I was recently reading an article by the phoronix.com team, where they benchmarked various operating systems for performance.
On this occasion, they benchmarked FreeBSD 7.2, FreeBSD 8.0, Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12 and OpenSolaris 2010.02. The results were fairly unsurprising, Ubuntu and Fedora are really fast.
Note: Unfortunately I think they made a huge error: the OpenSolaris they benchmarked is 64 bit, where as the others were running 32 bit.
Some relevant highlights are:
Ignoring the OpenSolaris result as invalid (it was using a 64 bit OS), the two Linux distributions were a third faster that FreeBSD at performing RSA (public key) cyptography.
Here we see that writing to disk is slower in FreeBSD than in the other systems. This is due to the outdated UFS filesystem that FreeBSD uses by default. You will notice that OpenSolaris is very fast. It uses ZFS as the filesystem. ZFS is now ready for production use on FreeBSD, and BitBot Software now uses ZFS with FreeBSD whenever possible as our default choice. Advantages of ZFS include excellent inbuilt software RAID, snapshots, rollback, transparent compression, and more. It is advised to use a 64 bit version of FreeBSD if possible and have at least 1GB of RAM reserved for ZFS.
Reading from the disk, the differences aren’t so dramatic. However ZFS on OpenSolaris again performs pretty well (especially considering the extra features such as snapshots).
I’ll be sharing some speed tests of my own shortly, so stay turned.