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. Installing Mathematica®
11.4. Installing Maple
11.5. Installing MATLAB®
11.6. Installing Oracle®
11.7. 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

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <>.

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