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Free BSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).
Although for legal reasons Free BSD cannot use the Unix trademark, it is a direct descendant of BSD, which was historically also called "BSD Unix" or "Berkeley Unix".
By 1997, Free BSD was Walnut Creek's "most successful product".
The company itself later renamed to The Free BSD Mall and later i Xsystems.
Free BSD provides two frameworks for data encryption: GBDE and Geli. GBDE was written by Poul-Henning Kamp and is distributed under the two-clause BSD license.
Geli is an alternative to GBDE that was written by Pawel Jakub Dawidek and first appeared in Free BSD 6.0.
In the early days of the project's inception, a company named Walnut Creek CDROM, upon the suggestion of the two Free BSD developers, agreed to release the operating system on CD-ROM.
In addition to that, the company employed Jordan Hubbard and David Greenman, ran Free BSD on its servers, sponsored Free BSD conferences and published Free BSD-related books, including The Complete Free BSD by Greg Lehey.
After releasing Net-1, Keith Bostic, a developer of BSD, suggested replacing all AT&T code with freely-redistributable code under the original BSD license.
the project delivers kernel, device drivers, userland utilities, and documentation, as opposed to Linux only delivering a kernel and drivers, and relying on third-parties for system software; and Free BSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license, as opposed to the copyleft GPL used by Linux.
The Free BSD project includes a security team overseeing all software shipped in the base distribution.
A wide range of additional third-party applications may be installed using the pkgng package management system or the Free BSD Ports, or by directly compiling source code.
Due to its permissive licensing terms, much of Free BSD's code base has become an integral part of other operating systems, such as Juniper JUNOS, Apple's Darwin (which is the base for mac OS, i OS, watch OS, and tv OS operating systems by Apple), pf Sense, the Nintendo Switch system software, Free BSD's roots go back to the University of California, Berkeley.
Although not involved in the litigation, it was suggested to Free BSD that they should also move to 4.4BSD-Lite.