August 3rd, 2003, 10:08
My company is looking into putting a couple of departmental BSD servers out on the company network since the powers that be have taken a "wait and see" attitude on Linux due to the SCO/IBM fiasco.

Iíve done a little reading and discovered that FreeBSD seems to have the easiest install and access to more software, OpenBSD is impregnable, and NetBSD will run on pretty much anything.

Iím basically looking for a list of links that will help me make an educated decision on what BSD to install, as I will utilize docs and this site with any future assistance that I need.

Thanks in advance

August 3rd, 2003, 14:42

Nice nick, one of my favorite jazz artists. Anyways welcome to SE. You'll find the more you dive into the BSD that there's no single one that's head and shoulders among the others. They all have their strong points and as such their place on different types of topologies.

Most networks that I setup are done in the following manner:

OpenBSD for all boxes with a public interface
FreeBSD for boxes that are protected and need max performance like SMP or advanced clustering.

I run some netbsd but mostly on odd hardware and am no expert in it. Those are my opinions I sure the rest of the group will have differing opinions.

August 3rd, 2003, 15:22
You forgot the "It Depends" option. Each BSD has its strength and i'd hesitate to recommend one over the other. That said, either FreeBSD or OpenBSD will probably be your best choice.

I don't know of any really good site comparing the various OS's, for the most part they say what you already said, otherwise they are outdated. You can find one site which may be "How To do X on OpenBSD" but that doesn't mean it isn't possible to do it on Free or Net as well. With the exception of some more esoteric uses that you probably won't need for a departmental server, you can use Free, Net and OpenBSD interchangeably.

If you're already stuck with hardware, then look through the hardware compatibility lists for each first. You may also want to peruse the mail list archives to see if there are any complaints about X driver on Y platform (though take these with a grain of salt)

If you're stuck with some specific software requirements, check the ports/packages list for each OS.

If each meets the hardware/software requirements, then it comes down to which one will be easiest to manage. Read through the FAQ's and Handbooks for each OS to get a feel for this, but the only real way to determine which suits your needs for manageability is to test it out.