FreeBSD is a Unix-like free operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) branch through the 386BSD and 4.4BSD operating systems. It runs on Intel x86 family (IA-32) PC compatible systems (including the Microsoft Xbox), and also DEC Alpha, Sun UltraSPARC, IA-64, AMD64, PowerPC and NEC PC-98 architectures. Support for the ARM and MIPS architectures are under development.
FreeBSD is developed as a complete operating system. The kernel, device drivers and all of the userland utilities, such as the shell, are held in the same source code revision tracking tree (CVS). This is in contrast to other free operating systems such as Linux where the kernel, userland utilities and applications are developed separately and packaged together by other groups as Linux distributions.
As an operating system, FreeBSD is generally regarded as reliable and robust, and of the operating systems that accurately report uptime remotely, FreeBSD is the most common free operating system listed in Netcraft’s list of the 50 web servers with the longest uptime. A long uptime also indicates that no crashes have occurred and that no kernel updates have been deemed necessary, as installing a new kernel requires a reboot and resets the uptime counter of the system.
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