Brian Vagnoni on 31 Dec 2008 13:53:34 -0800

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[PLUG] 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.  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful time. 

Brian Vagnoni
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