TechTV - FreeBSD v. Linux Shootout

Eric Anderson anderson at
Wed Sep 3 06:12:57 PDT 2003

Steve Coile wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Sep 2003, Eric Anderson wrote:
>>Matt Olander wrote:
>>>Murray, unless I'm mistaken, the linux guy must have fudged a bit at the
>>>end of the install because after we'd finished, his screen still showed
>>>like 35 minutes to go and then he immediately plugged in his laptop ;)
>>Sadly enough, even my wife noticed that.  We were both watching as the 
>>install was creeping by on the linux machine, and FreeBSD was completely 
>>done, ready to roll.  They broke for commercial, and the next thing you 
>>know he is up and running full desktop.  My wife said "aren't they still 
>> installing?  I thought they still had a lot left?".. I had no response 
>>for her.
>>I did notice how defensive the linux guy was.. must have had too much 
>>caffeine before the show or something..
> The neat thing about the installed Linux box is that you can tailor
> off parts of the operating system without having to (a) re-install
> the entire box; (b) know anything about how the parts are installed;
> or (c) know anything about the dependencies between the parts.

Those could be seen as both positive, and negative points, depending on 
your point of view.

> A Linux install takes longer than a FreeBSD install because it isn't just
> a straight copy to the target disk.  There's package management involved,
> which is a *HUGE* benefit of the Linux world.  That FreeBSD components
> aren't packaged by default is a major deficiency, in my opinion.

Agreed - but my point wasn't "nah nah, we finished first", it was "hey, 
how come you said your install was done, and it wasn't?" - that's all.

> So, yes, Linux takes longer to install, but your system has some very
> important and useful information when it's done.

The biggest time consumer is the fact that linux distros install all 
kinds of extra apps that are not essential for running the OS - not that 
they aren't nice apps, I'm just pointing out the difference in philosophies.


Eric Anderson	   Systems Administrator      Centaur Technology
All generalizations are false, including this one.

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