Why Did We Choose FreeBSD?


Why FreeBSD Rather than Linux?
Why FreeBSD Rather than Windows?


There are many reasons why we chose to use FreeBSD vs. Linux or Windows for this workshop. The next few sections will give some detailed reasoning, but here we touch upon the larger issue of why we chose FreeBSD over Linux at this time. The argument goes like this:

What are your reasonable "free" choices in the Linux world at this time?

Each of these choices has serious issues, with, in our opinion, Debian being the best alternative at this time in the Linux world. Here are the issues broken out by distributions: With Red Hat pulling free versions of their OS and replacing them with Fedora Core, which changes too fast and is not production-ready, this has created some serious discussion in the Linux community about what people should do. Some of this discussion suggests using FreeBSD instead, and this past year has seen an increase in the number of FreeBSD downloads and installs, possibly due to this very issue (or, maybe because version 5.3 is so cool! :-)).

Why Did we Choose FreeBSD Rather than Linux?

We are using FreeBSD 5.3. Here are some more specific features which make it more appropriate than Linux for use in an ISP environment: A few more reasons...

Why Did we Choose FreeBSD Rather than Windows?

To be honest, both your instructors are not fans of Windows, particularly as an operating system in an ISP production environment. To give you some perspective, Hervey worked with, installed, was trained on, consulted for, etc... on all Windows version from 1.0 up to Windows XP. Both instructors have extensive experience with how Windows performs in the real world under heavy workloads (remember, as a server), and both instructors are not impressed. With that said, here are, hopefully, some more objective reasons why we use FreeBSD vs. Windows: A few more reasons... Open Source and "free" operating system costs money as well, but, at least you are paying for your time and energy. Very few independent studies have been done an what it costs to run Windows vs. Linux or Unix in a business. The few independent studies that have been done consistently show Windows to be more expensive to run.

Here are some additional links you can consider:

We could go on, but really this is an issue of experience. If you look around you'll see that the majority of Web servers and larger email servers are not running under Microsoft Windows, and there are many reasons for this.

Hervey Allen
Brian Candler
December 27, 2004