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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Logging in to or even using Linux systems with ridiculous load averages is a problem that got solved with "the patch that does wonders" included in 2.6.38.

I created a "fork-bomb" that created 200 instances of itself, all of them using all CPU time that are allowed to use. The load average moves asymptotically towards 200 and logging in/out of the system via SSH is more or less as fast as if the system was idle.

I did this over SSH:
$ cat /proc/loadavg
199.67 144.58 67.66 2/145 3769
$ pkill forkbomb
# wait for some time
$ cat /proc/loadavg
0.00 9.76 28.43 1/144 3984

I can even do this on a virtualized Linux environment running on a dual core laptop without any problem. The only thing you need is a kernel at or last version 2.6.38.

Here some comments from users about the patch (@Phoronix)

Edited 2013-09-27 07:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

phoenix Member since:

Ah, most of our servers are still running 2.6.32 (mostly Debian 5; in the process of being upgraded to Debian 7).

Reply Parent Score: 2