How Are BSD, Unix, And Linux Different?

How Are BSD, Unix, And Linux Different?

In the world of virtual words, you may have heard and seen the names of Unix, Linux, and BSD together. It seems they could be similar to each other but there are some differences between them. In this article, we will review the points of this issue. It may also help you choose your suitable Linux VPS or other services.

First, let’s have a brief look at the history and features of BSD Unix and Linux.


What is BSD?

The Berkeley Standard Distribution is the implementation of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley Also known as free, open-source, and BSDI, it includes source code from the original System V in its kernel. Berkeley’s Unix was the first Unix to include libraries supporting the Internet Protocol stacks: Berkeley sockets.

A Unix implementation of IP’s predecessor, the ARPAnet’s NCP, with FTP and Telnet clients, had been produced at the University of Illinois in 1975 and was available at Berkeley. However, the memory scarcity on the PDP-11 forced a complicated design and performance problems.

Some of the operating systems that are based on BSD are FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, MidnightBSD, GhostBSD, Darwin, and DragonFly BSD.


Reasons For Public Reluctance To BSD

The important question is, if BSD Net / 2 was the first open-source operating system, then why did GNU / Linux get a chance to shine in the public sight? The reasons for this can be summarized as follows:
Legal issues: AT&T’s Source Code Licensing model allowed other companies to build their own UNIX-based operating system under a proprietary brand (including Microsoft Xenix, which was later sold to SCO, and SunOS, which later became the basis for Solaris, IBM, and HP-UX). In the early 1990s, Unix System Laboratories, or USL for short, which was a subsidiary of Bell Labs, merged with another part of the company called UNIX Software Operation to develop and license UNIX. The company later became an independent subsidiary of AT&T.

What Is The Purpose Of  The FreeBSD Project?

FreeBSD aims to provide a versatile, stable, fast, high-performance operating system, easy to use for any purpose, free of any conditions. Usually the first choice of web servers among other BSDs, which happens to be the most used among BSDs.

What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system. Like most Unix-like OSes, Linux is made up of several components. An operating system is a software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply, the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware.

While Linux is similar to other operating systems such as Windows, macOS (formerly OS X), or iOS, But from point of the important ways is different. Except for being open-source software, the code used to create Linux is free and available to the public to view, edit, and—for users with the appropriate skills—to contribute to.

In many ways, Linux is you may have used before, such as other operating systems, Linux has a graphical interface, and the same types of software you are accustomed to, such as word processors, photo editors, video editors, and so on. In many cases, a software creator may have made a Linux version of the same program you use on other systems. In short: if you can use a computer or other electronic device, you can use Linux.

Recommended Article: How Are BSD, Unix, And Linux Different?

Linux distributions

OS components are packaged together into what’s called a distribution basically, a Linux OS tweaked in a particular way that’s ready to use out of the box. Some of the better known Linux distributions are:

  • Ubuntu
  • SuSE
  • Debian
  • Red Hat
  • Fedora
  • Oracle Linux
  • CentOS
  • Arch Linux
  • Mandriva

Why is Linux So Successful?

What is more important to be adaptable and cheap? Linux is adaptable with different distributions porting it to just about any computing platform you could name.

However, as a sysadmin or network admin, you are eager to familiarize yourself with it.



What is Unix?

Unix is also an operating system and supports multitasking and multi-user functionality. Unix systems are characterized by a modular design that is sometimes called the “Unix philosophy”. According to this philosophy, the operating system should provide a set of simple tools, each of which performs a limited, well-defined function. You can find Unix being used widely in all forms of computing systems such as desktop, laptop, and servers. On Unix, there is a Graphical user interface similar to windows that support easy navigation and support environment.


How Are BSD, Unix, And Linux Different?

At this point, you got familiar with BSD, Unix, and Linux. Stay with us to study the differences between them. Firstly we begin with the comparison Of Unix And Linux.

Difference: Unix vs Linux

In the beginning, public opinion believed that Linux was designed to compete with the Windows operating system, while the purpose of creating this operating system was to stand tall against the old Unix operating system. Unix operating system is very old and can be considered as the father of other operating systems. The operating philosophy of this operating system was to work with a large number of computers. Due to the difficulty of working with this type of operating system, usually, the number of people who have acceptable control over it is very small and you have to pay a high price to use it. Linux, on the other hand, was created by a person named Linus Torvalds, and unlike Unix, it is completely free to use, and learning to work with it is much easier than Unix.

Unix can be considered as one of the oldest operating systems available, but despite this antiquity, not many changes have been made to this operating system, and this is one of the drawbacks of critics of this operating system. In the Unix operating system, the user interface has been sacrificed for heavy processing power, which is why Unix user interfaces are so difficult. The Unix operating system is designed for the server, while the Linux operating system is designed for both the server and the client, so they have both a GUI and a shell command-line interface. In the Linux operating system, to increase the processing power, the graphical environment or GUI can be converted to a shell environment. As mentioned, the Linux operating system is designed for both server and client, and this has led to the growing popularity of this operating system and is used by many users. You have to pay to use the Unix operating system if using the Linux operating system is completely free and you do not need to pay to use it. You may have heard the term open-source about operating systems, which means that you can make custom changes to the kernel of the operating system and create a personal operating system. This feature is present in the Linux operating system, and unlike Unix, it is a kind of Closed Source and it is not possible to change its core. The main differences between these two types of operating systems can be summarized as follows: Unix is ​​an old operating system and Linux is somehow derived from this operating system. Unix does not have a graphical interface, but Linux has a graphical interface. Using Unix is ​​free of charge if using Linux is free.



Difference: Linux vs BSD

At this point, we are going to check the top 10 differences between Linux and BSD.


1- License:
Linux is released under the GPL and the license used by BSD is ‌ BSD License. The main difference between the two operating systems at the license level is that the GPL license guarantees that the software here is Linux to remain free forever and that anyone who uses or modifies it in the same way and with the same license without Close some of the code to redistribute it to the next person. In general, the GPL guarantees that the software will remain free forever.
On the other hand, the SDBSD license does not have strict rules in the form of GPL in keeping the software free, and the person who uses the source of this software and changes it does not have to redistribute it or publish it with the same license, and even has the license to use the software. Give the software a closed source with the next person.


2- Project control:

How to manage project control in Linux is that the final decisions are made by one person, Linus Torvalds, who I have already described how to develop and manage the Linux kernel. But the way BSD is developed is unlike Linux. In the BSD project, the final decisions are made by a management board and no particular person applies their personal opinion to the project.


3- Operating system integrity:
Linux is just a kernel and the core of the operating system, and really joining the GNU project and several other tools outside of these two projects will form an operating system and be distributed in the form of distros such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu. etc. On the other hand, BSD, in addition to having its own core and kernel, also has its own application tools, which all together create an integrated operating system, the product of a single project. There is a tool from the GNU project in BSD that is used, but the lack of that tool does not cause a lack of completeness in the operating system.



4- Being quasi-Unix:
Unix, as always, has been a feature of Linux and BSD operating systems. In the early 1990s, the two projects were inspired by the Unix operating system, and both aimed to create a Unix-like operating system. For 20 years, Linux tried to be a more modern operating system and It moved a little away from the basics of Unix, and that was the key to its success among other operating systems. But on the other hand, BSD tried to keep itself more like Unix, and it succeeded in this, and so far the most quasi-Unix operating system can be called the same BSD.


5- The basis of the system:
The fifth case may be a little difficult to understand, but it is somewhat related to the third case. When it comes to the Base System, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the core of the operating system. Because Linux consists of two projects, the Linux kernel, and the GNU project, it can be said that the Base System is the Linux kernel, which the kernel itself does not have for the use and must be placed next to other tools. But in BSD this is a little different. When it comes to the basics of the operating system, it is the BSD kernel and kernel that sits next to some other tools and creates the Base System, which if the system does not provide us with an application, but can at least be used in practice.

6- Being Source-Based:
This is understandable for Arch Linux and Gentoo users as professional users of these operating systems deal with it on a daily basis. One of the strengths of BSD is its reliance on Port Collection. If I want to give an equivalent in Linux, I have to refer to the ABS system in Arch Linux and Portage in Gentoo, which has implemented exactly the same system. Using the port, you will be able to compile and install software ٫ libraries from the source without any hassle of finding prerequisites with just one command. Unlike BSD in Linux, packages are downloaded and installed from software repositories of the same distribution, and in fact, software binary packages have already been created by other people for the convenience of the user. It goes without saying that BSD also uses binary packages.


7- System upgrade:
One of the advantages of Linux is that it always uses a Built-in package manager. Like apt in Ubuntu and Debian or yum in Fedora and Red Hat or Pacman in Arch Linux or…. Packages are managed and updated by the package manager and system upgrade operations are performed seamlessly. On the other hand, such a feature can be found in BSD, but not to the power of the Linux package manager. And if the user wants to use Port Collection to install their packages, it may be a bit difficult to upgrade them all.


8- System stability:
Based on my work experience and the documents I read and deal with on a daily basis, the BSD family can be classified as the most stable operating systems in the IT world. SDBSD users may have encountered the phrase “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,”! If something is not damaged, do not touch it! This is a famous sentence that recounts the strength and stability of BSD. Perhaps this sentence can be interpreted in such a way that nothing goes wrong that you want to fix. On the other hand, Linux is not like this. Sometimes you may have to reinstall the entire system without having to do anything else by changing or installing another part of the operating system. (Like some distributions based on unstable other distribution repositories. Of course for novice and regular users. However, it is a reality that any curious user encounters with the operating system.


9- Hardware support:
One of the problems with BSD is the lack of timely support for hardware and hardware technologies along with other operating systems. If you bought a laptop with the latest hardware on the market, you should not expect BSD to work well with it. That’s why you can’t see BSD like Linux on desktop systems and regular users. But on the other hand, in Linux, this is a little different. Support for new hardware technologies may happen sooner on Linux before it even works on Windows.


10- User friendly:
Perhaps the last case can be considered as a summary of the previous 9 cases, and that is its user-friendliness. Reviewing the previous 9 cases, you will find that BSD may not be very suitable for the average user and desktop, although there are those who are austere and willing to learn new things, use BSD for the desktop as well. However, you will find that Linux can be far more user-friendly than BSD, although there is still room for improvement for Linux to have an ideal desktop.




In this article, you learned about BSD, Unix, And Linux, and the difference between them. In case you are interested in reading more, find our related articles.

We Are Waiting for your valuable comments and you can be sure that it will be answered in the shortest possible time.
  • Norman wayr
    Norman wayr
    4 months ago

    What files are they supporting? Thank u.

    • Dani
      4 months ago

      Unix supports: zfs, js, hfx, gps, xfs, vxfs.
      Linux supports: xfs, ramfs, nfs, vfat, cramfsm, ext3, ext4, ext2, ext1, ufs, autofs, devpts, ntfs.
      And • BSD supports Unix File System or UFS, which is modernized as UFS2. ZFS is also available for free BSD.

  • ellen Woods
    ellen Woods
    4 months ago

    What is the difference between the devices we can install them on?

    • Dani
      4 months ago

      Among these three, Linux is a very flexible operating system which can be installed on most of the home-based PCs and also is used on home-based pcs, desktops, mobile phones, etc. • BSD can also be installed on most of the systems. And • Unix is mainly used in most server systems, High-end computers, and mainframe systems.

  • Lana Waxman
    Lana Waxman
    4 months ago

    Very good. What about being portable?

    • Dani
      4 months ago

      UNIX is a non-portable operating system. But the Linux and BSD are portable operating system which can be executed on different hard drives.

  • Nina Duncan
    Nina Duncan
    4 months ago

    Which one are freeware please?

    • Dani
      4 months ago

      The Unix is not freeware. The source code of UNIX is not available free for users. But the Linux and the BSD are freeware and the source code of Linux is freely available to all users.

  • Victor Almas
    Victor Almas
    4 months ago

    What are the best alternatives for a Genuine Unix?

    • Dani
      4 months ago

      In case you need some alternatives, I can introduce you the BSD Implementation, MINIX 3 and OpenIndiana


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