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  1. #1

    Linux vs FreeBSD

    pros and cons of both OS. Lately I switch from Gentoo to FreeBSD and now I'am very happy

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I'm a long-time fan of FreeBSD for server applications and also run it on desktops in my office. Its a solid OS and coming from a big box unix background I appreciated its centralized approach to development which, I've since noted, hasn't slowed it down too much in terms of competing with Linux for features and capabilities. And FreeBSD ports system with portupgrade is a real treat. Almost 15,000 packages in CURRENT.

    That being said, committing to FreeBSD means you have fewer choices in hosting industry staples such as control panels and such. Some only support FreeBSD part of the way - for example H-Sphere I believe will support the OS on every box but its central "control server".

    There lots of FreeBSD boxes out there, including at some big name hosters like http://www.pair.com/ (190,000 sites these days), and runs FreeBSD exclusively.

    My primary grumble about the OS has been resolved. SMP support on 4.x wasn't terrific, 5.x better, and now as of 6.x SMP appears to be working very nicely indeed.
    “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    One thing that I don't like about FreeBSD is that lots of dedicated server providers don't offer it as an option.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2003
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    Inverness, Scotland.
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    I wouldn't use anything other than FreeBSD now and I've been using it for years.

    It's true though, you are more limited in choice of host.

  5. #5
    very good comparison between FreeBSD, Linux and Windows 2000 can be found here:
    http://people.freebsd.org/~murray/bsd_flier.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDee
    very good comparison between FreeBSD, Linux and Windows 2000 can be found here:
    http://people.freebsd.org/~murray/bsd_flier.html
    This comparison looks a few years out of date. For example, it says that Linux uses the ext2 file system (no journaling support), but ext3 (has journaling support) has been out for years.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmak0
    One thing that I don't like about FreeBSD is that lots of dedicated server providers don't offer it as an option.
    Yeah that's really annoying.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
    Cafe Manager: Free lunch? Did you read the fine print stating it was an April Fool's joke.
    Patron: I read the same way I listen, I ignore the parts I don't agree with. I'm suing you for false advertising.
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  8. #8
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    I swapped from Redhat about 3 years ago and love it. Ports make life especially easy.

    Recently I got a VPS machine running Debian to try out apt-get and set up mailserver. Unbelievable pain. Partly being a noob to apt-get but mostly it brings back the old memories of mismatched libs, weird pathing.

    In FreeBSD I can set up a server from scratch in less than a day. It's taken me 7 in Linux.

    Best quote troubleshooting courier with vpopmail? Glad you asked.

    "idn't know why, but the apt deb package in the sarge distro doesn't work with the authvchkpw module..."

    That might have been good to know up front. Like somewhere official.

    Go with FreeBSD. You won't be disappointed and hose the control panel if you don't need it.

    Iggy
    Evolve Networks - Hosting, Design & Development for Business and Individuals
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  9. #9
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    May 2006
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    I would definatly reccomend FreeBSD to anyone getting a dedicated server or for any use as an OS at all. I have bee using it for a few years now, and much as everyone else has said, I will never go anywhere else for an OS. Its simple, fast, secure, and rock solid. Never once have I had a problem, if I didnt cause it!
    Andrew Kuriger
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  10. #10
    Well seems like most of you are very positive about freebsd. I wonder if there are any negative comments about it

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Neither. I personally like Sun Solaris which is quite simillar to FreeBSD. So if it had to be one between Linux or FreeBSD, go with FreeBSD. Also, Gentoo isn't that bad either once you have it configured the way you like it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    As a user on servers and my primary home machine, the only major negative is that Adobe has revoked permission to use their Flash player on *BSD. I haven't seen any expanation for this. It's possible they just didn't realize what *BSD is when they made their list of what OSes it can be used on, but perhaps Colin Percival knows if there's more to the story.

    Apache, Lighttpd, thttpd, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Perl, PHP all work fine on it.
    Specializing in MySQL and website tuning for high traffic sites. cmwsci.com/

  13. #13
    I use Darwin which is the apple freebsd flavor - it's very nice and has some nice bundled software that I am running on it. Free is always the plus when working with nix

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailorFred
    As a user on servers and my primary home machine, the only major negative is that Adobe has revoked permission to use their Flash player on *BSD.
    Can you run the Linux version, since *BSD is binary compatible with Linux (I think)?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    I went from red hat 9 to freebsd and all I can say is RPMs suck. Ports are excellent and some of my machines have over 400 day uptimes without any slowness or problems. I've also had freebsd machines that had over 100 load average (thank apache for that one) and I could still ssh to the machine and issue commands. Show me a linux server that can do that. Whenver I go back to work on a linux machine it feels somewhat flimsy in comparison.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmak0
    Can you run the Linux version, since *BSD is binary compatible with Linux (I think)?
    This is how it used to be done, but the port was removed, due to the license language change. They now specifically specify which OSes it can be run on, with various versions of Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Solaris being listed, but no BSDs.
    Specializing in MySQL and website tuning for high traffic sites. cmwsci.com/

  17. #17
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    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmak0
    This comparison looks a few years out of date. For example, it says that Linux uses the ext2 file system (no journaling support), but ext3 (has journaling support) has been out for years.
    How does ext3 compare with the filesystems offered by FreeBSD (UFS/UFS2), stability/reliability wise?

  18. #18
    FreeBSD is awesome with lighttpd and fast-CGI. Scrap Apache.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Vancouver
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVoice
    I went from red hat 9 to freebsd and all I can say is RPMs suck. Ports are excellent and some of my machines have over 400 day uptimes without any slowness or problems.
    Yes, all that stability is a real problem. In reality we shouldn't be running machines that long I've had one server (running since 2002) which had two 500+ day stretches and no doubt there were some security advisories that I failed to heed on that box.

    I've always found with FreeBSD that external factors, not the box/OS itself, are what drive me to bring a machine down and up again.

    Can't say enough good things about ports.
    “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
    considerable economic stress at this period in history.”

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Auckland, New Zealand
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    My personal expereince with FreeBSD is rather awful. Overall, I like Linux - especially Redhat + Derivatives and Debian. FreeBSD is something that a lot of clients who know what they are doing prefer, and from my talks with them it's entirely about how they feel the systems are more secure and stable - especially under very heavy load.
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    I was a long time linux user before I switched to FreeBSD for hosting a couple of years ago.

    I will never go back to linux for anything.

    I'm not convinced FreeBSD performs as well as Linux and I'm fairly certain the hardware support isn't as good. But the general integration, consistency and maintainability of the operating system and it's applications (assuming installed from ports) is incredible.

    The major problem with Linux is its fragmentation. Too many different distros. Too many different kernel versions and kernel branches. Too many different places to look for config files. Too many package management programs. Too many significant changes in attitude between distribution releases. Too many distributions here one day gone the next.

    I don't have any of those issues with FreeBSD. The release process is clearly documented and stuck to, upgrades are well documented and (in my experience) relatively trivial to perform. Package management has never failed me and is sensibly completely isolated from the core os (seperate etc/ folder for installed ports so you're not sharing configuration space with the core OS config files).

    I was mildly concerned about the problems with 5.x and the seemingly swift transition away from 5 to 6. But it all seems to be for the better and I'm much happier with 6.

    Added onto that the amount of stuff built into the freebsd kernel by default (sysctl! jails!) that is clearly documented and simple to use...heaven.

    My machines have gone from 5.1 all the way to 6 with 'in-situ' remote upgrades without a flaw. There is no noticable cruft or broken packages. There were no 'surprise' changes that weren't in the documentation. Package installations and upgrades have never failed me to the point where I'm happy running and upgrading 'core' services from ports (postfix, apache etc). The whole thing has a very professional feel to it. Whereas Linux always feels like something thats been cobbled together / lacks focus.

    The only thing better in my eyes would be Solaris 10 when the package management comes of age. ZFS and Zones (essentially a much more advanced form of FreeBSD jails) are killer applications in my mind.

    Of course, if ZFS comes to FreeBSD then that will make me a happy bunny

    It's a bit of a flamebait argument. Best tool for the job / go with what you know etc. What I have found is that when people start to have to maintain a significant number of linux machines they run into issues keeping track of everything. Especially if they're inheriting other peoples pre configured machines.

    With a well maintained, by the book, FreeBSD system you can just drop in and go.

    Kev

  22. #22
    This is cool. As little as 3 months ago, when people were asking "which OS?," there would be four pages advocating CentOS. If FreeBSD was mentioned, someone would babble on about how CentOS was way better. I'm sure in general linux is more popular than FreeBSD, but it's nice to see that perhaps more dedicated users are warming up to FreeBSD.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    702
    I think it has to do with whos answering. People who run a lot of machines vs. shared hosting on a machine or two will have different experiences. Since CentOS has been proclaimed as the be all end all of shared hosting OSes especially where Cpanel is concerned, its hard to get a good cross section of responses on WHT.

    Its nice to see that people who have used both linux and freebsd on a daily basis tend to migrate to Freebsd. I always felt that if it was good enough for Yahoo then its good enough for me
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  24. #24
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    FreeBSD is ridiculously stable. We're running it on all of the important servers now, and plan to continue to do so.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    I cant understand why people choose FreeBSD over Linux. In Linux everything is so easy (I mainly use CentOS, RHEL), FreeBSD everything is a hassle. Currently for every 10 servers I maintain, 9 is FreeBSD. SO I DO KNOW.

    And I cant wait to have it migrate to Linux. My biggest issues with FreeBSD is the bad quality of some packages in the ports system, some packages just doesnt get updated, or sometimes the quality of the updates are just not high enough.

    Another thing is, if you want to purchase corporate software (for example; disaster recovery software), you will only find Linux (RHEL) support and nothing for FreeBSD.

    Updating using the ports is always scary for me, I am afraid things will break. With the RPM package system, I am never afraid.

    I do believe FreeBSD is a better choice in some scenario's, but if you want to keep things easy and invest less time, then go for Linux.

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