a very challenging question?

Tim Chase blinux.list at thechases.com
Fri Dec 19 14:05:36 UTC 2014

Shlomi's answers are a great starting point.  I'll add/comment to

- While the Linux kernel runs on more CPU architectures than FreeBSD,
  the NetBSD flavor of BSD runs on even more architectures.  Does
  this matter to the general user?  Not usually.  As long as i386,
  64-bit AMD & Intel CPUs, MIPS and ARM are supported, that covers
  the vast majority of common users.

- FreeBSD (but not OpenBSD or NetBSD) has Jails, which Linux is only
  starting to add with their "containers".  I like the simplicity of
  FreeBSD's jails and they have been around a fairly long time;
  meanwhile, Linux containers still feel wet behind the ears

- FreeBSD has the ZFS out of the box with strong support; it's
  available on Linux but usually you need to add it on or run it
  using FUSE (file-system in user-space) which is slower.

- FreeBSD has a powerful firewall/router which is much easier to use
  than iptables/ipfw on Linux.

- I don't know if Speakup works on any of the BSDs (I'm fairly
  certain it doesn't since it was originally a patch-set for the
  Linux kernel source).  Other assistive tech such as Orca or yasr may
  work just fine, but they don't allow for accessible access to the
  messages at boot like Speakup would.

As you can tell from FreeBSD's advantages, they mostly matter to
system administrators who would want to use a massively powerful
file-system, the ability to partition tasks into jails, and the

So for most of the users on this mailing list, unless you're
administering a high-end server or network-router, I'd stick with
Linux. (grins)


On December 19, 2014, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> Hi Karen,
> On Fri, 19 Dec 2014 02:16:30 -0500 (EST)
> Karen Lewellen <klewellen at shellworld.net> wrote:
> > I promise I am not being provocative.  I am simply interested.
> > What does Linux do that freebsd does not?
> > I realize the question may be too simple.  So let me ask that a
> > bit differently.  What does command line Linux do that freebsd
> > does not?
> Off the top of my head:
> 1. The Linux kernel supports much more types of hardware devices
> than FreeBSD does.
> 2. The Linux kernel runs on more CPU architectures.
> 3. X-Windows requires tweaking some parameters in the FreeBSD
> startup file to start (even after it is installed).
> 4. A personal experience: I once had to reboot a FreeBSD VirtualBox
> virtual machine (I think due to a stuck X due to #3), and after I
> rebooted it, I noticed that many of the files under /etc were gone,
> making the system unusuable. I don't remember the last time when a
> problem like that happened in a Linux system, whether a VM or a
> live system. 
> 5. Some programs may only work on Linux because they are not
> portable enough to FreeBSD. (That's often a fault of these
> programs.)
> 6. The Linux kernel may have some features that the FreeBSD kernel
> lacks.
> ===============
> Regards,
> 	Shlomi Fish
> -- 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
> Original Riddles - http://www.shlomifish.org/puzzles/
> I can imagine the headline: “Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played
> Buffy the vampire slayer, murdered in cold blood by child daughter.”
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