I really liked and used OpenBSD in the 2000-2002 timeframe (then I returned to Slackware, later OS X). At some point, hardware support became an issue. How good is it these days?
It wouldn't detect my SATA HDDs on a GA-945GCM-S2C board (no issues with that on Windows/OSX-Hackintosh/Debian/FreeBSD), had to use USB-HDD to install. Only option for my nVidia graphics was the nv driver, which is actually many times slower than the vesa driver somehow. And vesa lacked any widescreen modes, so video was practically unusable for me. Other than that, everything worked out of the box. LAN (Realtek), audio (HDA), etc.
Only thing I didn't like on the software side (but many people would prefer) was that it's really bleeding edge. I much prefer Xfce, but still rely on some Gnome apps. OpenBSD is much further along with Gnome 3, so a lot of apps like gedit, gnome-system-monitor, gcalctool, evince etc start to stand out like a sore thumb. That'll come to FreeBSD too, but at least I have a bit more time to find alternatives.
Laptops are harder than desktop, mostly due to ACPI and I still trying to get a multitouch trackpad to work (I'm missing a right button).
Linux and FreeBSD has better hardware support, but when stuff is supported in OpenBSD it just works. Only exception I ran into is wireless card in an old MacBook Pro which should work but doesn't.
If this was a bwi(4) card, the problem is probably fixed in 5.6: http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=140585757928895&w=2
I've seen others get the same error, funny enough the man page says:
athn0: device timeout
A frame dispatched to the hardware for transmission did not complete in time. The driver will reset the hardware. This should not happen.
The device timeout message might not necessarily be a fatal problem. If it doesn't have an impact on actual usage you can just ignore it. Otherwise, please file a quality bug report so we can learn more about it.
The was a time it was the only blessed BSD distribution for Java, unicode support has been pretty good for years, the ports management is easy and forgiving, documentation is generally clean and complete, help resources have a polite and professional feel.
In general there are stronger alternatives for a production server (OpenSBD definitively) but it's a very nice environment for a workstation or development server.
That said, I'm also OpenBSD fan, using it as a "hardened" (Internet facing) production server, with minimal ports, for things like Postfix, DNS, etc. OpenBSD is also well used in network management/control as a router, firewall, etc.
Each has its use case, and does quite well in them.
I'm quite relieved that these developers have Linux to focus on, and are sparing us their creations on the BSDs.
And I'm not saying there's no place for whatever it is Redhat et al are creating, but I'm very happy that we still have a true Unix-like OS, and I'm not sure we would if all of these developers were focused solely on BSD in a hypothetical world without Linux.
Page 52 http://free.blackpatchpanel.com/pme/linux/history.pdf
1) Almost since day one Linux was a better desktop OS (even back in 1992).
2) This might seem counter intuitive but Linus focused on source compatibility. It was much easier to take any source package and type 'make install' and off you went whereas in the BSDs, there was a 10% more chance of thing not working right.
3) Devices: Linux expanded device compatibility much faster than the BSDs.
just wish certain other Linux related projects would take that mantra to heart.
Btw, it is a similar mantra that has carried Microsoft all these years. Recently discovered that some software a relative of mine has been enjoying dated back to Windows 95. And it only broke now because the new computer was running 64-bit Windows 8.
It's impressive how both the feature set and community have grown since then and hard to imagine the OS now giant-locked or without ULE, ZFS, DTrace, PF, and a host of other things both homegrown and imported. I'm particularly excited to see BHyVe mature so there is a native VM option besides VirtualBox when I need more than a Jail.
FreeBSD still struggles in some scenarios, especially desktop use and availability of BSD VPS hosting that would let people cheaply experiment with the OS like they can with Linux on Linode or DigitalOcean. I have a FreeBSD desktop and a VPS running in prgmr.com's Xen environment, but both took quite a bit of effort to set up:
Happy birthday, FreeBSD!
GCE can also run FreeBSD fine if you don't mind messing with KVM images yourself (a quick search should show some threads on how to get started). Many other providers would probably maintain support for this as well if more people spoke about their interests. It's not hard to support on KVM based systems so it's a matter of winning new customers not technical limitations.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that it's also easy (and cheap!) to rent hardware at places like Softlayer and Rackspace. Both of these provide support for FreeBSD on the metal. You could then run Jails (very mature and easy to use) or Bhyve (less mature but the guest support is growing at a reasonable pace) on top of this if you need to partition resources.
I should also note that I saw this company recently. It's a nice and cheap way to get a FreeBSD setup: https://www.vultr.com
The issue was that older instance types (now known as "Previous Generation instances") didn't support HVM for "unix" images, so FreeBSD had to pretend to be Windows -- which meant that you had to pay for a Windows license you weren't using.
All of the instance types introduced since 2010 have supported HVM "unix" instances, and as of a few months ago all of the older instance types have been officially deprecated.
Edit: you just select "none" as the OS and point it at a FreeBSD 10 amd64 image URL as the CD image and it'll install fine and use virtio drivers for network/storage. Very reliable as well.
http://www.scei.co.jp/ps4-license/ (and many other oss)
Cheers FreeBSD! I happy remember buying the 2.1.5 CD set from Walnut Creek and tinkering for weeks.
Recently a new book came out too for FreeBSD, I'll see if I can post it here without some sort of referral link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321968972/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl...
I managed to get one of my professors to purchase the book as well, and it was a nice piece of material for Intro to Operating Systems.
I'm happy to see more headlines on BSDs these days, and I can't stop thinking it has something to do with systemd.
That said, I'd honestly be very interested in any numbers confirming increased interest in the BSDs as a result of systemd integration into GNU/Linux. It's widely speculated, but is there anything concrete to suggest it?
I haven't actually used systemd, and I'm sure it runs just fine for most desktop people who don't care how their system boots. But I disagree with nearly all of its design decisions. I strongly value software portability between Linux and BSDs regardless of which OS I am using, I don't believe in making desktop environments like Gnome 3 (and even desktop applications like Brasero) dependent upon a specific init system, I don't believe in monolithic design and prefer stronger decoupling, I prefer text log files to binary log files, I find the documentation on systemd and its APIs appalingly sparse, I am opposed to the heavy-handedness of consuming other libraries like udev, I am greatly opposed to the politics being played out to push its adoption on other distros, on and on.
That keep their changes private.
If they don't give back to the project it makes their life much harder.
If you want to try a real systemd system use a recent Fedora or Arch release.
Those of us in the trenches doing sysadmin work will definitely notice.
Edit: FlightAware, as well.
Does anyone know if there's been more progress on this? It'd really be a boon to FreeBSD (and BSDs in general) if travis-ci supported it, since it'd make it easier for devs to write portable code (between Mac/Linux/BSD) from the get-go.
Yet FreeBSD is still a nice operating system and kernel.
Legitimate question: where have all those resource gone into Linux? What have we gotten out of it that's not in BSD?
I'd be happy to! ZFS, DTrace, pf, Bhyve, Capsicum, Jails, GEOM/geli, the userland is part of the base system, and the core team is elected.
For the buzzwords: I like that my out-of-box install has AES-256 whole-disk encryption, software mirroring (that doesn't require identical disks) and snapshots; I really love pf for managing traffic and port remapping on my server; Jails are great added security for services exposed to the internet.
Through and through, I just like the design more in nearly all cases. rc.d works great for my needs, I like devd, I agree with FreeBSD's philosophy difference on the behavior of /dev/random, I like the more laid back licensing, etc.
And to flip things around ... I think Linux does a massively better job at out-of-the-box simplicity in setting up and running a desktop environment. The BSDs are server-oriented and that really shows.
Linux for the desktop, FreeBSD on the server.
In general, the opposite mentality (Linux users hating BSD) is far more common, particularly in places like /r/linux, Phoronix and even LWN. There's a certain brand of Linux user who just won't resist telling you that BSD is an irrelevant dinosaur-era operating system that keeps leeching off of Linux. BSD users tend to be much more humble and learned, in comparison. Largely because they don't live in a monoculture.
Over time, I grew tired of having my machine in a near-constant state of compiling code (updates are built from source rather than through APT or RPM repos). So I drifted away and ended up with Ubuntu, where I wouldn't have to tinker with the OS so much. However, I miss the amazing documentation that came with FreeBSD, and the things that it encouraged me to learn along the way.
The FreeBSD Handbook was the single best thing about the OS, IMO: a cohesive, up to date reference to about everything in the system.
Cheers, live long and prosper!
Oh and a side note. Being based off the original BSD its roots go back to 1977 and even earlier.
When comparing between CentOS and Debian, I'd say Debian's apt system is superior to the RedHat family's rpm system, both in terms of usability and when building your own packages. If you plan to run commercial software however, most are made for use on RedHat although that's starting to change with Ubuntu also being a target nowadays. So in general, I'd say go CentOS for commercial software, or Debian for open source software.
Get someone that knows one of these systems well. It really does not matter that much. You can do almost everything with every system.
The more important task is to design your website stack in a way that it works reliable.
I just hope that they don't change their license model into just "free as in beer" :)
And I hope they one day implement all kernel functions that Linux supports, so that switching from Linux to FreeBSD becomes less painful.
What is the license on this code?
However no work was done to continue to provide the hacks and tweaks and basic documentation that was required to install vmware on FreeBSD (although if you have an old copy, and license, of vmware workstation 3.x, it should work).
This is a problem - if you're trying to run FreeBSD as a desktop system, it's a real boon have vmware available, if you should want it. We tried to fix this problem back in 2007:
... but there were no serious takers :(
NetBSD has 64 bit Linux emulation support.
FreeBSD isn't as commonly used as a desktop/workstation though. People do it (I have one over in a corner), but support for every mouse and dongle under the sun isn't quite as high priority. Stuff like ethernet drivers that matter for servers have really good support in my experience.
Really? Most common peripherals, like mice, keyboards, usb drives, etc, just plug and play (as they do in Windows). But I tried installing a (4 year old?) multi-function printer under Ubuntu 14.04 a few weeks ago and was never able to get the scanner to work, despite Brother providing Linux drivers. Some co-workers and I haven't had great experiences with webcams under Linux. Touchpad support is there, but whether gestures and multi-touch work is another matter. Overall, Linux drivers are a far cry from plug and play in my experience, and I really don't care if I have to run an installer once as long as it ends up working.
Really? Because all USB webcams should support UVC, and therefore should work under every modern OS (Windows, OSX, Linux, BSDs, etc) without any additional drivers.
In fact, you can't even get a Windows Compatibility logo on your packaging if you don't support it. So the webcams you were trying to use must either have been ancient, or appallingly bad hardware?
I've read that driver breakage is for many the #1 problem with Linux, even for enterprise/server setups. I'm starting to view RHEL in a new light after running Debian for a long time.
One example where moving from Windows Vista to Windows 7 will update Intel on board graphics card drivers, thus killing Minecraft. Fix is to upgrade graphics card; or to run old versions of Minecraft; or to install Linux and run latest version of Minecraft.
With Windows there's a very good chance you can continue using an old version for a long time. I'm still supporting my mother using XP through two sets of hardware (although that'll end soon). (In)Famously, many people skipped Vista and are now skipping Widows 8, and I gather not suffering all that much.
Not on laptops
You have to be aware that neither Linux nor FreeBSD were developed with desktop usage as a primary goal, so the drivers support focuses more on hardware related to professional usage.
However, you can still use FreeBSD on the desktop/laptop if you pay some attention to what you're buying, and there is great FreeBSD distro called PC-BSD dedicated to desktop users as well!
Answering your question in one word: comparable.
If you're merely in the OpenBSD camp, you'll think that security is the "focus" of OpenBSD.
1. Should be Free as Linux
2. For use in Desktop
3. Needs UI
4. Mainly for Development
Which BSD is best fit for me?
I first installed FreeBSD in 1997. You had to send away for the CDs. There was something so very cool about tinkering with the OS and then typing "make world" at a shell prompt and watching as the OS rebuilt itself. FreeBSD used Beastie as their mascot, cuter than a penguin :)
Have a look at https://wiki.freebsd.org/PackageManagerRosettaStone
GPL proponents generally argue that since code must be contributed back if a program is distributed, it will cause the original source base to grow. On the other hand, from what I gather Apple has used a lot of code from FreeBSD and contributed a significant amount back to the project, which wouldn't have been possible without a BSD-style license. Native ZFS support wouldn't have been possible either, although Sun may have deliberately used a non-GPL compatible license in that case. In any event, it's possible for a BSD-licensed code base to grow as well.
The other pro-GPL argument is that it provides more freedom than a BSD license, but I wonder if part of that is just a desire to prevent commercial use of something others created and gave away for free. I'm not sure why that bothers some GPL proponents. What's your take on that?
Personally I'm more inclined to contribute to a BSD-licensed project because I can use parts of the code commercially. I don't see as many opportunities to work on GPL-licensed code outside of a very niche job working for someone else or doing it merely as a hobby.