BSD? No thanks, I’ll stick with Linux


Warning, this is an unstructured Rant.

I’m going to be setting up FreeNAS to manage my home’s personal NAS server. I spent a bit of time looking up the hardware and learning how FreeNAS works. I also really like that its a FreeBSD system at the back-end, so that I can always configure it exactly how I want. This resparked an interest in me to look into the BSD variants to see if they would be better for me.

TL;DR – No, I’m sticking with Linux.

People talk about BSD being “more mature”. But I have yet to get a solid understanding of what this means to the end-user, where Linux seems pretty damn mature to me. I haven’t had Linux crash on me since some bug in kernel 2.6.

Or is the code more reviewed? The Linux kernel is heavily, heavily reviewed.

Or is BSD an OS whereas Linux is a Kernel? Okay, I use Debian distributions, not just a raw Linux kernel. And besides, there are basically 4 main distributions that are largely differ on trivial matters behind the scenes. But you have like 5 main variants of BSD – OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD and now MacOS X. These OS’s have, in some cases 20 years of variations between them, whereas at least all Linux’s share a common kernel.

And another thing – why do people treat BSD as some common platform, as if they’re all the same? Do the 20+ years of divergence mean nothing?

NetBSD likes to brag about being able to run on a toaster. Great. But in the year 2015, I don’t need to run on a computer from 1986. I don’t plan on running a Unix/Linux system on a Playstation.

Okay, so OpenBSD has security built-in. Are you talking the security in packages or the security of the OS? If you mean the security of the packages, this can be trivially done on Linux. If you mean the security of the OS, you’re talking about memory protection and related features that can, and are, very easily ported over to Linux.

Or is it that BSD systems are for servers? I currently work for a company that measures its internet presence of IP space in the percentages, and we use┬áRedhat or CentOS – and legacy AIX and other random systems.

okay okay, maybe BSD is great for niche devices. But I don’t see its benefit anywhere over Linux anywhere else. I would have picked the FreeNAS equivalent for Linux if I could — well no I prob wouldn’t, I’d wanna see what BSD can do.

oh, and if you’re going to give me a very technical response to why BSD is better, allow me to preempt your response:

  • If your responses are related to something buried well behind the scenes of the system that are trivial to the end-user, you lose.
  • If your responses are blaming the user of the system for not being responsible by running the hardware or software you choose and running the system as you wish, you lose.
  • If your responses are about how BSD invented stuff that Linux stole, I’ll say you lose because you aren’t using the OS that invented the mouse.

End-rant. Okay, I’m gonna install PC-BSD on my spare beat-up computer.