Super sorry to bikeshed, but this is kind of bugging me.

In network-wide contexts, like people's list of accounts, our description says:

Q&A for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.

I feel like "FreeBSD" is too specific, like saying "users of Arch Linux" instead of GNU/Linux users in general. Can we change it to something like "the BSDs" or "*BSD"? So the final description would end up being something like

Q&A for users of Linux, the BSDs and other Un*x-like operating systems.

2 Answers 2


Why do we need to specify anything at all? We could just go for

Q&A for users of Unix and Unix-like operating systems.

or since Linux perhaps should be mentioned explicitly since it is in the site's name:

Q&A for users of Unix, Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

Also, I don't see the point of Un*x-like, I could understand *nix but that is a synonym of Unix-like so why not just leave it at that? What does Un*x-like convey that Unix-like doesn't?

  • 3
    I think it's worthwhile being somewhat more specific since an amazing number of folks are ignorant about Linux/UNIX/BSD. I've run into too many folks who think the BSDs are just other Linux distributions. And "Everything is Linux" has become the new "Everything is a VAX". And as an OpenBSD guy, calling out all the BSDs by saying "the BSDs" would make me happy.
    – kurtm
    Oct 12, 2013 at 15:43
  • 1
    @kurtm I don't see any reason to explicitly include any *nix, Unix and Unix-like covers everything, including BSDs. Mentioning Linux makes sense since there are actually newbie Linux users who might not know what *nix or Unix-like means. I really doubt there are *BSD users who don't.
    – terdon Mod
    Oct 12, 2013 at 15:46
  • Yes, but I was thinking more for the folks who don't know the others are out there. Getting some of the Linux folks to say "the BSDs? What are they?" But also, I have met folks who know about FreeBSD who don't know about the others.
    – kurtm
    Oct 12, 2013 at 15:51
  • 2
    +1 for @kurtm. I would argue that we might as well mention the BSDs, as there are (potential) benefits but little drawback. It's not like the sentence is a run-on, and "UNIX, Linux and other UNIX-like systems" seems like too awkward a construct to me. Maybe that's just me, though.
    – strugee
    Oct 12, 2013 at 16:56

Meh. The next step would be “Linux, the BSDs, the Unix parts of OSX, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Unix™, OSF1, Xenix, SCO, Cygwin, the POSIX layer of QNX, MINIX, and other Unix-like operating systems”. I find “the BSDs” awkward. Let's just stick to the most popular of the BSDs, “and other Unix-like operating systems” makes it completely clear that Linux and FreeBSD are just examples.

  • We might as well replace "Linux" with "Ubuntu", if you see it that way...
    – jobukkit
    Oct 20, 2013 at 14:20
  • @Jop Ubuntu is a distribution, FreeBSD is an OS. Oct 23, 2013 at 15:58
  • 2
    @SlavenRezic The difference isn't absolute. FreeBSD is a distribution as well, and Ubuntu can be called an OS. Oct 23, 2013 at 16:07

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