‘Linux is made for those who do not like Windows, FreeBSD is made for those who love UNIX’ is a somewhat trollesque quote can be found on the web, but that sums up the State of mind of this system. The project began late 1993 and used sources of 386BSD as starting point. The project advances to the rhythm of a major release approximately every 2 years.
Support: between 4 and 6 years.
The least: it blows me that the UFS file system is rather old. The management of ports is difficult to take in hand, especially at the level of dependencies.
Most: the lightness on storage (a minimum install weighs less than 200 MB) and has the performance. The great wealth of ports (it’s simple, there is everything). Presence of a configuration tool text to set up his machine (network, software installation and configuration…). Reputation: held in the large loads of the system. Ability to use ZFS.
What differentiates it from others: it is a system that respects the UNIX philosophy: If the user wants it to work, it must do everything itself. The system does not have to perform arbitrary changes or initiatives. The behavior is so predictable. It is distinguished primarily by its lightness, versatility and richness of the ports.
My opinion: this is a very good choice for anyone who wants to try something other than Linux, or who has old or exotic material.