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FreeBSD based PC-BSD Gets 'Acquired'

BSD is just for servers right?

Not necessarily.

PC-BSD is an attempt to provide a desktop friendly version of FreeBSD.

PC-BSD is now being "acquired" by privately held San Jose, Calif.-based enterprise hardware solution provider iXsystems for an undisclosed sum. The new parent company for PC-BSD is expected to help further drive and support the adoption of PC-BSD.

But how do you "acquire" an open source operating system?

"Well, we acquired Intellectual Property and Copyrights related to the development of PC-BSD and associated domains as well as the brains behind the operation," Matt Olander of CTO iXsystems told internetnews.com.

"You can't really "acquire an open source project", but you can fund development, provide equipment and testing, etc."

Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD project explained that technically PC-BSD also had a business side to it (PC-BSD Software), which owned the name and trademarks.

"However, critical aspects such as source and such will still stay BSD licensed," Moore told internetnews.com.

Though it's difficult to precisely determine how many total PC-BSD users there are, Olander noted that there have been over 135 thousand separate downloads of the most recently released version, 1.2, not including upgrades.

PC-BSD right now seems to draw users from all across the spectrum, according to Moore.

"We see a fair share of Windows users, as well as folks migrating from Linux," he said.

IXsystems expects to recognize a return on investment from its acquisition of PC-BSD by helping to increase BSD adoption, distribution, and development of both PC-BSD and FreeBSD. Olander figures more adoption should eventually increase demand for certified and tested server and storage hardware platforms.

PC-BSD is targeted at desktops. But that doesn't necessarily contradict iXsystems' positioning as an enterprise server vendor either.

"While we're also looking at a server and laptop version of PC-BSD, driving desktop adoption of BSD definitely looks beneficial in the long run," Olander said.

"If you use PC-BSD on your desktop and become very familiar and satisfied with it, what will you recommend for use in your companies datacenter?"

PC-BSD's founder expects that the backing of iXsystems will help PC-BSD to overcome some of its barriers to adoption.

"One of the things we've seen with BSD in general, is that businesses often don't know whom to contact for support," Moore said.

"By having PC-BSD apart of iXsystems, we hope to remedy this by now having a solid company backing, which can offer professional support and solutions that many companies require."

IXystems Olander also noted that his firm's support should also help PC-BSD to get access to equipment and resources that might have been difficult previously.

Olander in addition to being CTO of iXsystems is also on both the press team and marketing team for the FreeBSD Project. He laughed when asked whether or not iXsystems would be acquiring FreeBSD itself next.

"FreeBSD doesn't have a company behind it to acquire like PC-BSD did," Olander said. "So, no, that wouldn't be possible."