OpenBSD Journal

Unix To OS X - OpenBSD Updates and Is Still Bullet Proof

Contributed by jose on from the reccomended-viewing dept.

The Mac Observer recently ran a tip of interest to readers here. While many people are jumping on OS X and know about its BSD underpinnnings, this is also being used to encourage people to investigate OpenBSD. In Unix To OS X - OpenBSD Updates & Is Still Bullet Proof , Vern Seward encourages OS X users who enjoy the BSD aspect of their OS to look at OpenBSD, citing the security and usability aspects of the system on older hardware. Definitely good to see more people looking at OpenBSD.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By turgidsturgeon () on

    I'd love to try out OpenBSD on some of my relatively extensive collection of older PPC machines, but support seems to be limited to G3 machines and up at the moment. Is there any work being done to support 604e machines? I'd love to turn one or two of our old 7300's into something useful and OpenBSD sounds more appealing to me than NetBSD or Linux.

    I could even be a guinea pig, if one were needed...

    1. By Todd Carson () on

      I run NetBSD on an old 7300 as a file server and Squid cache, and it works fine. I would have rather run OpenBSD also, but for what this machine does, there really isn't much difference.

      Of course, your situation is obviously different from mine, and if there's a definite reason why you can't run NetBSD, I apologize.

  2. By Lv () on

    Oh yes.... I'm going to buy incredibly expensive apple hardware so that I can run openbsd on it. *rolls eyes* The OS is, for me, the only thing that would be truely attractive for a mac. I dont own one but I would love to.... sweet sweet OpenStep goodness.... mmmmm......

    anyways. If the end result is going to be an openbsd machine, you will get MUCH more bang for your buck buying non-apple hardware. There is no point in buying a mac if you're not going to use osx. NONE.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Maybe if you were trying to convince someone that you were gay?

    2. By grey () on

      If you read the article more carefully, you will note that the author recommends OpenBSD for potential usage on orphaned mac hardware; not brand-spanking new stuff that you can run OSX on.

      Albeit, I know several people who do run OpenBSD on newer mac hardware; but they certainly don't _only_ own mac hardware, nor do they only run OpenBSD. I would agree that their hardware isn't really the best compliment to OpenBSD, but the powerbooks are pretty nice as far as laptops go, regardless of platform.

      However, now that tadpole finally has an almost affordable sparc64 laptop (starting price around $3000) I can see more OpenBSD minded people going for portable 64bit sparc & ECC memory, etc.

      OSX is pretty attractive, but don't forget that Apple relies heavily on its hardware sales I don't see OSX being shifted to run on commodity hardware. I think I've read that they have a larger margin of profit on hardware than pretty much any other consumer-aimed computer company.
      To say their is no point (in particular if looking at laptops) is overstating things; and if dealing with older mac hardware that can't run OSX (or can barely run it) OpenBSD [or Net, or possibly even Linux alternatives) might be a much more empowering use of software.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        If you read the article more carefully, you will note that the author recommends OpenBSD for potential usage on orphaned mac hardware; not brand-spanking new stuff that you can run OSX on.

        OS X actually runs on more hardware than OpenBSD. OS X can run on the beige G3s. OpenBSD doesn't.

        1. By jolan () on

          OSX is terribly slow old machines, especially since they don't support Quartz. OpenBSD may be a better solution.

          is a neat page.

          1. By Lv () on

            I think you're highly confused here. Quartz will run on all macs..... it's the base core of the display system. There is no special thing about running quartz. Perhaps you mean quartz extreme, which will also run on all macs but also accelerates the interface if video hardware is available for acceleration purposes. But quartz extreme will run on all macs...... yes. there is some confusion here perhaps.

            1. By Lv () on

              A quick note: older machines not supported by OSX as a whole also arent supported by openbsd either. So perhaps you meant older macs not supported by OSX.... but even there you must be confused.

        2. By Fred () on

          OS X actually runs on more hardware than OpenBSD. OS X can run on the beige G3s. OpenBSD doesn't.

          But consider the speed with with it runs, the stability, and the easy of applying patches:
          - OpenBSD has less overhead, runs considerably faster
          - OpenBSD is far more stable and attack-resistant
          - OpenBSD doesn't need to reboot afer each and every patch

          I am somebody who came into contact with Unix through OS X, and I installed a small web- and mailserver on an obsolete 266Mhz running OSX. It was painfully unresponsive (even Apache webserving), had a tendency to run amok (when I would disconnect a terminal session that was running top, I would end up with top running terminal-less but still taking up as much as 20% of processor time) and had an upgrade mechanism that required your physical presence at the server and a long down time on reboot.

          I switched to OpenBSD 140 days ago, and the system has been running totally hitchless (0 reboots) and far speedier for 130 days now, and the little system management that needs to be done I can do from my comfortable couch 50 miles away from the Mac.
          No regrets here, I won't switch back.

      2. By Lv () on

        If I had a 300Mhz 'flower power' imac, i'd still be running osx on it. That way it would still have some use to me, since I find osx to be quite the sexy operating system and i'm trying to learn cocoa programming. If I couldnt run osx on it.... it wouldnt be in my possesion.

        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          Ah ... but if you have a newer Mac in your possession for your desktop, and you want to turn your older one into a dedicated router/firewall, server, or pure 'ix workstation, then suddenly installing Open/NetBSD or Linux or whatever becomes very practical. Why go out and buy another box if you already have an old one sitting around?

    3. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Sure, it would be a waste of money to buy a brand new Mac just to run OpenBSD, but don't forget people that already have Macs, new or old. Older G3s and the like could have a long life as low-load servers running OpenBSD, and a dual boot with OS X on a newer machine wouldn't be bad, either.

      Hell, I have an iBook, and if I ever reformat it and do a clean install, I'll probably set up a triple boot with OS 9, OS X, and OpenBSD or NetBSD.

    4. By Chris () on

      I own an iBook (the one with the 12" screeen), and it runs NetBSD. OSX is very pretty, and it is BSD Unix under the hood, but I don't need all that added 'chrome'. For me, NetBSD performs the day to day tasks more efficiently. It runs rxvt, NEdit, DDD, the Gimp and Mozilla - all the additional tools I need to do my programming job.

      And if I wanted a high performance server, but couldn't afford a Sun box, then a new Mac running NetBSD would be top of my list. Intel based hardware has proven too unreliable for me, so the extra cost of Apple's offerings is something I'm prepared to accept.


    5. By Pete () on

      I run a PowerBook G4, with Obsd on it. It rocks, i would hate to go back to intel.

      reasons include:
      better battery life,
      15" widescreen,
      GIGABIT ethernet etc etc etc.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        reasons include: better battery life, 15" widescreen, GIGABIT ethernet etc etc etc.

        There may be good reasons to use Apple hardware over standard x86 stuff, but these you listed aren't very compelling. Better battery life is nice, but 15" widescreen is a gimmick, and gigabit ethernet is ridiculous. I doubt the hard drives on the machines you are copying to/from can saturate 100mbps, and if they are, it's not by much.

        1. By Pete () on

          I regualrly wathc DVDs (under OSX) on my train commute to work (2.5 hrs each way :-( ... 15" widescreen is not a gimmick for me.

          Gigabit E with vlan trunking and a 1GHz CPU makes for a pretty darn good firewall, no disk access necessary (w/ e.g. remote syslogging)

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Well, I have both kinds of computers on my home network: Macs and OpenBSD. The Macs are the boxes with pretty displays. The OpenBSD boxes run headless and sit in closets.

    But don't they they both came from the same magical place?

    Laugh. It's funny.

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