FreeBSD and hardware??

Andrew Gould andrewlylegould at
Tue Nov 18 09:13:43 PST 2008

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:54:48AM -0500, Dan wrote:
> > Wojciech Puchar(wojtek at 16:51:16
> +0100:
> > >>
> > >> Have you used, erm... Linux? Both Linux and FreeBSD run pretty much at
> > >> hardware level. You benchmark either, you'll get very close results in
> > >
> > > for benchmarks doing same thing over and over, or same thing in
> parallel
> > > linux can even be better.
> > >
> > > but try running many different tasks in parallel under linux. FreeBSD
> > > flies, while linux chokes.
> >
> > Can you point out some places on the web that confirm this?
> >
> I can't point this out between Linux and FreeBSD, but back a few
> years ago, when I was involved in benchmarking high performance
> systems for purchase here, we found this to often be the case.
> Some systems just screamed on certain very parallel tasks, but
> practically came to a halt when a mix of tasks were run or even
> when trying to edit a script while things were running.   Others
> were slightly less hot on the highly specialized tasks, but did
> well - much better - on the mix.  We chose the system that handled
> the mix - which ran a BSD UNIX by the way, although a proprietary
> version as did most back then.
> Anyway, so, even though I haven't compared FreeBSD and Linux, I am
> not surprised to hear someone say there is this sort of difference.
> It is possible.   Someone might investigate further and put out
> some verifiable numbers.
> ////jerry

I don't have verifiable numbers; but I can speak from personal experience.
I do complex financial/clinical data analysis for hospitals.  I was using MS
Access as a front-end.  On the server end, I started with Linux and
PostgreSQL.  I moved from Linux to FreeBSD because during my more
complicated series of queries, the Linux system would slow to a crawl.
Sometimes, the PostgreSQL server would die.  This never happened with
FreeBSD.  I even added Samba services and a web forum for the department.

>From 2000 to 2006, the only unplanned downtime experienced with my
PostgreSQL/FreeBSD combo was due to 2 separate, prolonged power outages.
When power was restored, the hardware and database servers came back
online.  Sadly, I no longer work there; and no longer have control over
database assets.

I read once that:  "The difference between the lab and the real world is
that, in the lab, there is no difference."  I wish I had noted the source.


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