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The FreeBSD 6.2 Crash Course by Jem Matzan

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Understanding FreeBSD

This section will briefly introduce you to FreeBSD and its capabilities and ideal uses.

What Is FreeBSD?

FreeBSD is a modern Unix-like computer operating system. It was originally based on the last release of the academic replacement for AT&T Unix known as the Berkeley Software Distribution (4.4BSD-Lite), so FreeBSD's heritage reaches back considerably further than many other operating systems in development today.

Aside from this distant yet common origin, there is no modern relationship between FreeBSD and its OpenBSD and NetBSD cousins.

FreeBSD is designed to be versatile. It can run on many different processor architectures, with a wide variety of peripheral hardware, and it supports more than 16,000 software packages. When properly configured, it can also run binaries compiled for GNU/Linux and Unix SVR4-compatible operating systems.

Despite its impressive capabilities and relative ease of installation, FreeBSD is not always easy or intuitive to configure; that is why this guide exists.

What Is FreeBSD Good For?

Traditionally FreeBSD has been employed as a web or other network server. If you buy shared web hosting, chances are good that the computer serving your web site will be running on FreeBSD. Even if it isn't used by default, a large number of shared web hosting providers offer a choice among FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or NetBSD; a select few GNU/Linux distributions (usually Red Hat and Debian); and Windows Server.

In addition to serving web pages à la Apache or ...

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