If you would have asked me a few years ago, whether I was going to migrate my servers to Linux? I would have laughed and not even consider it. Since 2004 I have hosted all my own servers on the FreeBSD OS. I had one CentOS machine, because OpenXchange on FreeBSD was not the best experience. But now, in 2019, all my servers are running one of the Linux OS’es. Mainly Ubuntu.
How did we get there?
Short summary: I did not feel at home anymore.
Larger summary: The creation of the Code of Conduct within FreeBSD made me frown a lot, and still does. It’s largely American oriented and does not take non-American stuff in consideration, or not enough. The current leadership is more worried about personal social media posts and how to respond to that then about guiding the project into the next phase. The world is not entirely American and different people with different cultures were welcome within FreeBSD. My personal feeling is that that is no longer the case.
I realise that if you read this, this might make you frown as well. I am a long standing community member, which covers a large part of my adult life. Does all this outweigh my long-term connection to the project? Yes.
Beyond the “social” side of the project, I also think that while being conservative, we missed the boat on multiple occassions. Things come in late, or are not “addressed” at all. Take containers. They are the current hype for microservices. There is no way to do something with that within FreeBSD. FreeBSD has jails, which is a more heavy weight container-kind-of-solution. Or better said it is a more lightweight virtual machine instead.
Tools that use containers, like Gitlab CI/CD and many other things make use of those services. FreeBSD just does not have them. It’s not sexy enough to run it in your DC. Sadly I do not see much activity company wise in the Netherlands either that suggests that I am wrong. Most things that I do see in my professional life are Linux related machines.
Is this the end for me?
With my current FreeBSD implementations, yes. All my machines are migrated to Linux, there are no exceptions anymore. This makes it easier for my automation tooling, because everything runs on the same foundation and files can be found on the same place. Same goes for packages etc.
Farewell FreeBSD, you have served me well and I think that I earned the right to use it by all my contributions. I hope that a less politically minded core team stands up at some point and changes the game. Perhaps that will make me rejoin the project that I once was so proud of.