As was reported recently, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port now has limited support for handling ZFS file-systems and its stock kernel has been upgraded against that of FreeBSD 8.1. Due to the upgraded kernel we ran a quick set of benchmarks to see how the performance of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to that of Debian Linux.
We used the net installations of both Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD on 2010-09-09. On the kFreeBSD side we were using the 8.1-1-amd64 kernel with GCC 4.4.5 and a UFS file-system. On the Linux side was the 2.6.32-5-amd64 kernel with GCC 4.4.5 and an EXT4 file-system. The test system was a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300, 4GB of system memory, a 100GB Hitachi HTS72201 SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M graphics.
Using the Phoronix Test Suite we ran a variety of benchmarks to compare the Linux and FreeBSD kernel performance under Debian. These test profiles included 7-Zip compression, Gzip compression, LZMA compression, GnuPG, POV-Ray, C-Ray, dcraw, MAFFT, GraphicsMagick, BYTE, Sudokut, Himeno, SQLite, PostMark, and the Threaded I/O Tester.
The file compression performance between the FreeBSD and Linux kernels under Debian is not hugely different for 7-Zip or Gzip.
While 7-Zip or Gzip did not see much of a difference in their performance under these two Debian spins, the LZMA compression performance was better with GNU/kFreeBSD by about 15%.
When it comes to file encryption, Debian GNU/Linux with the EXT4 file-system did the best where it was faster by 12%.