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2003/10/24 bsd


© October 2003 Tony Lawrence

Berkely Software Distribution. A Unix fork from 1977, BSD was the origination of much that it is important and expected in any Unix system. Many BSD programs and features have been incorporated into SysV Unix and of course vice versa, but one major difference has always been SysV's use of inittab, which BSD does not use.

BSD systems have the reputation of being more secure than others, but a lot of that probably has more to do with default configurations than inherent security. Still, I run my web server on BSD and so do a lot of other folks.

Sunos was a BSD Unix, but Solaris is SysV. The most recent BSD Unix is Mac OS X.

For the casual user, the differences between BSD and SysV are small. The most visible difference is that BSD systems tend to default to csh or csh descendants, while SysV systems will lean toward sh, bash or ksh (however, it is rumored that Apple has seen the light and will not default to tcsh on the Panther release).

For a programmer, however, the differences can be quite significant and important. Code that has to run on multiple platforms can be fairly difficult because of the system level differences.


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