The future of FreeBSD as an OS?

Hi all,

I’m sure like a few here, I’ve been using FreeBSD as a server operating system for a number years. This includes web servers and storage, due it’s strengths in its networking and storage stack.

However, there appears to be a steady decline in support for the OS from key projects like:

  • TrueNAS Core
  • pfSense
  • Junos

The donor list still seems quite strong but I’m not sure how long this last.

Does FreeBSD still have a future? I’m not asking for clickbait. I’m genuinely asking because I have a number of projects that I had planned to use FreeBSD but given these developments I’m not so sure.

One such project is to migrate from an ageing Synology NAS. Originally I was looking at TrueNAS Core with custom hardware but we know where that’s going. So I’m left with another Synology, TrueNAS Scale or just go vanilla FreeBSD.


It’s far from gone but I would not bet my future on it either.

Thanks for the quick response. That’s vibe I seem to be getting as well. It’s a shame but I guess it’s a good time to rip off the bandaid.

That list seems strong?? Compared to what?

Part of me wishes BSD had a strong future, but then the rest of me remembers that I don’t care about the kernel. As long as the GNU tools and FHS are basically in place, why would I think twice about the kernel?

Which is a fair question for you, why think about the kernel? Am I missing something about freeBSD that is super noteworthy (yes, freebsd is technically more than just the kernel)?

I know 99% of the bsd love from these forums is tied to their love for pfsense. I bet nobody donates directly to bsd.

I remember Tom posted a pie chart of the companies contributing to FreeBSD and that list was pretty small to begin with. Seeming this rapid decline I wouldn’t keep pursuing this OS. I think Netflix is the only company really pulling FreeBSD along.

I don’t know if it is “far from over”, but it does look like companies are abandoning FreeBSD over linux and rightfully so. Linux has a ton more contributors than FreeBSD and makes more sense as a business to develop off that.