Open Vs Free BSD

Michael R. Wayne freebsd07 at
Fri Jun 19 18:36:38 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 06:23:09AM -0400, STeve Andre' wrote:
> On Friday 19 June 2009 04:47:35 Michal wrote:
> >
> > "Comparing FreeBSD and OpenBSD, FreeBSD is generally better at disk-related
> > I/O whereas OpenBSD handles net-I/O better. No test has been carried out to
> > prove this though."
> >
> > Every offence to the person which said this, but they are not the best
> > admin ever, though they like to think they are (the worst kind I think)
> >
> > Can anyone shed any light, the reason I ask is we where debating about a
> > network and he said OpenBSD on the network (routers firewall etc) and
> > FreeBSD as the app servers (mail, files etc etc), which I can see makes
> > sense.but without having evidence it's pointless making a claim.
> What does it matter?  If you aren't happy with the speed of either system
> you can get faster hardware.  You should worry about which system is best
> for YOU, not how fast it is.  Playing the speed game is a never ending.

OK, I'm going to take a guess here that English may not be Michal's primary
language and re-ask his question:

   Given the several versions of *BSD, I have been led to understand
   that each excells in different ways.  How do I select which one
   is right for my application, what are the underlying reasons
   that would lead me to that choice and what are the the disadvantages
   I am risking?

This is, actually, not an inappropriate question coming from a potential
new user who is not familiar with the history surrounding the various
versions and would make an outstanding FAQ.  As an example, we run FreeBSD
on our firewalling machines because it works well enough and we prefer the
reduced support costs of using a single O/S across our network.  I am unsure
of what the advantage of moving to OpenBSD might be and would find it very
difficult to quantify the advantages (if any) versus the increased support
resources required.

This is a very real issue.  Linux has a similar problem; I've personally
been in meetings where clients examined the myriad Linux distributions
and say "It's very likely that we will make the incorrect choice.  So we'll
go with Windows."  I suspect similar events have occurred with *BSD.  So,
rather than jumping on people about them bringing up religous wars (because,
face it, you CAN edit a file perfectly well in either vi or emacs :-), we'd
all be better served by giving them enough information to make the right
choice in their situation while realizing the tradeoffs they are making.

/\/\ \/\/

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list