FreeBSD 12 is an advanced computer operating system used to power modern servers, desktops, and embedded platforms. A large community has continually developed it for more than thirty years.
It’s advanced networking, security, and storage features have made FreeBSD the platform of choice for many of the busiest web sites and most pervasive embedded networking and storage devices.
FreeBSD includes kernel support for stateful IP firewalling, as well as other services. Such as IP proxy gateways, access control lists, mandatory access control, jail-based virtual hosting, and cryptographically protected storage.
FreeBSD also includes support for encryption software, secure shells, Kerberos authentication, “virtual servers” created using jails, chroot-ing services to restrict application access to the file system, Secure RPC facilities. And in addition the access lists for services that support TCP wrappers.
Cutting edge features
FreeBSD offers advanced networking, performance, security and compatibility features today which are still missing in other operating systems, even some of the best commercial ones.
Powerful Internet solutions
FreeBSD makes an ideal Internet or Intranet server. It provides robust network services under the heaviest loads and uses memory efficiently to maintain good response times for thousands of simultaneous user processes.
Run a huge number of applications
The quality of FreeBSD combined with today’s low-cost, high-speed PC hardware makes FreeBSD a very economical alternative to commercial UNIX workstations. It is well-suited for a great number of both desktop and server applications.
Easy to install
This OS can be installed from a variety of media including CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, floppy disk, magnetic tape, an MS-DOS partition, or if you have a network connection, you can install it directly over anonymous FTP or NFS. All you need are these directions.
Free to use
While you might expect an operating system with these features to sell for a high price, FreeBSD is available free of charge and comes with full source code. If you would like to purchase or download a copy to try out, more information is available.
- Internet services. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) find Free BSD ideal, running WWW, Usenet news, FTP, Email, and other services. Ready-to-run software like the Apache webserver or the ProFTPD FTP server makes it easy to set up a business or community-centered ISP. Of course, with Free BSD’s unbeatable networking, your users will enjoy high speed, reliable services.
- X Window workstation. From an inexpensive X terminal to an advanced X display, Free BSD works quite well. Free X software (X.Org) comes with the system. nVidia offers native drivers for their high-performance graphics hardware, and the industry-standard Motif and OpenGL libraries are supported. Both the KDE and GNOME desktop environments enjoy the full support and provide office suite functionality, with further good functionality available in the OpenOffice.Org and TextMaker products.
- Networking. From packet filtering to routing to name service, FreeBSD can turn any PC into an Internet firewall, email host, print server, PC/NFS server, and more.
- Software development. A suite of development tools comes with FreeBSD, including the GNU C/C++ compiler and debugger. Java and Tcl/Tk development are also possible for example, and more esoteric programming languages like Icon work just fine, too. And the shared libraries have always been easy to make and use. You can also choose from a wide range of popular and powerful editors, such as XEmacs and Vim.
- Net surfing. A real UNIX workstation makes a great Internet surfboard. FreeBSD versions of Firefox and Opera are available for serious web users. Surf the web, publish your own web pages, read Usenet news, and send and receive an email with a FreeBSD system on your desktop.
- Education and research. FreeBSD makes an excellent research platform because it includes complete source code. Students and researchers of operating systems or other computer science fields can benefit greatly from such an open and well-documented system.
- And much more. Accounting, action games, MIS databases, scientific visualization, video conferencing, Internet relay chat (IRC), home automation, multi-user dungeons, bulletin board systems, image scanning, and more are all real uses for this OS today.
Minimum Hardware Requirements
The hardware requirements to install FreeBSD vary by architecture. Hardware architectures and devices supported by a FreeBSD release are listed on the FreeBSD Release Information page. The FreeBSD download page also has recommendations for choosing the correct image for different architectures.
A FreeBSD installation requires a minimum of 96 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB of free hard drive space. However, such small amounts of memory and disk space are really only suitable for custom applications like embedded appliances. General-purpose desktop systems need more resources. 2-4 GB RAM and at least 8 GB hard drive space is a good starting point.
These are the processor requirements for each architecture:
This is the most common desktop and laptop processor type, used in most modern systems. Intel® calls it Intel64. Other manufacturers sometimes call it x86-64.
Examples of amd64 compatible processors include AMD Athlon™64, AMD Opteron™, multi-core Intel® Xeon™, and Intel® Core™ 2 and later processors.
Older desktops and laptops often use this 32-bit, x86 architecture.
Almost all i386-compatible processors with a floating-point unit are supported. All Intel® processors 486 or higher are supported.
FreeBSD will take advantage of Physical Address Extensions (PAE) support on CPUs with this feature. A kernel with the PAE feature enabled will detect memory above 4 GB and allow it to be used by the system. However, using PAE places constraints on device drivers and other features of FreeBSD. Refer to page(4) for details.
Currently supported processors are the Itanium® and the Itanium® 2. Supported chipsets include the HP zx1, Intel® 460GX, and Intel® E8870. Both Uniprocessor (UP) and Symmetric Multi-processor (SMP) configurations are supported.
All-New World ROM Apple Mac systems with built-in USB are supported. SMP is supported on machines with multiple CPUs.
A 32-bit kernel can only use the first 2 GB of RAM.
Systems supported by FreeBSD/sparc64 are listed at the FreeBSD/sparc64 Project.
SMP is supported on all systems with more than 1 processor. A dedicated disk is required as it is not possible to share a disk with another operating system at this time.