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Debian: kFreeBSD 9.0 Kernel Competing Against Linux 3.2

Michael Larabel

Published on 5 March 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 24 Comments

The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project has been quite interesting as one of the official Debian operating system ports. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD pairs the FreeBSD kernel with the Debian GNU user-land so that users can enjoy their traditional Debian applications while taking advantage of the FreeBSD kernel. With the recently released FreeBSD 9.0 kernel having worked its way into Debian Wheezy, how is the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel performance compared to the Linux 3.2 kernel? This article provides those benchmarks.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD has been an official port since the 6.0 "Squeeze" release and has matured quite well in the past few years while offering up interesting features like ZFS file-system support in Debian. There were lots of improvements made in 2011 and the year ended with the availability of the Debian FreeBSD 9.0 kernel.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarking at Phoronix has been happening going back to early 2010. In this article are benchmarks comparing Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD when using the daily Debian install images from 21 February. This compares the Debian Linux 3.2.0-1-amd64 and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 9.0-1-amd64 kernels.

The user-land is much the same with the GCC 4.6 compiler, etc. However, Debian GNU/Linux uses the EXT4 file-system while Debian GNU/kFreeBSD defaults to UFS. The default desktop for Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is Xfce 4.8 while Debian GNU/Linux is GNOME 3.2.1. The test system was the same throughout testing, which was a dual AMD Opteron 2384 "Shanghai" quad-core workstation with 4GB of RAM and a 160GB Western Digital SATA drive.

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