Whether or not you are new to the world of VPS’s (perhaps you read our entry a few days ago, “Why VPS?”), you may be wondering what the advantages are of a FreeBSD-based VPS. There are great reasons why many experts in virtual hosting, like RootBSD, have made this choice.
FreeBSD is a free operating system descended from UNIX. Though it is not exactly like UNIX, it does have compliant internals and system API’s. FreeBSD is different than Linux in that all device drivers, userland utilities, the kernel, etc., are all contained in the same source code tracking tree, whereas with Linux they are all developed separately and packaged in various different ways. So what makes FreeBSD particularly good for a VPS?
(1) Software Flexibility. A standard installation of FreeBSD includes standard UNIX utilities and commands as well as the FreeBSD ports collection, which gives access to over 17,000 free software packages that have already been customized for the FreeBSD environment. FreeBSD users will have everything at their fingertips to run web, email, and database server environments. FreeBSD also has excellent third-party software support, so you will be able to pick the applications that suit your needs.
(2 Industry Standard. Over 30% of the Internet is powered by FreeBSD, including huge websites like Yahoo.com and Hotmail.com.
(3) Performance and Reliability. FreeBSD is a “rock solid” platform. You may recall from our previous article about the recent Firefox upgrade that one of Mozilla’s download mirrors was powered by FreeBSD with fantastic results.
(4) Looking Towards the Future. Because of the increasing success and widespread use of FreeBSD, many web hosts and software providers are scaling down their use of other operating systems and focusing on FreeBSD. It is likely that not far down the line there will be considerably more support and applications available than for other operating systems, especially in the world of VPS’s.
(5) Jails. With FreeBSD, you have the option of having a Jail VPS, which results in higher overall performance due to minimal overhead. With the jail feature, VPS’s can be created on the fly and are ideal for new users since they can be configured without complex firewall rules.
FreeBSD has long been considered the unknown giant among operating systems, but is becoming less and less unknown. As VPS’s become more popular and FreeBSD becomes the standard among VPS’s, you can expect to see it heading even farther out of obscurity.