A quality operating system

Dave Pooser dave-freebsd at pooserville.com
Sat Aug 20 17:52:54 UTC 2011

On 8/20/11 1:49 AM, "Test Rat" <ttsestt at gmail.com> wrote:

>There is an ongoing discussion on arch@ about this.
>  http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-arch/2011-August/011412.html

Thanks for posting that link; it covered some of the reasons I'm retiring
my office FreeBSD servers in favor of Solaris and Linux.

My own take:

1) I really don't see the Handbook as all that great. It's great that a
volunteer team put it together, but when I compare it to
<https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/docs/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/> or
<http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E19963-01/index.html>, I don't think
the FreeBSD handbook compares well.

2) Lack of geek-on-the-street support. If I'm looking for an experienced
Linux administrator, I'll get thousands of applications; for a Solaris
administrator, I'll get hundreds. For a BSD admin? Maybe half a dozen?

3) Updates are a mess. It's cool that I *can* compile a new kernel, but
that I *have* to is ridiculous. Updating a server should not be more
difficult than "yum update" -- full stop.

4) Poor support from running FreeBSD under virtualization. When I start to
think about deploying a new server, I'll generally spin up a new VM on my
workstation or on an ESXi host. If I have trouble with that VM, my first
response is not going to be to try again with the same OS, it's going to
be to fall back to a configuration I know works.

There are some things I liked a lot about FreeBSD -- its support for
DTrace and ZFS was the reason I looked into it in the first place. But
from where I sit, technologies like that are just duct-taped on to the
base system rather than integrated. (For example, why isn't there
something like the [Open]Solaris beadm, where the system creates a ZFS
snapshot automatically before any major updates to let you revert to not
just an earlier kernel but an earlier world?)

Just my $.02.
Dave Pooser
Cat-Herder-in-Chief, Pooserville.com
"...Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece, but to slide across the
finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and
shouting GERONIMO!!!" -- Bill McKenna

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