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Old 26th November 2011
dnix dnix is offline
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Default -stable snapshots "openbsd-stable.org" (?)

Hello, I'm new to OpenBSD. I realize no binary updates are provided by the project itself. Are the snapshots from this source legit to use?

I'd like patches whenever available, but don't want to do them by hand and/or rebuild everything.

Can I possibly follow -stable by (U)pdating to these snapshots using bsd.rd and sysmerge?
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Old 26th November 2011
J65nko J65nko is offline
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I have never heard of this site before. Even if I knew about it, it still would not been officially supported by OpenBSD. Use at your own risk
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Old 26th November 2011
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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These are built as a service by Maurice Janssen, an active OpenBSD user. I have never examined his offering, nor had any communications with him, and have no opinion on your trust question -- you are, after all, trusting the OpenBSD Project and its developers when you install their binaries. If you are concerned with the possibilities of an outside bad actor being able to taint the binaries, you might use the SHA256 file from one site and file sets and kernels from another.

What you are really interested in knowing, I think, is can you conduct an "upgrade" using a -stable release. I use the word release here differently than OpenBSD's twice yearly numbered releases. I mean the collection of kernels and filesets used for installation or upgrade according to FAQ 5 and the release(8) man page.

The answer is yes, you can upgrade. Place the new bsd.rd where you will be able to reach it from the boot> prompt, and select Upgrade from the Install, Upgrade, or Shell prompt.

It would be prudent to back up your system, first.
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Old 26th November 2011
dnix dnix is offline
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I suppose that's what I'm asking. Sorry, I'm still making sense of everything. With FreeBSD I stuck to RELEASE, and didn't need to worry about other branches. It was only a matter of using "freebsd-update" for patches. So this is new to me.

Maybe I'm not totally on the right page. But can bsd.rd be used to go from 5.0 -release to 5.0 -stable? That is, if and when patches are released?

In this case, using said "releases" built by Mr. Jannsen (trust issues aside).

Or is the bsd.rd not intended to be used this way?

(Of course, if there weren't critical patches released by the next 6 months - I'd just upgrade to 5.1)
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Old 26th November 2011
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Yes, you can use your existing bsd.rd kernel, since there will be no structural changes between -release and -stable, but it will complain to you about invalid checksums. This us why I recommended using the matching bsd.rd kernel.
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Old 28th November 2011
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@dnix, if you've tried this third party service already, I hope you had success.
Quote:
I'd like patches whenever available, but don't want to do them by hand and/or rebuild everything.
Please consider adding both of these skills to your repertoire. OpenBSD is not just source-code maintained, it is source-code supported.

Should you ever have a problem requiring support, the developer(s) supporting you will only send you a source-code patch for testing. Their patches will not go into -stable until you have confirmed the patch resolves your problem and creates no new ones. Developers will neither replicate your environment nor test the patch for you. They won't build kernels or other binary modules for you either; they might not even have access to the same hardware architecture you use.

Errata patches will give you a feel for what it takes to implement a single patch "by hand" if needed. These are published on the web and always include instructions. There is usually very little actually done by hand for most patches. As an example, the most recent errata patch was published in February, for the 4.8 kernel, and included the following instructions:
Code:
Apply by doing:
    /usr/src
    patch -p0 < 010_sis.patch

Then build and install a new kernel
Kernel patches require kernel builds, which is a fairly automated process, described in both the Following -stable FAQ as well as FAQ 5.3.4. Userland patches carry complete step-by-step instructions, such as this 4.8 example:
Code:
Apply by doing:
    cd /usr/src
    patch -p0 < 001_bgpd.patch

Rebuild and install the bgp daemon:
    cd usr.sbin/bgpd
    make obj
    make depend
    make
    make install
Patches are always submitted, published, and shared using a standard format called "unified diff". This format is easy to read and understand, even when you are not a programmer. You may not understand the specifics of the change, but you can see what was added, deleted, or altered in context.

If you have missed the Following -stable FAQ you may find it helpful for understanding what it takes to maintain your own -stable system(s).

Last edited by jggimi; 28th November 2011 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 28th November 2011
ocicat ocicat is offline
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dnix, the FAQ covers how to patch source code in Section 10.15.
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Old 28th November 2011
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I'd forgotten about that section of the FAQ. Thanks!
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Old 18th December 2011
dnix dnix is offline
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Sorry, late reply. I didn't see I'd gotten more responses!

I did try the service, seemed to go okay. But at that point in time, there probably wasn't much difference from what I already had installed. And not much to "sysmerge", if anything. I saw the new fix on the errata page, the other day. On the same day (11/30) there were updated snapshots on his site. So he definitely keeps up with them.

About the patching, I've have used diff / patch files here and there, though I'm not terribly experienced. When I saw that the "patches" for OpenBSD were literally that, patches, it threw me off. And so I was trying to tip-toe around it.

It was interesting because...reading the FAQ, I got the impression that "OpenBSD people" discourage compiling stuff wherever possible. Use of packages seem to be encouraged, sticking to the GENERIC kernel, etc.

The FreeBSD people are always like, "Oh yeah, just compile it from ports!" or "Oh, you need this? No problem, just compile it into your kernel! ". But on the flip side, if you were using RELEASE you did have the option to use "freebsd-update" for system updates.

From my initial impression of OpenBSD, I was thinking there had to be an equivalent. But there wasn't! And, it sounded like there might even be more compiling actually needed (at least base system) than FreeBSD!

Anyway, @jggimi your suggestion is noted. Perhaps I will read that part of the FAQ again closer if you think this method will make me a better OpenBSD user?
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Old 18th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnix View Post
I...reading the FAQ, I got the impression that "OpenBSD people" discourage compiling stuff wherever possible. Use of packages seem to be encouraged, sticking to the GENERIC kernel, etc.
You are confusing third party software with the base OS, and confusing source maintenance and support with customization.

For third party applications, it is recommended to use binary packages over building from ports when the appropriate package is available. The reasons and exceptions are discussed in FAQ 15.4.6.

The GENERIC and GENERIC.MP kernels contain all supported functionality. There are some unsupported features that require customization. "Stripping" the kernel is possible, but is not supported. Custom kernels are discussed in FAQ 5.6.
Quote:
The FreeBSD people...
These are different operating systems. Yes, they are both BSDs, but their developments have been on divergent paths for 19 years.
Quote:
...Perhaps I will read that part of the FAQ again closer if you think this method will make me a better OpenBSD user?
Good idea. OpenBSD has four official sources of information: 1) The FAQ, which is a combination of FAQ, HOWTO, and Handbook. 2) Man pages, the definitive documentation. 3) The OpenBSD Journal, a juried publication open to submissions by both developers and users, and 4) The mailing lists.
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