Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris vs. FreeBSD benchmarks (Phoronix)

In this article, the 64-bit performance of Ubuntu 8.10 is compared against the latest test releases of OpenSolaris 2008.11 and FreeBSD 7.1.

The tests included LAME MP3 encoding, 7-Zip Compression, Gzip compression, GnuPG, BYTE Unix Benchmark, Tandem XML, Bork File Encryption, Java SciMark, Bonnie++, OpenSSL, and Sunflow Rendering System. 

For our Ubuntu run we were using Ubuntu 8.10 (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5.2, GCC 4.3.2, GNOME 2.24, the EXT3 file-system, and Java build 1.6.0_0-b12. OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 is based upon Solaris Nevada Build 101b with the Sun 5.11 kernel, X Server 1.3, GNOME 2.24, GCC 3.4.3, the ZFS file-system, and Java build 1.6.0_10-b33. Lastly, we were using FreeBSD 7.1 Beta 2 (AMD64) with X Server 1.4.2, GNOME 2.22, the UFS file-system, GCC 4.2.1, and Java 1.6.0_07-b02. Aside from changes made by the Phoronix Test Suite (and adding the GNOME packages to FreeBSD), all operating systems were left in their default configuration.


If simply counting which operating system was in first place most frequently, it would be Ubuntu. Ubuntu 8.10 x86_64 was in first place eight times, OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 was in first place seven times, and FreeBSD 7.1 Beta 2 AMD64 was in first just three tests. Depending upon your system usage, one operating system may appear more favorable, like OpenSolaris with the greater disk performance. To reiterate though, all of the testing was done on a single workstation-oriented system with dual quad-core processors and 4GB of RAM. FreeBSD and OpenSolaris were also using their latest testing builds while Ubuntu was using a final release copy

Full test results and diagrams can be found on the Phoronix website.

FreeBSD Security Advisory (FreeBSD-SA-08:11.arc4random)


arc4random(9) is a generic-purpose random number generator based on the key stream generator of the RC4 cipher. It is expected to be cryptographically strong, and used throughout the FreeBSD kernel for a variety of purposes, some of which rely on its cryptographic strength.

arc4random(9) is periodically reseeded with entropy from the FreeBSD kernel’s Yarrow random number generator, which gathers entropy from a variety of sources including hardware interrupts. During the boot process, additional entropy is provided to the Yarrow random number generator from userland, helping to ensure that adequate entropy is present for cryptographic purposes.

Problem description

When the arc4random(9) random number generator is initialized, there may be inadequate entropy to meet the needs of kernel systems which rely on arc4random(9); and it may take up to 5 minutes before arc4random(9) is reseeded with secure entropy from the Yarrow random number generator.

Read further to find out about the impact, solution and workaround

Putting Beastie back in the boot menu (howto)

If you’ve used FreeBSD in the past you’re likely familiar with the mascot, Beastie.  In the past Beastie was part of the boot menu, but recently he was replaced with a simple FREEBSD text image.  To put Beastie back in the menu you can add the following to your /boot/loader.conf:


Source: http://blog.zelut.org (21/10/2008)