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+<!-- $Id: nutshell.sgml,v 1.1 1995-05-11 02:03:38 jfieber Exp $ -->
+<!-- The FreeBSD Documentation Project -->
+<sect><heading>FreeBSD in a nutshell</heading>
+ <p>FreeBSD is a state of the art operating system for
+ personal computers based on the Intel CPU architecture, which
+ includes the 386, 486 and Pentium processors (both SX and DX versions).
+ Intel compatible CPUs from AMD and Cyrix are supported as well.
+ FreeBSD provides you with many advanced features previously available
+ only on much more expensive computers. These features include:
+ <itemize>
+ <item><bf>Preemptive multitasking</bf> with dynamic priority
+ adjustment to ensure smooth and fair sharing of the
+ computer between applications and users.</item>
+ <item><bf>Multiuser</bf> access means that many people can use a
+ FreeBSD system simultaneously for a variety of things. System
+ peripherals such as printers and tape drives are also properly
+ shared between all users on the system.</item>
+ <item>Complete <bf>TCP/IP networking</bf> including SLIP, PPP, NFS
+ and NIS support. This means that your FreeBSD machine can
+ interoperate easily with other systems as well act as an enterprise
+ server, providing vital functions such as NFS (remote file access) and
+ e-mail services or putting your organization on the Internet
+ with WWW, ftp, routing and firewall (security) services.</item>
+ <item><bf>Memory protection</bf> ensures that applications (or
+ users) cannot interfere with each other. One application
+ crashing will not affect others in any way.</item>
+ <item>FreeBSD is a <bf>32-bit</bf> operating system and was designed
+ as such from the ground up.</item>
+ <item>The industry standard <bf>X Window System</bf> (X11R6)
+ provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for the cost of a
+ common VGA card and monitor.</item>
+ <item><bf>Binary compatibility</bf> with many programs built for SCO,
+ BSDI, NetBSD, and 386BSD.</item>
+ <item>Hundreds of <bf>ready-to-run</bf> applications are
+ available from the
+ FreeBSD <bf>ports and packages</bf>
+ collection. Why search the net when you can find it all
+ right here?</item>
+ <item>Thousands of additional and <bf>easy-to-port</bf> applications
+ available on the Internet. FreeBSD is source code compatible
+ with most popular commercial Unix systems and thus most
+ applications require few, if any, changes to compile.</item>
+ <item>Demand paged <bf>virtual memory</bf> and `merged VM/buffer cache'
+ design efficiently satisfies applications with large appetites
+ for memory while still maintaining interactive response to other
+ users.</item>
+ <item><bf>Shared libraries</bf> (the Unix equivalent of
+ MS-Windows DLLs) provide for efficient use of disk space
+ and memory.</item>
+ <item>A full compliment of <bf>C</bf>, <bf>C++</bf> and
+ <bf>Fortran</bf> development tools. Many additional
+ languages for research and advanced development are
+ available as well in the ports and packages
+ collection.</item>
+ <item><bf>Source code</bf> for the entire system means you have
+ the greatest degree of control over your environment. Why be
+ locked into a proprietary solution and at the mercy of your vendor
+ when you can have a truly Open System?</item>
+ <item>Extensive <bf>on-line documentation</bf>.</item>
+ <item><bf>And many more!</bf></item>
+ </itemize>
+ FreeBSD is based on the BSD 4.4-lite release from Computer
+ Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of
+ California at Berkeley, and carries on the distinguished
+ tradition of BSD systems development. In addition to the
+ fine work provided by CSRG, the FreeBSD Project has put in
+ many thousands of hours in fine tuning the system for
+ maximum performance and reliability in real-life load
+ situations. As many of the commercial giants struggle to
+ field PC operating systems with such features, performance,
+ and reliability, FreeBSD can offer them <bf>now</bf>!
+ The applications to which FreeBSD can be put are truly
+ limited only by your own imagination. From software
+ development to factory automation. Inventory control to
+ azimuth correction of remote satellite antennae, if it can
+ be done with a commercial UNIX product, then it's more than
+ likely that you can do it with FreeBSD, too! FreeBSD also
+ benefits significantly from the literally thousands of high
+ quality applications developed by research centers and
+ universities around the world, and often available at low
+ (to no) cost. Commercial applications are also available
+ and appearing in greater numbers every day.
+ Because the source code for FreeBSD itself is generally
+ available, the system can also be customized to an almost
+ unheard of degree for special applications or projects, and
+ in ways not generally possible with operating systems from
+ most major commercial vendors. Here is just a sampling of
+ some of the applications in which people are currently
+ using FreeBSD:
+ <itemize>
+ <item><bf>Internet Services:</bf> The robust TCP/IP networking
+ built into FreeBSD makes it an ideal platform for a
+ variety of Internet services such as:
+ <itemize>
+ <item>FTP servers</item>
+ <item>World Wide Web servers</item>
+ <item>Gopher servers</item>
+ <item>Electronic Mail servers</item>
+ <item>USENET News</item>
+ <item>Bulletin Board Systems</item>
+ <item>And more...</item>
+ </itemize>
+ You can easily start out small with an inexpensive 386
+ class PC and upgrade as your enterprise grows.</item>
+ <item><bf>Education:</bf> Are you a student of computer science
+ or a related engineering field? There is no better way
+ of learning about operating systems, computer
+ architecture and networks than the hands on, under the
+ hood experience that FreeBSD can provide. A number of
+ freely available CAD, mathematical and graphic design
+ packages also make it highly useful to those who's
+ primary interest in a computer is to get <em>other</em>
+ work done!</item>
+ <item><bf>Research:</bf> With source code for the entire system
+ available, FreeBSD is an excellent platform for research
+ in operating systems as well as other branches of
+ computer science. FreeBSD's freely available nature also
+ makes it possible for remote groups to collaborate on
+ ideas or shared development without having to worry about
+ special licensing agreements, or with limitations on what
+ may be discussed in certain forums.</item>
+ <item><bf>Networking:</bf> Need a new router? A name server
+ (DNS)? A firewall to keep people out of your internal
+ network? FreeBSD can easily turn that unused 386 or 486 PC
+ sitting in the corner into an advanced router with
+ sophisticated packet filtering capabilities. </item>
+ <item><bf>X Window workstation:</bf> FreeBSD is an excellent
+ choice for an inexpensive X terminal solution, either
+ using the freely available XFree86 server or one
+ of the excellent commercial servers provided by X Inside.
+ Unlike an X
+ terminal, FreeBSD allows many applications to be run
+ locally, if desired, thus relieving the burden on a
+ central server. Additionally, FreeBSD can boot
+ "diskless" making individual workstations even cheaper
+ and easier to administer.</item>
+ <item><bf>Software Development:</bf> The basic FreeBSD system
+ comes with a full compliment of development tools
+ included the renowned GNU C/C++ compiler and
+ debugger. </item>
+ </itemize>