Blake Finley, MA, ABD-2 wrote:

Hello.  Hope it's not too "tongue-in-chic", but it's practically

I am primarily concerned about security from internet hacking, and am therefore considering setting up a separate internet computer with BSD. What is your association with Open BSD?

Hmm, three letters, and, long, long ago in a galaxy far away (1993, California),
the same codebase.  These days, it's possible that some developers work on
both the FreeBSD and OpenBSD projects (I don't know for sure), and, once in a
great while, when somebody "over here" says something, um, wrong(?), Theo
De Raadt drops by to Set Us Straight(TM).

[I can only assume that some of "us" go over there first to invite combat.
Indeed, I might be doing it now.  Generally, I respect the OpenBSD team's
outlook on life in general, etc., and I download _all_ the songs.]

You might wish to also read about and/or consider "NetBSD" and "DragonFlyBSD".
Also, "PCBSD" and "Desktop BSD" are relatively new projects that are based
on the work of the FreeBSD Project, with an eye to being, maybe, more "user
friendly" in regard to installation in particular and configuration in general.

Lastly, you might want to consider obtaining "FreesBIE", a "Live CD" system 
on FreeBSD.  You can boot a computer from CDROM into FreeBSD and 1 of a few 
types of "user environments", maybe get a feel for it, test your hardware, read the manpages, read /COPYRIGHT, perhaps other read documentation, courtesy of some
hard-working Italian "hackers" (and some from some other places).

with Linux?

What's that?  </evil grin>

If you are familiar with Linux, search at Google with the string "BSD Linux
Matthew Fuller rant".  It's a fairly well thought-through tirade on some of the
differences Linux users perceive when they look at (Free)BSD.  If you _aren't_
familiar with Linux, let's just say that FreeBSD is to Linux as Ferrari is
to Pontiac (or, maybe vice-versa, depending on whom you read --- of course, many
people these days are pathological liars and can't be trusted, right?), and then leave it dead somewhere near there. Both are computer operating systems with several similarities, enough that if you can "drive" one, you can probably
"get around" in the other.  They just aren't the *same*.

Are there copyright or other related issues involved?

You will need to be more specific.  *-BSD systems are under the "BSD Copyright",
which I'm sure you can find with a web search.  Some software on FreeBSD (and
by extension PCBSD and 'Desktop BSD') may also be under the FSF's "GPL".  The
compiler comes to mind, for starters.  I believe that one of the goals of many
BSD developers is to ultimately be rid of GPL'ed software; but, then again, one
of many humans' goals it to ultimately build a Utopian society without many of
the societal ills we face.  It's not so likely to happen very soon at all.

It appears that FreeBSD is the most closely associated with the original Berkeley programmers.

Maybe.  NetBSD and FreeBSD were both originally based heavily on UC Berkley
work, most notably 4.3BSD/Net 2, and then 4.4BSD after it became "unencumbered".
Speaking of "Copyright" above, and, if you are referring to issues such as the
SCO/Linux court battle or the recent Microsoft claim that Linux infringes on
$n of their patents, as far as we know, no one has any commercial
"copyright", per se, in the FreeBSD source code.  The lawsuit on that one
was settled in 1993, out of court IIRC.  The contestants were BSDI (and, to
some extent, by extension, U. Cal), and AT&T's "Unix Systems Laboratories".

I was told that OpenBSD provided the best security. But I also note that changes have occurred at OBSD, and wonder if this is still true.

Actually, OpenBSD does have an excellent security track record.  They
might also welcome a large monetary donation, should you be so endowed and

OTOH, it's totally "Free", also, in rather the same way as FreeBSD. OpenBSD
"forked" from NetBSD many years ago for some reason or another that I'm
sure you can read up on with resources on the WWW (or, maybe the aforementioned
Mr. De Raadt will Set Me Straight(TM)).

Let me encourage you to read appropriate sections of, or even all of
the FreeBSD handbook (  It is probably the best
open-source operating system documentation in existence (and perhaps better
than any proprietary OS docs, also).

Bah, too many words.  Good luck with your search for security!

Kevin Kinsey
The devil finds work for idle glands.
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