Linked by Drumhellar on Wed 25th Sep 2013 22:02 UTC

I've been a big fan of FreeBSD since I first acquired 4.4 on 4 CDs. By that point, I had already spent a lot of time in Linux, but I was always put off by its instability and inconsistency. Once I had FreeBSD installed, it felt like a dream. Everything worked the way it was supposed to, and the consistency of its design meant even older documentation would be mostly applicable without having to figure out how my system was different. There is a reason why in the early days of the Internet, a huge portion of servers ran FreeBSD.

But, that was a while ago. Since then, Linux has matured greatly and has garnered a lot of momentum, becoming the dominant Unix platform. FreeBSD certainly hasn't stood still, however. The FreeBSD team has kept current with hardware support, new features, and a modern, performant design.

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The biggest "stability" or "workload" issue we've come across comparing our FreeBSD systems to our Debian Linux systems: if a process spins out-of-control on Linux, spiking load averages over 20, there's nothing you can do but power-cycle the box. On FreeBSD, you can still SSH in, kill the process, and carry on.

We run into this 2-3 times a month. For some reason we haven't been able to track down yet, BIND9 will peg the CPU at 100% and we're unable to login to the Linux box over the network. Have to phone the school and ask someone to power-cycle the box.

On the FreeBSD systems (ZFS storage boxes), even when I do stupid things that run it out of RAM or CPU spikes or I deadlock the storage pool, I can still login via SSH and fix things.

This is a common occurrence on various mailing lists/forums I'm on as well. Once a process spins out of control on Linux, you're locked out; a similar situation on FreeBSD is usually fixable.

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