List of BSD operating systems

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are a number of Unix-like operating systems under active development, descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) series of UNIX variants developed (originally by Bill Joy) at the University of California, Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. As of 2016 there were four major BSD operating systems, and an increasing number of other OSs derived from these, that add or remove certain features but generally remain compatible with their originating OS—and so are not really forks of them. This is a list of those that have been active since 2014, and their websites.


FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). FreeBSD currently has more than 200 active developers and thousands of contributors. Other notable derivatives include DragonFly BSD, which was forked from FreeBSD 4.8, and Apple Inc.'s macOS, with its Darwin base including a large amount of code derived from FreeBSD.

Name Description
AskoziaPBX Discontinued[1]
BSDBox Discontinued
BSDeviant Discontinued
BSDLive Discontinued
Bzerk CD Discontinued
ClonOS[2] Offers a complete web UI for easily controlling, deploying and managing FreeBSD jails, containers and Bhyve/Xen hypervisor virtual environments.
DragonFly BSD Originally forked from FreeBSD 4.8, now developed in a different direction
ClosedBSD Discontinued
DesktopBSD Discontinued.[1] Was a desktop-oriented FreeBSD variant using K Desktop Environment 3.5.
EclipseBSD Discontinued
Evoke Discontinued. Formerly DamnSmallBSD; a small live FreeBSD environment geared toward developers and system administrators.[3]
FenestrOS BSD Discontinued
FreeBSDLive Discontinued
FreeBSD LiveCD Discontinued
TrueNAS Previously known as FreeNAS.
FreeSBIE Discontinued
Frenzy Live CD Discontinued. A "portable system administrator toolkit". It generally contains software for hardware tests, file system check, security check and network setup and analysis.
FuryBSD[4] Discontinued in 2020. Paid homage to desktop BSD projects of the past like PC-BSD and TrueOS with its graphical interface and adds additional tools like a live, hybrid USB / DVD image.
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Discontinued[5]
Ging Discontinued
Gentoo/FreeBSD Discontinued. Gentoo/*BSD was a subproject to port Gentoo features such as Portage to the FreeBSD operating system.
GhostBSD GhostBSD is a FreeBSD OS distro oriented for desktops and laptops. Its goal is to combine the stability and security of FreeBSD with OpenRC, OS packages and Mate graphical user interface. GhostBSD comes as livecd for users to test before installing.
GuLIC-BSD Discontinued
HamFreeSBIE Discontinued
HardenedBSD HardenedBSD is a security-enhanced fork of FreeBSD. The HardenedBSD Project is implementing many exploit mitigation and security technologies on top of FreeBSD.
helloSystem A desktop system for creators that focuses on simplicity, elegance, and usability.
HeX Discontinued
IronPort AsyncOS Discontinued. security appliances
Junos OS For Juniper routers
MaheshaBSD Discontinued. A LiveCD or USB stick-based modular toolkit, including an anonymous surfing capability using Tor.[6] The author also made NetBSD LiveUSB - MaheshaNetBSD, and DragonFlyBSD LiveUSB - MaheshaDragonFlyBSD. A LiveCD can be made from all these USB distributions by running the /makeiso script in the root directory.
miniBSD Discontinued
m0n0wall Discontinued.[7] Successor is OPNsense. m0n0wall was an embedded firewall distribution of FreeBSD, one of the BSD operating system descendants. It provided a small image which can be put on Compact Flash cards as well as on CDROMs and hard disks. It ran on a number of embedded platforms and generic PCs.
MidnightBSD Midnight BSD forked away from FreeBSD 6.1 Beta
XigmaNAS Previously known as NAS4Free, is a network-attached storage (NAS) server software. It is a continuation of the original FreeNAS code.
NetBoz Discontinued
NomadBSD Persistent live system for USB flash drives
Nokia IPSO Discontinued. Nokia IP security appliances
OPNsense OPNsense is a FreeBSD-based firewall tailored for use as a firewall and router that was forked from pfSense.
PacBSD[8] Discontinued. A lightweight operating system that aimed to bring the flexibility and philosophy of Arch Linux to BSD-based operating systems. The Project has been inactive since 2017.
Paxym Discontinued. FreeBSD for Cavium Networks OCTEON
pfSense pfSense is a FreeBSD-based firewall tailored for use as a firewall and router.
PicoBSD Discontinued
RelaxBSD Discontinued
RoFreeSBIE Discontinued
Snarl Discontinued
StarBSD StarBSD is a Unix-like, server-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD for Mission-Critical Enterprise Environment.[9]
The Dark Star Discontinued
TheWall Discontinued
ThinBSD Discontinued
Triance OS Discontinued
TrueBSD Discontinued
TrueOS Discontinued. TrueOS (formerly PC/BSD) was a Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD based on ZFS boot-environments, Lumina (desktop environment), and the sysadm administration framework; reinvented as Trident OS on top of Void Linux, retained many BSD aesthetics.
TrustedBSD Discontinued. Many of its extensions were integrated into FreeBSD. Only activity on trustedbsd-discuss mailing list is spam (as of 2020-12-22)
WarBSD Discontinued
WiBSD Discontinued
WiFiBSD Discontinued
CellOS The PlayStation 3 operating system
Orbis OS The PlayStation 4 operating system
XORP Discontinued
Zrouter FreeBSD based firmware for embedded devices
ULBSD ULBSD is a Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD. It aims to be easy to instal and ready-to-use immediately by providing pre-installed graphical KDE5 user desktop environment.
BSDTahoe BSD 4.3 Tahoe for VAX

DragonFly BSD-based[edit]

Name Description
Gentoo/DragonFlyBSD Gentoo/*BSD subproject to port Gentoo features such as Portage to the DragonFly BSD operating system
FireFly BSD[10] Was a DragonFly based distribution.


NetBSD is a freely redistributable, open source version of the Unix-derivative Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) computer operating system. It was the second open source BSD descendant to be formally released, after 386BSD, and continues to be actively developed. Noted for its portability and quality of design and implementation, it is often used in embedded systems and as a starting point for the porting of other operating systems to new computer architectures.

Name Description
BlackBSD NetBSD based Live CD, with security tools on it and Mate as a window manager
EdgeBSD[11] NetBSD fork with main goal to be more modern in some aspects than NetBSD itself. Looks like some of the differences will be back-committed to the main project.
Force10 Networks FTOS the operating system for Force10 TeraScale E-Series switches/routers
Debian GNU/NetBSD Debian GNU/NetBSD was a project to combine Debian with the kernel of NetBSD. It was abandoned in 2002 and has not seen active maintenance ever since.
Gentoo/NetBSD Discontinued. Gentoo/*BSD was a subproject to port Gentoo features such as Portage to the NetBSD operating system.
Jibbed Live CD based on NetBSD
OS108 OS108 is a desktop-oriented operating system based on NetBSD.
PolyBSD / pocketSAN Multipurpose framework for building embedded systems based on NetBSD.
SEOS The operating system for the Ericsson SmartEdge router series


OpenBSD is a Unix-like computer operating system descended from Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix derivative developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It was forked from NetBSD in 1995. OpenBSD includes a number of security features absent or optional in other operating systems and has a tradition of developers auditing the source code for software bugs and security problems.

Name Description
ÆrieBSD OpenBSD fork which tends to be free from GPL-licensed software.[12]
adJ Distribution of OpenBSD for Spanish speakers,[13] since 2005 new versions are released around 3 months after OpenBSD's releases, source in GitHub,[14] to learn how to install there is a challenge with badge on P2PU[15]
Anonym.OS Discontinued.
Bitrig[16] Discontinued.[17] Was a OpenBSD fork with main goal to be more modern in some aspects than OpenBSD.
BowlFish Customized OpenBSD installation script for embedded systems, intended to make OpenBSD fit into small media like compact flash cards.
BSDanywhere Live CD featuring the Enlightenment DR17 window manager
ComixWall A firewall with UTM features
ekkoBSD ekkoBSD was a Unix-like operating system based on OpenBSD 3.3, also incorporating code from other BSD-like operating systems. Its focus was on security and easy administration.
FabBSD OpenBSD fork with main application in CNC field. It's almost inactive.
FuguIta Providing both LiveDVD and LiveUSB for i386/amd64/arm64. Highly customizable by user. Tracking errata on OpenBSD-stable.
Gentoo/OpenBSD Gentoo/*BSD was a subproject to port Gentoo features such as Portage to the OpenBSD operating system.
MarBSD LiveCD of OpenBSD
LibertyBSD Fork of OpenBSD with all non-free binaries removed.
MicroBSD Fork of the UNIX-like BSD operating system descendant OpenBSD 3.0, begun in July 2002. The project's objective to produce a free and fully secure, complete system, but with a small footprint.
MirOS BSD Core system based mostly on OpenBSD and some NetBSD code for 32-bit i386 and SPARC, updated via infrequent snapshots and by following "current". Additional packages via MirPorts and pkgsrc are no longer updated.
OliveBSD[18] Was a live CD originally based on OpenBSD 3.8
PsygNAT Firewall and NAT router tool
Quetzal[19] Was a live DVD/CD system, based on OpenBSD
SONaFR SONaFR is a small system with router/NAT/firewalling capabilities that fits on a single floppy.
SnasciOS[20] Snasci OS is a general purpose operating system built upon OpenBSD and the Lumina Desktop Environment. Designed to be very light weight, Snasci OS is quick, responsive and secure. Whether you want a pretty desktop to surf the web, read emails, work with documents or a hardened server platform, Snasci OS provides a nice balance between the two, without compromising on either.
UTMFW Successor of ComixWall, a firewall with UTM features
LiveUSB OpenBSD LiveUSB OpenBSD is a project started around 2009 for creating OpenBSD based bootable USB flash images. There are 3 variants, one with Gnome, a minimal text only version and an XFCE desktop image.
LiveCD OpenBSD LiveCD OpenBSD is sister project of LiveUSB-OpenBSD and this gives users a Live CD/DVD bootable distribution where the user gets to experience OpenBSD without installing to disk. There are 3 flavors, one with XFCE, one with MATE desktop and one with KDE.

Historic BSD[edit]

BSD was originally derived from Unix, using the complete source code for Sixth Edition Unix for the PDP-11 from Bell Labs as a starting point for the First Berkeley Software Distribution, or 1BSD. A series of updated versions for the PDP-11 followed (the 2.xBSD releases). A 32-bit version for the VAX platform was released as 3BSD, and the 4.xBSD series added many new features, including TCP/IP networking.

For many years, the primary developer and project leader was Bill Joy, who was a graduate student at the time; funding for this project was provided by DARPA. DARPA was interested in obtaining a programming platform and programmer's interface which would provide a robust, general purpose, time-sharing computing platform which would not become obsolete every time computing hardware was or is replaced. Such an operating system would allow US Department of Defense software, especially for intricate, long-term finance and logistics operations, to be quickly ported to new hardware as it became available.

As time went on, code was later ported both from and to Unix System III and still later Unix System V. Unix System V Revision 4 (SVR4), released circa 1992, contained much code which was ported from BSD version up to and including 4.3BSD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Updated: FBSD based Projects and Systems page". FreeBSD News. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  2. ^ "Free Open-Source Hosting Platform ClonOS". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  3. ^ "evoke - Formerly DamnSmallBSD - Google Project Hosting". Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  4. ^ "A Powerful, Portable, FreeBSD Desktop". Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  5. ^ Wiltshire, Jonathan (2014-11-09). "Release Team Sprint Results". debian-devel-announce (Mailing list).
  6. ^ "FreeBSD MaheshaBSD Project". Archived from the original on April 25, 2010.
  7. ^ m0w0wall discontinued 2014
  8. ^ "PacBSD : Homepage : A simple, lightweight distribution". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "FireflyBSD - DragonFlyBSD". Archived from the original on September 8, 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  11. ^ "The EdgeBSD Project: About EdgeBSD". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  12. ^ "AerieBSD". Archived from the original on 2015-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  13. ^ "Novedades". Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  14. ^ "pasosdeJesus/adJ · GitHub". Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  15. ^ "Reto: adJ como sistema operativo de escritorio" (in Spanish). P2PU. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  16. ^ "Bitrig". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Faq 路 bitrig/bitrig Wiki 路 GitHub". 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  18. ^ DistroWatch. " OliveBSD". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  19. ^ Micho Durdevich. "Quetzal::BSD Home Page". Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  20. ^ Snasci. " SnasciOS". Retrieved 7 October 2016.

External links[edit]