Trying Out FreeBSD/TrueOS On The Xeon Scalable + Tyan GT24E-B7106 Platform
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 6 September 2017. Page 1 of 2. 3 Comments

While we have tested a number of Linux distributions on Intel's new Xeon Scalable platform, here are some initial BSD tests using two Xeon Gold 6138 processors with the Tyan GT24E-B7106 1U barebones server.

FreeBSD 11.1 and the FreeBSD-derivative desktop/workstation-focused TrueOS (formerly known as PC-BSD) were the primary candidates for testing. TrueOS stable is currently tracking FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT development. Both TrueOS and FreeBSD 11.1 x64 were running fine on this Tyan + Xeon Gold server. No immediate problems to note and was able to put it through its benchmarking paces without any sweat.

I also attempted to test the latest DragonFlyBSD release, v4.8.1, but that doesn't appear to yet properly support the Intel Xeon Scalable platform. When booting the USB images of DragonFlyBSD with either the BIOS or UEFI boot modes, the DragonFlyBSD kernel would begin booting but within a few seconds the system would immediately restart. That happened in both the BIOS/UEFI configurations and even if trying a DragonFlyBSD daily development snapshot as of 5 September 2017, the system would also quickly reboot a few seconds into the DragonFly kernel process.

This though isn't very surprising as DragonFlyBSD's new hardware support does tend to lag behind FreeBSD, which has more resources and developer backing along with more contributions from Intel itself. Hopefully by the next DragonFlyBSD release expected approximately in one month we will see better support for these new Xeon processors.

For those curious about the FreeBSD/TrueOS performance on this 40 core / 80 thread Tyan server, I compared the FreeBSD 11.1 and TrueOS results to the six way Linux distribution comparison of last week featuring: Antergos 17.8, CentOS 7, Clear Linux, Debian 9.1, Fedora 26, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, openSUSE Leap, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. All of these BSD/Linux Xeon CPU benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated manner using the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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