2.2 Introduction

FreeBSD offers an excellent development environment. Compilers for C and C++ and an assembler come with the basic system, not to mention classic UNIX® tools such as sed and awk. If that is not enough, there are many more compilers and interpreters in the Ports collection. The following section, Introduction to Programming, lists some of the available options. FreeBSD is very compatible with standards such as POSIX® and ANSI C, as well with its own BSD heritage, so it is possible to write applications that will compile and run with little or no modification on a wide range of platforms.

However, all this power can be rather overwhelming at first if you have never written programs on a UNIX platform before. This document aims to help you get up and running, without getting too deeply into more advanced topics. The intention is that this document should give you enough of the basics to be able to make some sense of the documentation.

Most of the document requires little or no knowledge of programming, although it does assume a basic competence with using UNIX and a willingness to learn!