Performance benchmarks pitting FreeBSD against Windows

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Sun Dec 7 14:23:54 PST 2008

Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 12:20:49PM +0100, Ivan Voras wrote:
>> af300wsm at wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I don't even know if this has been done before, nor do I know for sure
>>> if it's a sound comparison. Never the less, someone posted, in response
>>> to someone else here just a few days ago, some very nice benchmarks
>>> provided by Kris ?Kenneway? I could be wrong on the last name, it just
>>> seems to me that's a last name I've seen with Kris frequently (my
>>> apologies Kris if I'm wrong). Using the URL that the other poster,
>>> posted, I poked around the other *.html files in that directory, but did
>>> not find any with FreeBSD pitted against windows.
>>> I'm just curious to see how it looks for my own sanity's sake. At work,
>>> someone got the grand idea that we should move to Windoze embedded (CE
>>> and XPe) and it's been quite discouraging I must say, though I must
>>> admit, it's nice to actually know why Windows is ugly underneath. From a
>>> programming perspective, it's just not simplistic. Anyway, I digress,
>>> I'm just curious to see how things compare to Windows on similar
>>> benchmarks to what Kris provided if its ever been done.
>> I've done some benchmarking of Windows file system IO (NTFS) using known
>> tools like bonnie++, blogbench and postmark under cygwin and the results
>> are abysmal. It might be due to cygwin, and it might not. I've used
>> Windows Enterprise Server 2003.
>> You'll probably not find any difference in computational (numeric) tasks
>> and fairly bad results in tasks that do a lot of system work.
> While the usefulness of such benchmarks may be suspect, I'd still be
> interested in seeing your results.

I have a large spreadsheet full of them, but here's a selection. The
benchmark is bonnie++:

Win2003 R2		NTFS	RAID10-15	87	25	113	6425	11990
Ubuntu Server 7.10	ext3	RAID10-15	129	60	167	36114	72562
Ubuntu Server 7.10	JFS	RAID10-15	131	64	167	6638	4855
Ubuntu Server 7.10	Reiser3	RAID10-15	130	60	159	30307	35101
Ubuntu Server 7.10	XFS	RAID10-15	104	62	164	39	10
FreeBSD 7		UFS+SU	RAID10-15	109	43	111	36551	99999
FreeBSD 7		UFS+GJ	RAID10-15	50	28	103	52460	46604
FreeBSD 7		ZFS	RAID10-15	95	63	180	40522	20260

The first three columns describe the system & RAID (e.g. RAID10-15 means
RAID10 created from 4 15 kRPM drives), the next three are
write/rewrite/read speed in MB/s, the last two are random files
created/deleted. I hope the mailer doesn't destroy the formatting too
much. This was on IBM ServeRAID 8k, 256 M BBU cache. (ZFS RAID was not

FreeBSD UFS generally achieved low performance but it doesn't surprise
me - I'd say its disk IO has a lot of performance problems right now.
ZFS was very good, but not so much when compared to Linux file systems,
especially for writing. I believe XFS was broken in that version of
Linux so file creation & deletion was garbage - it's "normal" in more
recent versions.

File systems were left at default except noatime was turned on where

One thing where Linux's ext3 really shines is concurrent IO - blogbench
(not present in the above table) was really bad in all other OS & file
system combination, so after all my results (I have > 1000 of them), I'm
really hoping for an ext3/4 port to FreeBSD :)

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