OpenBSD Journal

More OpenBSD and VMWare Resources

Contributed by jose on from the more-virtually-there! dept.

Following on a recent piece we posted here on OpenBSD in Virtual PC , we decided to look at VMware, another x86 virtual machine. OpenBSD can be used in VMware running on Windows (tm) to give you dual operating systems, a small testing environment, or a simple demonstration arena. Some of these links are a bit old, but most of the information and tips are still valid. For information on installing 2.7 on VMware, has a brief installation guide. It'd be neat if they would update it with recent versions of OpenBSD. BSDToday covered this back in 2000, also with 2.7 and VMware 2.0.1, but didn't meet with much success. And lastly, Jim Rees has a nice collection of OpenBSD hacks and tips, including X on VMware for OpenBSD 2.9 with a link to the VMware support site for X and XFree86.

You're not limited to running OpenBSD on Windows, you can also run Windows on OpenBSD using a port of vmware to OpenBSD using VMware 2.0.4. It may need some assistance on -current, but it was updated in early 2002 for OpenBSD 3.0. This is an adaptation of the NetBSD VMware port.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Evan Read () eread [ @ ] on

    I have followed the instructions to Jason Ish's website and they work (with a few rough edges). I can't get the new wizard to work, but manual configuration appears to work. The kernel module loading scripts that allow it to happen work flawlessly. Be aware that you need redhat emulation installed (which feels wrong ;).

  2. By Evan Read () eread [ @ ] on

    Another interesting note. My discussions with Jason Ish about possible VMware 3 support have turned up the fact that the Wasabi haven't been able to get it working because of unknown reasons (and they have no source code for VMWare).

    Shame they couldn't license the code so they could make a good port.


  3. By Warthog () on

    VMWare is definitely cool, but are there many people running OpenBSD under some sort of emulator on OS X? I'm pretty new to OS X but would like very much to run OpenBSD (even the X86 version if I can't do PPC) in an emulator within OS X.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      That's exactly what VirtualPC lets you do.

    2. By click46 () click46 at webpimps dot net on mailto:click46 at webpimps dot net

      any reason you can't dual boot OSX and Open?

      1. By grey () on

        No reason, it can be done and some folks are already doing this. Some folks might suggest that there's no reason you'd want to use OS X though. ('lo mark ;)

    3. By jk () on

      Hi , I am new to OpenBSD. tODAY i INSTALLED obsd 3.3 on vmware 3.2, BUT X windows could Not work? Please send me X86 config file or suggest any link.

      Hoping forward in anticipation,

  4. By Patrick Myers () on

    Damn shame they didn't try later on. Back when my company cared about security *grumble* and let me set up a security box to run audits from, I ran OBSD 2.9 under Win2K/VMWare and it worked great. Hardest part was setting up X and even that was a breeze by following the VMWare 3 docs on using their X server.Oh well. Speaking to the guy wondering about OBSD under OSX, I haven't done it, but I imagine you can buy the DOS version of VPC and run whatever you want under it. In a semi different vein, has anyone dual booted a n OSX/OpenBSD machine (specifically an iBook)? Thanks.


    1. By fansipans () on

      to quote INSTALL.macppc : " Currently it is necessary to use OpenFirmware commands to dual boot between OS's, or multiple drives may be used with each OS owning drive(s). ", and also there's macppc.html which pleasantly states: " Having OpenBSD multiboot, or share, a disk with OS X/MacOS 9 is possible as long as the disk is first partitioned with the macOS utility, Drive Setup (MacOS9) or System Disk Utility (Mac OS X). "

      *snif* i wish i had an iBook :]

      1. By Patrick Myers () on

  5. By Anonymous Coward () on

    So... When is OpenBSD going to support multiple default routes? Or should I look at other OSes?


    A different default route for replies to packets on each interface
  6. Multiple Default Gateways, to be tried
    in succession.

    Just one of serveral things keeping OpenBSD from actually being used in any serious enviroment. And this comming from a die-hard OpenBSD user like myself.

    SMP support on i386, Sparc, Alpha, PPC, etc.
    Multiple Default Routes
    Problems with Assembly & Threads
    No decent web browser
    1. By Jedi/Sector One () on

      Although BSD systems really lack a simple and flexible way to manage IP routing like iproute2 on Linux kernels, there are often ways to achieve the same final result.

      Different routes according to the interface is possible on OpenBSD using pf and the 'route-to' keyword. Just add a rule for non-local addresses ("! self" if you are running -current) on desired interfaces. It does the trick.

      The lack of SMP support can be a showstopper. But you are free to give your help to implement it.

      Problems with assembly and threads? Submit a bug report using the sendbug utility. However, when it comes to threading, I find OpenBSD way more stable than FreeBSD. We have some FreeBSD servers running MySQL/InnoDB at work, and they are extremely unstable (random lockups, as if threads couldn't be created any more, and as if dead locks happened) . The exact same userland settings on similar hardware never show that behavior with Linux and OpenBSD.

      No decent browser? Opera and Konqueror are decent web browsers. If a web site can only be viewed with Mozilla and IE, tell the webmaster to calm down with bloat.

      1. By Chris Humphries () on

        [about web browsers]

        Actually Mozilla isnt comparable to konq and opera in support for standards like CSS 2. It is really annoying that alot of these standards have been out for a long time, and still arent implemented, yet are hella cool. imo, i would like mozilla, but it definately isnt a showstopper. i have -current on my laptop and all my boxes. have a windows box at work cause i need to test stuff with IE and Mozilla, but that is just for work.

        the links+ port is nice as well, graphical links.
        though if i need some CSS support, i use konq (not
        konq-e as it seems to break alot more).

        i have heard rumours of mozilla running in linux emulation on openbsd, can anyone verify that?

        1. By Sebastian Stark () on

          It works as long as you don't try to make
          a connection. :)

    2. By pravus () on

      i've seen this issue talked about in various mailing lists and i'm curious as to where this sort of thing comes in handy. you give two examples:

      A different default route for replies to packets on each interface

      is that like a packet comes in on fxp0, but the reply is sent down fxp1? where/why would you use this?

      Multiple Default Gateways, to be tried in succession.

      the only place i really see this being a benefit is in fail-over situations. perhaps there are others?

      i'm not trying to sound trollish... i'm just curious as to what situations facilitate the need for this. comments?

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I wrote a script to switch routes if one is down. Pretty simple. Was using cron but switched it to a daemon.

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        sound like asymetric routing to me. standard application for it are modem to 'the net' and sat. downlink from it. alternatively see cisco's policy based routing. routing is used for outbound packet forwarding only . so packet can come in on any i/f & be recieved ok even if the routes point elsewhere.

        try two routes with different metrics etc..

    3. By Sebastian Stark () on

      Multiple default routes are ridiculous.
      Why don't use a routing protocol?

      If you want, look at other OSes, noone really

      -> "keeping OpenBSD from actually being used in any serious environment"?!?

      Wait, we all use it for calculating our
      daily use of toilet paper. Nothing serious.

      I use it since years at home for daily "work"
      (reading email and such). But that's not serious, right?

      I use it for a development platform and
      workstation at my company. Not serious?

      Some use it in BIG networks as server machines. Not serious?

      There are many (embedded) products based
      on OpenBSD. Not serious enough?

      BIG companies use it in security-demandig
      environments. Still not serious enough?

      Well, maybe statistics tell us most people
      prefer Linux or Windows. WHY CARE!?

      -> "no decent webbrowser"?!?

      Opera isn't great? Konqueror isn't great? Yes,
      It would be great if someone ported Mozilla.
      SLOW COACH?!

      Telling so much untruth deserves being flamed,
      doesn't it? :)

  8. By Anonymous Coward () on

    i use vmware worstation 3.0 and openbsd 3.0/1 under nt almost evry day, works great.

    i did have to add a serial port using the configuration editor, but that only takes a few seconds.

  9. By Anonymous Coward () on

    VMWARE 3.1 with OpenBSD 3.1 works fine.

    OpenBSD 3.1 (GENERIC) #59: Sat Apr 13 15:28:52 MDT 2002
    cpu0: Intel Pentium III ("GenuineIntel" 686-class, 512KB L2 cache) 498 MHz
    real mem = 536457216 (523884K)
    avail mem = 491593728 (480072K)
    using 5689 buffers containing 26927104 bytes (26296K) of memory
    mainbus0 (root)
    bios0 at mainbus0: AT/286+(65) BIOS, date 02/15/02, BIOS32 rev. 0 @ 0xfd860
    apm0 at bios0: Power Management spec V1.2
    apm0: AC on, battery charge unknown
    pcibios0 at bios0: rev. 2.1 @ 0xfd860/0x7a0
    pcibios0: PCI IRQ Routing Table rev. 1.0 @ 0xfdf30/176 (9 entries)
    pcibios0: PCI Interrupt Router at 000:07:0 ("Intel 82371FB PCI-ISA" rev 0x00)
    pcibios0: PCI bus #0 is the last bus
    bios0: ROM list: 0xc0000/0x6000! 0xdc000/0x4000!
    pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0: configuration mode 1 (bios)
    pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0 "Intel 82443BX" rev 0x01
    pcib0 at pci0 dev 7 function 0 "Intel 82371AB PIIX4 ISA" rev 0x08
    pciide0 at pci0 dev 7 function 1 "Intel 82371AB IDE" rev 0x01: DMA, channel 0 configured to compatibility, channel 1 configured to compatibility
    wd0 at pciide0 channel 0 drive 0:
    wd0: 64-sector PIO, LBA, 10240MB, 16383 cyl, 16 head, 63 sec, 20971520 sectors
    wd0(pciide0:0:0): using PIO mode 4, Ultra-DMA mode 2
    atapiscsi0 at pciide0 channel 1 drive 0
    scsibus0 at atapiscsi0: 2 targets
    cd0 at scsibus0 targ 0 lun 0: SCSI0 5/cdrom removable
    cd0(pciide0:1:0): using PIO mode 4, Ultra-DMA mode 2
    uhci0 at pci0 dev 7 function 2 "Intel 82371AB USB" rev 0x00: irq 9
    usb0 at uhci0: USB revision 1.0
    uhub0 at usb0
    uhub0: vendor 0x0000 UHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
    uhub0: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
    "Intel 82371AB Power Mgmt" rev 0x08 at pci0 dev 7 function 3 not configured
    vga1 at pci0 dev 15 function 0 vendor "VMware", unknown product 0x405 rev 0x00
    wsdisplay0 at vga1: console (80x25, vt100 emulation)
    wsdisplay0: screen 1-5 added (80x25, vt100 emulation)
    le1 at pci0 dev 16 function 0 "AMD 79c970 PCnet-PCI LANCE" rev 0x10
    le1: address 00:50:56:40:19:12
    le1: 8 receive buffers, 2 transmit buffers
    le1: interrupting at irq 9
    isa0 at pcib0
    isadma0 at isa0
    pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5
    pckbd0 at pckbc0 (kbd slot)
    pckbc0: using irq 1 for kbd slot
    wskbd0 at pckbd0: console keyboard, using wsdisplay0
    pmsi0 at pckbc0 (aux slot)
    pckbc0: using irq 12 for aux slot
    wsmouse0 at pmsi0 mux 0
    pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
    midi0 at pcppi0:
    sysbeep0 at pcppi0
    npx0 at isa0 port 0xf0/16: using exception 16
    pccom0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
    pccom1 at isa0 port 0x2f8/8 irq 3: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
    pccom2 at isa0 port 0x3e8/8 irq 5: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
    fdc0 at isa0 port 0x3f0/6 irq 6 drq 2
    fd0 at fdc0 drive 0: 1.44MB 80 cyl, 2 head, 18 sec
    biomask c240 netmask c240 ttymask d242
    pctr: 686-class user-level performance counters enabled
    mtrr: CPU supports MTRRs but not enabled
    dkcsum: wd0 matched BIOS disk 80
    root on wd0a
    rootdev=0x0 rrootdev=0x300 rawdev=0x302

  10. By Tony Apuzzo () apuzzo izzat on mailto:apuzzo izzat

    I've never been able to get a make build to work under VMware. I've tried on 3 different systems (Athlon 1200, Pentium III Laptop, Pentium III desktop) and my make builds always crash out with either Sig11's or with bizarre (erroneous) syntax errors. Since my machines are stable (and can do make-build's when running OpenBSD on the raw hardware) I assume there are bugs in either OpenBSD 3.1 or VMware that are responsible. Has anyone been able to run make-build successfully under VMware?

    1. By Matt Ostiguy () on

      I have 3.1 stable under vmware 2.0xxx - I am pretty sure it is the most latest version. Make build worked fine.

      That said, I have tried copying my vmware image file to my athlon 1200 desktop, and it takes 30ish minutes to boot up - whereas running the same image on my vaio that is only a p3-450 takes a minute or two. Anyone know if vmware 2.xx has issues with athlon's? I should try creating a win2k vmware image, and comparing the load time on the two systems.

  11. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Also, for information on getting X up and running in resolutions greater than 640x480, take a look at


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