OpenBSD Journal

Your OpenBSD hardware

Contributed by jose on from the shopping-cart-of-my-dreams dept.

Dan writes :
"OpenBSD folks have some good general tips on Hardware choices as part of their faq. Unfortunately, when getting new hardware, the choices are many and sometimes vague.

To to help newbies (and experts!) get an idea on what to pick & choose, here is an ongoing thread on OpenBSD hardware that works! "

Currently I run on quite a diverse set of hardware, but I only have one or two items that lack support. When buying something new, its always good to hear what other people are having good experiences with.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Unfortunately most of the listings are simply
    processor, ram, and harddrive size listings.
    Not very helpful I'm afraid....

  2. By Erlend () on

    When buying a laptop, please note that Maestro 2E (sound) is not working.
    This is bug 2451. It worked in 2.9...

  3. By Hmmmm () on

    I have 4 computers running OpenBSD:

    1GHz Pentium 3
    512mb ECC
    1 x 18Gb SCSI
    Intel Consumer Motherboard w/graphics & lan.
    200 days uptime on fairly heavy load.

    700 mhz Atlon
    128 SD
    1 x 20Gb IDE
    Asus Motherboard
    Realtek NIC
    Matrox graphics.

    Uptime about 60 - 90 days.

    Atlon 1.2
    1 x 40 Gb IDE
    Intel NIC
    Matrox Graphics
    Epox Motherboard
    Fairly unstable, netscape crashes all the time, uptime about 2-3 weeks on average.

    Thinkpad R30
    400 mhz p2
    6 gb hd
    3com NIC

    My recommendation would be to go intel all the way with server class motherboard, for servers. For desktops use whatever you want. How about nforce? never tried it though.

  4. By Peter Hessler () on

    In OpenBSD, almost all consumer level hardware is supported. The big things to be concerned with: New sound cards, New video cards, New disk controllers (SCSI/IDE), new etc. For the most part, ANY video card will give you picture, but how pretty of a picture depends on the support, 2 generations back is safe, with a few exceptions (most notable being nVIDIA *grr*). For soundcards, any SB-compatible will work. Most newer cards are supported, such as the Live series, but (currently) not the Audigy series. If you /need/ that card, then OpenBSD is probably not for you (what high-end audio apps exist for OpenBSD?). New disk controllers will be supported, but for now, approx 1 generation back is safe. IIRC, the new ones are supported with the older modes, but not always (But the older modes aren't the reason you bought the shiny new scsi controller). WinModems _won't_ work. Some specialized hardware won't work. (TV encoders, fingerprint scanners, etc, etc)

    In short: New = unsupported. 1-2 generations back is generally safe, but check the lists. DON'T ASK! Check the archives. That's why they exist. If your card is based on a supported chipset, that (again should) be safe, but there is only one way to be sure: Try it.

    If your card is not supported, but you want it supported, send money (or the card) to the developers, and ask nicely if they will work on it. Don't bug them about it, they are doing you a favor. If you can't get them the actual card, or even if you can, get them documents about it from the manufacturer. Not pretty sales pamphlets, but interesting technical docs.

  5. By francisco () on

    a database of dmesg's would be useful, searchable by OS version, hardware, drivers, etc.

    anyone else think so? I'd consider working on it & hosting it if the demand was more than mine.

  6. By danimal () on

    Here is a thread that took place over a year ago: and Theo's bits of knowledge on it:

  7. By Henry Huggins () on

    The most popular on-board SCSI (Ultra 160) is the Adaptec 7899 chipset.

    Its PCI version is the Adaptec 29160.

    DON'T BUY IT! It really doesn't work well with OpenBSD yet, which is a shame since it's so cheap and easy to come by.

    And by "doesn't work well" I don't just mean slow performance. I mean total kernel panic crashes.

    I wasted $700 on three of these before I found out. (They work just fine on FreeBSD, though.)


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