Tarsnap is an online backup service for BSD, Linux, OS X, and other "unix-like" operating systems. I started work on Tarsnap in 2006 when, as FreeBSD Security Officer, I was worried about the security of the information (such as unreleased security advisories) on my laptop; this resulted in a design for a backup system which inspired the tagline "online backups for the truly paranoid".
Tarsnap would never have existed without FreeBSD for another reason: As the name suggests, the Tarsnap software is based on the standard UNIX tar utility, and to that end I started development using the excellent bsdtar utility which was developed within FreeBSD in the preceding years. If I hadn't been able to reuse code from a tar utility, it would have taken me years longer to launch Tarsnap; and both the license (BSD) and code quality (excellent) of bsdtar were crucial to my ability to reuse it.
As well as reusing code from FreeBSD in the client software, Tarsnap relies entirely on FreeBSD for its server infrastructure. In addition to being easy to maintain and administer, FreeBSD's separation between the minimalist and internally-maintained "base" system and third-party "ports" code has proven to be extremely useful when responding to security issues: For the recent "shellshock" vulnerabilities, for example, I merely had to confirm that I had never installed bash from the ports tree. If bash had been installed on any of Tarsnap's servers, it would have required a much more time-consuming process to audit all of the ways that it might have been used -- and that process would have been required even if the eventual conclusion was that bash had never been used.
Tarsnap Backup Inc. is proud to support FreeBSD, both through my personal work (most recently, maintaining the FreeBSD/EC2 platform) and through its place as a Silver sponsor of the FreeBSD Foundation; and Tarsnap has directly benefited from projects and events which the FreeBSD Foundation has supported. Giving back is not merely an act of charity; it is truly an investment which yields an excellent return.
– Colin Percival, President,
Tarsnap Backup Inc.
The pfSense® project provides a free, Open Source distribution of FreeBSD, tailored for use as a firewall, router and VPN platform. The project is sponsored and run by Netgate and includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing the end-users to add even more functionality. From its beginnings a decade ago, pfSense has been based on FreeBSD. Our latest release, pfSense 2.2 is based on FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE. Other parts of the pfSense system derive from the FreeBSD ports collection. Together with FreeBSD, these components have allowed Netgate and the rest of the pfSense community to build the pfSense platform into an system of security tools that secures the networks at over 250,000 locations. Like FreeBSD, pfSense is BSD licensed. This licensing has enabled other organizations including VMware and Avaya to adapt the pfSense source code into their commercial offerings. The BSD License allows us to both use and contribute code freely, and allows both our customers and the consumers of FreeBSD to do the same.
Netgate is a proud Silver Sponsor of the FreeBSD project. Without the FreeBSD community and the contributions of its members and benefactors, the pfSense project would not continue to thrive as it does today. Netgate is committed to giving back its bug fixes and enhancements and continuing its financial assistance of the FreeBSD project. We encourage anyone so-inclined to donate to the FreeBSD Foundation as well. Doing so helps to increase the evolution and the popularization of FreeBSD for everyone.
– Jim Thompson, Chief Technology Officer,
When Xinuos sought a mature and stable operating system with a modern feature set as an alternative for its installed base of clients, FreeBSD stood out as the obvious choice. OpenServer X, our version of FreeBSD, is what our customers require for running their business and Xinuos will support them for many years to come.
Our resellers especially appreciate the freedom of the BSD license, which provides the best flexibility in the industry for creating customized solution stacks. We expect the market for this license freedom and flexibility to grow tremendously in the coming years and we intend to help drive and support it. FreeBSD is a vital part of our future.
– Sean Snyder, President & COO,
Atlantic.Net is a hosting solutions provider specializing in Cloud & SSD VPS (Virtual Servers) services. We were founded in 1994, initially providing dial-up Internet access to second-tier and rural markets throughout Florida. Our business model has changed through the years, from providing residential dial-up Internet access, Enterprise connectivity and business solutions, server co-location, and most recently managed hosting & VPS services.
FreeBSD has been an integral part of shaping many of today's Internet technologies which benefit all Internet users worldwide. We have been using FreeBSD for decades, and based on our history, it has been a flexible tool adapting itself to the changing conditions that have occurred as the Internet has grown. Along the way, FreeBSD has been hallmark of stability, order, and management of one of the Internet's most valuable resources -- the "free" BSD operating system.
We wholeheartedly recommend FreeBSD and believe it to be one of the best gifts and lasting treasures of the global Internet. So many Internet technologies, decades later, are still deriving their work from the foundation that FreeBSD has provided. Over the last 20 years, we are very proud of how FreeBSD and the community have evolved and improved. We can't wait to see what the next 20 years bring!
– Marty Puranik, Founder/CEO,
At WhatsApp we leverage FreeBSD and Erlang to provide industry record
uptime. The ability to scale linearly on commodity hardware has
allowed WhatsApp to keep our serving costs low. These days we run
anywhere between 2 million and 3 million concurrent TCP connections on
a single FreeBSD server as we documented in our
WhatsApp is the leading global mobile messaging service. WhatsApp
Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to
exchange messages without having to pay for SMS and is available for
Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia! Because
WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for
email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch
with your friends.
– Jan Koum, CEO aka Sr. Tweet Manager,
Limelight Networks is a top tier content delivery network (CDN) offering superior performance and high availability with a massive network footprint, an object-based global file system that provides policy controlled storage and replication, powerful software that enables organizations to deliver faster websites, more responsive web applications, the highest quality video for both on demand and live streaming, while operating at the scale needed to deliver software downloads and games updates to any device, mobile or fixed, anywhere in the world.
Our FreeBSD deployment is on order of tens of thousands of bare metal systems strategically located at internet exchange and peering points of presence around the world.
We are proud to deliver using FreeBSD and have done so since 2001. Limelight Networks is committed to the long term success of FreeBSD and we appreciate the efforts of the FreeBSD community and The FreeBSD Foundation.
– Kevin Bowling, Systems Architect,
NetApp is the leading provider of storage and data management solutions.
Our Data ONTAP(r) GX software provides highly scalable grid storage that
scales linearly to petabytes of storage and gigabytes-per-second of
throughput. As NetApp's solution for the high performance computing
(HPC) market, our systems require extreme performance and high
reliability while maintaining management simplicity. FreeBSD is a basic
building block of this product.
We leverage FreeBSD as a high quality and high reliability management
framework that we integrate with our innovative storage solutions.
NetApp has employed open source components and open standards from the
outset and we've been contributing back to the community in turn. The
FreeBSD ecosystem, the well-established framework for communication,
tracking bugs, and the friendly community have made it easy and
enjoyable to contribute.
– Brian Pawlowski, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,
More than 30 million Netflix streaming members around the globe
watch more than a billion hours of movies and TV shows each month.
In the US, Netflix video streaming accounts for a third of peak
downstream Internet traffic. Netflix created Open Connect, a
single-purpose content delivery network, to help deliver these
petabytes of data.
The main component of Open Connect is the Open Connect Appliance,
a small-footprint network streaming device. The Open Connect Appliance
is a 4U Intel-based server that is designed to economically maximize
storage density in a space and power footprint that is ideal for
both ISP data centers and metro-area network interchanges.
The Open Connect Appliance runs on FreeBSD 9. Netflix picked FreeBSD
9 because it is a high performing, low-maintenance and reliable
operating system that is supported by major hardware vendors. FreeBSD
9 provides a foundation of reliability, performance, and hands-free
manageability. Combined with NGINX, a light-weight and high performance
Web server, FreeBSD 9 provides a simple but powerful solution that
is capable of serving tens of thousands of simultaneous video streams
across multiple 10Gbit fiber optic links.
Beyond its technical strengths, FreeBSD comes with an outstanding
ecosystem of developers, vendors, and users who openly share
expertise, talent, and technical improvements. Netflix has embraced
this community and is committed to giving back its bug fixes and
enhancements, thus completing the circle of community collaboration.
– David Fullagar, Director of Content Delivery Architecture,
iXsystems is a leading provider of server class hardware designed
to run FreeBSD. An integral part of our business strategy is to
fund FreeBSD developers to continually improve and refine FreeBSD.
Our internal infrastructure and services are based on FreeBSD,
allowing us to easily identify areas in FreeBSD that need improvement.
We believe strongly that what is good for FreeBSD is good for our
customers, and what is good for our customers is good for us. The
BSD License allows us to both use and contribute code freely, and
allows our customers and the consumers of FreeBSD to do the same.
FreeBSD has benefited from years of open sharing and collaboration
which have resulted in a stable, mature, high performance operating
– Josh Paetzel, Director of Information Technology, iXsystems,
NYI is a data center provider that uses FreeBSD for all of its
internal and customer-facing solutions for colocation and dedicated
servers, cloud computing and managed services. Our initial choice
of technology included commercial Unix systems tied to proprietary
hardware. However, the cost and portability of FreeBSD were determining
factors in our changing platforms early in our company's existence.
Since then, we have enjoyed the functionality and reliability of
FreeBSD. We rely on it for networking duties like routers, VPNs,
firewalls and traffic shapers, as well as web applications like
shared hosting, backend interfaces, load balancers and proxies. We
particularly appreciate the community support and centralized
documentation, which means that we do not have to hunt down bits
and pieces of information, like we would with other projects.
– Phillip Koblence, VP Operations, NYI,
Juniper offers high-performance network infrastructure powered by JUNOS (TM)
software, one network operating system that integrates routing, switching,
security and network services. FreeBSD serves as the basis of JUNOS software,
providing many of the essential operating system services of the UNIX-based
system. Today, JUNOS software runs on a broad portfolio of Juniper products
designed for the diverse and demanding needs of converged networks, from small
offices to the largest TeraPop sites in the world.
Juniper benefits from the powerful collaboration between leading universities,
individuals, and commercial organizations developing FreeBSD to advance the
operating system functionality. The FreeBSD release system provides Juniper
with a roadmap for features and a stable base for our code, while its
practical licensing enables Juniper to develop intellectual property for
advancing high-performance networking. Juniper employs many active FreeBSD
developers that continually contribute to the FreeBSD project to further its
development as a leading operating system.
– Naren Prabhu, Vice President Foundation Technologies, Juniper Networks
Pair Networks is a world-class Web hosting company providing a full range
of hosting services for businesses, bloggers, artists, musicians, educational
institutions, and non-profit organizations from over 150 countries. The
thousands of servers in pair Networks' data centers serve billions of Web
hits per day. pair Networks' customer base includes a remarkable number of
high-profile, high-volume sites.
Since opening its doors in 1995, pair Networks has been relying on FreeBSD
as an essential tool for providing world-class web hosting. The reliability
and stability of FreeBSD allows us to provide customers with server uptime
well in excess of 99.9%. Our customers depend on the proven security of FreeBSD
to keep their sites operational and their data secure. As an open-source system,
FreeBSD is easy to update with new protections when security threats arise. We
promise customers that their Web sites will always be hosted on state-of-the-art
equipment and will have plenty of room for growth. The stability and robustness
of FreeBSD makes it easy for us to live up to this promise.
From FreeBSD 2.0.5 to the latest versions, we have been happy with the performance
and stability of FreeBSD, attributes which our customers have in turn come to
appreciate and expect of our service. FreeBSD is a terrific technology with
a terrific community.
– Kevin Martin, CEO,
Isilon Systems chose FreeBSD because it is a modern, stable, high-performance
*NIX operating system with very liberal licensing terms. We needed a strong
and complete code base to start from so we can be 100% focused on our own
product and have complete liberty to innovate so our product can be as great
as it is.
Isilon benefits from using FreeBSD in a number of ways, but the most important
benefit is that we are able to leverage the open source efforts of thecommunity to improve our product. Since we're part of that community,
we provide source code back, sponsor specific development efforts, and employ
members of the community for contract development - this in turn gives us
access to great people and continued access to great software.
In short, FreeBSD is a stable, mature, high-performance operating system with
an active development community free from licensing questions and concerns.
So why is it important for us and others to keep FreeBSD free?
FreeBSD is the only choice for individuals or companies who need complete
freedom as they innovate. Licenses such as the CDDL and GPL force innovators
to be very careful about how and where they build their code, which restricts
their design choices and can lead to poor technical decisions or
licensing-limbo. A vast majority of Isilon's innovation is in the kernel and
our intellectual property is liberally scattered throughout.
This simply wouldn't have been possible using another open-source operating
system - and licensing operating system source code is a steep barrier to
– Nicholas Kirsch, Director of Software Engineering, Isilon Systems
Experts Exchange is a technology help site located at experts-exchange.com --
we've developed a patented Q&A system that makes finding solutions easier.
People ask questions and experts from around the world provide reliable
Since 2009, Experts Exchange has used FreeBSD as its operating system of choice
for all external facing web servers and internal tools hosting.
About 3 years ago, Experts Exchange did extensive performance testing of our
website on several flavors of Linux and UNIX, including FreeBSD 7. FreeBSD
outperformed all other tested operating systems in both page load time metrics
and Lucene search index performance testing. Since that time, we've migrated
our developer, test and production servers to FreeBSD. We've also used
FreeBSD jails to host our developer test servers and have come to rely on
FreeBSD throughout our local office datacenter and our co-location datacenter
Because of our investment in FreeBSD, we continue to have several system
administrators working on FreeBSD enhancements to improve our production
environment and their changes hopefully help other companies and users as
A big thank you to the FreeBSD community for your open, friendly attitude and
how much you've contributed to the growth of Experts Exchange!
– Andrew Alsup, Site Director, Experts Exchange, LLC.,
RideCharge, Inc. creates innovative technology solutions that improve
local ground transportation industries. The company's most renowned
product, Taxi Magic, is an online & mobile software application that
revolutionizes the taxi industry by aligning riders, drivers and fleets
for a better overall ride experience. Taxi Magic is the first nationwide
free online taxi booking service that is directly integrated with taxi
dispatch systems, providing consumers with the tools to:
- Book a taxi from a mobile app or the Web with a few quick taps
- Track the taxi's arrival
- Charge the ride to a credit card through the mobile app
- Expense the trip with an e-receipt
From its inception, RideCharge has been entirely based on FreeBSD. By
leveraging FreeBSD Jails for virtualization, we are able to maximize
resources and expand dynamically. ZFS keeps our data safe and our
deployments magically quick. Userland DTRACE in FreeBSD 9 is now an
indispensable tool for troubleshooting issues in real-time. Even our
Juniper firewalls and switches leverage FreeBSD through JUNOS (TM).
iXsystems is incredibly helpful in recommending the correct setup and
optimizing our technology resources to fit our needs for FreeBSD.
RideCharge is a long time contributor to the FreeBSD ports collection
and we employ highly active contributors in the ruby, apache, and perl
areas. The Taxi Magic team leverages these incredibly tight feedback
loops to quickly and efficiently contribute back to the community.
RideCharge/TaxiMagic has directly sponsored FreeBSD developers to
enhance freebsd-update(8). We now use this update to quickly update
every machine to maintain PCI DSS Level 1 compliance. These great
capabilities are now available to the entire FreeBSD community.
– Philip M. Gollucci, Director Operations, RideCharge/Taxi Magic,
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range
of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established
framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that
simultaneously limits contributors potential legal exposure.
Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache
projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products
that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License
makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache
The ASF powers half the Internet, petabytes of data, teraflops of
operations, billions of objects, and enhances the lives of countless
users and developers. Established in 1999 to shepherd, develop, and
incubate Open Source innovations, "The Apache Way," the ASF oversees
150+ projects led by a volunteer community of over 350 individual
Members and 3,000 Committers across six continents.
ApacheCon North America 2011 was just recently held in Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada where FreeBSD was a highlight in the DevOps
track talks. The Apache Software Foundation itself leverages FreeBSD
for nearly all of its public facing services
including one of the largest SVN repositories in the world. Our
repository is mirrored on several continents and contains over 1.4
million revisions stretching for over a decade. We will even be lending
a hand converting the FreeBSD CVS ports tree to SVN.
The Apache Software Foundation makes use of both custom FreeBSD
Tinderbox and FreeBSD Update servers to rapidly perform application and
base system updates across multiple datacenters in an automated, quick,
and efficient fashion. The Apache Infrastructure Team frequently works
directly with FreeBSD developers to stress cutting-edge features like
ZFS under real-world loads.
Like The FreeBSD Foundation, the ASF is also a 501(c)3 organization.
Donating to FreeBSD through The FreeBSD Foundation, makes Apache better
too and will help make your's and others' daily lives less stressful.
– Philip M. Gollucci, past VP of Apache Infrastructure,
Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) creates, enhances and integrates technology and
services customers count on to provide them reliable, long-term
value. Dell provides system-management solutions for customers of
all sizes and system complexity. The award-winning Dell KACE family
of appliances delivers easy-to-use, comprehensive, and affordable
systems management capabilities. For more information, visit http://www.dell.com/KACE or
follow the conversation at http://twitter.com/DellKACE.
We're grateful to you for creating the best, most reliable open
operating system available today. At KACE, we've depended on
FreeBSD for over 7 years as an essential component in the development
of our leading systems management appliances. We initially chose
FreeBSD because it is robust, scalable and offered under an
unencumbered open source license that allowed KACE to freely develop
software without the limitations imposed by other licenses. Moving
forward, we'll continue to use FreeBSD for those very same
reasons. As an integral part of our solution, and because FreeBSD
continues to work so well, our products have developed a reputation
for reliability that has helped fuel our company's success.
Based on our experience, we plan to expand our use of FreeBSD
within KACE, as well as to evangelize its benefits throughout the
In addition to the robustness and scalability of the OS, we also value
the immense support offered by the community and the FreeBSD ecosystem.
FreeBSD truly exemplifies the way that the open source community is
meant to work - a meritocracy in which the sum of the parts is
greater than the individual pieces. Working with the community is
continually a pleasure, and only enhances our ability to creatively
develop our products. KACE continues to recognize the importance of
the community through our enthusiastic support, and as we grow, we
hope to develop more community members and participate in ways that
deliver even greater benefits to all.
Simply put, FreeBSD makes this world a better place.
– Marty Kacin, Dell KACE CTO, Dell KACE,
Hobnob provides large-scale mobile WiFi network solutions to
corporations and public transportation agencies. Hobnob Diversified
Networks (tm) are the only mobile WiFi networks that deliver
enterprise-class speed and reliability to mobile and non-LOS locations
such as buses, rail cars, remote offices and building sites.
Hobnob chose FreeBSD because it is the only operating system that
truly supports our mission: Delivering fast and reliable network
service to our customers.
When Hobnob solves a technical problem that is not specific to our
core business we are free to sponsor that work and contribute it back
to the community. However, when we have a major technological
breakthrough that's critical to the future of the company, we're not
forced to give away that core IP and help put ourselves out of
Sponsoring and contributing non-Hobnob-core code not only strengthens
the foundation for everyone including Hobnob, but also saves Hobnob
time and money on maintenance and sustaining engineering. This
relationship with FreeBSD creates the ideal conditions for rapid
innovation and problem solving that are two critical requirements for
any company planning to survive in the current business environment.
– Aron Hall, CEO Hobnob, Inc.,
When a friend and I started our technology business 11 years ago in 1997, we
didn't choose FreeBSD, it chose us. But we're sure glad it did, and we came
to build our company on FreeBSD.
As a small website design and web application development firm, we didn't
intend to get into the web hosting business. We started hearing from our
clients that they would appreciate being able to host their site through the
same provider that built it for them, and so we decided to try offering that
service as a convenience. The local Internet service provider that we were
sharing office space with had a FreeBSD 2.1 box with space on it, so we get
our username and password, and we were up and running.
When we got big enough to need our own server for site hosting, we didn't
spend too much time looking around at the options. The consensus at the
time (1998 now) was that Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD were all basically the
same, and that it was mostly a matter of preference and what kind of
commercial support was available to help you through any rough patches
(though the license wars certainly raged on even then). With our friends
at the ISP sitting just on the other side of the bookshelves, we knew we
had some of the best FreeBSD product support we could hope for.
In 2000, our business model had largely shifted into building database
driven website applications, and the expectations for what features came
with a web hosting service had expanded significantly. We were no longer
just providing web hosting with Apache on FreeBSD - we knew we needed to
support an expanding reliance on the PostgreSQL and MySQL database systems,
the qmail and vpopmail e-mail systems and other dedicated services. We
started building new servers as dedicated single function boxes, and in each
case, it was a no-brainer to install FreeBSD. Our use of the ports system
to turn it into just the kind of box we needed saved us lots of time along
the way. As we've transitioned into more "mainstream" hosting platforms
like our use of cPanel, FreeBSD is still powering it behind the scenes.
You may not necessarily need to hear that FreeBSD is a reliable platform
for running Internet services. But I think it's important to remember that
software like FreeBSD is affecting the way that people live their lives
every day, whether it's supporting businesses like ours, enabling hobbyists
just getting into open source software, or any of the thousands of other
"real world" roles it plays.
For much of the world, choice of operating system is an arbitrary decision
to make. We believe that for us, it's made all the difference in building
a successful business.
– Chris Hardie, co-founder, Summersault Website Development
Colocation America provides colocation, dedicated server, VoIP, and
managed data center hosting services for businesses that are looking
to host their servers in the United States. With 22 data center
locations, Colocation America has become one of the leading providers
of hosting services. Most of our customers depend on the FreeBSD
operating system to provide them with a secure environment to host
their network infrastructure. They praise FreeBSD for its ability to
encrypt sensitive data and for the ZFS advanced file system that makes
managing server files a breeze. Many of our corporate clients choose
to use FreeBSD to operate their MySQL database systems and email servers
due to the exceptional networking components of the operating system.
Developers that choose to colocate their servers with us also choose
to install FreeBSD on their dedicated servers. The open source nature
of the BSD license gives them the flexibility they need to develop
innovative software. Plus, they have access to an enterprise level
operating system that is free, has an active development community,
and which lets them contribute their own skills to make the system
better for their own development. We have asked several clients why
they decided to use FreeBSD and the answer has always been the same:
the cost and networking ability of the operating system rivals its
commercial license competitors.
Our customers are not the only fans of FreeBSD. We use FreeBSD to
manage our shared hosting servers due to the OS ability to manage
firewalls and web applications while handling the server loads of
several hosting accounts at once. With the WebHost Manager cPanel
add-on for managing multiple web hosting accounts on a single
dedicated server, our shared hosting server is able to provide
customers looking for cheap website hosting. The community support
of FreeBSD, along with its open source nature, provides a secure
environment for our clients to host in. To find out more about the
dedicated server hosting with the FreeBSD operating system, you can
visit our FreeBSD dedicated server.
– Albert Ahdoot, Director of Business Development,