BSD is dying

Paul Civati paul at
Thu Jul 28 12:46:31 BST 2005

Several observations..

1.  Yes OS X take up is high.  Why?  Because it's a pretty, fairly easy
to use desktop o/s with all the available apps just ready to drop in
and go, but also with the underlying power of UNIX there for people
who want it.  People are busy.  When people are busy they can't be arsed
to faff about installing the latest KDE or OpenOffice, what have you.

2.  People *are* using FreeBSD, I suppose moreso in ISP/hosting type
environments where the techs know what they're doing, see what the 
benefits are, and they are benefits that can make significant impact
that won't so much be applicable to other environments (read, more 
generalised corporate businesses).

3.  Linux is beating *BSD in a number of key areas that we are lagging
behind on, and that people now recognise as being quite important for
their particular requirements.

 a) SMP - yes, we're getting there now, explanation on this in point (4)
 b) Enhanced file-systems - logging/journalled/etc
 c) Binary updates - sorry but buildworld doesn't cut it for production

I personally think Linux take up in corporate environments is not a
bad thing, once an organisation is open to one highly recognised open
source o/s then getting another lesser known in there (*BSD) is easier.

4.  FreeBSD 5.x has been.. well it could have gone better (I'm being
polite here :) mistakes have been made and it hasn't really worked 
out as well as it could.  I think these are certainly lessons that
have been learnt.  I myself only now think 5.4 is ready for production,
and I'm still personally nervous of deploying it in an SMP system of
any heavy use, I'm sure I'm wrong but if I get that feeling then I'm
sure other people do too.

So, consequently I think there are a lot of people that are holding 
on to 4.x for production environments, and that is now seriously 
lagging feature wise to Linux.  On the positive side, I think 6.x 
will be a good turning point, I'm getting the impression that a 
lot of the stability is back and 6.x will end up being the good
next step that 5.x should have been.

I'm now running my own business that uses and loves FreeBSD, but one
point in particular is bugging me more and more every day, and that
is quite simply point (3c) above..


Paul Civati <paul(at)> 0870 321 2855
Rack Sense Ltd - Managed/Business hosting -   
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