Freebsd vs. linux

Vulpes Velox v.velox at
Sun Feb 13 18:19:56 GMT 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 10:56:44 +0100
Anthony Atkielski <atkielski.anthony at> wrote:

> > Could you please either explain, why Freebsd is superior to Linux,
> > (I am asking this as I would like to understand, in more depth,
> > why it is  better) or direct me to a source that might give me
> > some further  reading on the subject.
> The main reason why I consider Linux inferior to FreeBSD is that
> Linux is only a kernel, whereas FreeBSD is a complete OS.
> Linus Torvalds originally wrote only the kernel portion of an
> operating system.  He wrote it from scratch and patterned it after
> the behavior of the well-established UNIX operating system.  This
> kernel became Linux.
> Unfortunately, a kernel alone doesn't make an operating system.  So
> people began adding programs to the kernel in order to provide
> something complete enough to actually run as an OS.  Different
> organizations added a different mix of programs, and each mix today
> is called a "distribution."  No two distributions are alike.  The
> set of programs you get in your Linux OS from Red Hat isn't the same
> as the set of programs you get in your OS from Debian, and so on.
> The Linux situation is pretty unusual.  Most operating systems,
> including FreeBSD, are supplied as complete operating systems from
> the start, including not only a kernel but also a comprehensive,
> coherent, and consistent set of system programs to run under that
> kernel.  You don't need a "distribution"; the OS already contains
> everything you need to run the system.  In my view, this greatly
> improves reliability, stability, and coherent of the OS, as there is
> only one version of the OS for each release, and it is complete in
> itself.
> Another reason why I prefer FreeBSD is that the BSD UNIX systems
> have a much longer history that is much more closely linked to UNIX
> as a concept than does Linux.  New code is usually buggy code, and
> so I prefer an OS that has time-proven code, or at least is
> patterned after time-proven OS concepts.  I find it very hard to
> believe that a university student is going to write a kernel that is
> superior to kernels that have been established and tweaked little by
> little by many programmers over a period of decades.
> For example, I learned only yesterday that Linux does asynchronous
> disk I/O by default.  That means that disk I/O is buffered within
> the kernel, such that data written to disk doesn't immediately get
> actually recorded on disk--instead, the OS actually writes to disk
> when it deems it best from a performance standpoint.  While this
> improves performance enormously, it does so at a very high potential
> cost: because if the system crashes before the disk is written, the
> entire file system may be destroyed (key blocks on disk within the
> file system may not be updated correctly, causing corruption so
> serious that the file system must be recreated and restored
> completely from backup).
> FreeBSD, on the other hand, uses a type of buffered I/O that
> guarantees that the file system structure on disk is always
> coherent.  Disk writes are buffered, but they are written out to
> disk in such a way that, at any given instant, the file structure is
> clean and coherent.  If a power failure occurs, you may lose the
> last few seconds of data you wrote to a file, but the structure of
> your system and directories will not be corrupted.
> Still another reason why I prefer FreeBSD is that it places far less
> emphasis on the desktop.  Linux has been moving more and more
> towards a desktop because that's where the hype and money is
> perceived to be. It's a losing proposition because Windows and the
> Mac are so dramatically superior to Linux that it will probably
> never catch up. But all the emphasis on pretty graphics and
> Windows-like desktop behavior are made at the expense of server
> performance.  You can't have an OS that is both a good server AND a
> good desktop.  Linux is wasting time aiming at the desktop, while
> most other versions of UNIX (including FreeBSD) are aiming at
> servers.  I run a server, so I use FreeBSD.

I think the problem there is ppl make largely pointless differences
between the two... the only difference between a server and desktop,
is a desktop needs support sound cards and a the kernel level stuff
for GL.

> (Ironically, Mac OS X uses elements of BSD as its foundation and is
> a UNIX system underneath the hood.  But Apple has hugely modified
> the upper layers of the OS and has done so in a coherent, controlled
> way, producing a desktop that is dramatically superior to anything
> Linux will ever produce.)
> Finally, I know from some years of experience with FreeBSD that it
> is a rock stable operating system that makes very efficient use of
> whatever hardware you give it and never crashes.  I have thus come
> to trust it for my production server, which must run 24 hours per
> day (350,000 unique visitors per month on my Web site, or about 12
> million hits, plus all of my DNS resolution, e-mail services, time
> synchronization, etc.).
> I hope this helps.
> --
> Anthony
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