Linux Distributions vs. BSDs With netperf & iperf3 Network Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 7 December 2016. Page 1 of 3. 95 Comments

With now having netperf in the Phoronix Test Suite as well as iperf3 for the latest open-source benchmarks in our automated cross-platform benchmarking framework, I couldn't help but to run some networking benchmarks on a system when trying out a few different Linux distributions and BSDs to see how the performance compares. The operating systems ran with these networking benchmarks included Debian 8.6, Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux 12020, CentOS 7, and Fedora 25. The BSDs tested for this comparison were FreeBSD 11.0 and DragonFlyBSD 4.6.1.

Using the Phoronix Test Suite, a variety of iperf3 and netperf benchmarks were run with an Intel Core i7 6800K + MSI X99A WORKSTATION + 16GB DDR4 + Samsung 850 EVO SSD 128GB + NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X being the client system. The same client system was used while switching the Linux/BSD distribution each time and performing a clean install. Shown below is the system information table of the software/hardware. The same system was used with the same BIOS/UEFI settings while the shown hardware differences in the table just come down to how each OS was reporting the components/values out-of-the-box.

The same netperf/iperf3 server was used for the duation of the testing with this article looking at primarily the client performance. Separate server-side tests will likely come soon given enough interest. The server's hardware/software details were:

The client system with its changing OSes and netperf/iperf3 server were using their integrated Gigabit Ethernet ports and connected on the same rack via a TP-LINK Gigabit switch with no other activity on the network during the time of testing.

That covers all of the details of this basic network comparison benchmarking of different 2016 Linux distributions and BSDs. In many of the tests there wasn't much difference, but in a small set of results the data was more dramatic, such as shown above. All results on the following pages.

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