FreeBSD is the last great open source, freely available, operating system. Linux is just a kernel.
Recently I was dismayed at the acquisition of RedHat by IBM. Fundamentally this acquisition changes the very direction of Linux development, given RedHat is the biggest commercial Linux vendor, with Canonical following close behind.
While IBM maintains it will continue to invest in Linux open source development, the company has a history of buying businesses for shot term gain without investing in continued innovation (i.e – Rational, Telelogic, Tivoli, Lotus). What the future holds is uncertain, but with Linux vendors becoming more proprietary, including Ubuntu — I’m thinking specifically of upstart — it’s time for me to make a personal change with what I can control, investing my time and support into what I feel is the last great operating system, FreeBSD.
I type this on my home desktop running FreeBSD 11.2 (at the time of this writing) on Gnome3. I have always tinkered with FreeBSD on the server side, having been drawn to it by the involvement of Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, who have both inspired me for years, and who authored Research UNIX at Bell Labs, from which FreeBSD originated via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).
Once you begin to actually research FreeBSD you will come to find that the software is dynamic, powerful, secure, and mature. All of my workstations now run FreeBSD, and any server work I do in the future will run FreeBSD, for the following reasons:
- FreeBSD is a complete OS offering kernel, drivers, system software, and documentation.
- The FreeBSD foundation – “The Foundation board is comprised of volunteers that are actively involved in FreeBSD and are respected researchers in their areas of professional expertise.” It’s a far cry from the Linux foundations board members who are mostly multi-national corporation executives.
- The FreeBSD community
- FreeBSD has a more mature code base.
- FreeBSD License
- FreeBSD Documentation
A Note on FreeBSD as a Desktop System
If you share a similar opinion, and you are looking to build a FreeBSD desktop environment for your computing needs, I would encourage you to be aware that not all projects are what they seem to be. Specifically I would not contribute or use TrueOS, GhostBSD, or the Trident Project. All of these projects have abandoned FreeBSD, forked the code, and now are trying to reinvent the wheel by offering a server and desktop offering created from the FreeBSD source. If you want to invest the time into FreeBSD then I encourage you to do so, but don’t waste your time on these projects. I feel putting time into new efforts betrays the FreeBSD legacy and the countless hours of work, by dedicated volunteers, over the last several decades.
You can run a desktop on FreeBSD
As I mentioned earlier in this article you can run a desktop on top of FreeBSD with ease, all you have to do is follow this article.