FreeBSD or Debian Linux? FreeBSD or Linux?

This is an often asked question in newsgroups and forums. The reason for this, is that there is no easy answer. If a straight forward answer could be given, it could have been found on Wikipedia. The fact is, that it is not a yes-or-no-answer question.

Often you will see this ‘political’ answer “It depends”. It depends how you’re planning to use the operating system (desktop, server) and where (home, data center, server room, embedded etc).

Both Linux and FreeBSD have their strong and weak points, but overall, they can do almost anything you ask it to do, but when one wants an answer to the question “FreeBSD or (Debian) Linux?” one needs to find an answer to the following questions first to see which operating system suits one’s needs best:

1) Is your current hardware supported? If the purchase of new hardware is planned, is it supported by either/both?

2) Which operating system is supported by the third party commercial applications vendors that you use? If it is not supported, is there an acceptable equivalent available for the operating system your preference goes out to?

3) Are your current networking hardware (and appliances) supported by the O/S?

4) Are any new third party system management and monitoring tools required? If so, are they supported by the “new” OS?

5) Is  your storage hardware and servers supported by your preferred O/S? think of Network Attached Storage, SAN’s RAID, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

5) Is the IT department capable of maintaining (and further developing) the new system, or is there a need to hire new staff? Or, can you get consulting services and/or third party support for your operating system?

There are plenty more questions that can be asked before deciding whether it’s Linux or FreeBSD that fits your needs best.

Have you been in a (work / home) situation where you had to make the choice? It would be nice to find out about your experience. Please share via the comments.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD development in 2011

Continuing with the “2011? series, let’s have a look today at the development planned for Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Earlier posts can be found here: PC-BSDpfSenseHeX LiveMaheshaBSD, GhostBSD.

Robert Millan from the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project emailed an update for his project.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is a port that consists of GNU userland using the GNU C library on top of FreeBSD’s kernel, coupled with the regular Debian package set.

Robert writes:

“First and foremost, 2011 will be the year of the first release of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. It won’t be a stable release, but a “technology preview”. Nevertheless it is quite usable.

This is one of the most significant milestones the project has reached since its inception.”

Thanks for the update Robert. Wishing you and the other devs all the best for 2011.

FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Oct – Dec 2010)

Another quarter, another FreeBSD status report: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Oct – Dec 2010).

Once again, there are some interesting updates which show FreeBSD 9 is shaping up nicely with many features to look forward to. Some of the highlights: ZFS v28, Chromium Port, DIFFUSE, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2, Trim for USF.

Table of Contents:

Continue reading

Available: BSD Magazine: BSD’s and Solaris (01-2011)

The Editors of the BSD Magazine have finished writing another issue: BSD’s and Solaris.

Drupal on FreeBSD – part 3
Rob Somerville
Continuing the series on the Drupal Content Management System, we will look at creating a store front for our new website using CCK and Views.

Email MX server in FreeBSD – Confguring FreeBSD as a mail MX server with Postfx
Francisco Reyes
This is a tutorial on how to setup a mail MX server using Postfix.

Installing NGINX and PHP 5.3.x on FreeBSD 8.1
Diego Montalvo
Have been using Apache as my default web server on FreeBSD servers since departing from IIS 4.0 and NT systems in 1999. Apache has always performed great on my installations and give the Apache Foundation great praise.

Text Terminal magic with tmux
Girish Venkatachalam
Once you get used to something you seldom like to go back to old ways. So much so that you get uncomfortable without it.

Writing ‘bots using XMPP
Eric Schnoebelen
One of my favorite topics, using XMPP/Jabber for productive, real world applications!

How to quickly make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD
Juraj Sipos
This article covers the steps needed to make a bootable USB stick with FreeBSD – a quick howto that also applies to a USB drive.

FreeBSD and simple char device driver for real PCI-hardware
Anton Borisov
The FreeBSD operating system captivates the hearts and minds of it’s fans so much, that finds it’s way in very diversive industries such as hosting projects and backbone routers. It can run on small embedded devices, as well as on large, multi-core systems.

BSD’s and Solaris on the Desktop. Are they ready to serve?
Petr Topiarz
As I am a great unix fan, I use BSD daily, but I mainly use the beast on the servers. In my company, we run Linux on Desktops and I would like to change that too. Therefore I underwent this venture in order to see whether Unix is ready to replace Linux on the desktop or not.

Games Geeks Play!
Sufyan ibn Uzayr
In this article, we explore the various gaming options available for the BSD users.

Why can’t offce employees get along with open source offce suites?
Joshua Ebarvia
I have been working for 6 years now in an office setting. Since the organization I work for does not have that “big” funds for purchasing bleeding-edge software, we put our hands on some open source counterparts of the proprietary ones.

Download the latest BSD Mag issue here: BSD’s and Solaris

Available: GhostBSD 2.0 – Beta2

GhostBSD is a live CD aimed at improving the FreeBSD users’ GNOME desktop experience. GhostBSD is relatively young: version 1.0 was released in March 2010, 1.5 in July, and 2.0 is now in active development; Beta 2 is now available:

We, the developing team of GhostBSD, would like to announce the release of GhostBSD 2.0 x86_64 beta. This version is only a live CD at the moment. There are great improvements on the look, feel and the speed of this release. Some of the things that were done to the new release was our new logo, bug fixes, new live CD file system, and improvements to GDM where there is no more white screens during booting. GhostBSD 2.0 is based on FreeBSD 8.2. On GhostBSD 2.0 you will see GNOME 2.32, Rhythmbox 0.12.8, Pidgin 2.7.9, Firefox 3.6.13 and Thunderbird 3.1.7.

Links: WebsiteDownload GhostBSD | Release Announcement

Available: PC-BSD 8.2-RC2

The PC-BSD Team has announced (pc-bsd blog) the availability of the second Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2. This will be the last beta version prior to release which is expected some time in the next 2–3 weeks.

In addition to some fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots, RC2 contains the following software components:

  • FreeBSD 8.2RC2
  • KDE 4.5.4
  • Xorg 7.5
  • Nvidia Driver 260.19.29
  • Nvidia Driver 173.14.25
  • Nvidia Driver 96.43.16

Links

Available: FreeBSD 7.4-RC2

The second Release Candidate build for the FreeBSD-7.4 release cycle is available from the FreeBSD website for testing. ISO images fcan be downloaded from most of the FreeBSD mirror sites. Check out the official announcement for further details about this release.

The original release date 24/1/2010 – today) won’t be achieved as per the 7.4 releng page. There’s yet a RC-3 to be announced, but quality is more important than sticking to dates and releasing an unfinished product with bugs.

Links: FreeBSD | FreeBSD 7.4 todo

What version of FreeBSD are you using (Poll)?

Time for a Poll. If FreeBSD is running nicely on your server then there’s not always a need to update or upgrade to the latest versions.

Some people are still running happily FreeBSD 4.x on their servers, whereas others like to stay up to date, or even test FreeBSD 9.

Out of interest, it would be nice to see which FreeBSD versions are currently being used (this excludes any operating systems based on FreeBSD, e.g. PC-BSD). If you use more than one version, you may select more.

If you’d like a comment as to why you’re using the version(s) you’re using, feel free to do so.

What version of FreeBSD are you using

View Results

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