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A list of FreeBSD based distros.

FreeBSD® is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium® and Athlon™), amd64 compatible (including Opteron™, Athlon 64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC®, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.

DesktopBSD aims at being a stable and powerful operating system for desktop users. DesktopBSD combines the stability of FreeBSD, the usability and functionality of KDE and the simplicity of specially developed software to provide a system that's easy to use and install.

PC-BSD has been designed with the "casual" computer user in mind. Installing the system is simply a matter of a few clicks and a few minutes for the installation process to finish. Hardware such as video, sound, network and other devices will be auto-detected and available at the first system startup. Home users will immediately feel comfortable with PC-BSD's desktop interface, with KDE 3.5 running under the hood. Software installation has also been designed to be as painless as possible, simply double-click and software will be installed.

Freesbie is a LiveCD based on the FreeBSD Operating system, or even easier, a FreeBSD-based operating system that works directly from a CD, without touching your hard drive.

miniBSD is a project to develop a set of scripts that shrinks a running FreeBSD system to a small sized miniBSD distribution suited for small media like USB pens and CF cards. The size of the distribution is usually 12-15M (it fits in a 16M flash) and contains everything you usually need to run a full FreeBSD system in a confortable way.

PicoBSD is a single-floppy disk version of FreeBSD, one of the BSD operating system descendants. In its different variations, PicoBSD allows one to have secure dialup access, a small diskless router, or even a dial-in server, all on only one standard 1.44MB floppy. It runs on a minimum 386SX CPU with 8MB of RAM (no hard disk required).

NanoBSD is a tool currently developed by Poul-Henning Kamp <>. It creates a FreeBSD system image for embedded applications, suitable for use on a Compact Flash card (or other mass storage medium).

Debian_GNU kFreeBSD Ging is an operating system released by the Debian project for i486-compatible computer architectures. It is a distribution of the GNU operating system with Debian package management and the kernel of FreeBSD, unlike most other GNU variants that are shipped with the Linux kernel.

BSDLive is a live filesystem CD based on FreeBSD that can fit on a business card CD-ROM. This means that it's a FreeBSD operating system that will work directly from a CD, without touching your hard drive.


ClosedBSD is a derivative of FreeBSD aimed at providing firewall and Network Address Translation services, written by Joshua Bergeron. ClosedBSD also aims for a small footprint in terms of size, available as a floppy disk image at 1.4MB and as a CD-ROM ISO at 12.8MB. In spite of its small size, the software includes a fully-functional ncurses-based interface.

BSDeviant project was started by Unixpunx and produces a free, FreeBSD-based Unix-like operating system. The distribution since June 2004 is under 210MB and fully operates from a regular CD-ROM without the need to install anything on the hard drive. They claim to emphasize "'ease of use' (for both new users and power users), security, and keeping our code as portable and stripped down as possible," and have the slogan "Unix; anytime, anywhere."

m0n0wall is a project aimed at creating a complete, embedded firewall software package that, when used together with an embedded PC, provides all the important features of commercial firewall boxes (including ease of use) at a fraction of the price (free software). m0n0wall is based on a bare-bones version of FreeBSD, along with a web server, PHP and a few other utilities. The entire system configuration is stored in one single XML text file to keep things transparent. m0n0wall is probably the first UNIX system that has its boot-time configuration done with PHP, rather than the usual shell scripts, and that has the entire system configuration stored in XML format.

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, RSYNC protocols, local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key. The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

pfsense is a open source firewall derived from the m0n0wall operating system platform with radically different goals such as using OpenBSD's ported Packet Filter, FreeBSD 6.1 ALTQ (HFSC) for excellent packet queueing and finally an integrated package management system for extending the environment with new features.

GuLIC-BSD is a LiveCD based on FreeSBIE ( totally in Castilian. The objective is to have something like “Guachinche” or “SILU” but with FreeBSD.

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