About me: My name is Solène Rapenne, pronouns she/her. I like learning and sharing knowledge. Hobbies: '(BSD OpenBSD Qubes OS Lisp cmdline gaming security QubesOS internet-stuff). I love percent and lambda characters. OpenBSD developer solene@. No AI is involved in this blog.

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Introduction to the OpenBSD operating system

Written by Solène, on 01 October 2023.
Tags: #openbsd #bsd #octopenbsd

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Introduction §

I often see a lot of confusion with regard to OpenBSD, either assimilate as a Linux distribution or mixed up with FreeBSD.

Let's be clear, OpenBSD is a stand alone operating system. It came as a fork of NetBSD in 1994, there isn't much things in common between the two nowadays.

While OpenBSD and the other BSDs are independant projects, they share some very old roots in their core, and regularly see source code changes in one being imported to another, but this is really a very small amount of the daily code changes though.

2. OpenBSD features in 60 seconds §

Let's do it quick, what can you find in OpenBSD?

  • a complete operating system with X, network services, compilers, all out of the box
  • 100% community driven
  • more than 11000 packages with stuff like GNOME, Xfce, LibreOffice, Chromium, Firefox, KDE applications, GHC etc... (and KDE Plasma SOON!)
  • a release every 6 months
  • sandboxed web browsers
  • stack smash memory protection
  • where OpenSSH is developped
  • accurate manual pages for everything

It's used with success on workstations, either for personal or professional use. It's also widely used as a server, being for network services or just routing/filtering network!

All the innovations that happened in OpenBSD

3. Give it a try? §

3.1. On a Live-CD §

If you never used OpenBSD, you can easily give it a try using the community made LiveCD/LiveUSB FuguIta!

FuguIta project page

Older blog page about FuguIta

3.2. In a virtual machine §

Another way to easily try OpenBSD is to run it in a virtual machine.

Complete installation guide of OpenBSD

Please note that the VirtualBox additions are not available as their drivers never got written for OpenBSD.

3.3. On a real system §

You can install OpenBSD on your system, or a spare computers you don't use anymore. You need at least 48 MB of memory for it to work, and many architectures are supported like arm64, amd64, i386, sparc64, powerpc, riscv...

Complete installation guide of OpenBSD

3.4. On a VPS §

You can rent an OpenBSD VM on OpenBSD Amsterdam, a company doing OpenBSD hosting on OpenBSD servers using the OpenBSD hypervisor! And they give money to the OpenBSD project for each VM they host!

OpenBSD Amsterdam hosting

4. Installing GNOME §

I made a tutorial showing how to install GNOME, it's fairly easy!

How to install GNOME on OpenBSD (video tutorial)

5. We play video games on OpenBSD! §

This is actually possible, and always running native code to run video games.

OpenBSD Gaming video channel (peertube)

PlayOnBSD Games compatibility list

OpenBSD_gaming subreddit community

6. Going further §

The OpenBSD project website

OpenBSD on Wikipedia