January 15th, 2005, 13:45
Given my meager experience installing FreeBSD, both 4.x and 5.x, on about 10 machines total, I'm ready to experience more. Let me say I've seen some things that don't please me, and I'm looking for something that would be a better fit for the way I work. Not long ago, I recall Elmore posting about how OpenBSD is now his favorite for the desktop. Sell that to me.

Consider that I would want to know about desktop use, not server use.

1. Would it be faster on similar hardware?

2. Is dialup as user friendly?

3. Is it recommended for laptops? Is NetBSD better for that?

4. How hard would it be to find simple config examples? For example, I found a dialup firewall for FreeBSD in the bundled docs, and simply dropped a couple of items that I understood. For the most part, I really don't understand firewalls, so that simple and workable example was a godsend.

5. What really makes OpenBSD special to you in the area of desktop use, or in general?


January 15th, 2005, 15:08
1.) OpenBSD isnt built for speed, so FreebSD may be a *little* faster, but for me, I really dont see a differnece.

2.) Dialup is straight forward and easy to do

3.) I run openbsd on my thinkpad X20 and everyting works except the winmodem built in.

4.) There are numerous examples out there, firewall scripts, etc..

5.) Everything works for me, I love the security features on it, and just fits my style. Very easy straightforward to use OS. =)

January 15th, 2005, 17:03
My laptop is a lot wimpier than that: a 233 Celeron.

Another question: I found kernel compiling brain-dead simple on FreeBSD. How's that compare for OpenBSD?

January 15th, 2005, 18:10
its quite easy
only a few steps...


January 15th, 2005, 18:46
Hmmm I learned Linux, the FreeBSD and the moved on to OpenBSD. I found installing for the first times to be tricky, but the FAQ helped a lot (I didnt have a printed copy the first time I tried). From then on in, I found OpenBSD to be a bit less "polished" than FreeBSD, but with better docs. Like FreeBSD it took a bit of learning, but I found once I invested a bit of time in it, it definitally payed off. I didnt like it in terms of a desktop, primarly because I didnt track current snapshots, so my ports were always out of date, but thats my own fault. Best of luck, and you have some really good OpenBSD users to help you out :-)

Last time I read the FAQ it advised against recompiling the kernel, has that changed? If I remember correctly, there were few good reasons to recompile...

January 15th, 2005, 20:49
Last time I read the FAQ it advised against recompiling the kernel, has that changed? If I remember correctly, there were few good reasons to recompile...

For the most part there is really no reason to recompile it.. Almost everything works out of the box, but if you know what you are doing, there is no problems on recompiling. Basically, just dont go wine to the obsd developers and expect support for a non-GENERIC kernel.

January 15th, 2005, 21:18
Yea, I recompiled :-)

January 15th, 2005, 22:31
My query on the recompile was about the laptop. I didn't know if the GENERIC contained things like APM support, VESA support for the console, etc. In my reading today I noticed they are more pedantic about "free" packages and don't include some things I really like. So perhaps I should wait until I get a spare machine to play on. My laptop is a critical tool, not to mention a show piece for others.

I just got a new mobo, 1Ghz CPU and half-gig RAM combo for my desktop. Currently it runs SUSE 9.2, which seems sluggish, in spite of all that power. The eye candy is hard to match, but KDE gives me lots of GUI lags when anything runs much in the background. Plugging in my digital camera (USB) pegs the CPU for a bit and I can't do much.

I've been really disappointed by the glitches in FreeBSD 5.3, so I'm either going to do 4.11 or NetBSD, based on what I read so far. This is my work machine, a "sacred repository" of all my files. It can't be anything but desktop, but I'm not enjoying this flacid response with SUSE. I still have that old ProSignia 200 behind me running FBSD 5.3, when I bother to boot it up. It's no longer essential, so I may test things on that one.

I appreciate your advice.