FreeBSD 10.0 Kernel Comes To Debian

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 16 December 2013 at 09:15 PM EST. Page 1 of 4. 12 Comments.

Advancing prudently but quietly within the Debian camp is the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD operating system that pairs Debian's GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel. For Debian 8.0 "Jessie" there are continued improvements on this spin that does away with the Linux kernel. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Jessie/Sid currently defaults to the FreeBSD 9.2.0 kernel, but a FreeBSD 10.0 development kernel has already landed in Debian and is the focus of today's benchmarks.

Debian 7 "Squeeze" uses the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel by default with the GNU user-land that matches that of Debian GNU/Linux 7. If moving to Debian Jessie/Sid, the FreeBSD 9.2 kernel is now the default -- the latest stable release. When running some benchmarks earlier this month on Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, I was a bit surprised to see that there's already a packaged 10.0 kernel. FreeBSD 10.0 is running behind schedule at this point and likely won't ship until early 2014. FreeBSD 10.0 is currently available as a release candidate and the major operating system update is weighing heavy with new features.

Until the FreeBSD 10.0 kernel is made the default in Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, it can be installed via the kfreebsd-image-10.0-0-amd64 package that is of a recent SVN snapshot of the development kernel.

As my last Debian GNU/Linux vs. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks were from last December, I decided to run some fresh benchmarks. For this article, I am comparing the performance of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 7.2.0 to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Jessie/Sid to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD when upgrading from the 9.2.0 kernel to 10.0.0.

This initial Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Jessie/Sid benchmarking is being done from an Intel Core i5 3470 "Ivy Bridge" system with 8GB of RAM, 60GB OCZ SOLID 2 SSD, and integrated Intel graphics. Additional system benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will come when the kernel is defaulted to the 10.0 release (and the stable release of FreeBSD 10.0 to compare against) and when 8.0 Jessie is closer to being christened.

All of the benchmarking for this article was facilitated using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software and platform.

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