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Facebook Networking The Internet BSD

Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's 195

Posted by timothy
from the high-praise-all-around dept.
An anonymous reader writes Facebook posted a career application which, in their own words is 'seeking a Linux Kernel Software Engineer to join our Kernel team, with a primary focus on the networking subsystem. Our goal over the next few years is for the Linux kernel network stack to rival or exceed that of FreeBSD.' Two interesting bullet points listing "responsibilities": Improve IPv6 support in the kernel, and eliminate perf and stability issues. FB is one of the worlds largest IPv6 deployments; Investigate and participate in emerging protocols (MPTCP, QUIC, etc) discussions,implementation, experimentation, tooling, etc.
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Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

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  • Won't Happen (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:36PM (#47615357)

    I like Linux as much as the next guy, but FreeBSD has the advantage of being a complete OS, not simply a kernel with a userland. No matter how tight the code, how well implemented, FreeBSD will likely always have the better TCP/IP stack. As I'm fond of telling people, if I ran my own company, it would be Linux on the desktops and FreeBSD/OpenBSD on the servers.

  • by ci4 (98735) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:35PM (#47615959)

    USB3 support in FreeBSD 10 is OK (bunch of external disks used for PC backup - speed was essential). No problem with hot-plug either. Ports upgrade is trivial (although I have switched to pkg-ng now). I really can't find why do you think that security updates are difficult either. I've got only one 9.2 system around which I at the moment am not bothered to upgrade.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:45PM (#47616047) Journal
    I'm pretty sure that Facebook buys enough hardware that they can afford to write drivers for anything they're missing and demand FreeBSD support from vendors for their next round of purchases. Netflix already does this (they won't buy any hardware that doesn't have vendor support for FreeBSD), as do a few other companies, and so a number of NIC vendors (particularly in the 10G/40G space) are now putting quite a bit of effort into their FreeBSD drivers.
  • by Fweeky (41046) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:47PM (#47616075) Homepage

    pkgng's made port upgrading much less burdensome - even fairly complex dependency changes can be handled automatically as of 1.3, and the official package repositories are a lot more useful now. They even have stable security-fix-only branches.

    I still make my own customised builds, but I make binary packages in an isolated jail using poudriere. 99% of upgrades are a matter of updating its ports tree, running rebuild-packages, and running pkg upgrade on all my machines.

    You couldn't pay me to go back to portupgrade/portmaster/portmanager.

  • Re:Won't Happen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:48PM (#47616085) Journal

    Actually, that's not always true. FreeBSD ships with netmap, which allows you to talk to the network hardware directly from userspace. A significant chunk of the DNS root zone is served by FreeBSD boxes using a completely custom TCP/IP stack on top of netmap. There's a paper at this year's SIGCOMM about building specialised network stacks in this infrastructure.

    If you're talking about the FreeBSD TCP/IP stack, then libuinet [wanproxy.org] allows running it entirely in userspace.

    These might not be the ones that Facebook is interested in, but a significant amount of their workload could be sped up by using the work described in the SIGCOMM paper...

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