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    If you are interested in high performance computing, give Dragonfly BSD a look. Even if you don’t end up using it, you find a lot of “o hell yes i want that”.

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      This article seems to focus on a desktop perspective, but I’d be interested in hearing how or whether the points change from a server perspective. Specifically I’m planning to organize a (low intensity) shared user system, and have been leaning towards OpenBSD, primary because I haven’t heard a lot about the others, nor can I really find a good categorical comparison.

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        I’ve used OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and Linux for servers. OpenBSD is the simplest by far, Linux the most tedious, with FreeBSD somewhere in the middle but honestly closer to Linux. My biggest problem with OpenBSD is sometimes packages are low quality or out of date, e.g. I need mariadb but OpenBSD is pinned on 10.0 due to an architectural issue. My only other problem with it is performance, Linux and FreeBSD have a lot of optimizations in the kernel that lots of non-base daemons rely on, but OpenBSD just doesn’t, and it causes random slowdowns all over the place.

        For my personal server I don’t need insane, or even good perf and the simplicity is really nice, thus OpenBSD. If I had to use something else it would likely be Linux, since everything is made to run on Linux these days. Exception is file or network server (e.g. VPN gateway), since FreeBSD has a lot of dev time devoted to those use cases, as it’s frequently used for vendor appliances in those spaces. Linux has ZFS now (since 2016), and is encroaching on network use cases rapidly, but I’m still more comfortable with FreeBSD for both at this point.

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        Since NetBSD gets less credit, I’ll add that the things that make it portable also made it get a lot of use in embedded and CompSci. Basically, spots where customization happens at the kernel code level in a lot of places. The folks crazy enough to try to rewrite a UNIX in a new language also always started with NetBSD since it’s easiest to rewrite. None are easy, mind you, but they didn’t think they’d have a chance with FreeBSD or OpenBSD for different reasons.

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          How portable is NetBSD, compared to the other BSDs?

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            I have no idea haha. I’ve just read up on a lot of work by people building on various OS’s. In UNIX land, those building on NetBSD seemed to have an easier time. Here’s three things many said:

            1. It wasn’t huge like FreeBSD or Linux.

            2. Its focus on portability made it easier to change.

            3. Its community was welcoming or helpful to those trying to rewrite it for various reasons.

            I’m not sure how true these are in general or currently since I don’t code BSD/Linux kernels or userlands. I just kept seeing a lot of people doing BSD mods say those things about NetBSD specifically. Probably better for developers of various BSD’s to chime in at this point since we have at least three represented in Lobsters community.

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              The NetBSD rump kernel concept is one real-world demonstration that the abstraction layers are at least fairly good. It’s not clear you couldn’t do something similar with another OS, but NetBSD seems to have managed it with quite little actual porting needed (drivers run completely unmodified).

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              They used to joke that it even runs on your toaster. Obviously, most toasters don’t have an embedded OS, but, I think the joke implies something about how portable they desire it to be.

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                  Ha! I hadn’t seen this, but I’m certainly not surprised!

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                  Obviously, most toasters don’t have an embedded OS

                  Yet.

                  The obvious use case for such a device is cryptocurrency mining.

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                    The obvious use case for such a device is cryptocurrency mining.

                    Yep, This should generate enough heat to burn a few toast :+)

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              I would love to run OpenBSD on my servers, for some of the reasons noted in this article, high code quality and the desire to run a clean system, however these same reasons also make it not such a great choice. When you administer a server, you unfortunately need to install an obscure package, or a library that doesn’t have an openbsd package, and then it just becomes a pain. At least with FreeBSD I never run into these issues, I can build everything from source, or if I need one program that I don’t want to build, I can just install a binary blob. I really admire the OpenBSD project for its principles and what it does for the open source community, but as am operating system I don’t personally get on with it.

              Also due to the scale in which FreeBSD is used commercially, as opposed to some of the other projects, you find more guides on line, so when you inevitably come across a ports build error (installing said obscure package) the solution is never far away.

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                Which BSDs still support 32-bit architectures? I assume NetBSD does, but AFAICT the others are gradually dropping it from their latest releases.

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                  I believe all of them do except Dragonfly, like the article said. Also, TrueOS (which wasn’t covered in the article) only supports amd64. Do you have a link or can you cite something that says the major BSD operating systems are dropping 32 bit? Certainly the majority of development is occurring on 64 bit architectures but I think 32 bit is still supported for a while.

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                    My soekris and my alix are still running.