3.7/5 28
A FREE, multi-platform BSD-based, UNIX operating system for multiple architectures

editor's review






OpenBSD is a free project that delivers a multi-platform UNIX-like operating system that is portable, efficient, secure, and based on the 4.4BSD platform. It is a powerful server product used on hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide.

Availability, boot options, supported platforms

The operating system is freely available for download from the dedicated section (see above) as ISO images or binary packages that allow users to install it over the network. The ISO images can be burned onto CD discs, bootable directly from the BIOS of most PCs.

OpenBSD supports binary emulation of most programs from SVR4 (Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, BSD, SunOS and HP-UX. It can be installed on a wide range of architectures, including i386, sparc64, alpha, m68k, sh, amd64, PowerPC, m88k,  sparc, ARM, hppa, vax, mips64, and mips64el.

The CD image boots automatically without user interaction and will ask them if they want to manually install, upgrade or automatically install the operating system, as well as to drop to a shell prompt.

Manual or automatic installation

A standard (read: manual) installation will require users to choose a keyboard layout, set the hostname, choose a network interface and configure it with IPv4 and/or IPv6, as well as to set a new password for the root (system administrator) account.

In addition, you can choose to start the SSH and NTP services when the system starts, choose if you want to use the X Window System or not, setup a user, choose a timezone, partition the disk drive, and install sets.

Among the included software packages available for OpenBSD, we can mention the GNOME, KDE and Xfce desktop environments, the MySQL, PostgreSQL, Postfix and OpenLDAP servers, the Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Emacs, Vim and Chromium apps, as well as the PHP, Python, Ruby, Tcl/Tk, JDK, Mono and Go programming languages.

Bottom line

Summing up, OpenBSD is a powerful and highly acclaimed server-oriented BSD/UNIX operating system that provides us with state-of-the-art software, including OpenSSH, OpenNTPD, OpenSMTPD, OpenBGPD, OpenIKED, and mandoc.

OpenBSD was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on May 1st, 2015
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