FreeBSD Decision

Dennis Glatting freebsd at
Fri Jan 14 20:09:56 UTC 2011

On Fri, 14 Jan 2011, 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?

FreeBSD, Debian, and Slowaris are my key components. FreeBSD RELENG_8 
composes most of my WAN services from DNS, SENDMAIL, Cacti, and more. I 
have at least nine servers across the USA. In another life (different job) 
Debian is primary but there are two FreeBSD servers.

I choose FreeBSD because I have source and if necessary recompile the 
whole OS with debug to traipse down a (perceived) bug. The same isn't as 
easy under Debian.

When I (often) come across some behavior I don't understand I almost 
always go to the source. Documentation is almost always less useful when 
it comes to applications. I have also found FreeBSD applications tend to 
be more recent versions or more easily replaced than Debian or CentOS.

I find the FreeBSD handbook useful but when it comes to Debian the 
ErrorNet isn't as... helpful... and often wrong. I spend more time 
tracking things down under Debian than FreeBSD, usually because I go to 

For Wireless there is more functionality under FreeBSD without 
augmentation but for a specific function I had to recompile the source 
with an additional flag. Under Debian I had to replace several modules 
because the drivers did not support AP mode, which included building a 
custom kernel and stripping out conflicting modules -- that was an... 
interesting... exercise.

I prefer the competence of the FreeBSD lists, though I have none myself.

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