freebsd vs. linux - educated opinions wanted

Thomas Weber thomas at
Sat May 17 00:41:42 PDT 2003

this is my little honest opinion about that.... I used Linux for about two
years as server and tried it for desktop, after some not-so-good-experiences
i changed to FreeBSD for server and finally XP for desktop.
If OSes were people, Linux might be a rockstar, while FreeBSD might be a
wallstreet-trader ;)
In other words, Linux is "in", everyone knows it, everyone can directly take
part and it makes good PR.

> 1. There is better hardware support for linux, and more features because
> are more developers.
Linux is faster in hacking drivers and stuff. Sometimes good, but speed
doesn't make quality. As everyone knows, Windows is even faster and the
quality ...... Anyway, why flame Microsoft for bugs in the often enaugh
updated DirectX, while Linux doesn't even have a standard for that. That's
the next bad thing about Linux in my eyes: Everyone hacks some cool stuff,
nobody cares about standards and compability.

> 2. Linux code is often not as well written as freebsd because freebsd
> developers are more unified, focused and strict.
As i know, everyone can hack some things. If Linus likes it, it is okay for
the kernel, if it runs on some systems, its okay for the rest. If it doesn't
run on some other systems, then there will be another dude hacking a patch.
For FreeBSD, the important code is audited and very well testet. BSD is
nothing to play with, but to work with it in cases, where downtime is

> 3. freeBSD is more secure
Every OS is secure if the admin really understand, what he is doing. Linux
can be made very secure if you really know what you are doing..... but don't
change to another distribution. Same kernel, everything else different. The
distributions are the big problem with security, sometime they have really
big holes. I remember an old suse-installation and a strange configured
samba.... not funny.
With FreeBSD i only have good experiences. I run a relatively large
community for some underground-scene wich is great, but unfortunately
everyone who has fame in this scene also have opponents. I don't know, how
many attacks were started against the server in the last two years, but
nobody could make any trouble. And the system isn't really modified for

> 4. freeBSD is more stable
Definetly. As student i sometimes test not really good software (only time
makes experience) and my community eats CPU and IO like chocolate, but i
NEVER had some kind of kernel panic, not even under the worst circumdances
(load average of 115. wow, that was one hell day for the database and the
swap ;)). My old Suse Linux crashed more often than my Win2k.

I am no hacker-dude or seasoned *NIX-admin too, but very comfortable with
FreeBSD. Okay, it's not as fancy as some Linux-distri, but if i would like
to have fancy graphics aso i would install windows. In a real production
enviroment, where there must not be any downtime, i would ever prefer
FreeBSD. If the system runs really smooth, it is not important to use the
newest graphics-accelerator-thingy.

Thomas 'Neo' Weber
thomas at
neo at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Aaron Peterson" <aaron at>
To: <questions at>
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 2:57 AM
Subject: freebsd vs. linux - educated opinions wanted

> i am looking for educated opinions about the following:
> i began using linux about 5 years ago, mostly because i had heard of it
> was curious and because i found a close friend who was already a couple
> years up the learning curve who could show me around.  now that i've been
> emersed in the *NIX world a while longer i have built some of my own
> and heard a great many rumors about the practical differences between
> and freeBSD.  Some of these are as follows:
> 1. There is better hardware support for linux, and more features because
> are more developers.
> 2. Linux code is often not as well written as freebsd because freebsd
> developers are more unified, focused and strict.
> 3. freeBSD is more secure
> 4. freeBSD is more stable
> what does linux have that freebsd doesn't?  what does freebsd have that
> doesn't?  what are the security issues that should be acknowledged when
> deciding which to use for something mission critical in a production
> environment?  how does one measure/compare stability, and which comes out
> on top?
> these have been swimming around in my head for a while, and i have gotten
> pretty comfortable with linux, and curiousity has driven me to begin
> freebsd now regardless of the answers.  i am not a hacker or a seasoned
> admin though, and would like some better founded opinions that my own :)
> -- 
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