FreeBSD Day Date in the current year: June 19, 2024

FreeBSD Day FreeBSD Day, also known as National FreeBSD Day, is observed annually on June 19. It was inaugurated by the FreeBSD Foundation to commemorate the launch of a pioneering open-source technology that is used to this day.

FreeBSD is a free open-source operating system similar to Linux, although the two operating systems have major differences in scope and licensing. It was developed at the University of California, Berkeley.

The history of FreeBSD began in 1974, when computer science professor Bob Fabry acquired a UNIX source license from AT&T. Having secured financial support from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), he founded the Computer Systems Research Group to modify and improve the source code of the original Unix.

Another person who played an integral role in the development of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) Unix was Bill Joy, a graduate student at Berkeley. He started compiling the first BSD in 1977 and released it in March 1978.

The early BSD derivatives were largely proprietary due to containing code from AT&T Unix. In 1992, Berkeley alumni William and Lynne Jolitz who had been working on an open-source version of BSD for three years replaced the remaining AT&T files in the BSD source code and released a new operating system that they named 386BSD.

After the initial release, a group of 386BSD users wrote a number of bug fixes and enhancements, collected them and released an unofficial patchkit. Since the patchkit maintainers and the Jolitzes were unable to reach a common ground regarding the future releases of 386 BSD, the users founded The FreeBSD Project. They chose the name FreeBSD in June 1993 and released the first version of the operating system in November of the same year.

Since its initial release, FreeBSD has become one of the most popular Unix-like operating systems used by millions of people across the world. Universities around the world use FreeBSD to teach students about operating system concepts and as a research platform. Much of FreeBSD’s source code is an integral part of other operating systems.

Even if you’re not using FreeBSD as your primary operating system (because, let’s be honest, most regular users prefer Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS), you’re using at least some of its code because various companies develop products and services on FreeBSD. They include, for example, Netflix, PlayStation and WhatsApp.

The FreeBSD Foundation launched FreeBSD Day, sometimes referred to as National FreeBSD Day, in 2017 to honor the impactful and lasting legacy of the pioneering technology developed by The FreeBSD Project. June 19 was selected as the date of the observance because on this day in 1993, the developers of the technology agreed upon its official name.

How can you observe FreeBSD Day? You can learn more about this open-source operating system and its history, introduce others to FreeBSD, share your experiences with FreeBSD on social media with the hashtag #FreeBSDDay, and support the project by donating to The FreeBSD Foundation.

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FreeBSD Day, international observances, FreeBSD Project, FreeBSD Foundation, open-source operating system