i386 vs amd64?

Ask Bjørn Hansen ask at develooper.com
Thu Aug 7 08:24:48 UTC 2008

Hi everyone,

We got 4 new SuperMicro boxes[1] with Xeon 3320 processors.  They'll  
be used as firewalls / very basic routers (our network on one side,  
the world via a /29 on the other side).  We currently use Soekris and  
PC Engine boxes for this (with custom NanoBSD images), so this will be  
a bit of an upgrade.  :-)

I was planning to install pfSense on them, but I'm losing faith in  
that a bit after figuring out that the pfSense project doesn't seem  
all that open[2]; so I'm considering just installing "plain FreeBSD 7"  

So the question: Would I be happier with 64 or 32bit FreeBSD?   Our  
Linux application and database servers are all 64 bit, but they also  
have 32GB RAM each.  The "firewall boxes" are probably vastly overdone  
with memory at 4GB each.  :-)

A secondary question:  Is the preferred way to upgrade a FreeBSD box  
still cd /usr/src; make update && make buildworld && ... ?   (I mostly  
use FreeBSD for building my NanoBSD-flavor images these days, so I'm a  
bit out of touch).

   - ask

[1] http://www.siliconmechanics.com/i15328/xeon-3000.php
[2] http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,10769.0.html

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