Voxer using FreeBSD, BSDNow.tv interview

Craig Rodrigues rodrigc at FreeBSD.org
Sun Oct 19 22:09:14 UTC 2014


If you don't watch BSDNow.tv ( http://bsdnow.tv ), I encourage you to do so.
Allan Jude and Kris Moore do a great job of doing a weekly video podcast
of news in the BSD world.  It is great stuff.

In episode 58 ( http://www.bsdnow.tv/episodes/2014_10_08-behind_the_masq )
BSDNow interviewed the CTO of Voxer ( http://voxer.com ),
a mobile messaging startup based in San Francisco.

Voxer mentioned how they transitioned from SmartOS (an Illumos/Solaris
distribution) to FreeBSD.

What Voxer liked:
     (1)  DTrace worked for their node.js apps
     (2)  ZFS worked nicely
     (3)  jails work nicely
     (4)  Easy to transition away from SmartOS/Illumos because of (1) and
     (5)  Better support for 3rd party applications (ports) than
     (6)  Better hardware support than SmartOS/Illumos
     (7)  Good documentation, professional/technical discussions on mailing
     (8)  For people who use MacOS X, the FreeBSD command-line utilities
were familiar

What Voxer didn't like:
     Voxer was super positive about FreeBSD in the interview, and didn't
     mention many downsides to their transition.  The only things I could
pick up on:

     (1)  Support for FreeBSD in Chef was not as good as they would have
           They actually have patches to Chef
            for FreeBSD which they want to upstream.
     (2)  Most devops engineers in web/mobile companies are familiar with
            Linux.  Any differences between Linux and FreeBSD in
            utilities are not show-stoppers, but they are annoyances.
            Anything FreeBSD could do to help people used to Linux would be
a big
            help.  Allan Jude even brought up my request to symlink
/bin/bash (
) :)

The interview was really good, and I encourage everyone to watch it.
It's nice to see a "modern" web/mobile company migrating *to* FreeBSD.


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