MidnightBSD is a FreeBSD derived Operating System. A critical goal of the project is to create an easy to use desktop environment with graphical ports management, and system configuration using GNUstep. The vast majority of the operating system will maintain a BSD license. Certain software packages use other licenses such as X.org, GCC, and GNUstep.
MidnightBSD was forked from FreeBSD 6.1 beta. The system was forked to allow us to customize and integrate the environment including the ports and system configuration. We wish for the system to appeal to beginners as well as more experienced BSD users. Many operating systems are under active development; with MidnightBSD, we wish to focus on optimization and usability improvements for desktop users.
The FreeBSD project has developed a reliable server operating environment, but often usability and performance on the desktop is overlooked. Scheduling, allocation of resources, security settings, and available application support should be tailored to desktop users. Many of the BSD projects are tailored to servers or older hardware. Others are distributions of FreeBSD with a nice graphical user interface, but still suffer from server centric design under the hood. We did not fork FreeBSD as a result of a falling out, but rather as an excellent starting point. It should be viewed as a compliment to the FreeBSD developers who have worked very hard on FreeBSD 5.x and 6.x.