The BSD Journal
The purpose of this web site is to journal my experiences using BSD operating
systems on a number of different hardware platforms. These days I use either
OpenBSD or Apple's
macOS on the desktop.
The majority of my server systems also run OpenBSD.
I occasionally use NetBSD for some
projects. For large storage system I almost always use
FreeBSD with ZFS.
DragonFly BSD with its Hammer
filesystem might be an interesting option for storage in the future.
December 11, 2016 - I also decided to get another PowerMac G5 I
purchased recently up and running with OpenBSD. This one is a little bit older
and does not exhibit any of the SATA controller DMA issues that the Quad G5
does. I also was able to use radeondrm(4) at up to 1920x1200 without issue. I
have also ordered a
FirmTek SeriTek 2SE2-E
PCIe eSATA card for the Quad G5 to potentially work around the DMA issues. This
card is apparently the only one available that is bootable in the PowerMac11,2
December 8, 2016 - Thanks to Alexandre Ratchov for
microphone disabled audio bug that caused playback of audio at 2X on my Lenovo
X1 Carbon 4th Gen when the microphone was disabled in the BIOS. Also added a
PowerMac G5 to my main systems. I am still working out some issues with
radeondrm(4) but the system is
functioning otherwise with OpenBSD-current except for some DMA issues with the
SATA controller that show up periodically. I am exploring options to work
around the issue.
December 1, 2016 - A few more slight changes for the new machines.
November 18, 2016 - I added some new entries for machines I am currently
using. I have some more upcoming blog posts about new uses of OpenBSD for me as
October 29, 2015 - OpenBSD
5.8 was released earlier this month with the usual complement of more and
more features. The most interesting news for OpenBSD-current is new support for
(U)EFI booting as documented in
Jasper's blog post.
I'm making some progress toward getting OpenBSD running smoothly on a 2013
11-inch MacBook Air. Apple has long supported BIOS emulation booting but this
does not play well with OpenBSD for whatever reason. Some of these things are
Joshua Stein's gist
on the subject.
June 15, 2012 - I have been working on a new project and needed to use a
couple of Sun Fire V120 machines running
OpenBSD/sparc64. Since the
release of OpenBSD 5.1, it has
been possible to use a
softraid(4) volume for your root
filesystem. The instructions are clear for amd64 and i386 systems but I
couldn't find the required information for sparc64 systems. I finally figured
it out. The process is written up in
September 5, 2011 - Today, I brought my Zaurus SL-C3100 back online with
the OpenBSD/zaurus snapshot
from Aug 17 which is close to what 5.0 release will contain. I am planning on
adding some particular information about this system. So far I have been unable
to get any wireless CF card that I have (I own four) to work with WPA. I also
have two ethernet CF cards that both are recognized as
devices. For now I am sticking to ethernet but this information may be valuable
for other OpenBSD/zaurus users. Expect a page this month with more
September 4, 2011 - I am now running my email on a new OpenBSD server
running an OpenBSD/amd64
snapshot approximating what 5.0 release will be. I am running
Dovecot 2.0.13 for IMAP and LDA along with
OpenSMTPD about what 5.0 release
will be for all my email needs. I am quite impressed with OpenSMTPD and I have
already been using Dovecot 2.0 for quite some time on another server. This
combination seems to be an excellent fit and I prefer OpenSMTPD to Postfix even
though Postfix is an excellent product as well. I will have more details on
this setup this coming week as well.
July 20, 2011 - I have updated some of the machine entries to reflect
some machines I have sold and/or replaced.
June 17, 2011 - I currently have a number of my
OpenBSD machines offline due to moving
and this is reflected in the list of machines for now. I am also working on
some specifically OpenBSD projects and will have more on that soon. I have also
been working with DragonFly BSD on a
laptop for testing purposes. This is now reflected in the list of machines I am
using. I have also archived my list of machines to
Archived Ports 2011. I have redesigned
the list of machines to reflect what I am using rather than what operating
system category they fall under.
June 7, 2011 - Over the past several releases of
OpenBSD, work has been going on to
improve the experience when using virtual machines. To that end, OpenBSD has
vmt(4) driver to provide a kernel
level implementation of VMware Tools. It only handles the basics like reboot
and shutdown along with providing access to the host machine's clock as a
timedelta source and also reporting the first non-loopback IP address to the
host. Although none of these features are absolutely essential, it just makes
life easier when running OpenBSD in a VM which I do constantly. The other
extremely useful addition to OpenBSD is
which is described as:
vmwh is a vmware helper for X11, developed on OpenBSD to run in userland
alongside the vmt(4) vmware kernel driver and the vmmouse Xorg driver.
It detects when the mouse cursor switches back to the host ("ungrabs")
and sends the guest's X11 clipboard data (read from xclip) to the host
through the vmware backdoor, which gets put onto the host's clipboard.
It then detects when the mouse cursor switches back to the guest
("grabs") and replaces the X11 clipboard contents (via xclip) with the
host's, which is read through the vmware backdoor.
This simple program makes a huge difference for usability. I use VMware Fusion
frequently and I can seamlessly switch back and forth between Mac OS X and my
OpenBSD VM this way. The vmwh program was written by
jcs and he did a great job!
May 29, 2011 - Once again this site has not been updated recently. The
previosly mentioned upgrade to version 1.2 of the
Dovecot mail server was delayed and then
cancelled due to the completion of the version 2.0 release. Dovecot 2.0 has now
reached 2.0.13 and this past week has been added to the
OpenBSD ports tree for inclusion in the
next release. There have also been additional improvements in opensmtpd as well
that went in this past week. I have been running Dovecot 2.0 as my primary mail
server for about three months and have been very impressed with its performance
and stability. For a variety of reasons that mail server has been running
FreeBSD but the whole environment will
soon be migrated to an OpenBSD server to coincide with the launch of an
exciting new commercial service. More details will be available soon on that
front. In site news, I have once again archived the out of date ports list to
Archived Ports (2010).
June 8, 2010 - I am in the process of provisioning a new
Dovecot IMAP server for mail services. I
have been using Dovecot for a few years now and it has been flawless all along.
In this case, I am moving from 1.1 to 1.2. I am also looking forward to using
Dovecot 2.0 once it is released. Many improvements have been made to make
things even faster including the new mdbox mailbox format. Another project I am
working on is the new Autobuild.net project. The goal is to produce -stable and
-current releases of OpenBSD and also
releases of NetBSD.
June 7, 2010 - I now have
OpenBSD/i386 building full
-stable releases as HVM domU systems on a
NetBSD/xen 5.0.2_PATCH dom0 with
a Xen 3.3.2 kernel. It's not as fast as it would be natively but it runs
remarkably well. It provides a great way to have multiple virtual machines
doing a number of different tasks and all of them are nicely separated. I have
also created a NetBSD/amd64
domU and a NetBSD/i386 domU
both using the NetBSD Xen paravirtualization kernels.
June 6, 2010 - Here we go again. It seems I have gotten so busy that I
rarely have time to update this site but I am back in the swing again. Once
again, I am doing some updates and cleaning it up. I have archived the out of
date ports list to Archived Ports. I
have updated the introduction as well as added some addition hardware platforms
that I am working with.
Resources on this site
- mp - Apple Mac Pro (3.5GHz 6-Core Xeon E5-1650, AMD FirePro D700 graphics, 64GB of ECC RAM, 1TB SSD, HP Z27s 3840x2160 display) running macOS
- retina - Apple Retina MacBook 12-inch (1.3GHz Core M, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Retina display) running macOS
- air - Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch (2.2GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, 1440x900 display) running macOS
- media - Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch (1.7GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, 1366x768 display) running macOS
- media-mini - Apple Mac mini (2.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 2 x 1TB HD, 1920x1080 display) running macOS
- mini - Apple Mac mini (3.0GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, Dell U3415W 3440x1440 display) running macOS
- mini2 - Apple Mac mini (1.4GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, dual displays) running macOS
- c - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 4th Gen (2.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 360GB Intel 535 M.2 SSD, 2560x1440 IPS display) running OpenBSD-current
- z - Lenovo LaVie Z (2.4GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 240GB Intel 535 M.2 SSD, 2560x1440 IPS display) running OpenBSD-current
- x - Lenovo ThinkPad X260 (2.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD, 1920x1080 IPS display) running OpenBSD-current
- e - Lenovo ThinkPad 11e (800MHz Core M-5Y10c, 4GB of RAM, 256 Samsung 850 Pro SSD, 1366x768 display) running OpenBSD-current
- carbon - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 1st Gen (2.0GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 1600x900 display) running OpenBSD-current
- x230 - Lenovo ThinkPad X230 (2.9GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 1366x768 IPS display) running various Linux distributions
- desk - Supermicro X10SAE in Silverstone GD09B (3.5GHz Xeon E3 v3, 32GB of ECC RAM, 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe SSD, Dell P4317Q 3840x2160 display) running OpenBSD-current
- quad - PowerMac G5 (PowerMac11,2 with 2 x 2.5GHz Dual Core G5, 12GB of RAM, 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD, ATI Radeon X1900 G5 Edition, HP Z30i 2560x1600 display) running OpenBSD-current
- dual73 - PowerMac G5 (PowerMac7,3 with 2 x 1.8GHz G5, 768MB of RAM, 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD, ATI Radeon 9650 Pro) running OpenBSD-current
- more to be added...
- x31 - IBM Thinkpad X31 (1.4GHz Pentium M, 1GB of RAM, 80GB HD, 1024x768 display)
- more to be added...
- cache - Apple Mac mini (1.4GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 500GB HD, headless) running macOS with Server.app
- masterplex - Supermicro Server (3.5GHz Xeon E3 1241, 16GB of ECC RAM, 4 x 4TB HGST NAS HD in raidz1) running FreeBSD 10.3
- nas - Supermicro A1SAi-2750F in Silverstone CS01-HS (2.4GHz Atom C2750, 32GB of ECC RAM, 6 x 2TB Seagate 2TB HD in raidz2) running FreeBSD 11.0
- filer - Supermicro X11SSH-TF in Silverstone CS380B (3.6GHz Xeon E3 v5, 64GB of ECC RAM, 8 x 6TB HGST NAS HD in raidz2) running FreeBSD 11.0
- more to be added...
Copyright © 2003-2016 Bryan Vyhmeister