OpenBSD Archive

OpenBSD 3.7: The Wizard of OS

OpenBSD 3.7 is the first release to support newer wireless chipsets, especially for 802.11g, thanks to a big activism campaign lead by project leader Theo de Raadt. It's now possible to create a portable access point with a tiny PDA using the Zaurus port, too. As usual, there are a lot of other big and small changes, such as the import of Xorg, the jump towards gcc3, and a feature to update your installed packages automagically. Discover the details behind the scenes in this interview that Federico Biancuzzi had with several OpenBSD developers.

Rebuilding the OpenBSD kernel

Users who want their OpenBSD machine to perform specific functions or need additional device drivers might want to customize their kernel. In other OS's, like some types of Linux, it is very popular to rebuild the kernel because the default is so bloated. For most users, the default OpenBSD kernel is sufficient; however, you can still apply kernel patches, which will require rebuilding and installing a fresh kernel.

OpenBSD Widens Its Scope

Already well-regarded as a security-focused network OS, OpenBSD stands to further upgrade its reputation with ver. 3.6, which combines enhanced services with wider hardware support. OpenBSD 3.6, which was released last month, will be a good fit for companies that wish to put services at the network edge, such as firewalls & VPNs, with more flexibility than appliance-based options could provide.

OpenBSD 3.6 review

The OpenBSD team earlier this month released version 3.6 of the free operating system, with support for more hardware, updated application software, and bug fixes included. This time around OpenBSD has added support for multi-CPU systems, a number of drivers for new peripheral hardware, and about 200 more apps to the Ports tree. NewsForge took the new version for a spin, and liked what they found.

OpenBSD Works To Open Wireless Chipsets

In order to better understand why OpenBSD has decided this is important, KernelTrap approached Theo de Raadt with a few questions. In reply he fully explains the issue, talking about how successful this form of activism has been for OpenBSD in the past, and offering specifics on exactly what they are trying to accomplish. He summarizes, "the open source community has support for all the ethernet chipsets, all the scsi chipsets, all the raid chipsets, so why should we not have support for all the wireless chipsets?"

OpenBSD looking for better licenses on binary firmware for WiFi

Ryan McBride requests the help of the OpenBSD community in convincing Texas Instruments to change the license of their firmware for the ZCX100 802.11b chipset. Theo de Raadt makes a similar request directed at Intel. A success story from Theo de Raadt in using this tactic on Adaptec. This is also important for Linux and the rest of the BSDs. I had to "pirate" my Prism's firmware files in order to make the pcmcia card work with my Linuces. I don't see the point of keeping these firmware files bound.