All of that is no knock against FreeBSD, rather, it is just to say that it was taking more time to learn than Ubuntu, and it was enough of a frustration that, coupled with the fact that the web server at work is Linux, I decided to focus on Ubuntu Server.
Fair enough, you should pick something that works and if you already have familiarity with Linux servers it would make perfect sense.
And i agree Ubuntu's synaptic/apt-get works nice, though it tends to have outdated versions now and then, while FreeBSD is usually swift with new versions like PHP, MySQL, Apache, and so on. But that doesn't need to be an issue, both Linux and BSD can get the job done fine.
Reasons for me to prefer BSD are:
- access to advanced technology like ZFS (same feature level as OpenSolaris as of FreeBSD 8-CURRENT - aimed at august 2009 release. Or 7.2 for a more basic ZFS version)
- access to high-speed RAID and storage layers working on the GEOM I/O framework; RAID0, RAID1, RAID3/4/5 are all possible
- good and clean working ports, with available customizations
- generally higher SMP performance (important for servers)
A real tradeoff is that while FreeBSD has a good handbook discussing all standard operations, it doesn't have as much good how-to's on the net as linux does. Also hardware support might be behind that of Linux's, which is now on a very good level. But FreeBSD is catching up, and lets hope 8.0 will get released quickly, as ZFS is really a smile to work with.