FreeBSD 5.3 I/O Performance / Linux 2.6.10

Nick Pavlica linicks at
Fri Jan 21 14:20:59 PST 2005

  I have been evaluating operating systems/filesystems for an upcoming
web application service.  Like most "web applications", it will rely
heavily on the database and disk I/O.  We have decided to use
Postgresql  for our database needs, but haven't finalized our OS
choice.  I have been testing the I/O performance of FreeBSD 5.3 and
Fedora C3(XFS,EXT3).  To be sure that I was using up to date versions
of each OS I performed a cvsup and rebuilt the kernel (GENERIC) during
the FBSD setup, and a yum update on the Linux install.

Being fairly new to FreeBSD I was testing it as a matter of due
diligence, however after using it for a few days it really started to
grow on me.  I was generally impressed with my overall experiance. 
However,  after performing a number of I/O and Postgresql tests on
different equipment, the performance proved to be considerably faster
when using Fedora.  Fedora with XFS was the clear performance winner
in every test, followed by Fedora with EXT3, then FreeBSD.  I was
surprised to find such a dramatic difference between Fedora with XFS
and FreeBSD.  In almost every test Fedora(XFS) was  dramatically
faster performing the exact same operations on the same hardware.  My
best guess, is that FreeBSD 5.3 + updates is still in need of some
performance tuning.

Are there any good reasons for such a difference.  Your thoughts are

--Nick Pavlica

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