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Old 11th March 2011
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Although I've used Windows, various Linux distributions and two BSD flavors, I'm not going to comment about them as they worked well for me but, what I can tell you, is that I've chosen NetBSD as my main and only operating system.

The reasons I like NetBSD:
  • It's easy to install;
  • Good documentation. Whenever I needed to solve something, it was available in the documentation or the FAQ, I never had to Google for anything that was related to the operating system;
  • I like the fact that, when I install my system, all I get is the operating system ... nothing more, nothing less;
  • Related to the point above, I like the package modularity it offers (I enjoy the pkg_* tools) and the fact that no 3rd-party package gets installed unless I say so. It works with or without them. I come from a Windows background and I was amazed by the fact that, on UNIX-like systems, I don't need nor have to reinstall an application if some component is outdated, I only have to update the outdated component. Two thumbs up for the Packages Collection;
  • And finally, I like the fact that I never had any true problems using it nor configuring it and, although I don't remember having any issues, they were probably RTFM-related;

I'm sorry for not stating any power-user reasons like those given in the previous comments but from my point of view, it's OK.

Quote:
One of the key characteristics of NetBSD is that its developers are not satisfied with partial implementations. Some systems seem to have the philosophy of “If it works, it's right”. In that light NetBSD's philosophy could be described as “It doesn't work unless it's right”.
PS: If I were to choose a non-BSD operating system, my first and only choice would be Slackware. It's simple, robust and I'm not afraid to get down-and-dirty configuring it. Same goes for NetBSD.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
The single most important reason for me is a stable and function Opera browser...

I know Opera runs on OpenBSD, but only on bsd.sp, not with bsd.mp. For some reason Xorg is very slow when I run bsd.sp ... (I detailed those problems on these forums some time ago ... This has little to do with OpenBSD by the way and more with Xorg. I have the same problem on FreeBSD. But strangely not on Linux or OpenSolaris).
I can fully understand that. I love Opera too I use it exclusively when I need full blown browser. I wish there was a native port. There was even willingness on a side of some OpenBSD developers to sign NDA (the first time I heard of such situation) but Opera team declined the offer.

The main reason I tried and switched to OpenBSD from FreeBSD three years ago was that I needed TeXLive which has never been ported (properly using FreeBSD ports frame work not quick unofficial ports). In retrospect I would buy a drink to Hiroki Sato whose lack of effort and big ego made me try and switch to OpenBSD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Another advantage of FreeBSD is a more friendly community in general -- I can send in patches and bugreports without the fear of being scolded at if I make some mistake.
I can see how OpenBSD community can make many people feel uncomfortable. Having been born in Eastern Europe and studying mathematics both in Eastern and Western Europe and finally North America (firstly as a foreigner and only latter as U.S. citizen) has made me very resilient to the "OpenBSD type of culture".
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Old 12th March 2011
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Linux
- I do not even consider that mess as a solution, maybe Ubuntu to not watch under the hood and scream
Quote:
* Ubuntu -> Because I'm to tired to abuse shit into working all the time, and even if the stupid S.O.B. was brain damaged, it'll probably both work and have a package that works with some version of Ubuntu. The downside is so many packages are basically from Debian!
Quote:
I do not have a problem with GNU tools, I was mostly thinking about the Linux kernel, devices, /proc, /sys /whatever, HAL/udev, ALSA+PulseShit tandem, a lot more propably.
It has not been pointed out but there are over 100 different Linux based distrobutions and they vary significantly as far as complexity. You can achieve a very simple almost OpenBSD like system with Slackware by doing a minimal install and then stripping the kernel of everything you don't need. You even get the option to do an "expert" install where you can select just the xorg input devices and video drivers that you need. It requires about 5 to 6 more hours to achieve a system similiar to the core OpenBSD install. The one thing that may be missing is PF and I'm not familiar enough to guess if similiar functionality can be achieve with IPtables. If you have hardware that is not supported by OpenBSD it may be an option
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Old 12th March 2011
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>It has not been pointed out but there are over 100 different Linux based distrobutions and they vary significantly as far as complexity.

There are some major branches, like Debian, Slackware, Gentoo, Red Hat, Suse and lots of redundant mock-ups comparable to green oranges, yellow oranges, blue oranges, etc. pp.

>You can achieve a very simple almost OpenBSD like system with Slackware by doing a minimal install and then stripping the kernel of everything you don't need.

I can even make Ubuntu usable, but why should I do it? Why not take the original, namely Debian, instead? Apart from that, Slack is a fine distro, but it's aged. If it fits, then it's okay, if it doesn't fit anymore then you have to move on. Slack was my favorite from the early nineties until the post millennium, nowadays it's just nostalgia.

>The one thing that may be missing is PF and I'm not familiar enough to guess if similiar functionality can be achieve with IPtables.

The second thing missing is security, proper code and proper documentation. You can even achieve a secure Windows server, but to what avail? Tinkering lots of hours, just to get something similar? And once in a while you can do it again, due to so-called progress also known as "we can't fix it anymore, so let's throw it away and build something new".

It's surely possible to take a Mercedes and change it to a Porsche. But what's the point in doing so? Fun? Lots of spare time?
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Old 12th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
The one thing that may be missing is PF and I'm not familiar enough to guess if similiar functionality can be achieve with IPtables. If you have hardware that is not supported by OpenBSD it may be an option
Ubuntu's default firewall for a while now, I believe is a layer on top of iptables "Made easy" with a PF derived syntax and a moron friendly GUI. I assume that it can be installed from source on other systems, including the beloved Slack.
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Old 12th March 2011
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Using several rules in iptables can massively slow down a server. You may think of nonsense like 30-40 rules, but I experienced such behaviour with just 8 rules on a descent machine. I don't know whether this changed nowadays, but since then we're using OpenBSD for such critical tasks :-)

By the way, something in favour of OpenBSD:

Quote:
The folks at undeadly.org have started posting “how I discovered OpenBSD” stories. This isn’t a story of how I discovered OpenBSD, but rather why I like it. Before you ask, I don’t have similar stories about any other operating system, not even any other BSDs. I was guided to FreeBSD in 1995, and I discovered NetBSD on my own shortly after. (An earlier version of this was previously published in a small promo pamphlet handed out at a tech conference years ago.)
http://blather.michaelwlucas.com/?p=605
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Old 12th March 2011
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Interesting discussing and comments on iptables....
This year I write PhD thesis about OpenSource firewalls: pf, ipfw, iptables maybe some others....

I planed to cover NetBSD npf as well, but NetBSD 6 isn't released yet....
Maybe later I will translate my work and/or share my experience

Back to topic:
+ I like FreeBSD because I can build my desktop the way I want it and I control almost everything that is executed
+ ZFS is also nice....
+ If I install something I know where to look for files
+ I love manpages, they are great
+ No kernel updates every week
+ I like Beastie
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Old 12th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
The one thing that may be missing is PF and I'm not familiar enough to guess if similiar functionality can be achieve with IPtables.
Yes it can just like with FreeBSD IPFW (used also by OS X) on which IPtables were originally based. There are some serious differences though. I have seen only one or two very serious documents on the Internet written by very competent people experienced with both tools. The first notable difference is that IPtables much like it father IPFW is an ugly script which needs to be loaded first. By comparison PF language is beautifully simple.
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Old 12th March 2011
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OpenBSD -- landed at it for arbitrary reasons (it's from Canada I'm from Canada I guess I should use this one) and feel a need to justify my decision with hyperbole and an emotional connection which I'll leave out from here except to say that I value the attitude OpenBSD developers seem to have towards the fixing of bugs no matter how small or if they're found in 25 year old text only rogue style games that have enhanced versions from other sources. It's especially charming when one finds a bug that goes back to the 70s or early 80s and the community reacts to this with awe. Few developers I know have proved capable of cultivating this healthy an attitude. No, instead I interview children who tell me the job I'm offering them is legacy development or just maintenance programming.
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Old 12th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killasmurf86 View Post
+ I like Beastie
Same here but, to be honest, I like OpenBSD's approach, I mean, I like the way they release each OS version with a themed mascot and a song.
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Old 13th March 2011
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Maybe that each gives me something to do, a little project or two of my own. Support for different machines and architectures.
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Old 14th March 2011
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I use FreeBSD as my desktop and honestly the main reason is, I've been using it as my desktop for the last 13 years and I don't have to think or research how to set it up. Other reasons:

+ Native Opera - just like others.
+ Nvidia driver - I know some hate the binary blob, but the nv driver (last I tried) didn't support the native resolution of my wide screen and was terrible with dual monitors.
+ Community (mainly dev or port maintainers) great community, I helped debug the mpt driver a few years back and the dev was great. Emails to port maintainers have all been positive and productive. Were as in OpenBSD, I feel like I get beat with a two by four for asking a question. I'd also have to add that maybe I'm just getting to old, but the younger freebsd users in the forums seem to have too much of a linux or windows attitude for me.
+ And it is also the only OS other that XP to boot and recognize all the hardware in my current machine correctly. I had the machine 6 years now. I would have liked to try OpenBSD on it but it would not boot.

OpenBSD would probably be my second choice OS.
+ Simplest install around in my experience.
+ Much better laptop support than FreeBSD, but I'm not a full time laptop user only occasionally.
- No native Opera.
- No binary Nvidia.

Although, if I had a machine that would run it, I 'd probably use OpenVMS.
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Old 15th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
Yes it can just like with FreeBSD IPFW (used also by OS X) on which IPtables were originally based. There are some serious differences though. I have seen only one or two very serious documents on the Internet written by very competent people experienced with both tools. The first notable difference is that IPtables much like it father IPFW is an ugly script which needs to be loaded first. By comparison PF language is beautifully simple.
Just to clarify something. You can use IPFW pretty much the same way as PF, with a single rules file. You do not have to use it like a script, constantly calling the ipfw binary to load individual rules.
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Old 3rd April 2011
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FreeBSD will be my top choice for many reasons. Here are some of them:
+ Native Opera
+ Official NVIDIA support
+ Community
+ Beastie

However,
- Shady ACPI suspend/resume

I would consider OpenBSD, but no native Opera and no NVIDIA support is a turn off. Also, in the slim chance of flash being supported natively on *BSD, 99% it would be FreeBSD if it happens.

I hope devs fix the suspend/resume for SMP + i386 in ver. 9.
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Old 13th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
Stable releases of fluxbox after development 0.9.x branch:
2007/10/08 - Fluxbox 1.0.0
2008/09/03 - Fluxbox 1.1.0
2011/02/19 - Fluxbox 1.3.0
2011/02/27 - Fluxbox 1.3.1
You should not worry too much any more. OpenBSD port of Fluxbox has just been updated. A few upstream bugs have been fixed along the way as well

http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-ports&m=130271057006750&w=2
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Old 14th April 2011
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I really like NetBSD and OpenBSD, though I do occasionally boot into FreeBSD and Dragonfly. I actually like all the BSDs.

NetBSD

The reason I like NetBSD is because of the Veriexec subsystem and its exploit-mitigation features...from the security manpage:

Quote:

NetBSD provides the following exploit mitigation features:
- PaX ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization).
- PaX MPROTECT (mprotect(2) restrictions)
- PaX SegvGuard
- gcc(1) stack-smashing protection (SSP)
- bounds checked libc functions (FORTIFY_SOURCE)
- Protections against NULL pointer dereferences
I also like the some of the ipfilter facilities though I am a bit new to it. Also the fact that you can cross-build NetBSD on other architectures using the build.sh script.

**The cpu-scaling sysctl facilities are REALLY nice for my laptop:

Quote:
sysctl -w machdep.est.freq.target=XXXX


OpenBSD

In short, PF and Altq built-in...Wow! Also it has a very clean, functional feel to it. I really like the systrace system call facility and was a bit sad to see systrace leave NetBSD. I also like the sensord I think it's called though I have yet to implement it...

FreeBSD

FreeBSD feels a lot more "massive" to me than the other BSDs somehow...perhaps it is because there is a much larger user-base than in the other distributions and therefore constantly has developers sharing their work. In fact, there was recently an article I read (I forget where) which said FreeBSD is indeed a very fast-moving target which I agree is true.

I really like the sysctl tcp and udp "blackhole" features, and really want to wrap my head around the ipfw and dummynet facilities as well. ipfw is such a massive thing however but for a general-purpose firewall, is made really easy via the /etc/rc.firewall built-in scripts. In other words, I like how you can define rc.conf variables for the firewall (ipfw) and get a basic working setup in no time!

The ACL features are nice too, and for FreeBSD 9, there is supposed to be the Capsicum extensions incorporated into the mainline.

**FreeBSD also has cpu-scaling which is usually more fine-grained than that found in NetBSD:

Quote:
sysctl dev.cpu.0.freq=XXXX
Dragonfly

I really like Hammer and think that the way you can define different firewall setups for ip4 and ipv6 is very cool...all again from /etc/rc.conf! Though it's said Dragonfly is more of a clustering platform, I have yet to work with those facilities myself due to lack of hardware : P

Other than that, it feels a lot like FreeBSD obviously because it's branched from an older release (5.X I think). The virtualization feature where you can run a kernel in userspace is cool too (I think I described that correctly).

OpenSuse

I started out with Linux and like others tried a thousand distributions. I think out of all the Linux systems, Opensuse is to me, one of the most stable and additionally has a well-thought-out design. I have had an account at susestudio.com for nearly two years and there you can design custom distributions/appliances etc with an opensuse or suse-based solution. I ALWAYS however, come back to BSD systems for building appliances etc. It just feels as if I have more control when building from the ground-up.
But for Linux, I think it is good.
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Old 30th May 2011
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OpenBSD 4.9 an all my machines, except some programs that runs only on windows using wife's laptop (Windows 7).
I switched from Linux using for a decade to OpenBSD right when 4.8 came out. Fall in love with it and never looked back.
What I love about OpenBSD
1: Simplicity
2: Security
3: Excellent documentation
4: Solid networking
5: Great knowledgeable responds form this forum when help is needed.

OpenBSD does just about everything I need.

Firefox
fvwm - simple fast window manager
Leafpad - simple good text editor
Epdfview - pdf viewer
Gentoo - simple file manager.
mplayer - all media
ffmpeg - working with media files
cdrtools - burning CD/DVD
Geany - for my "C" coding (learning)
Gqview - basic photo viewer
Gimp - advanced photo editing
get_flash_videos - download flash videos
gphoto - getting pictures from my camera

Thank you OpenBSD team.
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Old 4th February 2014
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I read up on the various BSDs, and then decided on OpenBSD, and I'm loving it. The focus on security, clean code, and the small, quick CD download were determining factors. And finding the setup to be pretty easy to get where I want, and the documentation is good.
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Old 4th February 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako_Elite View Post
What I love about OpenBSD
1: Simplicity
2: Security
3: Excellent documentation
4: Solid networking
5: Great knowledgeable responds form this forum when help is needed.
I agree with those and would add...
6. Good taste
... which sort of fits with 1 but not exactly.
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Old 5th February 2014
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I discovered OpenBSD in 2011, when looking for an alternative OS for my antique P3 Win98 laptop.
I tried several Linux distributions, but only Debian was light enough for my machine.
And I was not really satisfied with Debian.

Then, I tried OpenBSD 5.0 and fell instantly in love with it.
Never changed, except for an upgrade to 5.1.

The console installation is so easy, and the OS is free, functional and so fast.
It gave my old laptop a new life.

Later, I virtualized several OS, but none ever outmatched OpenBSD.

OpenSUSE could be a solution, but still too heavy compared to OpenBSD.
Same observation with Solaris/OpenSolaris/OpenIndiana.

PC-BSD is really really too heavy, and really really too slow !

But the worst is Ubuntu.
I tried Ubuntu, but the install process is soooo long, soooo slow and soooo painful...
And Ubuntu is just awful to use, just like a urchin in the ass
Even Ubuntu's site is painful.

Now, I only use open source applications, then I can use any machine/OS, it doesn't really make a big difference : Firefox, Chromium, GIMP, Bluefish, Filezilla, Qt, PostgreSQL.

So, I use OpenBSD by choice :

Quote:
1. free
2. functional
3. secured
4. light and fast
5. easy
6. very well documented
7. when You start your machine, a GUI is not imposed
8. the shell is a pleasure
9. it's easier to install Qt on an OpenBSD machine than on an OS X machine
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