Chapter10.Linux Binary Compatibility

Restructured and parts updated by Jim Mock.
Originally contributed by Brian N. Handy and Rich Murphey.


FreeBSD provides binary compatibility with Linux, allowing users to install and run most Linux binaries on a FreeBSD system without having to first modify the binary. It has even been reported that, in some situations, Linux binaries perform better on FreeBSD than they do on Linux.

However, some Linux-specific operating system features are not supported under FreeBSD. For example, Linux binaries will not work on FreeBSD if they overly use i386™ specific calls, such as enabling virtual 8086 mode.


Support for 64-bit binary compatibility with Linux was added in FreeBSD10.3.

After reading this chapter, you will know:

  • How to enable Linux binary compatibility on a FreeBSD system.

  • How to install additional Linux shared libraries.

  • How to install Linux applications on a FreeBSD system.

  • The implementation details of Linux compatibility in FreeBSD.

Before reading this chapter, you should: