Could somebody tell me the difference between UNIX, BSD and FreeBSD?

I've been using Linux from always, but now I'm curious about FreeBSD and BSD, because maybe there are more "unix-legacy"... What's exactly the difference between them?


  • The various current UNIX systems are quite different from each other, and from the various BSD flavors (which also have significant variety). I'm not sure this can be answered unless you have a more specific question.
    – Mat
    Sep 16, 2012 at 17:14
  • @Mat Well, we did it with Linux and BSD, although I don't really know what the point is in this case Sep 16, 2012 at 17:33
  • See the Wikipedia articles and the unix history diagram. Sep 16, 2012 at 17:40
  • @MichaelMrozek: there's also What do different BSDs have in common? (that formulation actually makes a bit more sense to me for comparing these). I don't have a problem with this question except its scope. "UNIX, BSD and FreeBSD" isn't a very well defined set of things. I'm not even sure if what is meant is from a historical perspective, or for stuff as it is today.
    – Mat
    Sep 16, 2012 at 17:42
  • 1
    The number one component is the user. Say some Unix flavor really is objectively better, or more streamlined into some field of computer activity. To actually benefit from this, compared to using some "worse" Unix flavor, you need to be a seasoned, absolutely hard-core expert. If you browse the web with Firefox, write code with Emacs, etc., your choice of flavor is a negligible quantity - any limitation will be because of you and me, not our systems. (But, as for computer culture, your question is not uninteresting.) Sep 16, 2012 at 22:04


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