Chapter 11. Linux® Binary Compatibility

Restructured and parts updated by Jim Mock.
Originally contributed by Brian N. Handy and Rich Murphey.
Table of Contents
11.1. Synopsis
11.2. Installation
11.3. Advanced Topics

11.1. Synopsis

FreeBSD provides binary compatibility with Linux®, allowing users to install and run Linux® binaries on a FreeBSD system. Many companies and developers develop only for Linux®, and binary compatibility allows FreeBSD users to run about 90% of all Linux® applications without modification. This includes productivity applications, games, and more. 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.

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:

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at

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