FreeBSD 7, DragonFly's status

Justin C. Sherrill justin at
Wed Feb 27 21:13:14 PST 2008

On Wed, February 27, 2008 11:29 pm, Dmitri Nikulin wrote:

> The benchmark at
> (for the full presentation, see
>, that plot is on slide
> 17) indicates that FreeBSD 7 not only competes strongly with current
> Linux performance and scalability, but that DragonFly has been beaten
> even by NetBSD which came late to the SMP party.

Minor quibble: you're pointing at benchmarks on an 8-core xeon. 
Relatively uncommon hardware, though I'm sure that'll change within a year
or so.

> At the risk of sounding like a troll, may I ask, if FreeBSD 7 has high
> performance, high stability and remains reasonably clean and
> maintainable, doesn't that partly invalidate the reasons DragonFly was
> created? Being cleaner and more revolutionary doesn't count for much
> if the product itself doesn't serve as a compelling alternative. Maybe
> I'm just missing the point of DragonFly's development.

There were people attracted to DragonFly early on because they were
mistreated by various folks involved with FreeBSD, but liking DragonFly
because it's not FreeBSD is not enough to build a project.

DragonFly is not a FreeBSD replacement, nor does DragonFly require FreeBSD
to suck in order to exist.  You could probably make the exact same
argument you just did but substitute in the name of another BSD, if you
are going to take the tack of "fastest benchmark so why use anything
else?".  (I realize I'm oversimplifying your words.)

DragonFly is oriented towards creating a single system image over multiple
networked computers on the Internet, which has never been done before.

FreeBSD -> run on x86
OpenBSD -> run securely
NetBSD  -> run on anything
DragonFly -> run once everywhere?

For myself, I find DragonFly useful because it's a tight and friendly
developer community, with lots of interesting projects to do.  FreeBSD
having a good mysql benchmark doesn't affect that.

> neglected. Again, at the risk of sounding like a troll, I'm gravely
> concerned about the growth and survival of this brilliant project in
> the face of increasing pressure from projects with much larger
> developer communities and software ecosystems.

We've been doing pretty well, really.  The number of changes and new
developers in 2007 have been on an upswing relative to 2006.  (I should
know, given my digest work.)  There's been enough happening that I've had
a steady 2-day buffer of things to post for a month, which has never
happened before.

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