What is BSD?
There is a close relation between BSD and Linux. They are both UNIX© clones, sort of like distant cousins. BSD stands for because it was developed at University of California at Berkley
in 1977. Since 1970's, the source
code for Unix was included with the releases to allow
further development. The changes done at Berkley became known as BSD. Although every version and adaptation
of Unix is important, the 1984 release of BSD known as 4.2BSD became
popular and commonly used within universities.
In 1985, William
Jolitz and Lynne
Jolitz adapted the source
code of BSD to work on the i386 microprocessor under the name 386BSD.
In 1991, Brad Grantham, Lawrence Kesteloot
and Chris Caputo ported 386BSD to Mac under the name MacBSD. In 1992, BSD was running on Mac II
In May 1993, NetBSD 0.8 was first
released. NetBSD was
the first royalty-free Unix-like OS. Around the same time, Allen Briggs and
Michael Finch started to merge NetBSD 0.8 and MacBSD to avoid possible feuds. By
the time NetBSD 1.0
came around, the NetBSD/mac68k project was
established. See list of distributions based on NetBSD.
In November of 1993, Nate Williams, Rod
Grimes and Jordan
Hubbard released FreeBSD 1.0 for x86 microprocessors based on 4.4BSD-Lite (1995) with components of the
Unofficial 386BSD Patchkit, which they had developed for William
Jolitz's OS. Jordan
Hubbard is also credited for FreeBSD
Ports, an easy way to install programs via the Makefile macro. See list of distributions based on FreeBSD.
In October 1995,
Raadt (a former core team and co-founder of NetBSD, who asked to leave
the organization) first released OpenBSD 2.0 as a fork of NetBSD. See list of
distributions based on OpenBSD.
In November 2000, Apple
used BSD as the base for Mac OS X (2001), known as Darwin. This has been Apple's
best decision ever. Many new Mac users have found Apple as
a new source of Unix or a clone.
In July 2003, Matthew Dillon started DragonFly
BSD, which is fork of FreeBSD 4.x and belongs in
the same class as Linux being based on Unix ideals and APIs. See list of
distributions based on DragonFly
Before trying to install BSD, get a full inventory of what your computer system has. You
might have to help the installer recognize the hardware.
Also make sure that your hardware
manufacturer supports the distribution of your choice either
based on NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD or DragonFly
There are many ways to install BSD (from a CD-ROM, FTP, HTTP, NFS, a DOS partition, etc.). If you are a beginner or
lazy (as I am), do the installation from a CD-ROM. Just put the CD-ROM in its drive,
wait and boot. Do
NOT forget that the installation will format the partition where you install the OS. If you want to test BSD without doing any changes or formating your HDD, get a copy of any live CD-ROM like FreeSBIE.
A simple way to install BSD is to create two main disk
partitions, a /swap and a system native
(like ext2 or ext3). As a old rule of
thumb, make the /swap partition (virtual
memory, written to HDD) twice the RAM that your PC has. For example, if the PC has 256 MB of RAM, assign 512 MB for /swap. The rest of the HDD
should be partitioned as native (Unix
File System or UFS). To create the partitions, refer to the manual included
with the system that you are installing.