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Linux is available under the <link xlink:href="">GNU General Public License</link> (GPL), which is designed to eliminate closed source software. In particular, any derivative work of a product released under the GPL must also be supplied with source code if requested. By contrast, the <link xlink:href="">BSD license</link> is less restrictive: binary-only distributions are allowed. This is particularly attractive for embedded applications.
What else should I know?
Since fewer applications are available for BSD than Linux, the BSD developers created a Linux compatibility package, which allows Linux programs to run under BSD. The package includes both kernel modifications, in order to correctly perform Linux system calls, and Linux compatibility files such as the C library. There is no noticeable difference in execution speed between a Linux application running on a Linux machine and a Linux application running on a BSD machine of the same speed.
The <quote>all from one supplier</quote> nature of BSD means that upgrades are much easier to handle than is frequently the case with Linux. BSD handles library version upgrades by providing compatibility modules for earlier library versions, so it is possible to run binaries which are several years old with no problems.
Which should I use, BSD or Linux?
What does this all mean in practice? Who should use BSD, who should use Linux?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Here are some guidelines:
<quote>If it ain't broke, don't fix it</quote>: If you already use an open source operating system, and you are happy with it, there is probably no good reason to change.
BSD systems, in particular FreeBSD, can have notably higher performance than Linux. But this is not across the board. In many cases, there is little or no difference in performance. In some cases, Linux may perform better than FreeBSD.
In general, BSD systems have a better reputation for reliability, mainly as a result of the more mature code base.
BSD projects have a better reputation for the quality and completeness of their documentation. The various documentation projects aim to provide actively updated documentation, in many languages, and covering all aspects of the system.
The BSD license may be more attractive than the GPL.
BSD can execute most Linux binaries, while Linux can not execute BSD binaries. Many BSD implementations can also execute binaries from other <trademark class="registered">UNIX</trademark> like systems. As a result, BSD may present an easier migration route from other systems than Linux would.
Who provides support, service, and training for BSD?
BSDi / <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD Mall, Inc.</link> have been providing support contracts for FreeBSD for nearly a decade.
In addition, each of the projects has a list of consultants for hire: <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/commercial/consult_bycat.html">FreeBSD</link>, <link xlink:href="">NetBSD</link>, and <link xlink:href="">OpenBSD</link>.


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(itstool) path: sect2/para
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a year ago
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a year ago
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articles/explaining-bsd.pot, string 90