Presented by

  • Michael Dexter

    Michael Dexter

    Michael has used BSD Unix since 1991 and advanced it through fundraising, community coordination, and dozens of conference talks around the world. He has also organized the Portland Linux/Unix Group since 2009, coordinating over 150 speakers. By day Michael provides support for Open Source storage solutions for users of all sizes. Michael lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and three children, small dog, and five chickens.


FOSS users generally have fall into three relationships with FreeBSD: They've heard of it and never tried it. They used it LONG ago, or they use it for every application they can. This talk follows Michael's journey using GNU/Linux and FreeBSD, with stops at OpenBSD, and NetBSD along the way. The unique features of FreeBSD range from subtle to obvious, and have arrived at a slow but steady pace that has allowed it to stay remarkably consistent but ever advancing over its thirty year history. These features include a permissive license, an exemplary network stack, multiple packet filters, the Jail container, the bhyve and Xen hypervisors, and the UFS and ZFS file systems. FreeBSD's consistency makes it a delight to work with and operate, with changes consistently adding value, rather than delivering change for change's sake. This approach has allowed user to develop "muscle memory" that can genuinely last decades. This talk will provide an overview of FreeBSD's compelling features big and small.