Welcome to the OpenBSD forums' Frequently Asked Questions
- It is highly recommended that newcomers to OpenBSD take the time to study the OpenBSD project's official FAQ document. Many questions can be answered by studying this document along with saving significant time and frustration.
- Information on the packages/ports system for OpenBSD can be found in Section 15 of the FAQ.
- Applications available for OpenBSD can be searched for at:
- Current information on OpenBSD development can be found at The OpenBSD Journal. Many of the articles found there were written by project developers.
- The following OpenBSD-specific code tags are available:
Those interested in learning to use PF should look at the following resources:
More on searching...
- The official PF User's Guide.
- Peter Hansteen's Firewalling with PF manuscript.
- Daniel Hartmeier's three part series on PF (2006):
- CAVEAT: Significant changes to the internal structure of pf(4) has occurred in the later versions of OpenBSD (4.4 onward...). This includes syntax changes to the rules allowed. Be very wary of rules found on Websites other than the project's Website for compatibility. The very best source of information on PF is the pf(4) manpage and the PF User's Guide.
Many think the right answer can be found when using search engines such as Google. This isn't necessarily true when it comes to OpenBSD.
- The OpenBSD project puts great importance on the correctness of its manpages. This is the first place where OpenBSD users should look for information.
- The project's developers are known to share insightful information on the project's mailing lists. This should be the second place serious users of OpenBSD go to find answers-- especially when looking at current development. Information on subscribing to the project's mailing lists can be found at the following:
Numerous sites exist archiving the mailing lists. A favorite of several developers and members here is http://marc.info/.
The project's Website has a lot of information available. This includes the FAQ document previously mentioned. Being familiar with this information makes OpenBSD users more productive.
- We have been asked several times where howto documents on OpenBSD topics can be found. The OpenBSD developers and community frowns on such works. Such documents require a significant amount of upkeep which many don't realize. Documents found in the wild are frequently out-dated, incorrect, or limited in scope. Authors typically research a topic only far enough to answer their immediate question. Readers may be coming at a topic with a different need than that of the author, so the information presented may or may not work in a larger context.
Don't blindly accept the legitimacy of such documents. Ever. This includes information found at sites even like this one. Compare such information to what is stated in the manpages and FAQ. Research standards. Learning to research in a smarter manner will help make you a more effective OpenBSD user.
The OpenBSD project is very small when compared to other Open Source projects. When asking questions, take the time to find answers first. While this may not lead to the final answer desired, doing some research upfront will gain you respect from the community. Passivity and requests for spoon-feeding have been known to be received with indifference to disdain.