April 21st, 2006, 17:44

" Over the years, OpenBSD has built a reputation for integrated security and reliability, but most people think of it as an operating system suitable only for firewalls and servers. The truth is that OpenBSD also works well as a desktop system; in fact, I use it on an IBM ThinkPad R50e notebook as my main system.

The clear advantage of OpenBSD over other operating systems is the security it offers. The basic philosophy of the project is that security comes as a result of clean, correct code design. A quick search on the BUGTRAQ mailing list archive shows that bugs found on programs do not affect OpenBSD or were already fixed. Of course, given some work by users, security can also be improved on other operating systems, but OpenBSD is "secure by default"; no remote-listening daemons are enabled and features such as ProPolice and the new mmap-based malloc function (introduced in version 3.8) assure that your system is protected from yet undiscovered software bugs and zero-day exploits. The Internet is not a safe place and lots of people want to crack our systems for fun or profit, so it's better to be protected as best as we can.

OpenBSD's clean code and design also provide rock-solid stability. I used to have lots of problems and crashes with new versions of Linux (kernel 2.6.x) and FreeBSD (versions 5.x and 6.x). The main focus of OpenBSD developers is to provide programs that work efficiently and thus prefer to improve their code rather than just add more new features and end up with a bloated and unstable product. Rest of the Article ( "