Debian vs. FreeBSD as a Web Serving Platform, Part 1
Posted Feb 25, 2005 1:17 UTC (Fri) by planet12
Parent article: Debian vs. FreeBSD as a Web Serving Platform, Part 1
This is in sharp contrast with FreeBSD where only the base system, often referred to as kernel and userland, is kept in a constant state (with the only exception being security updates), while the included applications, or ports in FreeBSD's language, are continuously updated. This being so, a system administrator can choose to keep upgrading all important ports to their current stable versions and take advantage of any new features in them. This is a very pleasant aspect of FreeBSD - instead of an endless wait one might endure before a new stable Debian release, the administrator running FreeBSD can upgrade all installed ports to their latest versions at any time, independently on the base system.
This "pleasant" aspect of FreeBSD had a dark side, especially when it comes to security updates. There are no security branches for the ports tree, and I don't normally want a new version of insert-whatever-here, that may or may not break itself and other things upon installation. I just want a version without the vulnerability... and I'd rather spend three minutes with apt-get than two hours babysitting portupgrade.
The QA on many ports is, to be frank, utter crap. Having to restore your carefully crafted configuration file from a backup, because the port decided to delete or replace it, is not that uncommon. The FreeBSD ports system has given me more grief than Debian unstable ever has.
What I'd love to see: FreeBSD with much of Debian infrastructure, ie. dpkg, apt-get etc. Now that would be a butt-kicking combination.
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