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FreeBSD is an operating system. Linux, strictly speaking, is just a kernel, but the two systems are not too much different and in performance, at least, we can say they are comparable.

Open source software works across the two platforms so there are no cross-platform issues.

Reliance on professional services support will not be too high as web applications can get help from the community.

How did this trend develop? FreeBSD best practices? Are there any success stories?

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I doubt that selection of an OS influences success of a business, at least on the level of FreeBSD and Linux. It could have been different: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominant_Design, but after the pool of those familiar with Linux surpassed the pool of FreeBSD folks there was little that could be done. –  Deer Hunter Dec 26 '12 at 18:53

2 Answers 2

FreeBSD had patent problems with ATT at the beginning and was involved in a lot of lawsuits because it contained ATT Unix code. This was eventually solved but, in the meantime, Linus Torvalds created Linux. Many companies were not comfortable getting involved with FreeBSD because they were unsure of the outcome and many jumped onto Linux.

At one time, Torvalds had said that, if FreeBSD had been available when he was first interested, he never would have created Linux.

Personally, my little company has used FreeBSD for everything, about 9 years.

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Wow, very interesting! –  Emanuel Berg Dec 26 '12 at 21:52
    
If you don't mind, do you remember where you read that quote from Torvalds? That sounds like a book, I'd like to read... –  Emanuel Berg Dec 27 '12 at 19:56
    
@EmanuelBerg: DuckDuckGo is yer friend: zazzle.com/… –  Deer Hunter Dec 28 '12 at 6:08
    
@EmanuelBerg - I can't say this is the original source but it looks like it: gondwanaland.com/meta/history/interview.html –  Rob Dec 28 '12 at 13:12
    
On a personal experience, On my region, there were, very few people capable to work for companies on FreeBSD, and plenty of Linux experts (And way too many Windows people). That influenced the decision. –  Martín Canaval Jan 23 '13 at 6:28

Today there are companies (Red Hat, SUSE/Novell, Canonical) who are prepared to give you support and guarantee it won't break. Enterprisey people (to whom an hour downtime can easily cost literally thousands of dollars) gladly pay in order to sleep soundly, knowing they can shift the blame elsewhere when sh*t hits the fan. The BSDs don't offer anything like that. Sure, you will find FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, and a long list of other "non-enterprise" operating systems in enterprise use, but rarely with official blessing from the PHB or his CEO.

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freebsd.org/commercial/consult.html –  Rob Jan 23 '13 at 4:52

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