hisham hm

First time playing with OpenBSD

A list of notes on my first experience with OpenBSD:

* It wasn’t obvious at first which file to download, navigating their FTP site. I ended up with cd58.iso, which was the right choice. A tiny 7.8MB ISO!
* As soon as I typed “OpenBSD” as the VM name in VirtualBox, it gave me OpenBSD defaults. It defaulted to 64MB of RAM (only!), but I chose 256M, and the default 2G disk image.
* The first boot gave me a few options, including “Install” and “Autoinstall”. I chose “Autoinstall” since I thought that would install with the defaults, but it looked for an installation script in the local network (and obviously didn’t find it). Reboot, “Install” and off we go.
* No Dvorak options in the list of keyboards in the installer.
* I went with the default options and installed all offered packages (it offered me a list of coarse-grained bundles). It asked me about creating users, partitions, configuring network and if I wanted to run sshd by default.
* To enable Dvorak, the internet told me to do kbd us.dvorak nice.
* To make it permanent, I just grepped /etc for kbd and found out that cat us.dvorak > /etc/kbdtype would suffice.
* To install things, become root and then use pkg_add. For example: pkg_add wget
* By default it includes df but not free.
* To get color in the terminal, set TERM=wsvt25. htop showed in its usual colors!
* The default PATH includes the current (.) directory! Take that, Linux status quo!
* iconv is installed under /usr/local, and its library exports symbols with names such as libiconv_open instead of the usual iconv_open, which fools the typical AC_CHECK_LIB test in Autoconf. (In the source code, iconv_open works, so I guess iconv.h uses #define to translate the name. Added a hack to Dit to make it build cleanly out-of-the-box.


  1. Guilherme

    Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 16:31:45

    Time to play a little with NetBSD and kernel Lua : )

  2. jeff

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 18:25:20

    Isn’t it a big security risk to have the current path (”.”) in the $PATH? what if someone somehow infiltrated my home directory with a executable named “ls” that does “rm -rf /*”?

  3. hisham

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 19:07:36

    if someone infiltrated your home directory that is the least ofyour worries. They could edit your .bash_profile and add an alias ‘ls’ that does that too, without editing your path. Or they could just delete your files themselves.

Add comment

Fill out the form below to add your own comments.

CAPTCHA imageReload imageAudible version of CAPTCHA-image