FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). It has been characterized as "the unknown giant among free operating systems". It is not a clone of UNIX, but works like UNIX, with UNIX-compliant internals and system APIs. FreeBSD is generally regarded as reliable and robust.

FreeBSD is a complete operating system. The kernel, device drivers and all of the userland utilities, such as the shell, are held in the same source code revision tracking tree, whereas with Linux distributions, the kernel, userland utilities and applications are developed separately, then packaged together in various ways by others.

Third-party application software may be installed using various software installation systems, the two most common being source installation and package installation, both of which use the FreeBSD Ports system.


  1. FreeBSD Release Engineering is headed by UB CSE Computer Operations Manager Ken Smith.