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> most hosting companies won't even list FreeBSD as an option (though in most you'll find some unix geek who'll happily connect KVM or IPMI and insert the install-CD for you).

Some of my datacenter clients use freeBSD for various bits, and I have been that guy. In the end they're migrating away because it's incredibly hard to find experienced engineers. What you describe as "reading docs is hard" can be equated to "my team will be slower for negleglible gain." Dicking around with ports and make is fun, but at the end of the day, we seek lower latency services and faster outage response times.

EDIT: there's also a network effect in puppet / chef / ansible -- More work for your operations team when every community module for managing services doesn't support your platform of choice.




TL;DR: You are absolutely right - but that is very, very sad.

> What you describe as "reading docs is hard" can be equated to "my team will be slower for negleglible gain."

Yes, but only from a very short-sighted point of view. I cannot count the "devops"-meetings I had to attend as a consultant during which I hacked a command line that solved the problem the meeting was supposed to make a plan for and estimate costs... I dare to argue that letting the ops learn the ropes on company time would have been much cheaper than my fees plus costs for working time employees spent on that meeting. But I understand this is very hard to quantify and that in a startup culture people don't want to think beyond the point where the financing is used up.

My fav. test for sysop/devop candidates: "Tell me how large the home directory of all users who use [t]csh as a login shell is on that machine; no, you cannot install anything, there is no perl, ruby or python. You have 90 seconds.". 99% fail. I've even interviewed people who applied for a sysop/devop positions who could not set up a host if not through puppet because they know sh1t about the target OS.

PS: Thanks for being "that guy" who allowed me to use a mature OS. People like you allowed me to have a 336 day uptime as the lower limit. Most of my machines have more than a thousand days of uptime :)


This is a attitude classic case of engineers optimizing for the wrong damn thing. Sure, we've all sat in on 18 month projects that should have been a five line shell script. One hopes that whatever expert is teaching ops "the ropes" knows this already. But at least you get a consultant paycheck for their ignorance.

> My fav. test for sysop/devop candidates

But how do you query your LDAP server without installing additional tools? Because in 2016, we have more than one machine. Hundreds. Grepping /etc/passwd is missing the forest for the trees.

You can have all the shell experts, I need people who can write Chef code that passes peer review. kitchen lets us poke around the OS all we want to inspect proper functioning.

> People like you allowed me to have a 336 day uptime as the lower limit. Most of my machines have more than a thousand days of uptime :)

AFAIK, none of the BSDs have online kernel replacement facilities. So you willingly admit you haven't upgraded your kernels in years? I know fBSD has a reputation, but every once in a while this still happens: https://threatpost.com/freebsd-patches-kernel-panic-vulnerab....


> But how do you query your LDAP server without installing additional tools? Because in 2016, we have more than one machine. Hundreds. Grepping /etc/passwd is missing the forest for the trees.

You are missing my point, it's about being able to filter and transform textual output. If a sysop can only do what the UI provides s/he is useless when creative solutions are asked for.

> You can have all the shell experts, I need people who can write Chef code that passes peer review. kitchen lets us poke around the OS all we want to inspect proper functioning.

Every good sysop I've met can write your Chef code. Understanding system basics and managing with high level tools is not mutually exclusive. Tools like Chef are the result of exactly those sysops automating what they could. You know that saying? "Tomorrow I'll replace you with a shell script." ;)

> So you willingly admit you haven't upgraded your kernels in years?

Yes, I only update when a security problem concerns me and that is pretty rare with custom kernels that only have what is required. Even my desktop setups need a new kernel only once a year or so.




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