FreeBSD vs. Ubuntu

FreeBSD and Ubuntu are popular operating systems used by many learners and developers in the world. FreeBSD is usually implemented as the server-side operating system due to various features, while Ubuntu is mostly used for learning purposes. We will go through the detailed comparison of Ubuntu and FreeBSD.


Berkeley Software Distribution’s FreeBSD is an open-source UNIX-like operating system that is freely available for its users. It was launched in November 1993 and is primarily developed for speed and reliability. It is widely used in web or email servers, NAS (disc server), DNS servers, and other administrative tasks. The main advantage of FreeBSD is its high stability and its ability to be operated for many years without needing to reboot (with certified hardware). BSD (Berkeley Unix), which debuted in 1977, predates Linux (started in 1991). This comes in the list of oldest distributions of AT&T UNIX. Because of BSD’s “liberal License,” many modern operating systems incorporate BSD code. This included Windows 3.1 and NT, which both made use of the TCP/IP stack.

FreeBSD is a full-featured operating system that includes all Userland utilities, drivers, the Kernel, and documentation. It is a complete package. Linux distributions, on the other hand, Linux distributions are based on a “Kernel and Device Driver Concept”. A company such as Red Hat or Canonical creates a cohesive product by utilizing the GNU Project’s Userland program, OpenBSD’s SSH software, and so on.

Derivatives of FreeBSD

There are a number of derivatives available for FreeBSD. These derivatives can be used according to your use cases. Some of the popular derivatives are:

FreeSBIE, MidnightBSD, GhostBSD (a MATE-based distribution), NanoBSD, TrueNAS, IntelliStar, PicoBSD, DesktopBSD, m0n0wall, OpenServer 10, OPNsense, pfSense, TrueOS, XigmaNAS, TrustedBSD, etc.

Features of FreeBSD

  • Generally, all software written for FreeBSD comes from the ports collection. The ports collection is a tree of recipes for creating software that has been ported to FreeBSD. While Github can now be used for non-portable items, the ports tree contains over 25,000 packages built by the user or installed via pkg (binary package manager).
  • ipfw, which is a fantastically simple-to-use firewall compared to Linux’s Netfilter (known by its frontend name iptables)
  • The GEOM framework allows you to work with drives and partitions and easily create striped, encrypted, and other partitions.
  • It has “soft updates” to ensure the protection of consistency of UFS (UNIX file system) filesystems. The consistent snapshots of file systems ensure the retrieval of data quickly.
  • Security, mandatory access controls (MACs), access-control lists, event auditing, extended file system attributes, and fine-grained capabilities are among the security features provided by FreeBSD.

Advantages of FreeBSD

  • It is a free and open-source operating system that can be used and customized by any developer.
  • The FreeBSD distribution code is all stored in a single repository. You can download a single repository that contains the kernel, drivers, and all userland. As a result, the userland tools are more integrated. GNU tools, which are used by Linux distributions, are developed independently. They are part of the project in FreeBSD, rather than being imported by the project as in GNU/Linux.
  • It has excellent ZFS support.
  • It is reliable and stable, which is suited for web servers, firewalls, etc.
  • System boots are very fast.

Disadvantages of FreeBSD

  • It is not user-friendly and is suited for developers and programmers.
  • It is not present by default in many machines, and we need to install it.
  • It does not have huge community support.
  • Not suitable for high graphics games.


Ubuntu is a free and open-source Linux operating system based on Debian that was released in 2004. Ubuntu, which is supported by Canonical Ltd., is widely regarded as an excellent distribution for newcomers and is widely used in educational settings. The word “Ubuntu” comes from the African Zulu language and means “humanity to others.” The GNOME environment, which includes a graphical user interface (GUI) and a collection of desktop apps for Linux, is used by the primary version of Ubuntu. Ubuntu offers a wide range of language options to ensure that people from all parts of the world can use it equally. It includes a collection of 73 repositories that you can install and use.

Flavors of Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Server Addition
  • Ubuntu Studio
  • Edubuntu is a version of Ubuntu designed specifically for educational reasons.
  • Kubuntu employs KDE (Kool Desktop environment) as the primary GUI environment
  • Xubuntu, which is used when computing capacity is limited.
  • JeOS (just enough operating system) is appropriate for virtual applications.

Features of Ubuntu

Multiple Desktop Environments

Ubuntu supports GNOME (the default environment), KDE Plasma, Mate Desktop, Cinnamon, LXQt, and other desktop environments.

Multiple Variations
Ubuntu Server Addition, Ubuntu Studio, Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, JeOS are various flavors of Ubuntu. These flavors can be used according to different use cases.

Privacy and Security
Ubuntu is an operating system that allows multiple users to coexist. It is possible for multiple users to work on the same computer at the same time. However, unless the superuser grants permission, a user cannot access the data of another user. Because an organization may have users with different responsibilities and not everyone should have all of the rights, this is one of the most important aspects of an organization working on the same system.

Free and Open Source
Ubuntu is a free and open-source Operating System due to which it can be used and contributed by any person in the world. This ensures there is fast bug resolution, plenty of features, and community support.

You can configure the Ubuntu distribution to suit your needs. This is the primary benefit of open-source software. You can even create a completely new distribution based on Ubuntu and distribute it in the market.

CPU support
Ubuntu supports multiple CPU architectures, including Intel x86, AMD64, ARM, Power Servers, etc.

Advantages of Ubuntu

  • Easy to set up and use.
  • The user interface is intuitive with a strong range of keyboard shortcuts, making it quick to discover apps, files, and other items.
  • Privacy and security.
  • Excellent community service and a large user base.
  • Support for Multiple Desktop Environments.
  • Regular updates help resolve bugs faster.

Disadvantages of Ubuntu

  • Not suitable for web servers and administration tasks.
  • Not present by default on most of the machines.
  • Does not support high graphics games.

Descriptive comparison of Ubuntu and FreeBSD

FreeBSD is widely used for web or email servers due to its reliability, flexibility, and security. On the other hand, Ubuntu is widely used by novices, researchers, and for educational purposes.

Ease of use
Ubuntu is comparatively easier to use than FreeBSD due to the fact that it is developed primarily for learners, while FreeBSD is suited for heavy server-related tasks, which makes it suitable for experienced developers.

FreeBSD does not use Linux distribution like Ubuntu.

Head to Head Comparison

Point of Comparison FreeBSD Ubuntu
Company Berkeley Software Distribution Canonical
Suitable for Servers and firewalls Learning and home uses
Kernel Architecture Monolithic + Dynamic loaded modules Monolithic
Interface UNIX shell Uses GNOME default


We went through the detailed comparison of Ubuntu and FreeBSD. We can conclude that FreeBSD is widely used for server-related tasks and mostly used by experts, while Ubuntu is developed primarily by learners and researchers. You can choose any of these operating systems that best suits your needs. They even have their derivatives that help you to choose further derivatives for more specific use cases.

About the author

Simran Kaur

Simran works as a technical writer. The graduate in MS Computer Science from the well known CS hub, aka Silicon Valley, is also an editor of the website. She enjoys writing about any tech topic, including programming, algorithms, cloud, data science, and AI. Travelling, sketching, and gardening are the hobbies that interest her.