Re: FreeBSD or DEBIAN for remotely administered internet server
From: MattD.. (mattd145_at_gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:08:40 +0100
On Wednesday 08 Sep 2004 12:04, the primordial soup was bombarded with
cosmic radiation and a new life form of genus Peter Gutbrod emerged to test
its air breathing capabilities by gasping:
> In case someone hosting a headless remote server and used both, DEBIAN and
> FreeBSD, I'd like to hear the reasons why you prefer the one (expect to be
> FreeBSD on this list ;-) over the other.
Why? BSD is about software, not bigotry ;o) OpenBSD may be better for this
application, since it's locked down out of the box and you only enable the
services you require. FreeBSD is by far the best *for me* from the
administration POV and there is a tool called portaudit
($PORTSDIR/security/portaudit) which flags vulnerabilities in any installed
ports from a database ($PORTSDIR/security/portaudit-db).
Debian, OTOH, has an excellent track record when it comes to stability
although, as you rightly say, they are somewhat behind with versions which
may create vulnerability problems. I also had a devil of a time trying to
install Debian onto Compaq servers (YMMV and FreeBSD's moused doesn't like
RILO boards at all, although if you run with moused disabled, RILO works
Personally, I run with FreeBSD for its TCP/IP performance (almost /.
effect-proof), stability, ease of updating using portupgrade and cvsup and
security _IF_ you know how to lock it down and audit the ports. The
documentation is excellent for this which, IMHO, is one of the most
important reasons for using FreeBSD. I have yet to see another free OS with
such good documentation. The O'Reilly BSD site is worth a visit, too. Dru's
column in particular is a very useful resource.
That's me, though. Your needs are probably very different to mine and Debian
probably has most of those features (yes, I have used Debian on the
recommendation of a friend, but found it time-consuming compared to BSD) as
well, if one is patient enough to trawl through the minefield that is Linux
documentation. I wasn't - I wanted to get my servers running and productive
rather than spending hours trawling the 'net for answers.
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