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BSD & Linux TCP/IP Stacks

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  • BSD & Linux TCP/IP Stacks

    I use to host game servers a while back. I hosted them on both Linux and Freebsd and folks would tell me that there was less latency on the Freebsd boxes everything being equal. I always wondered why being that they are more or less cut from the same loins. I asked some Linux folks about the differences and was told that there was hardly any.

    I was recently reading Security Power Tools and in the section devoted to the ISIC Suite I came across the following in Section 17.3 Page 594.

    "The ISIC Suite runs on Linux, BSD, Mac OSX and most Unix systems. However. the TCP/IP stacks of these systems do not have the same behavior. For example, the Freebsd network stack will discard most of the malformed packets generated by the ISIC tools. The Linux TCP/IP stack does not discard any single packet. My advice is to run the ISIC tool on a Linux machine."

    Now most game client/server traffic is all UDP traffic. Games are more concerned about speed/low latency that they are about making sure every single packet is accounted for. If the above statement is true does that make the Freebsd stack more efficient? Rather than trying to process every single packet it just discards the ones it doesn't like. Further more at least my logic would dictate that Linux is a better pen-testing platform than Freebsd, and Freebsd is a better server platform.

    I'm posing a question here and welcome comments. I would like to hear peoples thoughts about this as I've wondered about this for awhile.

    By the way Happy New Year.

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

  • #2
    Re: BSD & Linux TCP/IP Stacks

    I wasn't going to respond given that my strength isn't found in the intricacies of the TCP/IP stack but, as always, I can't stop myself.

    IMHO, if there were a sufficient amount of malformed packets being dropped, I would agree that FreeBSD's handling of the protocol stack is possibly the reason for the lower latency. If, upon inspection, there weren’t enough packets being dropped to justify the lower latency, I would suspect it could also be attributed to how well the game hosting software interacts with the OS. In other words, if the game was designed on a FreeBSD system, it might be optimized to run on that architecture. I've seen that with medical apps before. Just a thought.


    • #3
      Re: BSD & Linux TCP/IP Stacks

      here's my 2 cents :D i do not see why it would be a software issue...i dont think these software are developed with the care they put into medical apps....I would run this on Linux and not FreeBSD just because i personally would be a little nervous that BSD might drop a packet that you actually need, but that's just me...i like to have EVERYTHING just incase