Why would someone choose FreeBSD over Linux? What are the advantages of FreeBSD compared to Linux?
FreeBSD is a free of charge and open source Unix-like operating system and a popular server platform. While FreeBSD as well as other BSD-based systems share much in accordance with systems like Linux, you can find points where these two families diverge in important ways.
Both FreeBSD and Linux-based distributions are Unix-like in general. FreeBSD has close roots to Unix systems of the past, while Linux was created from scratch as an open Unix-like alternative. This association informs decisions from the design for the systems, how components should interoperate, and the general expectations for just what the device should appear to be and accomplish.
If you need more of the historical context for this decision, I’ll simply take a guess as to why they chose FreeBSD. Round the period of the first dot-com bubble, FreeBSD 4 was very popular with ISPs. This may or might not have been associated with the addition of kqueue. The Wikipedia page describes the feelings for FreeBSD 4 thusly: “…widely thought to be one of the more stable and high end operating systems of the whole Unix lineage.” FreeBSD in particular has added other features in the long run which would appeal to hosting providers, such as for example jail and ZFS support.
It’s possible that this can be entirely an individual experience, and it’s really probably less frequent among people who have extensive Linux experience before they ever see a BSD. Another explanation that i have show up with is the fact that I learned most of the things I learn about BSD by reading the official project docs, yet I learned the majority of the things I find out about (most) Linux distros by Googling. Gentoo is again the exception (their wiki was a fantastic resource once I was exploring Gentoo), which makes me think i realize the cause of certain decisions better on those systems.
FreeBSD has a track record of a more robust network stack. From professional experience at a previous company, we had a proxy server that has been falling over from the strain. When we threw FreeBSD onto it, the server handled the strain with ease for well over a year.
FreeBSD has many direct ties to its Unix heritage. BSD, or Berkeley Software Distribution, was a distribution of Unix created during the University of California, Berkeley, which extended the feature set of AT
While most Linux distributions provide only pre-compiled binary packages for the distribution-supported software, FreeBSD contains both pre-built packages as well as a build system for compiling and installing from source. For most software, this permits you to select between pre-compiled packages constructed with reasonable defaults and the capacity to customize your software throughout the compilation process because they build it yourself. FreeBSD does this through a system it calls “ports”.
There’re a lot of philosophical disparity between the Linux world and the BSD world. And there is a large number of expressions about any of it available to you. One I particularly like goes something like:
BSD is really what you obtain when a lot of Unix hackers sit down to try and port a Unix system towards the PC. Linux is what you receive when a bunch of PC hackers sit back and attempt to write a Unix system for the PC.