4.x era

johan Hendriks joh.hendriks at gmail.com
Sun Sep 11 10:12:34 UTC 2011

Hello all

First of all this is not a rant, just a write down of my feel about FreeBSD.
Secondly i want to thank all of the people involved in FreeBSD for this 
fantastic OS that i use on a daily basis for most tasks like Mail 
filtering, proxy/web services and file sharing.

Here i go.
In the time of FreeBSD 4.x, i would without hesitating recommend FreeBSD 
for almost  everything on the server side.

You know you could take FreeBSD 4.x and start throwing rocks at it no 
matter how big the rocks where, and the FreeBSD people would probably 
stand in front of the crowd with the biggest rocks.

But with the latest like 6, 7 and the 8 releases i have my doubts! I 
would still be throwing rocks, but i will not stand in front, and would 
be more picky about the rocks i pick to throw.

I have no data to prove this, it is just a feeling.
FreeBSD does not have the same robuust feel like it had in the 4.x days.

Is this because FreeBSD does not get ironed out anymore like the 4.x 
We stop at x.3 or x.4 as where the 4.x release did go to .11 , and it 
proved to be a succes.

Also is FreeBSD not to conservative in its settings?

For example if there is a performance battle between linux, opensolaris 
or whatever  and FreeBSD and FreeBSD lacks in performance, there is 
always the statement that you need to tune FreeBSD!

Could we not set defaults to more standard values that modern hardware 
This has been asked several times before if i memeber correctly, and the 
answer is mostly that there are still some users that have old hardware.
Well is it not time to let them tune the system down.
Maybe an installer option, like GENERIC kernel and T_GENERIC kernel for 
Tuned Kernel, with has some settings that is always a good thing to have 
on your modern hardware.
And with it comes a more suitable /etc/sysctl.conf file or default 
sysctl values that fits latest hardware better.
This way if you have old hardware, you can select your good old known 
If you are on modern hardware you can select the tuned version.

Samba performance is in my opinion not good at FreeBSD.
Windows and Linux get higher performance without any tuning.
But i do not want to start using a mix of operating systems.
Linux for Samba, FreeBSD fo web/mail filtering and Windows for exchange 
and so on.

I know you can not suspect to be a high performance webserver and a 
samba server with the same tunings, but there must be a way to find a 
good balance.
So if you install FreeBSD, Linux and Windows there are some differences, 
but not that huge as there are now.

In my opinion we now starting to enter the storage era.
FreeBSD with ZFS could play a major role in this.
But here i get a little reluctent to use FreeBSD.
If i read the maillings lists and some performance and trouble issues 
people have with ZFS, i starting to get doubts.
I also know that succes stories are not on these lists, and only the bad 
things are.

I work for a small company with three people.
We do not have budgets to buy SAN and or NAS machines and do endless 

Vmware is getting bigger and bigger, even for the smaller company's we 
work for.
So again FreeBSD and ZFS could really be a good solution for a SAN/NAS. 
But we can not have kernel panics on the SAN/NAS!
But here again reluctend to do so.

Maybe it is because the problems on the mailling list, or the whole feel 
of it, i do not know.

Now we need to make a choice.

HP SANS or FreeBSD with ZFS for the SAN.

Again not a rant, just my writing down the feeling i have with FreeBSD 
right now.
And again thanks to all for making FreeBSD to what it is today.
A wonderful clean sytem that still does the job for me.

Johan Hendriks

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