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Being a long time FreeBSD user, I finally forced myself to use OpenBSD since version 3.4 (yes that makes me pretty much an OpenBSD noob) and so far I love it. I'm still running OpenBSD 3.4 though with patches.
As a firewall, for *ME* it was very simple to install and setup. I emphasise ME because I'm not the average user. I'm sure most people will freak when they see how this animal is installed, although I didn't have too much of a problem with it.
I look forward to upgrading sometime soon. I didn't upgrade to OpenBSD 3.5 because I didn't see the need. I wonder what OpenBSD 3.6 will have in store. I'll have to check the Changelogs I guess.
I started off my whole *nix experience on FreeBSD 4.6. I was a huge fan of it and used it for every release until two years ago I needed to use NAT on a firewall device. IPFW2 didn't have support and IPFW wasn't fun. So I switched. I find I am unable to use any other system now. OpenBSD is transparent in my use, I love it. I use it for all of my servers and desktops. It works flawlessly.
Can't wait for 3.6.
I too am looking forward to the changes in 3.6.
I'm in the same boat. Installed 3.4 for my firewall and didn't upgrade to 3.5. Does anyone know how long they release security patches for old releases? I have a feeling I'm going to be forced to upgrade to 3.6.
OpenBSD release model is ever 6 months +/- (for each new release). Regarding Old Updates you have normally two releases back. I.E: when 3.6 is out, support for 3.3 will die, and so on.
You *don't* have to upgrade... but it is advised to do so.
Just out of curiousity (not to start a flame war), what advantages does OpenBSD have over FreeBSD as a desktop OS?
I'm using FreeBSD (4-STABLE) on my desktop. It's said to have better performance, more apps, ... but I can't compare because I have only little (yet positive) experience with OpenBSD.
Enhanced security (in the sense of pfsync, encryption of swap, ...) is not an argument for a graphical workstation. :-)
I can't wait for a 3.6 release..
I am a big fan of OpenBSD..
Keep up the great work!
As long as you're not extremely paranoid, OpenBSD offers no advantages over FreeBSD on the desktop. It is not meant to be a desktop operating system, although you can of course use it as such. It's just extremely secure and reliable.
If you have no annoyances with FreeBSD, i wouldn't switch, FreeBSD has a far more desktop-oriented ports collection, there are binary NVidia drivers, etc...
I second that ;-)
If there are any really awsome features on OpenBSD, they will eventually find their way into FreeBSD, and vice versa. Ultimately most people simply put OpenBSD as a great firewall, possibly a small basic server for the paranoid, but anything more than that, it is hard to find some one who uses it as a workstation.
I think you would find a lot more than you would think.
/me raises hand.
3.3 is already dead. Support is offered for the current release, and the previous release. So right now 3.5 and 3.4 are supported. After 3.6 is released, 3.4 will drop off.
Why do you use it as a desktop?
Personally, I don't use it as a desktop for security reasons. I use it because it's what I like. I've been using it for a little while now (started with 2.6), and I understand it better than I do Linux or FreeBSD. It's working out quite well so far.
Almost everyone has trouble compiling software on OpenBSD, especially C++ stuff. The long list of things you need to install before you can get something average to compile is painful. What's especially bad is when someone says "oh, and you need libFOO" which you quickly discover no-one has ported to OpenBSD. There goes your day. That said, it is funny when people complain about how hard it is to port desktop apps or games to OpenBSD. You use OpenBSD as your desktop, you deserve to port shit 24/7.
every thing in 3.5 has been working great.. just looking for more stability on my cheapo usb wireless devices.. I must admit I have been lazy to not patch it so 3.6 should do me royal... Big ups to the OpenBSD team.. Theo and all..
2.95 on all arches except sparc64 and amd64, IIRC. gcc 3 is still considered too slow.
I haven't had much problem with availability of software. Mozilla, firefox, and thunderbird all work. koffice works. gaim works. xterm works. Can't think of anything else I would need.
I always try to encourage the OpenBSD team and buy their software straight from the website. Hence if always try and buy LInux/BSD products to support.
I so far bought ver. 2X and 3X until 3.5 its worth every penny
in my case but i am not sure if i can keep up with all distro (financially that is) Linux'es and *BSD's are popping up every 6 months in no specific order.
I think it better to skip a version or 2 once and a while
Ultimately most people simply put OpenBSD as a great firewall, possibly a small basic server for the paranoid, but anything more than that, it is hard to find some one who uses it as a workstation.
After using linux for four years I started using OpenBSD as a desktop for its security and stability. I personally find OpenBSD easier to install, configure and use than FreeBSD and while it's true that Open has less ports than Free, Open's ports tree seems to have a lower percentage of broken ports. I assert this based only on my very limited experience using FreeBSD 5.1 and 5.2.1 and OpenBSD 3.5
I don't need 10,000 apps - I only need a few but I need them to work safely and reliably. Excepting a flash-plugin, OpenBSD has everything I want. Clean, simple, stable and secure. That's why I like it but I also understand that many, if not most, will not appreciate Open's spartan feel.
I use OpenBSD on my web server, database server, file server, and as a firewall. In fact, I don't use any other server OS because OpenBSD has proven to be very stable and secure.
No OS is perfect, and I must admit, I don't really abuse my systems that much, but I can honestly say that during the time I've used OpenBSD (since 2.8) I have never had it crash on me. It has plugged faithfully along.
I also like OpenBSD as a desktop, but it isn't the only one I use (I like Linux better on the desktop because it has more support in that arena).
I think the thing I like the most about OpenBSD is that it is easy to install (once you know what all the questions mean, and how to answer them anyway), and it is very easy to patch, configure, and administer (although it will take some time and effort on the new user's part in order for them to agree with this statement).
Oh god! You're right. I don't have to write at 2am... :p
Support for 3.3 IS dead.
i dont think openbsd is good for desktop.
speedwise it's far behind linux 2.6 and freebsd.
i don't think there are goodies like low lantency etc.
also it lacks many applications, sure one can compile (almost) everything but i dont think this is the best solution for desktop.
no nvidia drivers.
it's great as firewall though.
How hard is it to upgrade OpenBSD when a new release is shipped? I'm thinking about using it on a firewall computer. But when v3.6 eventually appears, can I just insert a 3.6 Install-CD and press (U) for upgrade?
If OpenBSD has a new release every six months, and "only" the version before it will be supported, then the difficulty of the upgrading process becomes very important.
You can do binary upgrades from a cd or via ftp, or you can fetch/sync the sources for the new release (or anything between releases) and rebuild it yourself. That way you can have a more customized/optimized system, if you want. This procedure may seem somewhat complicated at first, but in fact it's the easiest and quickest way to keep your box current.
I use it on my desktop b/c it is very simple to manage. I love all of the *ctl's how when a port/pkg is installed all of the config files fit nicely into /etc rather than /usr/local/etc (freebsd). It is easy to find stuff, and easy to use. Requires a learning curve in the beginning for those not fluent in OS internals (me early on). But once you get used to it, you find yourself not able to use anything else.
Plus if I bork something, I can reinstall and have it running in about 20 minutes. Just simple and fun to use. Added benefits include: a required understanding of how things work in an OS. Which I enjoy.
OpenBSD's fans seem to like it especially because of it's general simplicity, not because of specific features. The centralized /etc is a good example. I also like their installer, it's death simple.
I'm exploring OpenBSD on an old box here, and it fascinates me a lot, but I have no reason (yet) to replace FreeBSD on my desktop.
I use it as my router, dns, ftp, dhcp, samba, webserver and and vpn device... I control all my servers at work using rdesktop. openbsd rules... It's the finest piece of software I've come across in years. Keep up the outstanding work...
I think I'm hooked for life ;-)