Punk Walrus
September 29th, 2003, 13:16
This is not meant at a troll, but I was curious what you'd recommend OpenBSD to be used for if it only has one NIC? Is it more than just a great OS with pf? How do they compare as say, severs or data crunchers? Would you use one as your default workstation, and why?

It seem that most of what I see said these days is that OpenBSD is nothing more than a ultra-secure routing OS which happens to also run most of what FreeBSD has. And while I think pf is awesome, I have trouble trying to convince others that OpenBSD is anything more THAN a routing OS. I am not looking for "you can run XXXXX on it too!" but *unique* qualities YOU think OpenBSD has over security and routing, over say, Linux, Windows, and FreeBSD.

Thanks :)

September 29th, 2003, 14:48
well I think OpenBSD makes a great webserver as well. SE currently runs OpenBSD and has proven to be super stable. OpenBSD also makes great generalized srvers for Mail/DNS/Radius/LDAP or whatever. I particularly like the way OpenBSD sets up these services and I find OpenBSD to be more straight forward in regards to both generalized configuration and custom configuration of individual packages. Though those thoughts are certainly my opinion and not necessarily everyone else's point of view.

I also think OpenBSD makes a great workstation. In recent releases the desktop side of OpenBSD has really grown up, lots of new packages are available via the ports collection linux and FreeBSD emulation have also gotten much better.

It's definately a down and dirty O.S. where you'll have to get under the hood to work. In the end it all comes down to personal choice though, I suppose.

Hope that helps!

September 29th, 2003, 16:29
I've been using OpenBSD as my workstation for almost 5 years and now also use it for web, dns, mail, disk and syslog servers. Oh, and firewalls.

I started using it b/c i wanted a change from linux - not for any particular reason, only to see how something different worked. I liked OpenBSD enough that i've stuck with it since then. I don't have many tangible reasons why, it's more that i like the feel of it. I think choosing a personal OS is similar to buying a car or a bike or a house - maybe one has better crash ratings, or more durable derailers, or is located in a safer neighbourhood, but in the end what really matters is how you feel inside of it. e.g. i ride a mountain bike to work not a road bike b/c i really like the feel of the mountain bike better - the road bike would get me to work quicker and more efficiently, but

If i was forced to argue technical reasons, i'd say the out-of-the-box privsep'd and chroot'd daemons are invaluable. There are other security and minimalist aspects of the OS that i appreciate, like the default fs settings and the continual reduction in suid programs.

Oh, and i like not having to wonder if it's truly free. License issues may seem trivial most days, but the little things really count. Maybe tomorrow's gangster will get taken down due to licensing issues instead of tax evasion.

October 1st, 2003, 14:26
I use openbsd for my servers: web, ftp, mail, dns and as a firewall. I also have X running on one of my servers to play with. Generally my workstation runs Gentoo (very BSD-ish) since I play 3D games but I am always ssh'ing into my openbsd servers when doing other things. There is not much you can do with other BSDs or Linux that you cant do with OpenBSD.

Punk Walrus
October 1st, 2003, 17:58
Thanks for the responses! These are what I was looking for. OpenBSD and I have been together for about one and a half years now, and I have been trying to offer an alternative solution to my workplace than Red Hat Linux (we had some issues with ssh and sendmail recently, and it's making people nervous). But the biggest problem is getting others to change. It took them a while to get off of NT to Red Hat, and now to OpenBSD? Most of the higher-ups told me that OpenBSD was "not serious" and that "BSD is dying" (?). But some of the older Sun people have expressed interest in BSD, since they like the "more UNIX feel." I have always loved the security, but I am paranoid that way, and I wanted to have more to present than, "It's like ... blahblah," or "Does the same as blahblah," because that begs the question... "Why not stay with blahblah?"

October 18th, 2003, 15:49
I also forgot to add, you can run freebsd/netbsd/linux/other binaries in openbsd under emulation. Openbsd is cool 8)

October 21st, 2003, 09:55
I use OpenBSD for just about everything at home. Including on my sparc64's & G3's.

* My main OpenBSD box runs KDE as good as any other free UNIX/Leanux out there.
* My mail server runs OpenBSD on an old Ultra 5; it services POP/Postfix/TLS/SASL/IMAP.
* My webserver runs on a i386 box and it hosts 2 websites (including a BBS like this one); Apache/PHP/MySQL.
* My firewall is an old pentium pro 200 with 64Mb; it runs with 3 NICs (internal, external & DMZ) it provides DNS & DHCP for my whole network. This is one of my most trusted systems! It ran OpenBSD 2.9 until 3.1 launched; later I upgraded it to 3.2 and then again to 3.4. Uptime reached over 1 year.
* My proxy server (squid) runs on an i386 box with 240Gb worth of disks (just because I could!).
My G3 runs OpenBSD just for kicks. I might make it into one of my main boxes though. PPC is nice!
I have a bunch of other boxes running some sort of openbsd for no good reason other than good ol' playing.

At work I use several OpenBSD boxes for lab firewalls, network servers and other assorted tasks.

Anyway, one can use OpenBSD for almost anything. I like its clear design and minimalistic setup the best. Even though sometimes there might be a better solution out there I probably still would use OpenBSD just because I can.

October 21st, 2003, 12:24
I use Open BSD on my desktop for no other reason than it was something new that I wanted to learn. Total imersion is the best way to learn. Eventually I'll get bored with this and install NetBSD. It works fine as a desktop OS, and the docs on Obsd kick ass :>