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 Apple's OS X or
OpenBSD 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.
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 documented
in 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
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 information.
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
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 added the
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
vmwh 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/amd64 and
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 RAM, 1TB SSD, Dell U3415W 3440x1440 display) running OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- retina - Apple Retina MacBook 12-inch (1.3GHz Core M, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Retina display) running OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- air - Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch (2.2GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, 1440x900 display) running OpenBSD-current
- media - Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch (1.7GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, 1366x768 display) running Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- media-mini - Apple Mac mini (2.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 2 x 1TB HD, 1920x1080 display) running Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- mini - Apple Mac mini (1.4GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, dual displays) running Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
- carbon - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (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
- 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 Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan with OS X Server
- masterplex - Supermicro Server (3.5GHz Xeon E3 1241, 16GB of ECC RAM, 4 x 4TB HGST NAS HD)
- more to be added...
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