OpenBSD Archive

OpenBSD bcw: Possible GPL Violation Issues

"I, Michael Buesch, am one of the maintainers of the GPL'd Linux wireless LAN driver for the Broadcom chip (bcm43xx). The Copyright holders of bcm43xx (which includes me) want to talk to you, OpenBSD bcw developers, about possible GPL license and therefore copyright violations in your bcw driver. We believe that you might have directly copied code out of bcm43xx (licensed under GPL v2), without our explicit permission, into bcw (licensed under BSD license)." The entire thread can be found here.

Creating OpenBSD Binary Patches in a Chroot Environment

"Unlike other operating systems, patches for the OpenBSD base system are distributed as source code patches. These patches are usually applied by compiling and installing them onto the target system. While that upgrade procedure is well-documented, it is not always suitable for certain systems that do not have the OpenBSD compiler set installed for various reasons such as disk space constraints. To fill this gap, open source projects like binpatch were started to allow administrators to create binary patches using the BSD make system. This article proposes an alternative method to build binary patches using a chroot environment in an attempt to more closely mirror the instructions given in the OpenBSD patch files."

OpenBSD: NDAs vs. Free Drivers

Greg Kroah-Hartman's announcement for free Linux driver development included the necesssary legal framework to honor NDAs when creating GPL'd drivers. This allowance was discussed on the OpenBSD -misc mailing list. In a public exchange with Greg KH, Stephan Rickauer said: "Now these companies have a great excuse to keep specs locked up tight under NDA, while pretending to be 'open'. The OpenBSD project has made clear more than once how this will hurt Free Software in the long run. Signing NDA's ensures that Linux gets a working driver, sure, but the internals are indistinguishable from magic. It is a source code version of a blob." OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt called the free driver effort a farce, "you are trying to make sure that maintainers of code - i.e. any random joe who wants to improve the code in the future - has less access to docs later on because someone signed an NDA to write it in the first place. You are making a very big mistake."

OpenBSD 4.0 Released

"We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.0. This is our 20th release on CD-ROM (and 21st via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of ten years with only a single remote hole in the default install. As in our previous releases, 4.0 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system." More here. Update: First review here.

Take a Closer Look at the Most Secure Unix OS: OpenBSD

OpenBSD strives to be the most secure UNIX derivation. Design principles, such as code auditing, extensive use of encryption, and careful configuration choices, combine to ensure OpenBSD's secure by default philosophy holds true. This article gives you a close look at the operating system so secure that it was once banned for use in a DEF CON competition, where crackers go after each other's systems.

Who’s Who At the 2006 OpenBSD Hackathon, Part II

"Tables are cluttered with laptops, servers, switches, cables and cords as the 2006 OpenBSD hackathon continues in Calgary, Canada. Small groups of developers talk and debate around LCD screens, while others work individually on their own projects. Behind the scenes, a donated 10 megabit wireless connection provides Internet access to all. IP addresses and DNS are provided by stock bind and dhcpd processes running on an OpenBSD server."

Who’s Who at the 2006 OpenBSD Hackathon, Part I

The 2006 OpenBSD Hackathon, c2k6, is well underway in a conference room at a hotel in downtown Calgary, Canada. The event started yesterday, May 27th, attended by nearly 50 OpenBSD developers from all over the globe. OpenBSD creator Theo de Raadt is thrilled by what is already proving to be another successful event. "I don't think anybody else does this, developers suspend their lives for a week to focus entirely on just development."

Review: OpenBSD 3.9

SoftwareInReview reviews OpenBSD 3.9. "The improved package tools make OpenBSD much easier to install, upgrade, and maintain. For those who need to install several programs on top of the base system, the new package tool functions are priceless."

Interview: Theo de Raadt

"In this latest interview, Theo examines the past five years of OpenBSD development. He also discusses the OpenBSD 3.9 theme song, 'Blob!', detailing what blobs are, why OpenBSD avoids them, and how OpenBSD developers work to reverse engineer them. Looking to the development process, Theo talks about recent and future 'mini-hackathons', small and focused OpenBSD development gatherings. Finally, Theo also discusses the OpenBSD project's funding issues, and the response to requests for funding from users of the project's OpenSSH software."

Introducing OpenBSD 3.9

Open source expert David Chisnall gives us the ins and outs of where OpenBSD has been, where it is now with the new version 3.9, and what lies ahead in the future. "OpenBSD began life as a fork of NetBSD, the oldest of the currently active BSD projects. A personality clash between Theo de Raadt and the rest of the NetBSD team lead to Theo’s access to the project’s CVS tree being revoked."

OpenBSD Tips and Tricks

Many people responded to the call for OpenBSD and OpenSSH donations by purchasing an OpenBSD CD set. Those CDs are beginning to arrive in the mail, and when they do, how are you going to use them? If you're a software enthusiast who has never used OpenBSD before, you might enjoy installing it by yourself and figuring it out as you go. If, however, you're looking for a more practical approach to using OpenBSD as a desktop or server operating system, here's a guide to get you started.

Interview: Jonathan Gray, Damien Bergamini of OpenBSD

"Gray and Bergamini recently worked together to develop the nfe driver to support NVIDIA ethernet controllers. In this interview, they talk about OpenBSD's policy to not ship binary-blobs, explaining the problems associated with drivers that use these blobs and the affect these types of drivers have on the open source community. They also detail the efforts involved in writing the nfe driver, describing why they started the project, how they were able to support undocumented hardware, and the features supported by the new driver."

Mozilla Donates to OpenBSD

"Frank Hecker from the Mozilla Foundation contacted Theo to inform him that the foundation decided to donate $10000 to the OpenSSH project. Frank mentioned this today in the Mozilla Foundation's status report. The OpenSSH project truly appreciates this gesture of solidarity from such a respectable open source project. Besides this sizeable donation we also received hundreds of smaller donations, mostly from individuals and small companies. Thanks everyone for stepping up to keep OpenBSD/OpenSSH ticking."