What's so compelling about FreeBSD?

Paul Schmehl pauls at utdallas.edu
Sun Oct 15 18:06:45 PDT 2006

--On October 15, 2006 3:26:02 PM -0700 William Tracy 
<afishionado at gmail.com> wrote:
> So, basically, I'm asking you guys to wow me. :-) Show me how FreeBSD
> can outdo Linux. Make me never want to go back.
Well, let's see.  As a server, I have worked with Windows, Solaris, 
Gentoo, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, Slackware, OpenBSD and FreeBSD.  All my 
servers are FreeBSD now, except for the ones that require Windows and 
don't give me an otpion.

That should tell you something.

Features that I like that I consider better than other *nixes:
1) The install - the install is simple and easy to follow.  Furthermore, 
you can run the installer any time you want by running sysinstall, 
something that often requires inserting a CD (or copying the CD to the 
hard drive) on other OSes.
2) The OS - it has all the tools you need without any of the bloat.  Yes, 
it requires that you actually learn Unix, but that's not a bad thing. 
Built-in perl.  Built-in tcpdump.
3) The kernel.  I've done kernel rebuilds on Linux.  Trust me, freebsd is 
much easier.  make buildkernel, make buildworld, make installkernel, 
reboot, run mergemaster, make installworld, run mergemaster again.  And I 
can do it in an ssh session without having to worry about running to the 
4) The ports system.  I have at my fingertips everything I need to install 
anything I need.  And if it's not there, just ask.  Someone will create 
the port.  Complex apps that require the installation of a number of items 
(dependencies) are often so daunting that people don't even want to tackle 
them.  In FreeBSD, the port does all of that for you.

What's left?  Oh - performance.  FreeBSD just works.  I've never had a 
crash.  I've never had sluggish performance.

Paul Schmehl (pauls at utdallas.edu)
Adjunct Information Security Officer
The University of Texas at Dallas

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