The arrow of time

Ivan Voras' blog

Who uses FreeBSD?

One reason why I maintain this blog is to do some advocacy for FreeBSD - attempt to spread the word about new developments and generally promote it.

It's not an easy job as the system constantly struggles for popularity aside the much more popular Linux (and on the other side - older Unixes and Windows). I've accidentally come across this page on listing some popular FreeBSD users but I think it badly needs updating.

Are you a big FreeBSD user? Working in an organization which uses FreeBSD on a larger scale? Write about it here (in comments)! No need to mention details if you think they are confidential!

There are of course some "canonical" big FreeBSD users, but I wonder if there are more? It looks like it there may be some big FreeBSD installations in Eastern Europe and Russia (judging from postings on forums and mailing lists) but apparently they don't advertise it much (I might be wrong).

As for myself, I'm also in Eastern Europe and have spread FreeBSD on a scale I could - mostly in the academic and government environments but the number of separate installations is around 20-30, which I'd consider "small" on a global scale.

I'll make a patch for the page if there are any interesting comments here!

Update: luckily, one of the first posts mentioned the Commercial Vendors page and the whole "Vendors" section of the web - so it might in addition to all I said: check that page to see if you are listed! :)

Update 2: thank you for all your reports! But could you make them in a form which is quotable on a web page or in documentation? For example: start with the description (and a name if possible) of your company, describe in short what the company does and what you use FreeBSD for, why do you like it, and if possible end with a recommendation. For a very funny and unrelated random googled example of what I mean, see here! :)

#1 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T20:39 by Prof.Yeow
i'm use freebsd !!!

#2 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T20:53 by tdn
I do. At work and at home.

#3 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T20:55 by Jan Knepper

Just a small FreeBSD user. Have been running a FreeBSD Internet server @ for over 10 years. The system started out with FreeBSD 4.2. OS is generally upgraded with cvsup. Every so many years a hardware upgrade is done and for some time 2 systems are being maintained until all domain have been migrated.

The system runs a number of jails with multiple IP addresses. The FreeBSD 6.2 kernel was patched to support this. The patch is still around somewhere on Sometime after Multi IP Jails where supported in FreeBSD 7.x the system was cvsup'ed to FreeBSD 7.x



#4 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:02 by Daemotron

The RootForum Community (an expert network for server administration, mostly German) uses FreeBSD for their servers - compared to Yahoo etc., it's tiny of course (just a few servers for the bulletin board, wiki, scm, project hosting). However, it's quite popular and has quite a few users (see for details).

#5 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:08 by RIk

I use FreeBSD for quite some years now for my soho environment.

#6 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:18 by terminus
AFAIK both and are massively using FreeBSD in they infrastructure.

#7 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:18 by Bashar Al-Abdulhadi

FreeBSD is our main backbone servers :) we're listed at as a provider in Kuwait

i remember the days where (big download center backthen) YaHoO and Hotmail runs on FreeBSD solidly! even when Microsoft acquired Hotmail it ran on FreeBSD for a period of time till they switched to windows.

if i'm not mistaken used or still run on FreeBSD.

#8 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:27 by mpostelnicu
Hello, The Aid Management Program uses FreeBSD 7 to host the development and staging servers for the Aid Management Platform (AMP): The team consists of about 40 people (developers, testers, TAs, PMs) spread on all continents. While most of us use Linux on our local machines, we believe FreeBSD is absolutely amazing on servers and will never trade it for any Tux-looking fellow...

#9 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:31 by Elias mandouvalos
Hi ! I am happy to report that my company (Generali Insurance Greece) uses FreeBSD extensively, almost exclusively for all Internet related servers and services, and also as workgroup servers in our branch offices, plus for some other uses which I will not disclose here. On total we are running more than 30 FreeBSD servers (both physical and virtual) and they have been problem-free for many many years now !!! :-)

#10 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:33 by Victor Popov is maybe the largest FreeBSD user in Russia. Yandex runs it's search engine on FreeBSD and it is the major search engine in Russia (beating even Google). is the leader hosting provider in Russia and it users FreeBSD to provide shared web hosting (they provide VPS services and Windows hosting too, which, obviously, is not using FreeBSD) I'm not an employee of either, but just know from public information in russian... And I don't know if these companies will be glad to be advertised at that page, you should contact them if you'd like to include them.

#11 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T21:35 by Alex Keda

Some big hoster's (in Russia - and small hoster's as =)

and more geek's

#12 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T22:44 by Tarrant

We use a bit of FreeBSD mixed with our majority Linux. In my freetime I use it for my homeserver and personal server. At work we use PFSense for our firewalls, FreeNAS for our companies storage and a standard FreeBSD + Jails for our mail servers.

#13 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-29T22:49 by Vincent

xs4all one of the netherlands premier internet providers uses FreeBSD.

#14 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-30T00:00 by Ákos Kovács

I use it!

#15 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-30T00:52 by
We are big ISP in Varna, Bulgaria and we have about 50 FreeBSD servers as core routers (shaping, accounting, etc). Friend of my have custom build router based on freebsd that can handle about 8Gbit/s throughput, also in production environment.

#16 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-30T12:26 by ChrisM has used FreeBSD since 1998 when we launched. Any failures have never been directly attributable to FreeBSD. And it's all on SPARC64 too!

#17 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-30T17:56 by Rauf Kuliyev

We are using FreeBSD on the largest websites in Azerbaijan:

Even the site of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the site of the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan runs FreeBSD.

#18 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T00:26 by Stuart Matthews

EFF uses FreeBSD for most of our servers!

#19 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T00:44 by eyecue, one of australias most popular online shopping destinations is proudly run exclusively on FreeBSD

Notable mentions must also go to:

- Haproxy (go willy!)

- Nginx

#20 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T05:08 by kace

For people who aren't full-time sysadmin's, an interesting, related question is where can you go to get FreeBSD-based web-hosting? I looked at this question a couple of years ago and it's interesting (to see, goog1e: bsdpants web-hosting). It's tricky, though. Some of the places that have FreeBSD running on their own home page, might end up putting you on something else. :/

#21 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T08:14 by kk ISP in Russia. we use freebsd at all our servers

#22 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T08:16 by kk ISP in Russia. we use freebsd at all our servers

#23 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-01-31T09:09 by Mrge - one of the big social network in Russia

#24 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-01T04:10 by Orangebox

We focus on reliable and secure installations with out clients. Most of our (little to medium) clients run pirated Windows server networks, which we transform to FreeBSD networks. Sadly not always possible on the desktop side, but new machines are on our advise always bought with a M$ license.

But firewalls, NAS, client/server machines, webservers....all run FreeBSD!

Great thing is, it does need far less maintenance then M$ ones....

#25 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-01T04:20 by Tim
It looks like Verio uses FreeBSD extensively:

#26 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-01T13:03 by Orangebox

Lets not forget RootBSD, VPS servers!

Ourselves, we offer to our clients FreeBSD based hosting as well.....

Soon open for the public!

#27 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-01T17:29 by Steven Kreuzer

NYI, who is hosting FreeBSD's east coast site is a huge FreeBSD shop and each month they usually place in the top 10 for netcraft's "Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites" survey.

Patch for the doc:

#28 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-02T08:01 by jotawski

i'm using FreeBSD at work but the working environment here is quite severed for any open source softwares.

#29 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-04T07:56 by inoe

hello !

we are using freeBSD in a school at Hungary.

samba+dhcp for PDCs

squid and firewall for PROXYs

apache+mysql+joomla+spamassasin+squirelmail for WEB/MAIL

console only on every server

#30 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-05T10:41 by c4nn1b4l

im using freebsd as my primary desktop os. its stable as a bear haemorrhoid.

#31 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-05T17:15 by tonie

We are a e-commerce company at Taiwan using 300+ FreeBSD servers on .com environment for around 10 years (if count in the test/develope env, there shall be triple), and personally I am using FreeBSD since 1993. (yes, this is very early when I was also using Linux 0.9.x at the same time, however after I found FreeBSD robust and flexible, I become a BSD fan).

#32 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-06T04:01 by eddie kao

I'm a FreeBSD user from Taiwan, although I just manage several servers(less then 5), but I use FreeBSD in all my production websites, and I'm very proud of saying I am a FreeBSD user :)

#33 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-06T22:07 by Dog
Ukrainian company "Infocom" uses it. I'm working in Kharkiv (big city in the East of Ukraine) branch, we have nearly all our servers (mail, hosting, DNS, radius, backup and so on) and most of workstations in technical department under the FreeBSD. At home I have FreeBSD on my home server and home PC too.

#34 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-09T08:06 by johnpupu

I'm also a FreeBSD user from Taiwan, I love FreeBSD ^_^.

#35 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-17T19:35 by Rod
I've been using FreeBSD as my main OS since 1997. I also tried to get into my company for that long. Have made in into test environment but not production :( But one thing I always do is to mention FreeBSD in any developer or IT related survey I take. For example I took a survey for ActvieState today and made sure they knew I develop programs that run in FreeBSD. If enough people would do things like this maybe FreeBSD would get more recognition. Also, and have FreeBSD web hosting.

#36 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-23T02:25 by Copypaiste

I'm working for one of the major Russian mobile telco. We use bsd systems ( and freebsd of course :) ) basicly for our internal network needs (gathering stats and stuff) as well as on several of our MX gateways (spam filtering). FreeBSD is unbeatable in it's ease of administration and performance under specific appliances.

#37 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-28T11:53 by gcooper

Apple, IronPort (now a part of Cisco), Sandvine, ...? What about pkh's company or pjd's? I don't think that you need to look that far, but just see who sponsors code drops into FreeBSD to see who's really contributing back to the project.

Of course more people leech from BSD (M$ with the BSD networking stack, etc), but they don't give FreeBSD or BSD their fair mention when it comes to releases or contributions.

#38 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-02-28T11:59 by Ivan Voras

Of course, companies where FreeBSD developers work or which they own fall under the "usual suspects". I tried (with little success apparently) to see if there are any new Yahoo-class companies out there :)

#39 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-03-05T19:14 by ckester

I'm retired and use FreeBSD at home, for reading email, browsing the web, and noodling around as a programmer and ports maintainer.

One lesson I'm drawing from the comments above is that the majority of FreeBSD users will probably want to have NLS enabled -- so that it probably doesn't matter if some of my ports don't provide the option to disable it.

#40 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-03-08T02:19 by Nirnroot

Small BSD user, since 2007. Home nas and netbook on FreeBSD :)

#41 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-03-08T14:36 by bsdusr

all * runs on freebsd

#42 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-03-17T15:05 by Alejandro Imass

All of runs on FreeBSD and all of our clients run on FBSD jails many times without even knowing it.

We do extensive use of FBSD Jails with EzJail and have jail 'templates' to handle different versions of PHP, Perl, databases, etc. The FBSD jails system IOHO is simply _the greatest and best_ alternative to pseudo-virtualization. We have FAMP (pun intended to LAMP ;-) ) jails that start at 2GB of disk space, everything installed and ready to run!

We do use Linux extensively (Debian and Ubuntu) and lately also Mac for development workstations, but our servers are ALL FreeBSD, period, even small internal servers.

FBSD is the best server OS around, two hands down. In the very near future we are deversifying our workstations even further to include the PCBSD flavor of FBSD. We *LOVE* FreeBSD, it simply rocks.

So, what is the main advantage that FBSD brings to the table for a small sized business like us?: EXTREMELY LOW ADMINISTRATION COSTS.

Learning and implementing the EzJail system "our way" took us about 2 intense weeks to develop and test a methodology. By using jails we were able to reduce virtual-domain administration by ten-fold, actually thousand-fold, million-fold.

With our current set-up it takes me about 10 minutes to create a complettely isolated environment without the risk of breaking everything else, and everbody else running on that server, and you can safely do it in "normal hours". How much is that worth for you? For us, is the difference between 20 minute work in 9 to 5 as opposed to several hours Sunday 2am. And what happens if the crazy PHP people decide another "minor" upgrade such as 5.2 to 5.3 which basically broke most if not all 5.2 based code? With Jails? NOTHING! Well, YES, NOTHING. Why? Because we derive a jail, and test the new environment on the server actually running, in *normal* working hours, without any risk. It didn't work? delete the jail, and start over! Simple.

In the past that little PHP upgrade cost us a 1 day downtime of a server, plus several hours a month dealing with all the 5.3 issues on non compatible code, all in all about 12 hours of admin time in 6 months, dedicated to that single server!

With jails, our TOTAL admin time has reduced on average about 2 hours a month for ALL OUR SERVERS, and this includes creating new environments, revising backups, logs, security issues, updating and appliying security patches.

Furthermore, since jails run on a private network, we have increased security by using a single apache reverse proxy with mod_security and also FBSD native firewalling and fail2ban. A single point of entry to each server.

I could go on all day about the advantages of FBSD, but I would like to finalize with another detail that may not be obvious to many, and it's FBSD's incredibly stable (to say the least) virtual memory manager and it's resistance to overloading. Simple example: push a FBSD to the limit of exhausting the swap and 150% over-cpu usage, remove the load and the system will recover completely. Do that with Linux's default optimistic over-commiting vm and see what happens ;-) - kaboom! it may still run, but you will have to reboot as it never fully reciovers. Sure, you can fine-tune the Linux VM, but FBSD's vanilla settings and GENERIC kernel need no tuning for this. It just works.


Alejandro Imass


Yabarana Corporation

#43 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2011-11-16T20:50 by
We use it where there is no special need to run a specific linux distro (e.g. as vmware guest). It runs proxies, vpn gateways, etc. And it runs them well.

#44 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2012-03-09T01:34 by

FreeBSD was pretty popular in Japan a decade ago (probalbly more popular than Linux), and many companies are still using it. Our company does web hosting and all servers are running with FreeBSD.
Personally, my desktops and all experimental machies are working with FreeBSD. It's so reliable and I like it.

#45 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2012-03-09T18:33 by Houari

i'm from Algeria, and i use FreeBSD at home

#46 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2012-03-28T02:18 by M@shkin

I've been using FreeBSD on all my dedicated servers ever since I first used a console (coming from the Windows world).

Today, I'm using jails to slice all the services to run independently and safe.

I also started thinking about migrating my desktop to some BSD derivate (FreeBSD is the one I know best) in the recent time.

#47 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2013-07-30T20:04 by guest

ISC Nevosoft, is a casual game publisher and developer

#48 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2013-08-19T14:11 by Graham

Am aUgandan ICT Professional and Use Freebsd on my Laptop and two Servers

#49 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2013-11-11T13:44 by Bob

We use it as a multi-terabyte file server to serve gigabyte and larger textures and other 3d assets. Administration is simple, it's reliable (I don't think we restart it but once or twice a year for upgrades) and ZFS snapshots have been great!

#50 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2013-11-18T06:08 by

Russia is very friendly to FreeBSD

#51 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2014-01-28T19:44 by sergio

I use large numbers of users, about 200 servers, running 9.X and now 10.0

version, as Virtualbox servers for running windows and linux guests...

#52 Re: Who uses FreeBSD?

Added on 2014-02-06T01:38 by jammet

me!freenas, pfsense at my home. :D

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