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The term ports (or simply port) is used to describe various aspects of computing:

  • a version of an operating system's source-code intended for different types processors, FreeBSD itself can run on Intel x86, AMD x64 and Sun Sparc processors as well as other processors with varying degrees of usability (the NetBSD community use this meaning for their 'ports');
  • a program that is available in source-code form that can be compiled on a given operating system, FreeBSD has many thousands of applications available in this way (the FreeBSD community therefore use this meaning for their 'ports');
  • a communication channel in the TCP/IP networking protocol to communicate between services, for example a mail server will use port 25 for SMTP, while a web server will use port 80 for HTTP;
  • a physical connection on system hardware, such as the now ubiquitous USB that displaced older parallel printer and serial communication interfaces.

The following articles contain references to the various 'ports' meanings:

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