But recent numbers from research outfit Netcraft show that past is prologue. FreeBSD (define), that other Unix variant, has dramatically increased its market penetration over the last year.
Call it the stealth-growth open source project. According to Netcraft, over one million new domains were hosted on FreeBSD over the last year, bringing the total number in its survey of companies using the Unix-variant OS to over 2.5 million.
FreeBSD also continues to show up on Netcraft's list of the most stable hosting providers on OS platforms. In its May 2004 survey, for example, Netcraft reported that four out of the top 10 hosts ran on FreeBSD. Linux also claimed four. Windows showed up on two of the 10.
But why hasn't FreeBSD become as widespread as Linux? The answers may lie in its history."