On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 11:34:33PM -0800, D.B. Lewis wrote: > My background is in Redhat Linux and Windows, so please pardon the > "dumb" question: How close are FreeBSD and OpenBSD? > > The reason I ask is to get a handle on how useful OpenBSD tips, FAQ's, > etc. might be as I learn FreeBSD.
OpenBSD, FreeBSD and not to forget the third member of the troika, NetBSD are all descendants of the BSD 4.4 code released from Berkeley, so they do share a great deal in common. More recent offshoots exist, with varying degrees of relatedness: like DragonflyBSD, which is based on FreeBSD 4.x, but hasn't been in existence long enough yet to have made many user-visible changes; or Apples' MacOS X, which is the marriage of NeXT's user interface, an early version of the MACH microkernel from Carnegie Mellon, the 4.4-BSD release code and a large amount of more recent userland and some driver code from NetBSD and FreeBSD. There's a handy document in /usr/share/misc/bsd-family-tree showing the relationship between the principal BSD derived operating systems -- similar documents showing the relationships between all Unix and unixoid systems are readily found on the web -- like http://www.levenez.com/unix/. Each has been pushing towards their own development goals however, so divergence is apparent: for instance the ports/packages scheme under FreeBSD is the equivalent of 'pkgsrc' under NetBSD and 'pkgs' under OpenBSD, all of which provide the same basic service -- installing and managing 3rd party applications -- but with their own ideosyncrasies. The distinctions are not so large as they might be, because the three OSes cross fertilize each other quite regularly. Thus there are projects to port the latest FreeBSD vinum to NetBSD, and to import the latest OpenBSD 'pf' firewall into FreeBSD. As to how applicable tips from on OS are when applied to one of the others -- well, they can often be relevant and useful, but only experience will tell you what is and what isn't. Read, learn and experiment and you'll soon be able to answer your own question. Cheers, Matthew -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks Savill Way PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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