Why Did We Choose FreeBSD?

Please Note: this material quickly becomes dated. Last update was July 15, 2006.


Why FreeBSD in General?
Why FreeBSD Rather than Linux?
Why FreeBSD Rather than Windows?

Why Did we Choose FreeBSD in General?

We are using FreeBSD version 6.1. Here are some more specific features which make it appropriate for use in an ISP environment:

Why FreeBSD Rather Than Linux?

Here we touch upon the larger issue of why we chose FreeBSD over Linux at this time (2006). In summary the issue has been the lack of a reliable, "free" (i.e. you don't pay for the OS) version. In addition, there are so many choices, each with their quirks, that anything we teach is quite likely not going to be what you will use in your own shop.

Recently (1st and 2nd quarter 2006) there have been some hopeful developments in the Linux world. SuSE (now Novell) has made a version of their up-to-date Linux distribution available for free download. In addition, Ubuntu has released Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support), which is aimed as a server operating system including simple LAMP installation, IBM DB2 certfied, and Ubuntu uses the Debian Package Manager for software updating and distribution.

With that said, here is our list of caveats for the major "free" versions of Linux currently available:

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

  • Fedora Core?
  • SuSE (now Novell)
  • Debian?
  • Gentoo?
  • Ubuntu?
  • Mandriva (Mandrake), SuSE (now Novell), Turbolinux, etc.?
  • Others?
  • 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 the couple of years has seen an increase in the number of FreeBSD downloads and installs, possibly due to this very issue (or, maybe because version 6.1 is so cool! :-)).

    Why Did we Choose FreeBSD Rather than Windows?

    A few more reasons... The list goes on and on and on and has been going on for quite some time. Microsoft hides theirs mistakes from the public, spins problems as not being issues, and pretty much takes whatever route is likely to generate the most revenue. You as the end-user of this sotware suffer. There are other companies that make closed-source operating systems that do not behave like this.

    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. Almost every study that shows otherwise was either paid for by Microsoft, or done by a company with Microsoft connections. This is how their marketing machine works.

    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.

    Last modified: Tue Jul 5 15:18:46 CLT 2005