> I'm an old DOS-user who has started to look at Unix. I've tried a
> couple of Linux distributins the last weeks. Then I found this
> FreeBSD stuff. What's the difference between Linux and FreeBSD?
> And what's this NetBSD-thing?
FreeBSD and NetBSD grew out of schisms during the developement
of 386BSD (Mr. & Mrs. Jolitz).
Linux was independently written by Linux Torvalds (and many
others on the net).
This distinction applies to the history and authorship of the
kernel and most/some of the device drivers.
The bulk of the applications and utilities for all three OS'
is ported from FSF (GNU) and other publicly available sources.
All three use ports of the same X Windows implementation
In terms of differences that a (new to Unix) DOS convert would
see: they aren't consequential. Here's my opinions:
FreeBSD is better for PC servers. Linux seems to be better
for personal workstations. NetBSD is available for
Mac, Amiga, and SPARC platforms. FreeBSD is more stable.
Linux has a "cooler" name, gets more media attention,
has a wider variety of hardware drivers and has "cooler"
new stuff written for it. FreeBSD conforms much more closely
the the standards and conventions of BSD unix (with approx.
25 years of tradition and history). There are no books
on FreeBSD -- mostly there don't have to be as the normal
books on BSD should suffice. There are lots of books on
Linux -- there have to be since there are lots of things
that are "new and improved" about Linux and because Linux
attracts more people who are totally new to Unix-like
That's it in a nutshell (ooops -- now I'll have O'Reilly chasing
after me <g>).
For more info I'd suggest getting FAQ's from:
specifically from these directories:
Also you can check out the home sites for each of these
> Do you know where to get FreeBSD on CDROM?
Walnut Creek (http://www.cdrom.com)
Oddly enough I don't know where to get NetBSD on CD.
Obviously there are over a dozen different Linux CD distributions.
386BSD is available (the ads are always run in Dr. Dobbs Journal).