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<personname> <firstname>Jim</firstname> <surname>Mock</surname> </personname> <contrib>Restructured, reorganized, and parts rewritten by </contrib>
Thank you for your interest in FreeBSD! The following chapter covers various aspects of the FreeBSD Project, such as its history, goals, development model, and so on.
After reading this chapter you will know:
How FreeBSD relates to other computer operating systems.
The history of the FreeBSD Project.
The goals of the FreeBSD Project.
The basics of the FreeBSD open-source development model.
And of course: where the name <quote>FreeBSD</quote> comes from.
Welcome to FreeBSD!
FreeBSD is an Open Source, standards-compliant Unix-like operating system for x86 (both 32 and 64 bit), <trademark class="registered">ARM</trademark>, AArch64, <trademark class="registered">RISC-V</trademark>, <trademark class="registered">MIPS</trademark>, <trademark class="registered">POWER</trademark>, <trademark class="registered">PowerPC</trademark>, and Sun <trademark class="registered">UltraSPARC</trademark> computers. It provides all the features that are nowadays taken for granted, such as preemptive multitasking, memory protection, virtual memory, multi-user facilities, SMP support, all the Open Source development tools for different languages and frameworks, and desktop features centered around X Window System, KDE, or GNOME. Its particular strengths are:
<emphasis>Liberal Open Source license</emphasis>, which grants you rights to freely modify and extend its source code and incorporate it in both Open Source projects and closed products without imposing restrictions typical to copyleft licenses, as well as avoiding potential license incompatibility problems.
<primary>TCP/IP networking</primary>
<emphasis>Strong TCP/IP networking</emphasis> <_:indexterm-1/> - FreeBSD implements industry standard protocols with ever increasing performance and scalability. This makes it a good match in both server, and routing/firewalling roles - and indeed many companies and vendors use it precisely for that purpose.
<emphasis>Fully integrated OpenZFS support</emphasis>, including root-on-ZFS, ZFS Boot Environments, fault management, administrative delegation, support for jails, FreeBSD specific documentation, and system installer support.
<emphasis>Extensive security features</emphasis>, from the Mandatory Access Control framework to Capsicum capability and sandbox mechanisms.
<emphasis>Over 30 thousand prebuilt packages</emphasis> for all supported architectures, and the Ports Collection which makes it easy to build your own, customized ones.
<emphasis>Documentation</emphasis> - in addition to Handbook and books from different authors that cover topics ranging from system administration to kernel internals, there are also the <citerefentry><refentrytitle>man</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry> pages, not only for userspace daemons, utilities, and configuration files, but also for kernel driver APIs (section 9) and individual drivers (section 4).
<emphasis>Simple and consistent repository structure and build system</emphasis> - FreeBSD uses a single repository for all of its components, both kernel and userspace. This, along with an unified and easy to customize build system and a well thought out development process makes it easy to integrate FreeBSD with build infrastructure for your own product.
<emphasis>Staying true to Unix philosophy</emphasis>, preferring composability instead of monolithic <quote>all in one</quote> daemons with hardcoded behavior.
<primary>binary compatibility</primary> <secondary>Linux</secondary>
<_:indexterm-1/> <emphasis>Binary compatibility</emphasis> with Linux, which makes it possible to run many Linux binaries without the need for virtualisation.
<primary>Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG)</primary>
FreeBSD is based on the 4.4BSD-Lite<_:indexterm-1/> release from Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG)<_:indexterm-2/> at the University of California at Berkeley, and carries on the distinguished tradition of BSD systems development. In addition to the fine work provided by CSRG, the FreeBSD Project has put in many thousands of man-hours into extending the functionality and fine-tuning the system for maximum performance and reliability in real-life load situations. FreeBSD offers performance and reliability on par with other Open Source and commercial offerings, combined with cutting-edge features not available anywhere else.
What Can FreeBSD Do?
The applications to which FreeBSD can be put are truly limited only by your own imagination. From software development to factory automation, inventory control to azimuth correction of remote satellite antennae; if it can be done with a commercial <trademark class="registered">UNIX</trademark> product then it is more than likely that you can do it with FreeBSD too! FreeBSD also benefits significantly from literally thousands of high quality applications developed by research centers and universities around the world, often available at little to no cost.
Because the source code for FreeBSD itself is freely available, the system can also be customized to an almost unheard of degree for special applications or projects, and in ways not generally possible with operating systems from most major commercial vendors. Here is just a sampling of some of the applications in which people are currently using FreeBSD:
<emphasis>Internet Services:</emphasis> The robust TCP/IP networking built into FreeBSD makes it an ideal platform for a variety of Internet services such as:


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