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MidnightBSD Logo
MidnightBSD 0.1
Developer The MidnightBSD project
OS family FreeBSD
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release 0.1 / 6 August 2007 (2007-08-06)[1]
Latest release 0.8.6 / 28 August 2017; 7 months ago (2017-08-28)[2]
Package manager MidnightBSD mports/Packages
Platforms amd64 and i386
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
Userland FreeBSD
Default user interface GNUstep
License FreeBSD license
Official website www.midnightbsd.org

MidnightBSD is a free Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system originally forked from FreeBSD 6.1, and periodically updated with code and drivers from later FreeBSD releases. It borrows heavily from the NeXTSTEP graphical user interface.

History and development[edit]

MidnightBSD began as a fork from FreeBSD in 2005. The founder of the project, Lucas Holt, wished to create a BSD derived desktop operating system. He was familiar with several live CD projects, but not the work on PC-BSD or DesktopBSD. At the same time, he also had an interest in GNUstep. The two ideas were folded into a plan to create a user friendly desktop environment. MidnightBSD 0.1 was released based on the efforts of Lucas Holt, Caryn Holt, D. Adam Karim, Phil Pereira of bsdnexus, and Christian Reinhardt. This release features a modified version of the FreeBSD ports system. The ports system evolved into "mports" which includes fake support, generation of packages before installation, license tagging, and strict rules about package list generation and modification of files outside the destination. Many of these features were introduced in MidnightBSD 0.1.1.

Christian Reinhardt replaced Phil Pereira as the lead "mports" maintainer prior to the release of MidnightBSD 0.1. D. Adam Karim acted as the security officer for the first release. All release engineering is handled by Lucas Holt.

0.2 introduced a refined mports system with over 2000 packages. The Portable C Compiler was added on i386 in addition to the GNU Compiler Collection. Other changes include enabling ipfw and sound card detection on startup, newer versions of many software packages including Bind, GCC, OpenSSH, and Sendmail, as well as a Live CD creation system.

Currently, the project is focusing on finishing the Magus build cluster software, creating a new installer, finishing the new package installation and management tools called mport, and beginning work on the 0.3 release. The next release will feature some enhancements found in FreeBSD 7.0 and DragonFly BSD.


MidnightBSD is named after Lucas and Caryn Holt's cat, Midnight. Midnight is a ten-pound black Turkish Angora.[3]


MidnightBSD is released under several licenses. The kernel code and most newly created code is released under the two-clause BSD license. There are parts under the GPL, LGPL, ISC, and Beerware licenses, along with three- and four-clause BSD licenses.


  1. ^ "0.1-RELEASE Notes". MidnightBSD. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.midnightbsd.org/notes
  3. ^ "About MidnightBSD", Lucas Holt.

External links[edit]