FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.3 vs. Linux Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 8 April 2016. Page 1 of 3. 10 Comments

With FreeBSD 10.3 having been released followed by the desktop-oriented PC-BSD 10.3 release that's running rather nicely, I decided to run some open-source performance benchmarks atop PC-BSD 10.3 x64 compared to various Linux distributions.

Originally I also aimed to run some PC-BSD vs. Linux gaming tests using the updated Linux binary compatibility layer in FreeBSD 10.3's kernel, but sadly, that didn't pan out. As noted in the aforelinked article, I've been running into a variety of issues that made my usual test candidates not run on PC-BSD 10.3 with either the x86 or x86_64 Linux binaries. If you want to see my old tests, there is FreeBSD: A Faster Platform For Linux Gaming Than Linux? from a few years ago.

As a result, for the tests today are just a variety of other open-source Linux benchmarks compiled natively for the respective Linux/BSD target. The PC-BSD 10.3 performance was compared to my recent six-way Linux distribution results. The distributions tested included Fedora 23, Fedora 24 Alpha, Debian Testing, Ubuntu 16.04, Clear Linux 7160, and CentOS 7.

For those unfamiliar with PC-BSD 10.3 x64, it has FreeBSD's 10.3 kernel, KDE 4.14.3 as the default desktop, GCC 4.8.5 / Clang 3.4.1 as compilers, and uses a ZFS file-system by default.

All of the tests happened from the same system with an Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake processor, MSI C236A Workstation motherboard, 16GB of DDR4 system memory, and 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. All of these benchmarks on both Linux and BSD were facilitated in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite. This comparison is by no means exhaustive but should serve as a quick look for those wondering how FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.3 is comparing to modern 2016 Linux distributions; via the Phoronix Test Suite and you can easily run more tests yourself for workloads and hardware that are relevant to your use-cases.

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