FreeBSD vs. Debian Sarge Linux on Pention II 400 Mhz.

Reko Turja reko.turja at
Sun Jun 11 09:09:54 UTC 2006

> I recently stumbled upon FreeBSD and wondered if using the same 
> hardware
> configuration will yield better (faster and lighter use) performance 
> than
> Linux Debian sarge.

For me one of the main reasons of using FreeBSD is the ease of 
installation and keeping the system including ports up to date. Building 
from ports can help a lot with dynamic library hell prevalent on some 
other OS's. Of course building some ports can take very serious amounts 
of time with your hardware, most notably OpenOffice or Gnome/KDE+Xorg.

If you are not considering using Gnome or KDE (both bloated 
monstrosities IMHO, but YMMV) I think FreeBSD will perform very nicely - 
especially it tends to be very responsible and usable even under 
relatively high load.

Benchmarks aren't usually that reliable or should be read with a grain 
of salt in any case, but I ran the postgres benchmark on my 
"development" sytem after some guy posted his benchmarks and the 
parameters from his linux box - And in my case the development machine 
which is 1 Ghz Dual PIII, 1 Gb ram etc. yielded almost equal performance 
to Debian on Dual 3Ghz Xeon with 2 Gb of ram (1600 queries/sec vs 1900 
queries/sec for what it's worth).

And considering security - was once compromised for half 
a year with full root access to the box and all they did say to comment 
the break-in was like "We believe nothing serious has happened" - BSD 
developers and users in general tend to take security a bit more 

I suggest though that you try FreeBSD and see how it suits you and 
performs in your case. Read the handbook first and then do a test 
install on a HD you can spare or into a spare partition and play around 
a bit with it, installing the same software you're using at linux side. 
I did that about 6 years ago and never looked back in any other *NIX or 
clone unless I have to.


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