Why did you choose to stay with FreeBSD?

Not in any particular order:

1. Detailed and readable documentation.
2. Homogeneous base OS. Not a kernel + incongruous userland.
3. Big decisions for OS changes are decided by a group, not a single, iconic figure.
4. Stability.
5. Prompt response from the security team when vulnerabilities are discovered.
6. Free
7. Easy upgrade path.

I have not found another OS that meets all the above "needs" I have.
Started my computing experience with Windows 98 but every once in a while I'd check out the Linux distros (Mandriva, OpenSuse and latter on Mandrake). But I had no experience when it came to the *nix like world so having a command prompt in my front lead to chaos. One day I tried out Windows Vista and I really disliked which further strengthened my will to give Linux another try, this time with Ubuntu.

From then on I spent over 1 year messing around with tons of Linux distros always building more knowledge and wanting to know how things worked and were glued together. This lead me to Gentoo and its documentation. However much the same way I was curious of Linux when using Windows I became curious of the BSD world.

I loved FreeBSD's website and its Handbook the moment I came across it. Man I really loved (and love) all that clear and complete documentation. There was a feel of cleanness, of old (*nix) and at the same time of new. Eventually I toyed around with FreeBSD 6.2 while reading the Handbook.

However I couldn't get Enemy Territory running on FreeBSD, so for a time I was using Gentoo as the desktop. Eventually I came across BSD books such as Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 which further cemented my knowledge when it came to server related subjects.

At some point I got an ancient 266Mhz Celeron in which oddly enough the only thing I managed to install was FreeBSD. FreeBSD ran marvellously on it and further focused my interest in the OS.

Soon after I got Enemy Territory to run and from then on FreeBSD is everywhere in my computing.

Now other operating systems seem odd and unwelcoming which leads me to seek FreeBSD specific things like how building ports (customized and expanded 2 ports, half way through creating one and have plans to update/create a few).

To sum up, there's nothing like:
% uname
Red Hot Beastie chicks!

Jail, MAC, Vinum made me switch to FreeBSD from linux distr. It's been 2-3 years since. And, I haven't found a single reason to leave. Of course, there are some glitches and hiccups, but usually FreeBSD works. So, I can be happy, rather than screaming and yelling.

And, I cannot make red hot beasie chicks cry by leaving FreeBSD behind.
started with linux suse back in 2000, tried redhat after that but there was always something wrong with it. Never really worked and then I installed freebsd 4.4 or 4.6 dont remember but what I do remember was the computer booting it the first time and I didn't had the lag on the login prompt I was used on linux.
After that I run my first install via port -> just worked no problems what so ever.
Read the handbook which referenced files that were really there :p
And I still love the overall speed of the system.

Today I use it purely on my server (ZFS NAS for backup of windows/osx and serving vids to my htpc)
Workstation is a hackintosh. Just to give Jobs the finger with his overpriced hardware.
Just reminded myself why I stick to FreeBSD. I installed linux. Can't believe people willingly subject themselves to this rubbish, let alone advocate it.
aragon said:
Just reminded myself why I stick to FreeBSD. I installed linux. Can't believe people willingly subject themselves to this rubbish, let alone advocate it.

Come to think of it, it's been a while since I installed a Linux distro. I probably should take a look just so I can speak from recent experience rather than fading memories.

I see some people saying Arch is the most BSD-like Linux. Others say Crux. Neither Arch nor Crux is aimed at the "Windows expat" crowd, which is a plus in my mind. They also have ports/packages systems that are similar to FreeBSD's, but with some differences that might be interesting to explore.

I don't expect to switch to either of them permanently, because I trust the engineering that's gone into the BSD kernel more than Linux's (there you have my #1 reason for staying!), but it might be nice to take a look at them in a tourist-y kind of way.

Maybe later this year, when I free up some money for another cheap Atom-based machine...
ckester said:
I see some people saying Arch is the most BSD-like Linux. Others say Crux.

The most BSD-like Linux distribution was Draco Linux (but its probably dead already): http://dracolinux.org/

It incorporated pkgsrc for package management and OSSv4 by default instead of ALSA shit, BSD init scripts (like in Arch), all configuration at /etc/rc.conf ...
I type this on a notebook running Ubuntu, but that's just lazyness. I am reminded of the cost of the idleness whenever I have to change a setting - I'm sure there's a config file somewhere.... and a log file somewhere else...

Oh, and you can have wine on amd64. It's largely a matter of force installing i386 .pkg files.
True Unix, cleaner than Linux.
Nvidia driver support unlike other xBSD
Ports are great
More package than any other BSD

From the moment I installed 4.2 (maybe it was 4.6) on an AST Bravo 486, via anonymous ftp, I was hooked. Shocked and delighted by the orderliness and logic of the layout and especially by the way the release team stayed true to that order and logic.

The Linux World, in spite of their constant chatter about clarity, tends to shove files just everywhere, almost as badly as does Windows. And although Linux is more stable than Windows, the Linux philosophy appears to be, as I saw posted once, 'all the latest stuff right away' even if it's not ready for serious use. Of course, you can always get *real* stability by staying well behind the bleeding edge, but then you're exactly where they condemn the BSDs for being. As a complement to the above, the same poster had added: 'FreeBSD, when it absolutely has to work, every time'. My experience has been exactly that.
Why I'm stuck with FreeBSD?

You want to know the real reason? The real real reason?
I could not make a decision which penguin I should hunt for.
Then learnd about good old UNIX is still alive in the BSDs.
Now the choice shrink to FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD.
NetBSD was my favorite, but FreeBSD offered the better
documentation to a bleeding newbee. So it wasn't really a choice.
After all this forum kept my efforts alive when it did start.
Why I chose FreeBSD - I wanted something supremely reliable and secure. I would have chosen OpenBSD if a ZFS port was in the works. Having a way to know that data wasn't being silently corrupted was huge, as important as reducing the possibility of being hacked. Surely they are on a par - it's all about confidence in your systems. If you can put OpenBSD on the periphery, you should gain a lot of the same benefits anyway I would think.

Of course, now I've started using it I do appreciate many other facets also noted here - ports, jails, order - a place for everything and everything in its place, reputation for reliability, reputation for security, the history, the documentation.
Just a little from a Linux user of 7 years who recently switched to FreeBSD.

I think the point about FreeBSD I really like is the base system and the way the hardware, system configuration and system level daemons are setup. I also like the handbook (which is not comprehensive but at least a good starting guide). People who have used FreeBSD for years like to compliment the handbook, but I don't think it's something extraordinary and it's what I would expect of an OS like *BSD.

The things I dislike are:

* Lack of certain hardware drivers, especially peripherals like webcams and also for not-so-common devices like USB pen tablet (WizardPen for instance).

* For a productive desktop with a lot of heavyweight apps installed, ports is a very difficult way to keep installing software. Compile times - I cannot get around it. If the package management system was well organized and kept on the same level as ports, I wouldn't mind so much, but there are few "package-only" tools in FreeBSD and the ones that provide binary-only package support are rudimentary.

* For a music enthusiast like me, the lack of tools that utilize JACK/OSS is a big letdown. Most of the good open source music composition programs like rosegarden are tied down to ALSA. ALSA is required for even software-synth support for these applications.

On the whole I love FreeBSD a lot for its base system, but I am not a fan of ports. Too much compiling to do and the minutes can add up into hours and days. The is no coherent "feel" about the package management. For instance, instead of checking the local version of packages installed with the remote version, the pkg_add tool simply downloads from the mirror blindly.
First it was no linux-bugs (iowait, 'random' hdd numering for my sata-controller[e.g. like sata0 could become sda, or sdb, or sde randomly, so goes for ide0 and all other satas], some minor problems with fat32).
Now i choose it over linux on all of my hardware because of speed, ports-system and updating mechanism.

The package system is one of the many bonuses you get when using FreeBSD.

If you just stick to 8.0-RELEASE packages, it is just a simple case of

pkg_fetch -R whatever, and then this will download recursively all required packages to a folder so that you can install them offline at your leisure :)

No need to rely on a repository with some complex indexing applied to it. The simplicity of the FreeBSD packages is awesome.

And if you do need to compile something up, the ports system effectively gives you taylor made sources that are almost guarenteed to build. Infact most software is not nearly as likely to compile on linux even though that is what the software was usually coded for :)
No the package system is not great - it's more an afterthought to ports and even using tools like pkg_upgrade etc. are not guaranteed to be 100% all right because of ports dependencies.

Also upgrading using only packages is a pain because the ports-* tools tend to use the ports version and not the packages versions as I found out. So naturally that option is gone. Also many ports are not available as packages in -STABLE or -RELEASE so installing one port means upgrading all the related ports as well and eventually switching entirely to ports as version dependencies can get clobbered by mixing ports with packages.

I found a lot of stuff I need locked up in ports and to upgrade to a new port, I need to upgrade the whole system using the ports tree to prevent dependency breakage.

I really love the base system of FreeBSD and its organization, but ports is only for those who can wait for long compile times. I prefer using applications to compiling them.

People on these forums might say Linux is rubbish, but for a laptop/desktop user stuff just works fine. Even my webcam works out of the box. I've already gone back to Debian currently, but I regret having to move back. Sadly I cannot deal with the compile time for ports and to say that packages is a decent alternative is misleading. It isn't by a long shot.

Apologies for the plain speak though. I know I will get flamed for this, but I cannot help being honest about my opinion. Hopefully one day I will go back to FreeBSD by the PC BSD route. When hardware support is even more improved. :)
I certainly can understand the sentiment by those who don't wish to wait while their ports compile. Heck, I'm not even brave enough to attempt an OpenOffice.org build again. But we don't have to get into that right now.

Personally, I'm quite fond of the ports system. While I have a certain fondness for Debian that I don't have for Linux in general, I still keep on FreeBSD. I experimented with various Linux's, but didn't seriously use *nix until someone gave me an old IBM pc with FreeBSD loaded. I've been in love ever since, and while I can certainly use other systems, I never quite feel "comfortable" on them. While that's all subjective I suppose, that's my reason for staying with *BSD and in particular, FreeBSD.

You have just chosen a system that better suits your needs and even argumented it, You will not get bashed for that, I remeber your problems with MIDI.

I also 'suffer' because of packages/ports problem, lack of packages that for some ports (while Debian does not have problems creating them), after using portaudit I will have to rebuild a lot of ports because packages are not updated for RELEASE (not very good for profuction environment), but maybe things will get better in the future.

It would be nice to have a 'thing' like yum -y update, but at the same time, its easy to yell, its a lot harder to implement it.
Thanks. Yes, I don't believe in bashing any OS. If I cannot do something with it, I choose another.

Also I wish more people showed interest in projects like Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Definitely something that makes package management up to scratch with the ports system.

I am a fan of *nix type OSes for almost a decade. So FreeBSD is a delight for me.