I need to run three machines as a cluster at home and want maximum performance from them, running an Erlang program.

What is the best OS to use for this?

  • if it were me, i'd stick with Linux (I'm more familiar with it), although i'd prefer Debian over Ubuntu for this sort of thing. i really don't know much about Erlang, tho, and how your program would exercise the hardware. there might be some advantages to using Solaris or FreeBSD for this. Feb 6, 2010 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


I'm running both an Ubuntu server and a FreeBSD server headless. The FreeBSD one sits here in a cabinet, the Ubuntu one in a co-lo facility.

The difference is negligible, both are easy enough to administer via ssh if you know what you're doing. At the end of the day it boils down to what you're most familiar with because being able to come up with an optimal hardware/software combo and administer that will make a far bigger impact on the overall performance than your choice of OS.


I'd say which ever you feel the most skilled with to automated/optimize/administrate.

  • Ah, ok. Well, I wasn't sure if there was an obvious choice OS, as I'm about the same level in all three. Of course, Solaris has the advantage because of ZFS, but other than that I didn't know which to go for.
    – yazz.com
    Feb 6, 2010 at 10:04
  • Sure ZFS is very nice, but do you need it? ext4 does a really good job for most of what you might want to do. You'll probably get more choice of packaged programs and support with Ubuntu.
    – raphink
    Feb 6, 2010 at 10:21
  • I wanted ZFS as it is the cheapest filesystem to maintain in my time with using filesystems (never have to worry about corruption - so far ;) I have had problems with ext4 on a couple of Ubuntu 9 machines where I previously has FreeBSD and ZFS. I don't know if it was jsut bad luck though, but going back to FreeBSD and the machines were running fine again.
    – yazz.com
    Feb 9, 2010 at 12:40

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