FreeBSD Decision

Tim Daneliuk tundra at
Fri Jan 14 19:19:43 UTC 2011

On 1/14/2011 12:46 PM, Alessandro Baggi wrote:
> Hi list, I don't want make a flame post but I would ask an objective opinion, then not a camp opinion, about using FreeBSD or Debian Linux in a production environment for solution as such as cluster of some service, proxy, SAN, performance, smp with an high number of cpu, PDC, Mail Server (qmail), raid software, security support and hardware support. I'm using Slackware Linux but in production environment there are problem with packages and distro update and other support.
> Then for you, what is the best for those solutions?
> thanks in advance

I work/consult in very large data center environments (> 1000 servers in
production is common, and more for dev/test/stage). What you are asking has
no simple answer (that why we consultants get paid what we do :) Both Linux
and FreeBSD can do the things you ask, but there are larger environmental
questions to be answered:

1) What OSs does the hardware vendor formally support?

2) What OSs do the 3rd party commercial applications vendors
   you use support?

3) Is your networking/HBA hardware supported by the OS?

4) What kind of third party system management and monitoring tools
   have to be in place?  Are they supported on the target OS?

5) Do you need special or emergent capabilities like FCOE and does your
   target OS support them?

5) Can you get consulting services and/or outside support for your OS?

IOW, your selection has less to do with the OS kernel and more to do
with the set of tools, applications, and hardware that surround the OS.
If all things are equal, I prefer FreeBSD because it has a smaller
footprint on the hardware and is easier to install/maintain than Linux.
However, whether we like it or not, there is far more commercial and
third party support for *some* linux distros (RHEL and SLES).

Given what you've told us, if it really does come down to Debian
or FreeBSD, it sounds like you don't need much in the way of
third party stuff.  In that case, I'd use FreeBSD.

Tim Daneliuk
tundra at

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