Is BSD Better Than Linux?

Posted by jun auza On 5/07/2008
In my quest to find the most stable, secure, feature-rich, and lightweight desktop operating system for my main workstation, I tried and tested almost all major Linux distributions available. I'm making an effort to settle for Xubuntu right now as I really value its speed and efficiency. However, after reading some of the comments on one of my older articles, I'm having second thoughts.

A comment by "Anonymous Coward" found on my blog post entitled Why Mac OS X Sucks and Linux Rocks said:

"I find that FreeBSD is the most sane operating system of all. Instead of using some weird conventions like some Linux distro, FreeBSD is fast, secure and sane.

Not only the configurations are consistent and intuitive but also all BSDs are consistent with each other. Furthermore, the FBSD7 kernel is faster than Linux kernels out of the box (not to mention u can optimize it manually). All the development tools can easily be installed via the ports (from haskell compilers, Java, IDEs to code analyzers). And of course, if you like your UI, you can install compiz-fusion. And guess what! it all works great.

In terms of MacOS X. It is indeed a pile of eye candy (regardless of its phylogeny with FreeBSD). I find using it's UI slow and inefficient and that's why I stopped using the MacMini I got.

Linux, is just a pile of c**p. The best thing is: It's c**p undercover. U can't really see its crap because:

(1) The kernel is glued together by hacks
(2) Each distro is either a mess (config files, package managers etc) and often counter intuitive.

Give FreeBSD a go!"

The comment struck me because I haven't tried any of the BSD derivatives yet, and the commenter here is kind of implying that Linux is as crappy as Mac OS X when compared to FreeBSD.

To those who don't know anything about BSD, here are some quick BSD facts:

Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, sometimes called Berkeley Unix) is the Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1977 to 1995.

Historically, BSD has been considered as a branch of UNIX - "BSD UNIX", because it shared the initial codebase and design with the original AT&T UNIX operating system. See Evolution of Unix systems.

Some of the BSD descendants that are still active to this day are: FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. FreeBSD is probably the most popular among them and has been characterized as "the unknown giant among free operating systems."

FreeBSD is generally regarded as reliable and robust. Among all operating systems that can accurately report uptime remotely, FreeBSD is the free operating system listed most often in Netcraft's list of the 50 web servers with the longest uptime. A long uptime is an indication that no crashes have occurred and no kernel updates have been deemed needed.

So here I am thinking of giving FreeBSD a go to see for myself if BSD is indeed better than Linux. What do you think?

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