BSD faster than Linux for 3D gaming?

Michael Torrie torriem at
Thu Sep 8 14:09:04 MDT 2011

On 09/08/2011 12:51 PM, Eric Olsen wrote:
> Apple's OS X.

While I suppose this is generally true, in the strictest sense it's only
partially true from what I understand.  OS X is based on the Mach kernel
(Darwin) as well as parts of the FreeBSD kernel.  Large chunks of
FreeBSD's kernel (actual FreeBSD code I believe) and it's interface are
bolted onto the Darwin Mach kernel and provide core functionality.  And
the entire unix userspace is FreeBSD.  And OS X's various frameworks all
depend on both the Mach apis and the FreeBSD ones, though it seems to me
that most abstractions are done through the FreeBSD posix layer.  But
it's not uncommon to find Mach calls in OS X software.  Otherwise it
would be trivial to port OS X software to FreeBSD, or even run OS X
binaries on FreeBSD.  But that doesn't work because it's not really
FreeBSD, and also uses a different executable format (Mach-O I think).
As well Darwin implements its own kernel modules.

Anyway, I have a piece of hardware that interfaces some irrigation
equipment with an internet-based server.  That runs FreeBSD.  I suppose
it's easier for a company to hack something together with BSD and not
worry about the license for the operating system, as far as copyright
license compliance goes.  But most likely, they chose FreeBSD because
the file system (UFS) is very forgiving of power outages and sudden
stops (and it's not even journalled).  If I could get this closed binary
to run on Linux (the opposite of FreeBSD's Linux personality layer), I'd
switch the thing over from an ATX-based computer with a spinning disk to
a solid state mini server on Linux.

To be fair, companies that get into hot water by shipping linux on their
devices are simply lazy, and to think that FreeBSD (shipping the real
thing, not talking about OS X here) absolves one of any licensing
concerns is probably not accurate either.

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