projects to better support FreeBSD sysadmins

Craig Rodrigues rodrigc at
Wed Jan 14 03:30:54 UTC 2015

On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 7:13 PM, Hunter Satterwhite <
hsatterwhite at> wrote:

> Craig,
> Could you elaborate on these "problems"? Our data center is ~400 nodes and
> 99% FreeBSD. We've used CFengine, we're implementing Puppet (and its going
> great!), we use Ansible, and we also use languages such as Python, Ruby,
> and Google's Go. Oh and not to mention we have a RESTful application
> running on FreeBSD + node.js + MongoBD/MySQL.
> I think the project's focus is fine. Year after year we're given a
> complete, enterprise Unix operating system and it's only getting better.

I can point to two problems which I found today:

(1)  freebsd-update doesn't work so well in an automation environment
without a real tty:

      This was pointed out to me by a devops expert who is helping me with
      for the

(2)  documentation for doing "kickstart" installs of FreeBSD is not as easy
to find as for Linux:

     This was pointed out to me by another devops person I am working with
who is familiar
     with setting up kickstart installs for Linux, but couldn't easily
figure out how to do it for FreeBSD.

These are very basic things and can be solved on their own,
but I would like to see more of a focus on this kind of stuff at a project
level, so that
these problems don't exist in the first place, and things *just work*.

For many people, the perception is that Linux is easier for devops people
to work
with than FreeBSD, and they can install/maintain many nodes in large cloud
and datacenter environments
more easily.  I have seen in two companies where hundreds of FreeBSD nodes
were migrated to Linux,
because the IT/devops staff found Linux worked better at large scale than
FreeBSD in the modern datacenter.

I think the FreeBSD project is improving, but we can do better.


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