OpenBSD as a daily driver

I always like it when I can link to an article written by an OSNews, and this time it’s even relevant to me as I’m exploring OpenBSD myself. OSNews reader and silver Patreon supporter Morgan has written an article about using OpenBSD as a daily driver.

OpenBSD is forever tied in first place with Void Linux as my favorite desktop OS. This is particularly funny because OpenBSD isn’t “just a desktop OS”; in its purest form, the base installation without any installed packages, it makes for an excellent Ethernet router, firewall, or web server. It even ships with its own fork of X11 called Xenocara, along with fvwm2 and its own calm window manager, so there’s a rudimentary desktop OS in there too. With that said, in 2024 there is no such thing as a fully functioning desktop computer or workstation without at least a web browser of some kind, and if you’re adding packages you may as well build a full desktop system to suit your needs.

So how do you go from the amazing but unfortunately limited base install to a “daily driver” workstation operating system? There are many ways to do this, and I will present a couple of paths I take depending on the hardware and use case involved. Before I do that, a bit of prep is necessary to get OpenBSD into more of a desktop OS mode.

↫ Morgan

I’ll be using this guide over the coming days to make sure I end up with something usable. I still haven’t decided on what desktop environment I want to go for – I’m not interested in running GNOME or KDE, so Xfce is probably the most likely option. I’d also love to try out LXQt, but it seems the version OpenBSD has in its repositories is very, very outdated (1.0.0 from years ago, when 2.0.0 was just released). There’s a small chance I might suck it up and use one of those “build your own desktop environment” options, but I have no idea which one I should go for.


  1. 2024-04-24 8:37 am
  2. 2024-04-24 10:13 am
  3. 2024-04-24 11:48 pm
    • 2024-04-25 7:16 am
    • 2024-04-25 12:48 pm