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Old 28th September 2023
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Default who really uses openbsd on it's daily computer?

hello

i was wondering... who really uses openbsd as a day to day operating system on your personal computer?
with what kind of machine? for which reasons?
what motivated your choice?
does it brought you some issues with different crossed systems, eg using computer at a specific place (office, public organization..), or with some people dealing only with win/macos?

what is the impression of your relatives, or other people, when they see this rare os and how they "understand" philosophy of openbsd?

how would you convince another oss operating system user to taste openbsd, or even to have it for a longer term?
or just to make people understand you're using a different system?



(i ask those questions because i discovered that os recently, and looks like to be not so known, in addition of being really under the linux shadow, plus im wondering why so few people are running it..)

thank you for answers!
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Old 28th September 2023
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Hello, didn't you ask some kind of similar question here :
https://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=12413

What kind of information do you want which has not been given in this previous thread?
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Old 28th September 2023
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Both questions were just asked again today in two new threads at the linuxquestions.org website, where most users are linux-focused.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
who really uses openbsd as a day to day operating system on your personal computer?
I do. Every day.
Quote:
with what kind of machine?
amd64 laptop.
Quote:
for which reasons?
what motivated your choice?
I find that it is simple to use, simple to administer, and simple to maintain, and I understand its scope of features. I also run it on a small farm of servers, both local and remote.
Quote:
what is the impression of your relatives, or other people, when they see this rare os and how they "understand" philosophy of openbsd?
I don't usually discuss it. Someone who is not an IT professional or a deeply technical hobbyist would just see a browser, anyway. Someone who is technical and also familiar with Linux would likely notice the window manager.
Quote:
...or just to make people understand you're using a different system?
It usually doesn't come up in conversation, if ever. If someone asks if I'm using Linux, I'll usually say, "Not quite. I'm running something called OpenBSD. It's a small, research operating system." That's often enough to stop the conversation cold.

Last edited by jggimi; 28th September 2023 at 05:41 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 29th September 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
If someone asks if I'm using Linux, I'll usually say, "Not quite. I'm running something called OpenBSD. It's a small, research operating system." That's often enough to stop the conversation cold.
Ahah! I think I will keep this line in my mind next time someone asks me about OpenBSD!

Personally I'm using OpenBSD on my VPS because it's dead simple to manage and because my VPS provider gives a part of each subscription to the OpenBSD*Foundation which deserves it, for they help the work on OpenSSH, OpenSMTPD, mandoc, etc. All this software I use daily.

On a philosophical standpoint, I like their aim for simplicity and good documentation. If I can't find an answer on a program's manpages then I can always go through the code and even though I'm no developer, I can often understand large parts of the code and find my answer.

Of course this simplicity comes with its own issues, for example, I was not able to make audio work on my laptop with OpenBSD. Since I did not want to fiddle with the command line for more than 10 minutes just to watch a DVD before bed so I went with my linux computer with PulseAudio and pavucontrol and there everything worked fine. I should read the sndiod documentation more carefully next time and maybe find a GUI program for sndiod? One can dream.
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Old 29th September 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onauk View Post
Personally I'm using OpenBSD on my VPS...
I use it on all my VPS platforms also, but hd77 was specifically asking about personal workstation uses. For workstations, its the same reason for me as for my servers: simplicity of operation, code and documentation correctness, and the Project's goals.
Quote:
Of course this simplicity comes with its own issues, for example, I was not able to make audio work on my laptop with OpenBSD.
Start a thread, post your dmesg and audio details, and maybe one of the forum members can help with that.
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Old 29th September 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Both questions were just asked again today in two new threads at the linuxquestions.org website, where most users are linux-focused.
I may have had something to do with that... The question was asked on the LQ site, and on noting that the answers were mostly low quality, from uninformed people, I suggested that the question be asked at more relevant sites.

It's also been asked on www.unitedbsd.com
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Old 29th September 2023
jmccue jmccue is offline
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Addressed to Hd77

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole View Post
I may have had something to do with that... The question was asked on the LQ site, and on noting that the answers were mostly low quality, from uninformed people, I suggested that the question be asked at more relevant sites.

It's also been asked on www.unitedbsd.com
No offense, what are you really trying to get answered ?

I saw the LQ question and I thought some of the answers where OK. I think if the answers do not answer your question, maybe you need to re-think the question

I would suggest you visit www.openbsd.org and spend some time reading it to see if the answer is there.
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Last edited by jmccue; 30th September 2023 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 30th September 2023
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In chorus with the previous replies with an emphasis on the non-working audio:
The project essentially wrote their own audio server. It is much simpler than pulseaudio/wireplumber. A good starting point is the succinct and up-to-date Multimedia section in the FAQ. The FAQ also has links to the man pages for sndioctl(1). If you are luckly, the sound is just muted (possiblely a Fn key on the laptop).

Further down FAQ13 there are additional sections on choosing the default audio device and debugging.

Last edited by shep; 30th September 2023 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 30th September 2023
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When installing OpenBSD, I've had to raise the volume on nearly every installation, I think they do it that way so that you don't get blasted with sound the first time you use it.
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Old 2nd October 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
I use it on all my VPS platforms also, but hd77 was specifically asking about personal workstation uses. For workstations, its the same reason for me as for my servers: simplicity of operation, code and documentation correctness, and the Project's goals.Start a thread, post your dmesg and audio details, and maybe one of the forum members can help with that.
My mistake, I should have been more focused on my reading. For the audio issue, I will at one point try to use sniodctl/sndiod.conf to solve my issue but I didn't want to try to solve it here. I just wanted to point that I find some edges of OpenBSD are still rough and it may not suit everyone to have to configure their sound through the CLI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
In chorus with the previous replies with an emphasis on the non-working audio:
The project essentially wrote their own audio server. It is much simpler than pulseaudio/wireplumber. A good starting point is the succinct and up-to-date Multimedia section in the FAQ. The FAQ also has links to the man pages for sndioctl(1). If you are luckly, the sound is just muted (possiblely a Fn key on the laptop).

Further down FAQ13 there are additional sections on choosing the default audio device and debugging.
I did read this page and this is my main appeal in using OpenBSD: the very good documentation. I'm certain I will be able to make it work but the steps to do so are not as easy as using pavucontrol on a linux/PulseAudio (linux+PulseAudio?) setup. This is not something which blocks me from using OpenBSD but one something should be aware of when trying OpenBSD, be prepared you will have to read documentation to manipulate this OS.

I think this reading aspect is clearly beneficial since when I first started using Linux I would mostly scourge the forums to find a solution mostly copy/pasting ready-made answers. Nowadays I read the man pages (or Info manual) and I will find my solution by understanding the software I'm manipulating.
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Old 22nd October 2023
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmccue View Post
Addressed to Hd77



No offense, what are you really trying to get answered ?

I saw the LQ question and I thought some of the answers where OK. I think if the answers do not answer your question, maybe you need to re-think the question

I would suggest you visit www.openbsd.org and spend some time reading it to see if the answer is there.

for me, the main "issue" with openbsd are just the following :

-bbig lack of just common hardware : graphical card, plus networking ; the both xorg without hw acceleration, everything done by cpu with a low VGA resolution (pikebu nvidia), plus the situation regarding about one over two wlan chipset are not supported, might freak or just even stop the interesting feeling of geeks, nerds or other engineers or general public (passionate guys) to see about it. Have only 1 usb port, can't do with a "usb wlan stick", especially when I have usb storage devices to use..

-the slow experience of the system : in a way, as linux is very known or choosen, especially, for old computers, i still can run LMDE on 2013 laptop without it going "so slow", even with 10 FF tabs opened, a LO or thunderbird with hundred of mails, and a gimp activity : it runs. With openbsd, just FF with 2 tabs and a gimp, you feel the mouse being like not following the movements.. or even freezing until xorg crash

i admit i have to thank for this initiative, the simplicity, purety of code or even the "high-level secured" criteria of that project, who diserves probably the 8.5/10 mark (of 30 reviews) of distrowatch.
i admit i liked the isotop french frog project, whom makes "easier" to taste the desktop/laptop part of that system.
yeah, i do like openbsd.
i do like blogs about it, too.
but i dont use it regularly : with my ~10yo hw laptops army, either hardware (first point) or slowness makes this just a bit unusable for big-web-browsing (and i seriously regret it) [about 10-50tabs simultaneously) that lmde supports without crying.

On another hand, i still enjoy to see that system being developped as a cousin of linuxes, a bro' of *bsd, and to get "still actively developped" where several linux projects just get down and abdandonned over the years. Openbsd looks like just a bit that the "plan/front9" for non devs users : accessible and working. But the thing is well, "basics" usages of openbsd shown on various blogs, shows mainly that they are running basic software for a moderate usage (web/mail) with... recent machines.

and here is a bit why i lost the hope to adopt it, i use old computers with ""recent"" linux (aka >2020), where i experienced slow openbsd running just few tabs/sofwtare compared to linux. Is that unix so different? I dont know, im not an expert I tried to be an user (an i then discovered cwm/dwm with isotop), but those two first point could really discourage lot of win/mac/nux new comers, especially ones, like me, who use their old machine to test it.

i just hope i will see that with "common brands/hw" :
https://undeadly.org/cgi?action=arti...20220126191703


i would really find interesting to see :
*openbsd accepting on demand/optional wlan/graphical devices to be supported by the system (a bit like debian new choices)
*openbsd getting involved in mobile os projects (with linux : sailfish/meego, ubuntu, postmarket... common, only ios does bsd stuff, no alternative?)

then, i think i will try to "quad boot it" with win/lmde/haiku/obsd (have only 2 laptops in that possibility, others are just graphicsboard/wlan unoperate..

thank you for reading, sorry for having launch that debate, even if for new bsd comers (i didnt really tried the free/net, just open) it's still **very** intestersting to see your all participation (i assume largely post this on several boards, i just forgotten reddit )

Last edited by hd77; 22nd October 2023 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 22nd October 2023
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NVIDIA ceased development of its open source graphics driver in 2010. That driver, nv(4), is still part of OpenBSD's Xenocara build, but it will only function with a limited set of legacy NVIDIA graphics cards, listed in the nv(4) man page.

NVIDIA has decided to keep their more recent graphics interfaces private. Unlike other OS projects, the OpenBSD Project will not accept a pre-compiled binary driver from a vendor, nor will any Project members sign an NDA in order to obtain private information about hardware.

If you want to use the OS with a graphical workstation, you will have a better experience if you have a supported GPU.
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Old 22nd October 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
i would really find interesting to see :
*openbsd accepting on demand/optional wlan/graphical devices to be supported by the system (a bit like debian new choices)
*openbsd getting involved in mobile os projects (with linux : sailfish/meego, ubuntu, postmarket... common, only ios does bsd stuff, no alternative?)
I don't think the devs do "on demand". They seem to only work on stuff that interests them.

EDIT: oops, sorry OP. How silly of me...

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick; 24th October 2023 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 23rd October 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Head_on_a_Stick View Post
I don't think the devs do "on demand". They seem to only work on stuff that interests them.
You may have interpreted “on dev” differently from what was intended by the OP. I suspect the intent was dynamic kernel modules which are installed on-the-fly — PAM versus a monolithic kernel.

Because this project places the security and integrity of the kernel as paramount, pluggable modules are not a priority nor advisable.
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Old 24th October 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
NVIDIA ceased development of its open source graphics driver in 2010. That driver, nv(4), is still part of OpenBSD's Xenocara build, but it will only function with a limited set of legacy NVIDIA graphics cards, listed in the nv(4) man page.
Do you happen to know the rationale behind not porting the nouveau driver? Is it down to licensing or something else? (I don't have any nvidia GPUs, but always wondered about this).
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Old 24th October 2023
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To my knowledge, it would be a major porting effort, and no one has stepped up to do the many months of work it would require.
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Old 2nd November 2023
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pkg_add tigervnc jpeg ... does for me. OpenBSD laptop, vnc into 'application servers' such as a i5 (with nvidia) running a configured/static Linux vm, that delivers the screens/video (and sound) quicker than if I had Linux installed and was using chrome/whatever directly on the laptop. OpenBSD security with Linux speed (and the latest chrome browser). Reboot the vm and its back to a 'newly installed' (configured) image again, pristine clean, physical separation/isolation, low attack surface excepting if a hacker can attack via screen dumps/sound.

Why OpenBSD, because its a complete single OS, no kernel/userspace separate entities, the man pages are great, its easy to install/use (after the initial learning curve) - just solid, and works. 10 minutes upgrade time once every six months.
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Old 22nd November 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
hello

i was wondering... who really uses openbsd as a day to day operating system on your personal computer?
with what kind of machine? for which reasons?
I absolutely do. My servers run it, my workstations run it, and my ThinkPad T530 runs it.

Why run it everywhere? I happen to find it minimal, complete, robust, and downright clean. It has everything I need, else I write it myself. All of my OpenBSD machines are installed with every file set except X11. As a C programmer, and even as a regular user, I have absolutely no need for a GUI.

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what motivated your choice?
Over the years I've developed a strong aversion to complexity. It started with the chaos that is today's modern software ecosystem, it went on to privacy, on to system software, on to the operating system itself, and eventually even found its way into life outside computers.

I've managed to find the cleanest, most minimal and correct answer to everything that reeked with bloat and futility. When it came to operating systems I cross-compiled my own Linux system with musl libc. A few days into that venture I found the time to finally sample OpenBSD and it was then that I realized I had been trying to recreate what OpenBSD was all along.

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Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
does it brought you some issues with different crossed systems, eg using computer at a specific place (office, public organization..), or with some people dealing only with win/macos?
Nothing C, POSIX, or UNIX ever cause an issue with anything. The inverse is true, however. Working with anything that isn't POSIX-compliant, isn't UNIX, or doesn't ship with a C99 compiler is a grade-A pain in the ass. I'm only 28 years old but I'd bet my life savings that I'll be complaining about graphical user interfaces and the disgrace that Windows and Apple are to the beauty that is the electron computer system until my last dying breath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
what is the impression of your relatives, or other people, when they see this rare os and how they "understand" philosophy of openbsd?
Some impressions are funny, one was fairly ignorant. Most reactions are silent and intrigued, but also amazed and awestruck as the odds are I'm teaching someone about something related to a real computer system. I could be showing them what an easier life looks like with mailx, or IRC, or "wow'ing" them with basic system utilities like a netcat/aucat combo or even ssh/tmux. None of that is particularly interesting, it's existed for ages. But to those people it's a level of productivity and freedom they've never seen before and could only ever hope to achieve.

Funny reactions include people referring to my computer as "that hacker thing". Ignorance is bliss.

The ignorant reaction consisted of someone calling my laptop a "real computer" only after I fired up X11 on that particular installation to demonstrate such a system obviously provides a graphical user interface when you need it, I just simply never use it. I had to explain once more that a display server does not constitute a computer system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hd77 View Post
how would you convince another oss operating system user to taste openbsd, or even to have it for a longer term?
or just to make people understand you're using a different system?
I wouldn't. During this journey to ultimate simplicity there was a moment in time that I had an epiphany about computers. A realization which strengthened when I made the move to OpenBSD directly from Slackware and KISS Linux. At that point in time I had the powerful desire to share this incredible knowledge and level of freedom that I had obtained through the use of such a beautiful system and elegant software ecosystem (BSD, suckless, C99/POSIX). For many months after, I took to documenting as much as I could in small texts and mailed them to friends and family.

As it turns out, although I had done the absolute best I could to present such information with virtually no technical lingo and all in plain English, either no one read the emails, only skimmed them, or didn't understand enough to bother with it. When I finally stood up a gopher server, something that had been on my stack for a while, the reactions to the server were worse. In all my excitement, not 1 person had opened my email about it.

It was at that point that I readjusted the plans I had for my goal. Through my observations it had become wildly apparently that the majority of individuals today have no interest in learning something new or putting forth the effort to read. This may sound harsh and exaggerated but picture one's initial reaction to the frightening wall of text I've written thus far.

People will do what they do, more often than not, for the sake of pleasure or the illusion of instant gratification. The time that we are living in now truly isn't ideal for passing on knowledge to someone else. We can still do what we can to educate and document what OpenBSD is and why it's an absolutely amazing operating system, but ultimately that's all we can do. Leave a flier, and let people do with it what they want.
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Old 27th November 2023
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I use OpenBSD on:

- servers amd64 (web/nfs)
- daily drivers amd64
- raspberryPi 4B
- BananaPi M5
- on the road on an old Asus eee701 (i386)

Why? Because I like it.

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Old 30th November 2023
rufwoof rufwoof is offline
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Default cluster fornication

Nowadays there are tools that enable seamless transparency of underline systems, for instance kvm/qemu, vnc ...etc.

Attached image is actually Linux running OpenBSD in a kvm/qemu running on my old (couch potato) laptop, where that vm is vnc'd into a another linux kvm/qemu vm running on a server (desktop i5, 8GB, nvidia on the other side of the room next to the TV). The OpenBSD session is just base OpenBSD + tigervnc (and jpeg). Sound/audio from the linux server is forwarded to the host laptops linux (using sndio), whilst video is fed via vnc to the OpenBSD vm.

Noteworthy is that the display quality and functionality of the OpenBSD system is great, very clear, and things just work. For instance getting audio to consistently be fed via wlan, video via eth under linux is IME much less reliable/consistent, more random, sometimes it will flip to sending both via wlan, or both via eth, yielding a inconsistent look-n-feel. With OpenBSD - things just work. Also note that I'm using twm with squashed titlebars for that OpenBSD, which IMO is good when you might have several VM's running as you can position the tabs alongside each other and still have space between that exposes the OpenBSD desktop for clicking to bring up the twm menu.

Why that cluster fornication? Well native OpenBSD on my laptop doesn't have wifi, so a linux host (that does support the wifi), openbsd guest resolves that. And as linux is running might as well have the sound served to that, just use the OpenBSD for video (vnc). Connecting to a vm on the server means that the server can still be used directly (as a desktop system, running chrome etc.) without sound from the youtube that I'm viewing 'remotely' in a chrome session doesn't overlay onto the main host systems sound if another family member is using the main session. Which also means that my OpenBSD interactions run at the same speed as if I were sitting at the desktop/server that's hard wired to the internet with nvidia display, i5/8GB speeds. Much faster than native laptop <4GB ram, slow/old wifi speeds.

Whilst twm doesn't support virtual desktops, it does support multiple real desktops
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