FreeBSD 5.4 or 6 for DB server with 9500S-4 ?

Ken Gunderson kgunders at
Fri Nov 25 20:52:08 GMT 2005

On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 12:11:59 -0800
ray at wrote:

> | > My policy is to never be the first kid on the block to test something new -
> | > especially not in production.  FreeBSD 5.4 has been hammered on for a long time
> tested it in production.  In cases of things like PHP5 vs. PHP4, 4 is clearly
> faster.  Same for apache.  2.0.52, based on my testing, is clearly slower

I have run across published benchmarks concluding php5 is indeed faster
than php4.  I've not, however, run across published benchies to the
contrary.  Not saying they're not out there, nor speaking for the
validity of those I have seen, but just pointing out that benchmarks
can be misleading, confusing, etc.  and of limited use unless you
happen to run across one that mimicks your config, or you do them

A couple things that have me leaning toward php5 on a new server are:

1) php5.1 was just released.  IIRC, 5.1 was to have Rasmus's blessing
as "stable" for the php5 line.

2) php developers (and dev heads in general) are more interested in
working on the new, latest stuff than maintaining older releases.
Thus, although php5 is newer and likely to have more issues than
php4 it may well see superior support in upcoming years from the php
team.  Witness the php4.4.1/Apache2/mod_rewrite issue.

3) It's one less migration you have to deal w/a year from now when the
phb decides they want to run some new killer app that requires the

Caveat- given the security history of php I wouldn't use a x.0 release
for anything other than playing around.  Things usually seem to settle
down by an x.1 release though.

> compared to 1.3.33.  If you have stats showing the different between 5.x and 6.x

Regarding Apache- I've taken to running my php stuff via FastCGI under
Lighttpd as unprivileged user on high port and then proxying via
Apache2.  (Some of caching stuff comes in handy.  Granted Squid is a
better choice for serious use. )  This config pretty much screams
performance wise.  For various reasons discussed a while back on
another thread, best webserver perf is seen under FBSD-i386.  The AMD64
stuff absolutely rocks when you get into larger db's needing more ram,
etc.  Running php under FastCGI also sets you up for inexpensive load
balancing solution.  Just throw relatively inexpensive single cpu, sata
based machines in front of the db server.  Anyhow, just throwing this
out for what it might be worth.  If you've not checked out "Lighty"
before you may want to take a gander:


Here's the FastCGI stuff:



> | I agree, stick with 4.1.x, but for different reasons. Compatability; not sure 
> | what you are doing, the size or scope of the database you're dealing with, but 
> | if for example you're going to be writting and app in windows which uses the 
> | myodbc driver to connect... then you may run into problems with newer versions 
> | of mysql. I encountered a LOT of this, when we moved from 3.x up to 4.1, largely 
> | because of changes in the client - at least I was aware of that before I 
> | started, but I did have to rebuild client librairies on all webservers, and 
> | re-install odbc drivers on client machines throughout the building because of 
> | it. Might not be something you're willing/ready to undertake for the features 
> | you've already mentioned not being required in mysql 5.

I'm seriously considering using mysql-5 for my latest project as well-
for similar reasons outlined above.  A dul opteron system has got
plenty of power to spare for my purposes so squeezing out the last bit
hasn't been an issue.  I've got 252's, 250's, 246's, and 244 boxes.
The 252's are "wickedly fast" but the 244's are still more than
adequate for many purposes.

> Anyway, have a good weekend.

Ditto:)  The point of all this being that there are different
perspectives out there on this stuff and one needs to decide what's
best for their set of circumstances.

AH-- one last thing- if you need to run a firewall check out pf ported
from OpenBSD.

Best regards,

Ken Gunderson

Q: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
A: Why is putting a reply at the top of the message frowned upon?

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