pvaneynd: (Default)
In the middle of February 2011 I installed FreeBSD 8.2 on our home server. Mostly to experiment with ZFS and a 'different' unix.

I tried hard to get into the FreeBSD way of things and I cannot complain about the stability of FreeBSD or ZFS for that matter. The problems mainly are:
  • the endless recompiles. The time to recompile is not the problem, the problem is that portmaster first stops the running daemons. Then it starts the recompilation of all needed programs. Which means that if a compilation of a random package needs manual intervention and I'm not watching the screen the DHCP leases of devices on my network expire and they lose internet connectivity...
  • the limited support for library updates. Updating means reading /usr/port/UPDATING every time and sometimes fixing stuff by hand. This is interesting as a learning exercise, but my aim is to spend as little time on maintaining my system as possible
  • overwriting my config. I've taken to putting /etc/ and /usr/local/etc in git because upgrades randomly seem to nuke my configuration
  • strange problems with a serial over USB card reader. The card would not read correctly, it works in Linux and OSX but on FreeBSD the data returned is just wrong. So that's running on the Raspberry Pi at the moment.
  • Some programs are not available for FreeBSD like Plex which I wanted to run.

All in all I think that Debian just fits my way of working much better. I like FreeBSD but I think the userspace needs significant work, so I think Debian GNU/kFreeBSD could be interesting for me, bar the problems with the hardware support and commercial software.

In short I hope to move to a Debian unstable setup using ZFS-on-linux to keep the fantastic advantages of ZFS. Maybe in a few years BTRFS will be stable and I'll move to that.

So in the next few days I hope to report how I moved my 2 disk ZFS mirror under FreeBSD to 2x2 disk ZFS mirror under Linux. Hopefully without backup-restore cycle.



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pvaneynd

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