FreeBSD is often overlooked when people discuss the relative success of the rival operating system platforms in use on the Internet. However, it has a secured a strong foothold with the hosting community and continues to grow, gaining over a million hostnames and half a million active sites since July 2003.
The reason for this is FreeBSD’s deployment with the operators of shared hosting systems, where tens and even hundreds of thousands of sites are collectively administered as part of a single system. FreeBSD has been synonymous with large scale shared hosting since the genesis of the web, and continues a symbiotic relationship with the largest hosting companies today.
Over half of the FreeBSD active sites are at the largest 20 hosting providers using FreeBSD, and much of the surge in FreeBSD sites over the last year has been caused by the continued growth of Yahoo!’s shared hosting offering. Yahoo has strong ties with the FreeBSD project and provides hosting for the project’s servers. while Pair Networks recently led the contributors with a substantial $20,000 when one of the FreeBSD core team offered to work full time on the project as its first commercially funded developer.