What's so compelling about FreeBSD?

Andy Harrison aharrison at gmail.com
Sun Oct 15 21:35:16 PDT 2006

On 10/15/06, 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.

There's already been plenty of answers with which I agree.  The bulk of my
professional life was with Solaris, with some linux and BSD/OS in the mix.
Then I changed jobs and needed to be a FreeBSD guy.  It was so easy to run
and manage, I felt like I was cheating.  Where was the struggling to satisfy
every dependency?  Where was the need to hunt down the latest version of a
binary package or rpm?  Where were the unresolved symbol errors while
upgrading kernels?  Eventually I became adept at making my own rpm's, so
less waiting for updated rpm's while still retaining the maintainability of
package installs.

And then there was FreeBSD.  A new version of apache comes out, someone
tweaked a couple of files in the ports tree, my scheduled cvsup picks it up
automatically anyway, so I'm left with nothing more than running
'portupgrade'.  Or (far less frequently) a new version of something comes
out, but it's less popular so the port maintainer hasn't gotten around to
tweaking the ports fast enough for me.  I just tweak the files myself
because the process is far simpler than creating custom rpm's, then let it

I like how files are very consistently found in logical places, like
/usr/local/etc for config files, /usr/local/var for stuff like databases,
/usr/local/www for web stuff, /usr/local/bin for binaries.  It's not a
constant quest wondering where stuff got installed and what data files are
where, and not having to type paths to run programs in curious locations.
that sort of thing used to become especially annoying with programs that
like to install into a directory where the name included the version number,
/usr/local/foo-1.1.1/ or something.

Like I said before, running FreeBSD is so easy it's almost like cheating.

Andy Harrison

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