What's so compelling about FreeBSD?

Simon Gao gao at schrodinger.com
Mon Oct 16 10:45:58 PDT 2006

I have a few FreeBSD machine from 4.x to 5.x. I have asked people how to
upgrade them to latest version 6.x cleanly. All I was told is that I
need to wipe them out and reinstall. However, this is not the case with
Gentoo Linux. With Gentoo, version release does not matter that much,
you can always keep your system up to date if you like. Of cause, you
can also choose staying at a certain version.

Linux supports more devices than FreeBSD, especially new devices.


Jim Stapleton wrote:
> Well, in my case:
> - No matter what method I use to install packages in Linux (Apt-Get,
> Yum, Deb, RPM, and to a much lesser extent, Emerge, and to a *MUCH*
> greater extent src tar.gz's), I tend to have a lot more trouble
> getting installs to finish than with BSD in ports.
> - The FreeBSD community is much more friendly and helpful than the
> Linux community, in my experience. Gentoo's is better than other Linux
> communities, but still not quite up to FreeBSD.
> - I notice a lot smaller number of "It's 'X' liscence, therefore it
> has to be good", or "It's open source therefore it has to be good"
> fanboys in FreeBSD. The users tend to be more of a "It works, so it's
> good" type. This really makes the commmunity pleasant.
> - The documentation of FreeBSD is much better in both organization and
> detail - while good documentation can be found for Linux, FreeBSD just
> takes a lot less searching.
> - I've found a lot of breaks in Linux where I couldn't find anything
> short of a system re-install to fix them without a lot more effort in
> searching for some obscure piece of documentation. Aside from once
> when I blew up my kernel build, I didn't have that problem in BSD.
> - It's less popular than Linux, so it's less commonly known/accounted
> for, and it makes you just that much safer from hackers.
> Note: that's not to say it doesn't have it's issues, like every other
> OS, I could name a few dozen issues I've run into with FreeBSD without
> much hassle (mostly related to drivers, UI, and parts of the
> installer), but that's a different topic alltogether.
> -Jim
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