DigitalOcean, the fast-growing cloud-hosting service, today announced that it now supports FreeBSD. This marks the first time the company offers developers the option to run a non-Linux operating system on its servers.
From a user’s perspective, FreeBSD isn’t all that different from a Linux distribution, given that it’s also a Unix-like environment. While ‘Linux’ technically only refers to the operating system’s kernel, the FreeBSD project offers a complete operating system. It will take new users some time to get used to FreeBSD, but they will likely find that most of the tools they’re used to are also available on FreeBSD (either as a direct port or in the form of an equivalent tool).
It’s probably fair to say that the majority of developers has never used FreeBSD, but being able to quickly spin up a cheap $5 VPS on DigitalOcean to give it a try now makes it very easy to kick the operating system’s tires a bit.
The DigitalOcean team has also released some tutorials for getting started, so if you want to run WordPress on FreeBSD, for example, here are the instructions. Whether you want to build your applications on top of it is primarily a personal choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, but some of the early comments suggest that this first implementation of DigitalOcean runs a bit slow.
As the DigitalOcean team points out in today’s announcement — and as its co-founder and CEO Ben Uretsky has told me in the past — the company spent much of the last few year simply handling its massive growth. Now, with more than 100 employees and data centers in the U.S. and Europe, the company has started to invest in developing better tools for building new services on top of its platform.
“There have been many experiments in how we approach, prioritize and execute this work; this image is a result of the successful alignment of a few key elements,” DigitalOcean engineer Neal Shrader writes today.