Well here's my thoughts after using Linux for almost a year and FreeBSD for 2 or 3 months. Each definately has its advantages. There are things about Linux that I miss, mainly iptables. But overall FreeBSD floats my boat a little better.

For one, it's more likely to do what I tell it to. Two nights ago I decided to switch back to Linux to get certain programs to work since I messed up Linux emulation in FreeBSD. But last night I ended up switching back. Why? Because none of the Linux kernels would compile. I tried 2.4.16 and 2.4.13. Both errored out with undefined references. I figured maybe I had messed up some dependencies, like compiling SCSI emulation without SCSI support, but I checked every setting again carefully and couldn't find anything like that. I still have the source and configuration if some of you guys think I'm just too incompetant to compile a kernel. But when I tell FreeBSD to compile a kernel, it compiles a kernel or tells me exactly why it can't. It doesn't play around. And also, there are far less settings involved to get you mixed up. Another example is that while I was in Linux, I tried to mount the FreeBSD drive. It said I had to know exactly what kind of ufs it used. What a bother. I eventually figured it out with Linux fdisk (if fdisk can figure it out, why can't mount?) and went to mount it again. This time when I used the exact same command, it gave me a different error message. Talk about inconsistent. I hadn't made any changes at all to the drive. And fdisk still showed it just as it was.

Another example is that software is more stable than what I've seen in Linux. When you try to install something from ports, very rarely does it fail. I've had one or two failures from ports and several from Debian apt-get. (People with other distros may argue about this but I've seen even worse from rpm so only Slackers really can argue in my book.) Of course Debian stable would probably work better but it's about a year old while FreeBSD stable is probably a month or two old. I've been running Mozilla 0.9.6 from it for several weeks now. (Two or three weeks after it first came out.) I'm both stable and modern. And also, believe it or not, I have never, in the time I've been using FreeBSD, seen X-Windows crash. With Debian, it wasn't all that rare. I've heard people say Linux has moved up to being as stable as FreeBSD. Well I've used many different FreeBSD kernels and it only crashed a single time while loading from a corrupt Dos floppy while I had a major problem with Linux crashing. And there are the programs too. I can't recall ever seeing any FreeBSD program crash unless it was because it couldn't find a certain lib. Well I take that back, Xmms has crashed before, but it's the only one I can think of. I've seen plenty of them crash in Linux.

On the side of Linux, it has certain nice features. One of those is iptables. Ipfw is nice but it's not up there with iptables. Also there are a few programs for Linux which aren't open source and Linux emulation in FreeBSD isn't quite perfect. I can run Kazaa but can't run Pcsx. This only affects very very few programs and those of you who demand to use open source wouldn't have that problem anyway. One more thing is that Linux is a little easier (most of the time...). There's more automatic stuff in Linux while FreeBSD just throws it in your face. I personally like to have stuff thrown in my face though because like I was saying before, when you do things the hard way, they're more likely to work. How many of you have tried to set stuff with those easy control panel things in SuSE and Mandrake? I remember Feztaa couldn't get that initial boot thing off of Mandrake. My friend had trouble setting his modem in the one in SuSE. But finishing this up...

Which one is better is entirely opinion. It depends on what you want to do, what you like from an OS, and what your situation is. I'm really a power user myself and I want an OS that does what I tell it to and is challenging to help me learn Unix at a faster rate. FreeBSD does that for me better than anything else. Debian was the best to start off with, but after learning the basics, I found FreeBSD fitted my needs better. But like I said, it's going to vary from person to person. If you've used Linux for a while and know what you're doing, I'd recommend at least giving FreeBSD (or another BSD) a try and deciding for yourself. If you don't like it, then at least you're a little smarter. If you do, then welcome to the world of BSD.