David Chisnall of the FreeBSD project is working on updating their advocacy material regarding this leading *BSD operating system. As such, he asked on the mailing list Why Are You Using FreeBSD?
For those wondering about the responses why different people are using FreeBSD, here's some of the (controversial) responses:
- Solaris features without being beholden to Oracle.
- The FreeBSD community focuses more on tech than on licensing and political activism like a certain freeware Unix "alike"
- The ports system does a far better job of balancing tracking recent software releases and stability than other systems of the same sort (most typically exemplified by certain popular Unix "alikes")
- Well-structured OS (i.e. filesystem, kernel and its config, etc)
- The ports system
- FreeBSD known for its ability to handle heavy network traffic with high performance and rock solid reliability
- FreeBSD is the system of choice for high performance network
- A kick-ass combo of features and very server-focused.
- FreeBSD is NOT Linux = FreeBSD is stable, reliable, simple (there are no automated brainfucks... like udev, hal and dbus in base system)
- Not fragmented as Linux, (relation to many distro, that not have idea/goal)
- The community - Unlike Linux which is very fragmented by all the different flavours and hence individual communities, FreeBSD has one community who are always happy to help with hints tips and advice. This simply cant be beaten!
- The BSD license. Contrary to popular belief, it has brought a lot of high quality development to FreeBSD
- Universal toolkit. It scales easily from the thinnest embedded system, to various desktops to huge servers -- all with the same familiar tools and environment
The leading answer from the emails thus far as why to use FreeBSD has been the ports collection. Some of the general responses with technical merit have now been summarized on a FreeBSD Wiki page called WhyUseFreeBSD.