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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
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<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <head>
      <title>&title;</title>

      <cvs:keyword xmlns:cvs="http://www.FreeBSD.org/XML/CVS">$FreeBSD$</cvs:keyword>
    </head>

    <body class="navinclude.about">

    <p>As the BSD projects (including DragonFlyBSD, &os;, NetBSD, and
      OpenBSD) have grown in size, a number of persistent myths have
      grown up around them.  Some of these are perpetuated by well
      meaning but misguided individuals, others by people pursuing
      their own agendas.</p>

    <p>This page aims to dispel those myths while remaining as
      dispassionate as possible.</p>

    <blockquote><b>Note:</b> Throughout this page, ''*BSD'' refers to
      all of the BSD Projects.  Where a myth or response is specific
      to a particular project it is indicated as such.</blockquote>

    <blockquote>If you are aware of an omission or error on this page,
      please let the <a href="mailto:doc@freebsd.org">&os;
      Documentation Project mailing list</a> know.</blockquote>

    <h2>Myths</h2>

    <h2>Index</h2>

    <ul>
	<li><a href="#closed-model">*BSD has a closed development
	  model, it's more ''Cathedral'' than ''Bazaar''</a></li>

        <li><a href="#own-distro">You can't make your own distributions or
	  derivative works of *BSD</a></li>

        <li><a href="#server">*BSD makes a great server, but a poor
	  desktop</a></li>

        <li><a href="#old-codebase">The *BSD codebase is old, outdated, and
	  dying</a></li>

        <li><a href="#bsd-war">The *BSD projects are at war with one
	  another, splinter groups form each week</a></li>

        <li><a href="#clustering">You can't cluster *BSD systems (parallel
	  computing)</a></li>

        <li><a href="#support">There's no commercial support for
	  *BSD</a></li>

        <li><a href="#applications">There are no applications for
	  *BSD</a></li>

        <li><a href="#beats">*BSD is better than (some other system)</a></li>

        <li><a href="#beaten">(some other system) is better than *BSD</a></li>
</ul>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="closed-model">*BSD</a> has a closed development
      model, it's more ''Cathedral'' than ''Bazaar''</h3>

    <p>Eric Raymond wrote an influential paper,
      ''<a
	  href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/"
	  target="_blank"
	  rel="noopener">The
	  Cathedral and the Bazaar</a>'' in which the Linux
      development model (and the model Eric used for
      <tt>fetchmail</tt>) is held up as an example of how to do
      ''open'' development.  By contrast, the model employed by *BSD
      is often characterized as closed.</p>

    <p>The implicit value judgment is that ''bazaar'' (open) is good,
      and ''cathedral'' (closed) is bad.</p>

    <p>If anything, *BSD's development model is probably
      <strong>more</strong> akin to the ''bazaar'' that Eric describes
      than either Linux or <tt>fetchmail</tt>.</p>

    <p>Consider the following;</p>

    <ul>
        <li><p><b>All the *BSD projects:</b> The current, bleeding edge source
          code for FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD is available for anyone to download
          from the Internet, 24 hours a day. You don't need to wait for
          someone else to roll a release.</p>

	<p><b>FreeBSD:</b> An installable snapshot of the current
	  progress is made weekly. These snapshots can be installed
	  exactly like an ordinary release, and do not require installation
	  over an existing system.</p>

	<p><b>OpenBSD:</b> Installable snapshots are generated daily and if
	  Theo thinks they are good enough, he uploads them to the mirrors.</p>

	<p>Contrast this with Linux, where new kernel distributions are
	  made available on an ad-hoc basis, and where the frequency of
	  each Linux distribution release is at the whim of the individual
	  vendor.</p>

	<p>There's none of the Linux fanfare every time a new kernel is
	  released, simply because for most *BSD users it is an every day
	  event.</p></li>

        <li><p>Anyone can submit patches, bug reports, documentation, and
	  other contributions. They can do this
	  by using a web based
	  interface.</p>

	<p>Pointers to this system litter the documentation.</p></li>

	<li><p>Not everyone can commit code changes to the *BSD code.
	  You need to be a <em>committer</em> first.  Typically,
	  people are offered ''commit privs'' after they have made a
	  few well-thought out submissions to the project using
	  Bugzilla or similar.</p>

	<p>This is identical to the Linux mechanism. Only one person is
	  (notionally) allowed to change the Kernel, Linus. But specific areas
	  (such as the networking code) are delegated to other people.</p>

	<p><i>Aside: Nik (nik@FreeBSD.org) is a case in point.  After
	    making several submissions to the &os; Documentation
	    Project and web pages, he was offered ''commit privs'' so
	    that he did not have to keep bothering other committers to
	    commit the changes.  He never had to ask for them, they
	    were freely given.</i></p></li>
</ul>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="own-distro">You</a> cannot make your own distributions
      or derivative works of *BSD</h3>

    <p>You can. You just need to say in the documentation and source
      files where the code is derived from. Multiple derivative
      projects exist:</p>

    <ul>
	<li><p><a href="http://www.dragonflybsd.org/">DragonflyBSD</a>
	  started as a code fork from
	  FreeBSD 4.X, but it has since its own user community and
	  development goals.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Gentoo_FreeBSD">Gentoo/FreeBSD</a>
	  is an effort by the Gentoo Project to port their complete
	  administration facilities to take advantage of the reliable
	  FreeBSD kernel and userland.  This project is purely
	  incomplete and experimental.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="&url.articles;/nanobsd/index.html">NanoBSD</a> is another
	  project to produce reduced versions
	  of FreeBSD to put it on a Compact Flash card or other mass
	  storage.  It is also a part of the FreeBSD source tree, see
	  /usr/src/tools/tools/nanobsd.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://www.furybsd.org">FuryBSD</a> is a
	  brand new, open source &os; desktop.  FuryBSD pays homage to
	  desktop BSD projects of the past PC-BSD and TrueOS with its
	  graphical interface and adds additional tools like a live,
	  hybrid USB/DVD image.  FuryBSD is completely free to use and
	  distributed under the BSD license.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://ghostbsd.org">GhostBSD</a> is derived
	  from &os;, uses the GTK environment to provide a beautiful
	  looks and comfortable experience on the modern BSD platform
	  offering a natural and native &unix; work
	  environment.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://www.midnightbsd.org">MidnightBSD</a>
	  is a &os; derived operating system developed with desktop
	  users in mind.  It includes all the software you'd expect
	  for your daily tasks: mail, web browsing, word processing,
	  gaming, and much more.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="http://www.pfsense.com">pfSense</a> is an open source
	  firewall derived from the m0n0wall firewall system with several
	  different goals and features, such as OpenBSD's Packet Filter (PF),
	  FreeBSD 6.1, ALTQ support for excellent packet queuing and
	  finally an integrated package management system for extending the
	  environment with new features.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://hardenedbsd.org">HardenedBSD</a> was
	  Founded in 2014 by Oliver Pinter and Shawn Webb, HardenedBSD
	  is a security-enhanced fork of &os;.  The HardenedBSD
	  Project is implementing many exploit mitigation and security
	  technologies on top of &os;.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://opnsense.org">OPNsense</a> started as
	  a fork of pfSense&copy; and m0n0wall in 2014, with its first
	  official release in January 2015.  The project has evolved
	  very quickly while still retaining familiar aspects of both
	  m0n0wall and pfSense.  A strong focus on security and code
	  quality drives the development of the project.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://www.freenas.org/">FreeNAS</a> is an
	  operating system that can be installed on virtually any
	  hardware platform to share data over a network.  FreeNAS is
	  the simplest way to create a centralized and easily
	  accessible place for your data.  Use FreeNAS with ZFS to
	  protect, store, and back up all of your data.  FreeNAS is
	  used everywhere, for the home, small business, and the
	  enterprise.</p></li>

	<li><p><a href="https://www.xigmanas.com/">XigmaNAS</a> is an
	  embedded Open Source NAS (Network-Attached Storage)
	  distribution based on &os;.</p></li>
</ul>

    <p>Similarly to DragonflyBSD, OpenBSD was not a standalone project,
      it started as a spinoff from the NetBSD project, and has since evolved
      its own distinctive approach.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="server">*BSD</a> makes a great server, but a poor
      (&unix;) desktop</h3>

    <p>*BSD makes a great server. It also makes a great desktop. Many of
      the requirements for a server (responsiveness under load, stability,
      effective use of system resources) are the same requirements as for a
      desktop machine.</p>

    <p>*BSD has access to the same desktop tools (KDE, GNOME, Firefox,
      windowmanagers) as Linux.  And ''office'' applications such as
      LibreOffice suite work under *BSD too.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="old-codebase">The</a> BSD codebase is old, outdated, and
      dying</h3>

    <p>While the BSD codebase may be more than 20 years old, it is neither
      outdated nor dying.  Many professional users like the stability that years
      of testing has provided FreeBSD.</p>

    <p><a href="../features.html">Technological
      enhancements</a> continue to be added to *BSD.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="bsd-war">The</a> *BSD projects are at war with one another,
      splinter groups form each week</h3>

    <p>No. While occasional advocacy may get a touch heated, the *BSD flavors
      continue to work with one another. FreeBSD's Alpha port was initially
      heavily based on the work done by the NetBSD team. Both NetBSD and
      OpenBSD used the FreeBSD ports collection to bootstrap their own port
      sets. FreeBSD and NetBSD both integrate security fixes first discovered
      by the OpenBSD team.</p>

    <p>The FreeBSD and NetBSD projects separated more than twenty years
      ago. OpenBSD and DragonflyBSD are the only new BSD projects to
      split off in the last twenty years.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="clustering">You</a> can't cluster *BSD systems (parallel
      computing)</h3>

    <p>The following URLs should disprove this;</p>

    <ul>
	<li><a href="https://people.FreeBSD.org/~brooks/papers/bsdcon2003/fbsdcluster/">
	  https://people.FreeBSD.org/~brooks/papers/bsdcon2003/fbsdcluster/</a>
	  Brooks Davis's paper about the implementation of a FreeBSD
	  cluster with more than 300 CPU's</li>

	<li><a href="http://www.openbsd.org/faq/pf/carp.html">
	  http://www.openbsd.org/faq/pf/carp.html</a>
	  OpenBSD's Common Address Redundancy Protocol (CARP) to
	  build redundant clusters at the level of the firewall</li>

	<li><a href="http://pf4freebsd.love2party.net/carp.html">
	  http://pf4freebsd.love2party.net/carp.html</a>
	  OpenBSD's CARP ported to FreeBSD</li>

    </ul>

    <p>Note, that
      <a href="mailto:freebsd-cluster@FreeBSD.org">freebsd-cluster</a>
      mailing list is available for further discussion about
      clustering of FreeBSD.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="support">There's no commercial support for *BSD</a></h3>

    <p><b>FreeBSD:</b> The <a href="../commercial/consult_bycat.html">FreeBSD
	Commercial Vendors Page</a> lists companies that offer commercial
        support for FreeBSD.</p>

        <p>The <a href="http://www.freebsdmall.com">FreeBSD
	  Mall</a> also offer commercial support, along with shirts,
	  hats, books, software, and promotional items.</p>

    <p><b>OpenBSD:</b> The <a href="http://www.openbsd.org/support.html">OpenBSD Commercial
	Consulting Page</a> lists companies that offer commercial support for
        OpenBSD.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="applications">There</a> are no applications for *BSD</h3>

    <p>The free software community started running on predominantly BSD
      systems (SunOS and similar). *BSD users can generally compile software
      written for these systems without needing to make any changes.</p>

    <p>In addition, each *BSD project uses a ''ports'' system to make
      the building of ported software much easier.</p>

    <p><b>FreeBSD:</b> There are currently more than 30,000
      applications ready to download and install in the FreeBSD ports
      collection. On i386 and AMD64, the Linux emulation layer will
      also run the vast majority of Linux applications. On the AMD64
      architectures there is a compatibility layer to run 32-bit FreeBSD binaries.</p>

    <p><b>NetBSD:</b> The Linux emulation layer will run the vast majority of
      i386 Linux applications, and the majority of SunOS4 applications can be
      run on a SPARCStation.</p>

    <p><b>OpenBSD:</b> There are currently more than 8000 applications
      ready to download and install in the OpenBSD ports collection. The Linux
      emulation layer will also run the vast majority of i386 Linux
      applications, and the majority of SunOS4 applications can be run on a
      SPARCStation.</p>

    <p>Both NetBSD and OpenBSD are able to use applications in FreeBSD's ports
      collection with minimal effort. Their lower number of ported
      applications reflects this.</p>

    <p>It is true that most companies when porting to PC Unix will choose Linux
      first. Fortunately, *BSD's Linux emulation layer will run these
      programs (Acrobat, StarOffice, Mathematica, WordPerfect, Quake, Intel
      ICC compiler, Compaq's Alpha compiler ...)
      with few, if any, problems.</p>

    <p>As a historical note, the first version of Netscape Navigator that ran
      on FreeBSD with Java support was the Linux version. These day you can
      also use a native FreeBSD version of Mozilla with a native Java
      plugin, all compiled conveniently from ports.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="beats">*BSD</a> is better than (insert other system)</h3>

    <p>This is user opinion only.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h3>Myth: <a name="beaten">(insert some other system)</a> is better than *BSD</h3>

    <p>This is user opinion only.</p>

    <hr noshade="noshade" size="1"/>

    <h2>Contributors</h2>

    <p>Members of the FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD projects have contributed
      to this page;</p>

    <table width="100%">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>Nik Clayton
	    &lt;<a href="mailto:nik@FreeBSD.org">nik@FreeBSD.org</a>&gt;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Jordan Hubbard
	    &lt;<a href="mailto:jkh@FreeBSD.org">jkh@FreeBSD.org</a>&gt;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Ian F. Darwin
	    &lt;<a href="mailto:ian@DarwinSys.com">ian@DarwinSys.com</a>&gt;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Adrian Filipi-Martin
	    &lt;<a href="mailto:adrian@ubergeeks.com">adrian@ubergeeks.com</a>&gt;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Tom Rhodes
		&lt;<a href="mailto:trhodes@FreeBSD.org">trhodes@FreeBSD.org</a>&gt;</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>


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