BSD Operating Systems

The first BSD/OS, originally called BSD/386 was a proprietary version of the BSD operating system developed by Berkeley Software Design Inc. (BSDi) by members of the Computer systems Research Group at the University of California in Berkeley. BSD/386 a UNIX variant was released in 1991 in particular for use as an internet server on PC compatible systems running Intel 386 or later processors.

BSD has a reputation for stability, making it perfectly suited to run in a server environment. BSD/386 was sold with a licence and support, which included source code. The name was changed to BSD/OS after support was added for running the operating system on Sun SPARC based machines. This paved the way for open source versions of BSD, which are in common use mostly for running server systems. There are many active variants which may be seen for data recovery, the best known of these being FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFly BSD with many more being developed, some based on the aforementioned versions. Apple OS X is uses Darwin, which is derived from FreeBSD.

BSD Data Storage

Most variants of BSD include many features usually found at the enterprise level, including iSCSI, filesystem journaling, logical volume management and the ZFS filesystem, which is now used by default. The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is based on the tools developed for the Linux operating system. This allows a BSD to be set up as a RAID server also allowing data storage to be presented in the form of a SAN or a NAS. It is normal for most versions of BSD to also support a large number of “foreign” filesystems, including FAT, NTFS and Linux Extended FS.

Uses of BSD Operating System

BSD is in use by many large multinational corporations in a variety of different applications, from workstations to server systems. The most common uses are for applications such as data storage solutions, including NAS and SAN systems and firewalls. BSD variants are seen in a number of devices as an embedded operating system, such as the Playstation 3 and 4.

BSD and Data Recovery

Thus far all BSD based systems we have seen requiring data recovery, have been SAN servers, where the data has become inaccessible, usually due to physical disk failures, corruption of a file system, or user error. These have all contained data chunks pertaining to either NTFS, Linux Extended FS, HFS+ or XFS data volumes, from which data recovery has been successful.

Linux

Linux is a Unix-like, largely POSIX compliant, computer operating system assembled using the free and open-source model for software development and distribution. The main component of Linux is the Linux kernel, which is the core of the operating system, which was first released in October 1991 by Linus Torvalds.

Linux was originally developed to operate on Intel-x86 based personal computers, but has since been ported to other hardware platforms, including 64 bit processors. It is the leading operating system for servers and other large scale systems such as mainframes and supercomputers. On desktop machines, Linux is estimated to only account for approximately 1.5% of installed operating systems. Linux is also available for embedded systems, such as Android on mobile phones and tablets, as well as routers, televisions, video game consoles and many further applications.

Data Recovery for Linux File Systems

Linux provides support for a wide array of hardware, and file systems. The original file system developed for Linux was the Extended File System, which saw several iterations, but is starting to be superseded by the use of XFS. XFS was originally developed by SGI for their Solaris operating system, before it was made open source and ported for use under Linux. XFS is ideal, as it is a very fast, robust and highly scalable file system, particularly when used in server systems.

The file system support available under Linux is extensive, allowing many file systems to be mounted, such as all FAT variants, NTFS and HFS+. ReiserFS developed for Linux, was popular for a while, but has never become a mainstream component of the kernel; its future remains uncertain.

Linux Server Data Recovery

Linux is well suited to being used as a server operating system, with extensive support for mass storage controllers. Linux can be used to provide network access to file systems, providing support for any attached computer system, from Windows, Apple Mac through to Unix systems.

Linux also provides a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) which can be used to create partitions, and RAID arrays. Access to a logical volume can also be provided via iSCSI, to provide storage for other servers over the network. LVM support for Linux machines is therefore an essential part of any data recovery company’s software.

Linux in the Future

The use of Linux, particularly in a server environment only looks set to increase, due to its security, reliability, low cost and lack of vendor lock-in clauses. The market share for web servers will almost certainly increase, with the security systems proving to be very robust, with any security issues, usually being fixed within hours of detection.

For desktops and laptops, an increase in the market share is unlikely to occur, unless video game manufacturers start releasing games on the Linux platform. It is certain that Linux systems however well maintained will require data recovery, either through hardware failure or user error for many years to come.