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IEEE, POSIX, and 802 are registered trademarks of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. in the United States.
Intel, Celeron, Centrino, Core, EtherExpress, i386, i486, Itanium, Pentium, and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Microsoft, IntelliMouse, MS-DOS, Outlook, Windows, Windows Media and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
NetBSD is a registered trademark of the NetBSD Foundation.
Motif, OSF/1, and UNIX are registered trademarks and IT DialTone and The Open Group are trademarks of The Open Group in the United States and other countries.
Silicon Graphics, SGI, and OpenGL are registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide.
Sun, Sun Microsystems, Java, Java Virtual Machine, JDK, JRE, JSP, JVM, Netra, OpenJDK, Solaris, StarOffice, SunOS and VirtualBox are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this document, and the FreeBSD Project was aware of the trademark claim, the designations have been followed by the <quote>™</quote> or the <quote>®</quote> symbol.
$FreeBSD: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/book.xml 54295 2020-06-25 18:58:26Z gjb $
This is the Frequently Asked Questions <acronym>(FAQ)</acronym> for FreeBSD versions 12.<replaceable>X</replaceable> and 11.<replaceable>X</replaceable>. Every effort has been made to make this <acronym>FAQ</acronym> as informative as possible; if you have any suggestions as to how it may be improved, send them to the <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD documentation project mailing list</link>.
The latest version of this document is always available from the <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD website</link>. It may also be downloaded as one large <link xlink:href="book.html">HTML</link> file with HTTP or as a variety of other formats from the <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD FTP server</link>.
What is FreeBSD?
FreeBSD is a modern operating system for desktops, laptops, servers, and embedded systems with support for a large number of <link xlink:href="">platforms</link>.
It is based on U.C. Berkeley's <quote>4.4BSD-Lite</quote> release, with some <quote>4.4BSD-Lite2</quote> enhancements. It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz's port of U.C. Berkeley's <quote>Net/2</quote> to the <trademark>i386</trademark>, known as <quote>386BSD</quote>, though very little of the 386BSD code remains.
FreeBSD is used by companies, Internet Service Providers, researchers, computer professionals, students and home users all over the world in their work, education and recreation.
For more detailed information on FreeBSD, refer to the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html">FreeBSD Handbook</link>.
What is the goal of the FreeBSD Project?
The goal of the FreeBSD Project is to provide a stable and fast general purpose operating system that may be used for any purpose without strings attached.
Does the FreeBSD license have any restrictions?
Yes. Those restrictions do not control how the code is used, but how to treat the FreeBSD Project itself. The license itself is available at <link xlink:href="">license</link> and can be summarized like this:
Do not claim that you wrote this.
Do not sue us if it breaks.
Do not remove or modify the license.
Many of us have a significant investment in the project and would certainly not mind a little financial compensation now and then, but we definitely do not insist on it. We believe that our first and foremost <quote>mission</quote> is to provide code to any and all comers, and for whatever purpose, so that the code gets the widest possible use and provides the widest possible benefit. This, we believe, is one of the most fundamental goals of Free Software and one that we enthusiastically support.
Code in our source tree which falls under the <link xlink:href="">GNU General Public License (GPL)</link> or <link xlink:href="">GNU Library General Public License (LGPL)</link> comes with slightly more strings attached, though at least on the side of enforced access rather than the usual opposite. Due to the additional complexities that can evolve in the commercial use of GPL software, we do, however, endeavor to replace such software with submissions under the more relaxed <link xlink:href="">FreeBSD license</link> whenever possible.
Can FreeBSD replace my current operating system?
For most people, yes. But this question is not quite that cut-and-dried.
Most people do not actually use an operating system. They use applications. The applications are what really use the operating system. FreeBSD is designed to provide a robust and full-featured environment for applications. It supports a wide variety of web browsers, office suites, email readers, graphics programs, programming environments, network servers, and much more. Most of these applications can be managed through the <link xlink:href="">Ports Collection</link>.
If an application is only available on one operating system, that operating system cannot just be replaced. Chances are, there is a very similar application on FreeBSD, however. As a solid office or Internet server or a reliable workstation, FreeBSD will almost certainly do everything you need. Many computer users across the world, including both novices and experienced <trademark class="registered">UNIX</trademark> administrators, use FreeBSD as their only desktop operating system.


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