Voxer using FreeBSD, BSDNow.tv interview

Allan Jude allanjude at freebsd.org
Sun Oct 19 23:47:09 UTC 2014

On 2014-10-19 18:09, Craig Rodrigues wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> (2)
>      (5)  Better support for 3rd party applications (ports) than
> SmartOS/Illumos
>      (6)  Better hardware support than SmartOS/Illumos
>      (7)  Good documentation, professional/technical discussions on mailing
> lists
>      (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
> really
>      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
> liked.
>            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
> command-line
>             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 (
> https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-ports/2014-September/095483.html
> ) :)
> 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.
> --
> Craig
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They said one of the biggest draws for them are TRIM support for ZFS on
SSDs, which IllumOS does not have. Although I think that is something
that Linux has now.

If anyone else knows of companies like this, that can tell us why they
use FreeBSD, what they'd like FreeBSD to do better, etc, we'd love to
feature them on the show. It is important to foster the communications
between end users and developers so that the itches get scratched.

Allan Jude

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