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About FreeBSD's Internetworking

FreeBSD was designed for the Internet

FreeBSD includes what many consider the reference implementation for TCP/IP software, the 4.4 BSD TCP/IP protocol stack, thereby making it ideal for network applications and the Internet. FreeBSD 7.0 also includes the reference implementation of SCTP, thus making it an ideal platform for telephony and other data streaming applications.

FreeBSD supports all standard TCP/IP protocols.

Like most UNIX® systems, the FreeBSD operating system enables you to

  • Serve static and dynamic web content over HTTP
  • Share filesystems with NFS
  • Distribute network information with NIS
  • Handle and provide email services over SMTP, IMAP and POP3
  • Support remote logins over SSH and rsh
  • Do remote SNMP configuration and management
  • Serve files with FTP
  • Resolve Internet hostnames with DNS/BIND
  • Route packets between multiple interfaces, including PPP and SLIP lines
  • Use IP Multicast services (the MBONE)
  • Provide services over IPv6

FreeBSD lets you to turn a PC into a World Wide Web server, mail server or an Usenet news relay with included software. Using the included SAMBA software you can even share filesystems or printers with your Microsoft® Windows® machines and, with the supplied PCNFS authentication daemon, you can support machines running PC/NFS. FreeBSD also supports Appletalk and Novell client/server networking (using an optional commercial software package), making it a true "Intranet" networking solution.

FreeBSD also handles TCP extensions like the RFC-1323 high performance extension, plus SLIP and dial-on-demand PPP. It is an operating system suitable for a home-based net surfer as well as a corporate systems administrator.

FreeBSD's networking is stable and fast.

If you need an Internet server platform that is reliable and offers the best performance under heavy load, then consider FreeBSD. Here are just a few of the companies that make use of FreeBSD every day:

  • Walnut Creek CDROM ran one of the most popular FTP servers on the Internet,, exclusively on FreeBSD for many years. It was a single FreeBSD machine supporting 6000 connections, and capable of transferring more than 30 terabytes (as of June, 1999; yes that is terabytes!) worth of files every month to more than 10 million people.
  • Yahoo Inc. runs the ultimate index of the Internet, serving scads of daily net surfers with information about the World Wide Web. Yahoo, as well as the companies that advertise on Yahoo, rely on FreeBSD to run reliable and responsive web servers.
  • Netcraft is the leading researcher of web server software usage on the Internet. They use FreeBSD and Apache to power their website, and FreeBSD/Perl for all their Internet data collection.

FreeBSD makes an ideal platform for these and other Internet services:

  • Company-wide or world-wide WWW service
  • Proxy WWW service
  • Anonymous FTP service
  • Enterprise file, print and mail services
  • Routers, firewalls and intrusion detection systems

The FreeBSD ports collection contains ready-to-run software that makes it easy to set up your own Internet server.

High performance and security.

The FreeBSD developers are as concerned about security as they are about performance. FreeBSD includes kernel support for IP firewalling, as well other services, such as IP proxy gateways. If you put your corporate servers on the Internet, any computer running FreeBSD can act as a network firewall to protect them from outside attack.

Encryption software, secure shells, Kerberos, end-to-end encryption and secure RPC facilities are also available.

Furthermore, the FreeBSD team is proactive in detecting and disseminating security information and bug reports with a security officer and ties to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

What experts have to say...

``FreeBSD ... provides what is probably the most robust and capable TCP/IP stack in existence ...''

---Michael O'Brien, SunExpert August 1996 volume 7 number 8.