OpenBSD Journal


Contributed by jose on from the new-hardware dept.

OpenBSD team members, lead by Dale Rahn, have been actively porting OpenBSD to the StrongARM processor. You can see the result of their work on the cats platform page. This port is based on the NetBSD port to the platform. Unfortunately only a few devices are supported at this time, but there's no reason it can't be more functional in the future. The StrongARM processor is from Intel and is a lower power processor than things like the i386 class or the PowerPC processors.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By X () on

    Perhaps we will put openbsd on the zaurus or an acces point like the dlink ones...

    1. By Shane () on

      Perhaps we will put openbsd on the zaurus

      Arghhh... I just bought a Palm Tungsten E.

      I've been wanting to write some PDA apps in PHP and rsync them amongst my machines. I would have liked to use something like a Zaurus specifically for it's keyboard with OpenBSD.

      1. By X () on

        it will miss the gui ...
        but on an access point it will be cool !
        ipsec or the strong wep of openbsd for the security :-p

      2. By joe_bruin () on

        ah, you're in luck.
        the palm tungsten e runs a texas instruments OMAP processor. the omap is an ARM9 with a dsp core. that is, if you ignore the dsp, it's a 120mhz arm processor.

        the ARM core, despite the ill-informed content of this story, is actually designed by ARM limited, and is one of the most common embedded risc cores out there. common devices to include it are your palm, the ipaq (intel xscale and samsung's arm chip), common mp3 players (cirrus logic's 7312), many nokia phones (ti's omap), ipod (portal player's arm processor), and most of your household routers/gateways.

        porting openbsd to arm opens up many doors into the embedded market, especially in the firewall appliance space. as an embedded developer, i'm glad to hear it.

    2. By Alejandro Belluscio () on

      I would love to be able to flash an OpenBSD into my Linksys WRP-54. It would be a killer application. Actually, it would save quite a lot of headaches to the Linksys lawyers.
      Evidently the development was outsourced to some 3 party that did most routers out there. But they used Linux and a lot of GPL libs and apps. And apparently never explained that very well to Linksys et al or they simply tryied to not say anything hoping to not be discovered.
      Any way, OpenBSD would offer a better and esier alternative for them. I just hope this port evolves well.

      1. By Peter Curran () on

        I thought the Linksys WRP-54 kit was based on a MIPS processor? At least that was the impression I got when I looked at the stuff on the Seattle Wireless site.


        1. By X () on

          yes it is mips...but openbsd on the wrt54g will be great

        2. By Alejandro Belluscio () on

          Yep. My bad. Most of the rother outers are ARM based. I was kind of confused.

          Alejandro Belluscio

  2. By Peter () on

    Pardon my ignorance, but is the StrongARM processor the basis of Intel's X-Scale stuff?

    I ask because i saw some stuff a couple of weeks ago on the soekris list about a tiny SBC that used the X-Scale processor (with an embedded Linux). This looked interesting for a couple of multimedia projects I am considering, but I would prefer to move my miniature OpenBSD setup to it.



    1. By tedu () on


  3. By kcg () on

    I would like to correct you a bit. PowerPC line of processors already contains some nice embedded PPC like 405 and 440 versions. IMHO those are on par with ARM on power consumption, so there is no need to wrote something like you did in the last sentense of this article. Also please note that ARM is not just Intel processor, Intel just did enhance ARM and distribute it as an XScale. There are many other vendors in the market making ARM processors variation like Samsung and others. As one of other user pointed out, it would also be great to have OpenBSD/mips port, to be able to run it on AMD's Au1500 processor family.

    1. By X () on

      "There are many other vendors in the market making ARM processors variation like Samsung and others"

      we found this hardware on the dlink di 614+
      and others Access point:

  4. By chas () on

    I want a low-power firewall. I'm currently running on a Compaq Contura 486 - the power supply says that it takes 24 Watts. Most Pentium laptops are 50 Watts or higher.

    I would like to have more cpu performance, but I'd like to keep the power consumption down. This ARM system looks like ATX - it probably guzzles power.

    I also run 10base2 for a large segment of my home network so I don't have to power a hub.

    What OpenBSD system gives the best performance for under 30 Watts?

    1. By Aasmund ( on

      probably a soekris board.


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