Here are the reasons why we think Debian GNU/kFreeBSD could be preferred to other systems such as FreeBSD and Debian GNU/Linux.
They're not absolute truths, nor do we expect everyone to agree with them. So please don't engage in an endless discussion trying to convince someone that Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is the best. Those kind of things do us more harm than good.
Why would you prefer Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to Debian GNU/Linux?
- Standardized kernel interfaces:
- Single /dev implementation via devfs, instead of the 3 discordant ways of handling /dev that Linux provides.
- OSS as the default sound system (i.e. the standard interface supported by almost every Unix-like system around).
- OpenBSD Packet Filter (pf).
Security features, like jails.
Support for NDIS drivers in the mainline kernel. On Linux, NdisWrapper is unlikely to make it into the mainline kernel.
- Support for ZFS in the mainline kernel. Due to license and patent issues, ZFS is unlikely to appear on Linux.
- kFreeBSD is less vulnerable to legal issues. Licenses are managed in a centralized manner compared to Linux kernel's bazaar-like development model.
kFreeBSD developers often have more interest in merging new features rather than spawning forks all along (the port to Xbox is a very good example. See the responses from Linus Torvalds and kFreeBSD developers).
kFreeBSD may have better performance and/or stability especially in disk/filesystem areas with ZFS; but see EXT3 benchmark).
- The FreeBSD kernel might support some hardware which Linux does not support and/or the FreeBSD kernel support might be better (fewer bugs).
Why would you prefer Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to FreeBSD?
- If you like the Debian package system (or its package set) more than FreeBSD ports (just a matter of preference).
- If you like GNU userland more than BSDish one (again, just a matter of preference).
- If you don't have anything against GPL or other copylefted free software licenses, you'll appreciate that useful kernel modules like ext2fs driver, the upcoming reiserfs and xfs, or the upcoming ethernet driver for Xbox are (or will be) compiled in on the default kernel.
- If you're concerned about running a 100% free system, our commitment to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) guarantees that Debian GNU/kFreeBSD doesn't contain any non-free software. In fact, we have removed some non-free binary-only drivers that are contained in the upstream FreeBSD tree (see 903_disable_non-free_drivers.diff in kernel sources for a list).