The ubuntuBSD name, says it all, is a mix of Ubuntu with BSD that changes the system core to allow us to use Unix easily.
You may not know it, but Linux didn’t start from scratch; The Unix system dates back several decades, although it was mainly used on servers and mainframes, and very little on personal computers.
When Linus Torvalds introduced its new operating system in August ’91, it did so by talking about minix, a Unix clone, and how it was based on its features, such as the file system. It is safe to say that Without Unix, Linux would not exist today, so you can consider yourself as your grandfather.
Ubuntu with BSD, a mix of the best of free software
Over time, Linux achieved what Unix had not achieved, although that does not mean that Unix development was abandoned. Alternatives like BSD were born based on the Unix code, and for a long time distributions like FreeBSD have been the only option users have had to use Unix on their computers.
Now comes a new alternative, based on the philosophy and code of Ubuntu, the most popular Linux desktop distro: ubuntuBSD.
Basically ubuntuBSD are Ubuntu programs and repositories, on the FreeBSD kernel, instead of the Linux kernel. In other words, for the average user there should be few differences between ubuntuBSD and Ubuntu, or at least that is the theory and what they want to achieve from the project.
ubuntuBSD defaults to the xfce desktop (although we can also mount a server without a graphic interface), so we will enjoy a quick experience but with everything we could need on a desktop; It is not the lightest desktop environment, nor is it the most complete, but it is in the middle that could check all the boxes that we need.
Of course, we have programs like the Firefox browser, the LibreOffice office suite, and we have access to an app store like Ubuntu’s where we can get the programs we need. Even if we open a terminal, We will be able to use most of the commands that we use in any Linux distro.
Unix, a beast that is still difficult to control
Despite the fact that all this seems very nice, there are still some details that show that it is a project that has a lot of work ahead of it. For example, the text-based installer is not the friendliest there is, and we will probably encounter even more driver problems than we usually encounter in Linux.
So why would we want to switch to ubuntuBSD? What does BSD offer on Linux? Well to begin with, far superior performance that we will notice especially on old computers, but we will also have the opportunity to test new software that has not yet reached Ubuntu.
I’m mainly talking about ZFS, a novel (and somewhat controversial) file system focused on ensuring the integrity of our files, with protection included against data corruption and support for all kinds of hard drive configurations and sizes. With ubuntu BSD you can use ZFS by default.
If you were thinking of making the jump to BSD, and FreeBSD or other distros don’t convince you, ubuntuBSD can be a good opportunity to make the leap, or at least try it; You will probably be surprised by the things that Unix and Linux have in common, but despite that it is not yet a recommended distro for newbies.