Users on Hacker News chime in on their experience with FreeBSD for the past few decades. Below are some of the top comments. Congrats on 25 years again to all FreeBSD users around the world!

This was about 15 or 16 years ago, I think. That was back when hardware support, both in Linux and in FreeBSD (and in most other free operating systems) was very flaky, and FreeBSD was the only one that I could get my network card and RAID controller to reliably work on. I ran Linux for a while, but unreliably and with out-of-tree drivers running over strange Frankenkernels. One sleepless, outrageously hot summer night, I tried FreeBSD (4.1, I think? Or 5.0?) and it remained on my hard drive for a pretty long time.

I learned to properly use Emacs on it, after outgrowing NEdit and SciTE. I learned how to write portable (hah…) Unix code, learned about SSH and kqueue and ACPI and firewalls. I learned to use patch and wrote my first open source program from scratch, whose source code has been thankfully buried forever but for a summer or so, I wrote the worst Windows desktop clone you have ever seen (that was back when Qt 3 could deliver us from STL and everyone wrote their own window manager for fun and it had real artwork, not boring, flat themes). – alxlaz


I’ve been using FreeBSD in production on AWS for a few years now and it’s been great, thanks to ZFS, jails and pf.

There are lots of different ways to configure jails, which unfortunately means there are lots of places to get stuck.

I typically deploy to x1.* instances, which have NVMe drives. I create a zpool of all the NVMe drives, and then mount a zfs filesystem on the zpool at /mnt/jails. I run all my services in jails. Each jail gets its own IP address on the host, and services are made available to the outside world using pf rdr rules. Services in jails are allowed to access the outside network using pf nat rules. pf makes it easy to monitor and restrict network activity for each service. – Cieplak


I use FreeBSD on servers and desktops since 15 years.

Yes, it takes more time to create your desktop then just install Elementary OS or Ubuntu where someone else made that for You, but once You have your configuration files, its similar experience.

On a new box You just install it, add needed packages and put your configs in the ${HOME} directory, same for FreeBSD, same for Ubuntu.

You will also ‘lose’ less time later since You will have bulletproof upgrades with ZFS Boot Environments (sysutils/beadm) and a lot more stable environment – no rush changes – no systemd – no ifconfig/ip problem – no netstat/ss problem – etc. – vermaden

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