What's so compelling about FreeBSD?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Sun Oct 15 16:48:37 PDT 2006

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 03:26:02PM -0700, William Tracy wrote:

> Okay.
> I've installed FreeBSD on my desktop. I got KDE working, and Amor is
> running so I have a little daemon sitting on my window. I can mount my
> USB card reader and open the pictures from my digital camera in Gimp.
> I can browse the web in Firefox. I even compiled my own kernel so that
> I'm all 1337. :-)
> Overall, I like FreeBSD--the kernel build process felt a lot smoother
> than Linux, the /boot and /sys file heirarchies makes more sense to me
> than /boot and /usr/src under Linux, and the /dev heirarchy seems
> sane, though it's still pretty alien to me. So far, everything I do
> under Linux I can do under FreeBSD.
> FreeBSD is nice, but I haven't seen anything really *compelling* about
> it. FreeBSD might be more stable as a server, but for my desktop Linux
> has proven more than stable enough. (X crashes sometimes, but FreeBSD
> can't really fix that.) The extra file flags look intersting, but
> otherwise I haven't seen anything that I can do under FreeBSD that I
> can't with Linux.
> So, basically, I'm asking you guys to wow me. :-) Show me how FreeBSD
> can outdo Linux. Make me never want to go back.

FreeBSd is another OS, after all.  It is not out to wow anyone - 
especially if you have been basically satisfied with the other one.

As a server it is incrementally better than Linux for many server
type things.  You have also identified some things that you find are 
a little cleaner about FreeBSD.  That type of cleaner, more manageable 
structure is one reason FreeBSD can be nicer to work with and may lead 
to a more reliable server system.  There are other things that people 
prefer about the FreeBSD environment and may also lead to improvements 
in reliability.  But, you are not going to be bowled over - just a 
little more pleased with the server environment.   I think it is enough 
to be worth learning the system.   It is up to you what you think.

Both Linux and FreeBSD are a major improvement over certain other
proprietary, so-called OS, versions.   But, that is the big jump.
The jump from Linux to FreeBSD as a server is rather less dramatic
but, still an improvement for many uses.


> William Tracy
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