FreeBSD rocks. I've been
using FreeBSD as my free, Unix-like OS of choice since mid 1999.
I used to be a Linux penguinista (for about six years before
I discovered FreeBSD), but I got fed
up when the 2.4 kernel came out and broke all my old stuff, so I
started looking for alternatives. Yes, it was a knee-jerk reaction
to cut and run but I'm glad I did; otherwise I wouldn't be using
These pages are hosted on a FreeBSD machine. Nifty, eh?
Why do I like FreeBSD so much, you may ask. Glad you asked. Let's
start with things I view as strengths for FreeBSD.
- Organization. FreeBSD is a complete operating system,
not just a kernel with a couple dozen groups' interpretation of
what should be packaged with that kernel. The organizational model
comes from there only being "one" FreeBSD, not a bunch of distributions
of a common kernel with differing tools. Since there's just "one"
FreeBSD it's easy to set and maintain informal standards that pretty
much any FreeBSD machine you'll come across will stick to.
- Standards. FreeBSD may do some things differently than other
operating systems, but it does things consistently. Organization
and consistency are evident throughout the OS, from the uniform
boot structure to the organized file system layout. Things have a
place to go and, although it may differ than where the original
application authors thought they should go, the system works
- Great software-management system. FreeBSD's Ports and Packages
Collection is a system designed for easy installation, maintenance,
upgrade and removal of software. Things stay organized when you use
the Ports or Package system. Some believe the system is too rigid
and not flexible, but once you understand what's really going on
the system is very flexible.
- Performance. FreeBSD performs very well in most cases. SMP
performance is a bit lacking in the 4.x series but the SMP system
is being rewritten for 5.x, so hopefully SMP performance will
- Experienced user base. On the whole, FreeBSD users are generally
a pretty sharp crowd because most FreeBSD users have a reason for
using FreeBSD besides buzzword status.
- Lots more, but I'm too lazy to write more tonight.
Ok, to be fair FreeBSD has some weaknesses as well.
- Lack of bleeding-edge, end-user hardware support. FreeBSD has
often times been behind Linux in things like video drivers and the
like. A lot of this can be attributed to most FreeBSD users worrying more
about developing and using the OS than on marketing. It's assumed that
companies will develop and support FreeBSD "on their own" if they are
- Relatively poor SMP performance in the 4.x series. This one pretty
much speaks for itself; when you get in to upscale hardware you're
generally talking SMP and SMP performance isn't one of FreeBSD 4's
- More, but I'm not writing any more tonight. :)
- FreeBSD.org: the
site to start looking for information about FreeBSD.
FreeBSD Handbook: a collection of documentation and directions
for doing just about any basic task with FreeBSD. It's assumed that
you have a bit of Unix experience going in, but the Handbook covers
things pretty well otherwise.
- The FreeBSD Diary:
a collection of stories, tips and news from someone that uses FreeBSD
for their public (and private) server duties. This site is chock
full of good info.
- FreshPorts: similar to
Linux's FreshMeat, this site
provides new things for use with FreeBSD's Ports system. Looking
for something that you'd think someone would have ported already
but doesn't seem to be in the Ports tree yet? Check FreshPorts.
- DRI on
FreeBSD: Eric Anholt's personal site dedicated to XFree's Direct Rendering Infrastructure
for FreeBSD. Eric is the XFree port maintainer for FreeBSD, has
been integral in getting DRI to play nice on FreeBSD and is responsible
for making sure DRI continues to work. His site is great if you
want to see what's going on with X as it relates to FreeBSD.
- The FreeBSD Forums: a
site that allows people to ask questions about FreeBSD (and other
BSDs; there's also a Linux section if you're in to that sort of
thing) and receive help from others. There's a lot of sharp people
there; if you're stuck chances are someone there can help you
- Daemon News is a news
site dedicated to the *BSDs. They have a particularly good article by
Robert Watson about BSD advocacy.
My experiences with FreeBSD
This section is fairly short right now; more will be added as I
write it. :) I've had a lot of good experiences with FreeBSD (along
with a few bad ones, generally self-inflicted), but they were all
- FreeBSD as a Secure Mail Server Using
sendmail and imap-uw: I decided to set up my own
mail server and this is what I ended up with. It does AUTH-based
relaying and encryption both directions (sending and receiving) if
client support is there.
- Installing and Using procmail
as the LDA for sendmail under FreeBSD: procmail
is cool. Here is a nice way to use procmail across the board.
This is part of my never-ending quest to make my mail server do
more for me, offer more flexibility for the users that want to do
more complex, automated mail management but not get in the way of
the users that don't want to bother with any fancy stuff.
- FreeBSD Information and Tips is a page chock full
of little tidbits that some may find helpful. The page consists of things that
didn't warrant a page of their own, but could still be interesting.
Page created 20030406 00:23.
Page modified 20060225 00:27.
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