David Chisnall wrote:
> I am currently looking at updating some of our advocacy material
> (which advertises exciting new features like SMP support), and before
> I do I'd like to get a better feel for why the rest of you are using
> FreeBSD. If you had to list the three things you most like about
> FreeBSD, which would you pick?
I agree with what many others already wrote: Ports, ZFS,
stability, consistency, ...
But there's one thing that hasn't been mentioned so far,
I think: jails. The jails feature was the most important
reason why one of our largest customers chose FreeBSD for
its server farm instead of Linux. I also use this feature
quite a lot on my own boxes to easily confine services and
applications into sandboxes, without having to use a full-
blown virtualization system with all of its disadvantages.
I also like the fact that there's a manual page for pretty
much *everything*. If you come across an unknown system
binary, configuration file, library function, system call
or whatever, typing "man <name>" is almost guaranteed to
Another thing worth mentioning is the FreeBSD policy that
any change should try hard not to violate "POLA", i.e. the
"principle of least astonishment". This improves users
experience a lot.
And finally, I like the way FreeBSD enables you to perform
source-level upgrades. The last time I used installation
media (CD, DVD, USB stick, whatever) for FreeBSD was in
the previous century.
> Are they the same as when you first started using it?
That's a different story ... Basically, I started using
FreeBSD because it was BSD. It was almost 20 years ago
when I was using SunOS 4.x (BSD-based) at the university.
Then those dumb bastards at Sun (sorry, that's what I was
thinking at that time) decided to switch to a SysV-based
system with SunOS 5.x. It was horrible. I wanted my BSD
back. At that time I had a little Slackware Linux
partition on my PC at home, but it was an ugly mixture
of BSD and SysV stuff. Then a fellow student mentioned
FreeBSD to me, so I gave it a try (I think it was 2.0.5).
Within minutes I was sold.
Long live BSD!
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