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[solved] Is there a *bsd as performant as void?


To me it’s incredible, how fast void is (as allready mentioned in another thread, voidlinux installed an old 2gb ram dual core feels much more responsive than Windows 10 on an i7 4GB notebook (both with ssd, however the ssd of the dual core is a very old one).

I wonder to test bsd and it would be great to find out, which of the bsd feels like the void-turbo.

(Scott Robbins) #2

FreeBSD is probably the fastest. If speed’s the issue, and especially if you’re installing on on a system that multiboots, use UFS instead of ZFS.

The BSDs lag behind Linux in wireless and graphic support. Most laptops newer than 3 years old will require using FreeBSD-CURRENT for decent performance. Wireless cards tend to be slower as well. For example, with an Intel 7260, I can get 30-50MBS on the Lan with Linux vs. 2-3MB with FreeBSD or OpenBSD.

Depending upon your needs and use cases, it may be the same, or FreeBSD may be slower than Void.

(Edmond Dantes ) #3

Since, as you stated, Void is SO WELL performing, trying to catch up with it is a true challenge.

I’ll be honest, I think the only case a BSD would keep up with Void, is DragonflyBSD on a large HAMMER partition and a good CPU. Dragonfly is made to draw the best performance possible out of powerful hardware, but it’s a double-edged sword as it can really weigh and slow down legacy hardware. Obviously you’d have also to compile software from dports, enabling only needed desktop-oriented features. I’ve also successfully attempted to run Runit in jail, so my statement is: Dragonfly on HAMMER + dports + Runit would be similar to Void in boot time and performance.

Aside fron that, any BSD is general well performing. Scottro mentioned FreeBSD which is generally high performing OS, as he throughly explained. I have it on my laptop, and I’m very satisfied,but I think FreeBSD can give its own best on desktop.
CURRENT can be made performing if you disable debug flags. However If generally speaking of performance only I wouldn’t put FreeBSD on top (but there are other reason why I’d recommend FreeBSD over other BSDs for)

On the other hand,in my experience nothing beats NetBSD on laptops, especially on legacy hardware: NetBSD can be surprisingly performing on very old machines and all the more wpuld be on your 2Gb RAM. Bear in mind as well that Void was created by a NetBSD mantainer, and that xbps was developed taking NetBSD’s pkgsrc as source of inspiration, which in turn results IMO, in the 2 package managers being similar.
BSDs can boast in general very good ARM ports. I love NetBSD’s aarch64 port (especially considering that 64-bit ARM support for OpenBSD 6.2 has been added in latest 6.2 release only as experimental, while FreeBSD supports aarch64 only in CURRENT, and Dragonfly has nor ARM version at all, due to lack of workforce), and use it on my Rpi3

I’ve haven’t been into OpenBSD long and seriously enough to express a true judgement, but I saw it being recommended many times on laptops, especially on Thinkpads (as OpenBSD developing team seems to use only Thinkpads);

Since different BSDs also noticeably differ on repositories’ width and hardware support (common example is FreeBSD-only inclusion of Nvidia binary blobs), and hardware support is in general 4-5 years behind Linux , all these factors should be really taken into account as well before making your choice

My current situation could be digested as follows:

  • Desktop: Void Linux+ DragonflyBSD
  • Laptop: FreeBSD STABLE release
  • Older laptop: NetBSD, FORMAL release
  • Rpi3: NetBSD CURRENT + SARPi

PS: scottro I’m glad to see you here

(Scott Robbins) #4

(Waves back at @Montecristo) Thanks for the kind words. As @Montecristo says, if using CURRENT, you do want to change the kernel, which is a simple thing to do. I go into a bit of detail on a page I have at http://srobb.net/freebsdintel.html which covers using CURRENT and then changing to the NODEBUG kernel.

I haven’t used DragonFly, or NetBSD. in years, so can’t really speak about it–I did try to put Dragonflyon a laptop with some other systems, but couldn’t get it to boot.


I share some of the same thoughts of @Montecristo.

If you want to fiddle with a system, then one of the BSDs is a good choice, but expect a lot of work to have it similar to Void Linux.

I too like DragonflyBSD very much, probably the fastest kernel and networking, but for your use case there’s no much impact. For servers, yes, it can make a difference. The lead developer Matt Dillon is a programming god!

FreeBSD is meant for servers only, although some people use if for desktop. I too have tried it.

NetBSD is probably the best BSD to install in that old 2GB computer. Probably it boots without any issues, you just have to configure wifi. For all BSDs though, you’ll have to read the documentation.

OpenBSD will give you the securest but also the slowest of the BSDs. I like their approach, but don’t consider to install it.

My old 10 year Core 2 Duo laptop runs Void. Previously tried DragonflyBSD, FreeBSD and NetBSD, but settled on Void. I have an appreciation for the BSD world, but for practical desktop matters, sooner or later one arrives at a problem that is not addressed by them, be it incompatible software, virtual machines, …

But the best thing, if you have the time is to try them.


Thanks for the detailled answers, very interesting! @liber1 “If you want to fiddle with a system, then one of the BSDs is a good choice, but expect a lot of work to have it similar to Void Linux.” To fiddle around is not my thing, so I will stick to void.
One day I might install netbsd on an old machine or dragonfly on my i7, but to be honest “disable debug flags” looks like a lot of time to get into it. Nevertheless thanks again!

(Scott Robbins) #7

For FreeBSD, that wouldn’t be that big a deal. You would (and all of this is fairly easy), download source code, then cd /usr/src and run make kernel KERNCONF=GENERIC-NODEBUG and reboot.


Can you elaborate, please?

I wanted to give *BSD a try and OpenBSD captured my attention more than any other.

I was going to install it on a Skylake-era ThinkPad.


If I were to program in C or C++, to use OpenBSD as a firewall or simple web server, I would use OpenBSD, too. Not my option for other tasks. I wish OpenBSD could support much more hardware and have much more software available. I’m, too, captivated by it’s simpleness.

Regarding being the slowest, I think you can find many links if you search for them in the web, for example.

SMP support is not completely done yet for the kernel.
Many security measures in the kernel.
The filesystem is slower.

The only benchmark I’ve done was for write and read speeds for an encrypted partition in Linux (cryptsetup luks), FreeBSD (geli), DragonFlyBSD (luks, I think) and OpenBSD (softraid). The OpenBSD was the slowest by large margin because the Atom mini-itx CPU had no AES support, so it is not a valid comparison for modern systems.

(Masato the Empty) #10

to jump on with @liber1 - I think openbsd is pretty snappy, but I’ve heard the same as far as SMP support being behind the curve. (not to mention being a few years away from KVM in Linux or even Bhyve) But it’s understandable as their thing is code security. So performance (while they don’t throw it out as a concern) is only secondary.

Fair enough I think; I’ve seen and heard Theo say on numerous occasions that their OS is a research project above all else. (though I think they do take pride in being usable in production; Henning runs an ISP on it.)