OpenBSD Journal

Bye Bye Windows Welcome PUFFY

Contributed by jose on from the i-just-love-the-fish dept.

NtWaK0 writes: "Good day to all

The objective of my post is to thank OpenBSD community for their greate work.

I was converted to becoming blowfish user around 05-2003. Before that I was a solid Windows user who knew NT starting from version 3.1 and up very well. I have worked on and off on some Solaris and Linux systems. But I did not feel the DEEP satisfaction (inside thing) until I started using OpenBSD.

I really do not know, but something inside me LOVED OpenBSD and loved its SIMPLICITY. YES Windows USERS you heard me right, IT IS SIMPLE, so go ahead and make your move. :)

In the last couples of years I spent a lot of time finding bugs in Windows and writing security related papers, now this is going to change. YEP.

What made me love OpenBSD? Good question. Maybe because I am old style dude who love command lines, or maybe because it is a SECURE by default OS, or maybe because I just love puffy the blowfish who knows? Puffy know. :)

Finaly I like to thanks again ALL|ALL OpenBSD community.


(Comments are closed)

  1. By Nils () on

    That's just dandy!

    1. By Kris () on

      I think it is great, but at the same time, if you are not used to commandline, I would not recommend people to jump straight into openbsd. Although it is fairly simple to use, there are many complexities that even the most certified Windows administrator would simply sit and stare, confused as of what to do (not that it is uncommon for Win* Admins to do that or anything :)

      1. By Isak Lyberth () on

        Well guis are not all they are hyped up to be, just take the windows environment. Take an expert in Windows NT 4 expert that can work arround all the curves of such a server and workstation. Have the expert upgrate the server to windows 2003 and windows xp and have him/her set up a dhcp server, domain controler, web server, dns server and other services. Now give that expert an openbsd server and have him set up a 2.9 server with the same services, after this give him/her a 3.4 or even a 3.5 in a few months and have him do the same. Of course give the user a crash course in basic commands and tools like ls, vi, kill -HUP. But the point is that there is very little change in the basic configuration on a OpenBSD server, the tools for editing doesn't change at all, or at least you can use them exactly the same way all the time, you get what i mean. On Windows and other guis you have to get used to new guis EVERY FREKKIN TIME they make a new version. And then you have wizards, don't get me started on wizards. or intuitiveness, whats intuitive in one version isn't in the next, and a control panel applet in NT is called something else in 2000 and yet something else in XP. Still doing the same thing.

        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          kill the wizards!

          1. By Pepo () on

            Just OpenBSD :D

    2. By Anthony () on

      What really worked well for me was buying "Absolute OpenBSD", reading it cover to cover, and setting up a spare box on my network. Then, do more and more testing each step. Eventually you know enough to do pretty much anything you want, and you can be confident that you can learn new stuff in a reasonable period of time. And then you can walk up to a Linux system and have a better idea of how things work than most Linux users ever will... I had weird hardware for my Linux desktop machine, and I couldn't get it working right until after I had used OpenBSD a few months.

      1. By Anthony () on

        I have no affiliation whatsoever with the author, publisher, or any vendor of "Absolute OpenBSD". I don't stand to gain in any way from increased sales, and the only way anyone I know stands to gain from increased sales is if they buy it and use it to learn OpenBSD.

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        And then you can walk up to a Linux system and have a better idea of how things work than most Linux users ever will...

        Personally, I couldn't agree more. Atleast considering what I've seen myself over the years.

        I've also learned exponentially faster and overall, more about "unix" as whole when I discovered FreeBSD and OpenBSD after having used Linux for who knows how long of and on, back in the 2.5 - 2.6 days. It just "made sense" the first day I tried it and everything just seemed like it was where it belongs! Maybe that's because at the time I was switching back and forth from Slackware and Linux. Where'as OpenBSD IS OpenBSD.

        I read the Absolute OpenBSD book cover to cover too. Great book! So far I have all OpenBSD books available but once there's more, I'll be buying them regardless of their technical level - so long as it has the OpenBSD name on it pretty much... ;-)

  2. By methodic () on

    ntwak0 is no joke, ive read a bunch of texts and such from him about nt internals, he knows what hes talking about.....

  3. By Daniel Melameth () on


    I understand you completely. For me, the change began around OpenBSD 3.0... I never would have thought myself to be one [of those people], but now, when I power on my Nokia phone, Iím greeted by a smiling blowfish...

    Itís only a matter of time before more people begin to know what we have learned...


    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      WOW you took the word right out of my mouth! Same happened with me but around OpenBSD 2.5 - 2.6.

      And my phone has the OpenBSD blowfish picture too, lol. My GF thinks it's geeky, but to me, OpenBSD is a passion!

      Best Regards to all fellow OpenBSD'ers.

    2. By ERWAN () on re blowfish

      where did you guys get the blowfish for Nokia from?

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Mine's a Sanyo SCP 5000. Only 256 colors, but looks ok. The blowfish and OpenBSD images I have on the phone are either from or the rest (about 25 images) I got over time from various sites.

    3. By EN () on

      Yep, where can we get logo for Nokia?! :-)

    4. By methodic () on

      The first time I installed OpenBSD (got 2.3 from CheapBytes, the *BSD sampler), I have to admit, it was a little erking to install, but once it was up and running, there was something about it that always stuck with me. I cant put my finger on it, but I know what you guys are talking about.

      1. By lincr () on

        Yeah, I remember scribbling sector numbers and doing addition and subtraction by hand the first few disklabel sessions, and going "Gaa! Where is cfdisk?" I actually downloaded the base install sets via modem, one per night overnight at 2KB, and then burned them to a non-bootable cd on my sweet 4x burner.

        And then there was months of working to get X and ppp working. For all that time I would use my home lan connection and lynx to scour mailing list archives, where I found out about ctrl-alt-f2,f3... Finally one night I remember I went out for a cigarette celebrating to myself, I had the xdm login with the pretty blowfish! I felt like Belloq when the angel came out of the Ark, "It's beautiful!!!" I think it was 8 bit color and 640x480, but it was X.

        Then I got ppp working and could share my modem connection through OpenBSD, dial on demand. Then it was time to burn some package cds at work so I had some software... I think I went all out with KDE, WindowMaker, all the eye candy stuff. Hey, I did my time at the console learning vi and getting net, ppp, and everything working... Actually at first I cheated and put joe on my install cd so I could avoid vi...

        Anyways, now I have set up a handful of production servers running OpenBSD and have the release set, posters, a tshirt, and have it running on a 68k machine at home. If you think getting things to work on i386 is hard, try it for yourself. I think a lot of the software on some of the arches just gets built and not tested so much, you have your work cut out for you. Oh well, no virtual consoles teaches you about job control :)


    5. By Daniel Melameth () on

      For those interested in the little OpenBSD logo I have on my Nokia 6590i (I'm not a fan of the color screens)...

      I just did a little doctoring of one of the images on and made


      1. By rabbit () on

        I have this image on my Sony-Ericsson T600 (Copied it pixel-by-pixel with the builtin picture editor :) )

        (yeah, it's b/w, and only 32x32pixels, but that's all the phone supports. But it looks surprisingly good from a distance)

  4. By duneo () on

    I've swiched from "BSOD" (win98SE) to OBSD in November, the moment that I swiched ISP's and replaced my winmodem with a DSL line. And OpenBSD has become the only OS I regularly use. This is the system I'm learning unix on, and I have found that the two most important features of an operating system for me are stabillity and security. I greatly thank Theo and all the developers for an OS that someone who's new to computers (and to unix) can so easily use.

  5. By Phil Greenway () on

    not a flame, just an observation - I found OpenBSD to be a pain to install.

    FreeBSD was so much easier to setup.

    And no I don't like Linux :P

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I hate the freebsd installer.

      Everyone likes what (s)he likes. Some like Open some like Free.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Same here, I used to like FreeBSD's it but now OpenBSD is just so much easier.. * then -g* (takes games.tgz away) and voila, 5 minutes and OpenBSD is fully installed.

    2. By Noryungi () n o r y u n g i @ y a h o o . c o m on mailto:n o r y u n g i @ y a h o o . c o m

      Well, actually, I used to agree with you until the day I finally 'grokked' it.

      Now that I understand it, the OpenBSD installer makes a lot of sense. Sure, it's not pretty, but it's also straightforward: step 1, step 2, step 3, etc... until OpenBSD is installed.

      When you are used to it, it's actually less confusing than 90% of the installers out there!

      1. By kris () on

        Agreed, my only problem is getting it to work properly on my Dell Latitude D600 Centrino. It speratically dropped internet connections (bge0 10/100/1000) and I couldn't get X to work (ATI Radeon 9000). Yes this has nothing to do really with this topic, but im hoping people here will have an idea and throw me something so I can rid of FreeBSD and get back to my love, OpenBSD

        1. By Stijn () sa734 at on mailto:sa734 at

          I've also noticed the issue with the bge0 i/f. You can't change the speed of the i/f (it's stuck on 1000Mb). Rebooting the box usually resolves the issue. (I know... it's not the way to go :p)

          For the X windows, I didn't had any problem setting it up. If I remember correctly I used the standard ati driver. I'm running X in resolution 1400x1050. It looks real smooth :D

          What error do you receive when starting X? Both xdm and startx work for me.I can mail you my config file if you want.

          Another issue I have is the usb floppy. Doesn't seems to work. I receive following error:
          umass_scsi_cb: status cmd failed for scsi op 0x00
          umass_scsi_cb: status cmd failed for scsi op 0x12
          umass_scsi_cb: status cmd failed for scsi op 0x12
          umass_scsi_cb: status cmd failed for scsi op 0x12

          Any thoughs about that?


      2. By Michael () on

        What ever happened to Gobe? They were supposed to be putting a really nice graphical front onto the installer. It looked promising, but I lost track of it...


        1. By Michael () on

          Sorry, it's not Gobe, but [G.O.B.I.E]


      3. By Krunch () on

        When you are used to something it's simpler than alternatives anyway.

    3. By Juanjo () on

      I inslall OpenBSD once and... that's very little part of the experience. I don't use the installer daily, but the operative system.

      I agree that can be kinda confusing for newbies, but nothing you cannot solve reading a bit.

    4. By Wally () rot13of_jorqsbeq@pnanqn.pbz on mailto:rot13of_jorqsbeq@pnanqn.pbz

      Most will probably favour the first installer they used. I didn't have an issue with the OpenBSD installer and enjoyed watching the install "come alive".

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        First installer I used besides windows was freebsd. I still can't stand it. Its overly compilcated for no reason, and allows you to get into a loop where it re-extracts everything you already extracted just by answering "yes" to "do you want to commit changes?". The newest netbsd installer is way better, I'll take it or openbsd's installer over any other installer. They are both fast, simple, and easy.

      2. By Phil () on

        I started with FreeBSD - but thought the installer a bit messy!

        OpenBSD's installer is great, straight forward and easy to use.

    5. By supabeast () on

      You must be crazy or something. Aside from the shitty disk partitioning utility, OpenBSD has the simplest, fastest, and easiest installer I've ever seen among Mac/Windows/UNIX/Linux systems.

      1. By kris () on

        i agree, the installer is a piece of shit

      2. By kris () on

        err, the partitioning utility i mean, the installer is simple and sweet.

      3. By kris () on

        err, the partitioning utility i mean, the installer is simple and sweet.

  6. By Anonymous Coward () on

    NTWak0 frequents #hackers on DALnet. See you later, credibility.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on


      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Exactly my point. Why was this posted? Slow day in the world of OBSD? Elitist script kiddie switches to OpenBSD, story at 11.

        Give me a break.

        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          I'm not wearing any pants

          1. By Michael () on

            What are pants?

            1. By guess who () on

              whereis pants

              1. By Michael () on

                $ man pants
                No manual entry for pants

  7. By methodic () on

    You know, as much as I love OpenBSD (I have three shirts, and I try to buy a CD with every release), I still can't use it for everything. For media creation (mainly Photoshop, and some Quake 3), I use OSX. I have a media box setup that is connected to my TV that is running Linux (I have to because of the nForce2 chipset that powers my LAN and sound).

    I guess the reason Im posting this, is Im curious as to what other limitations OpenBSD has for them, and what they use in place.

    This isn't meant as a flame, I truely love OpenBSD.

    1. By Mestizo () on

      We've attempted to deploy OpenBSD company wide as our standard OS for critical infastructure, but lack of SMP support still presents a pretty significant stumbling block for us. We often fallback to RedHat or FreeBSD in SMP scenarios.

    2. By supabeast () on

      I totally agree here. OpenBSD is pretty sweet for single-CPU servers running Open Source/Free software, but beyond that, I can't find a good use for it. It doesn't make a good desktop system because of the limited application and driver support (Although, like Linux, this is always getting better.).

      I think that this is because OpenBSD is so bloat-free. On one hand, this makes life great for UNIX-savvy people who can configure X, compile stuff, and appreciate an OS with up-to-date man pages and no stupid unnecessary ICQ clients and other cruft crammed into the default install. The downside is that without an installer that sets up X, KDE, and Gnome by default, all of the Linux-wannabes who actually run commercial software are kept away, and they keep the vendor dollars dedicated to Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE.

      1. By Damien () on

        Oh, come on. I use OpenBSD as a desktop since 2.4 or 2.5. Of course if your definition of a desktop is a collection of gadgets sure this is missing.
        As a developper i got all i need in the ports. For the fun i can also use TV card, watch movies (even on DVD) and much more ...

        The only things that lacks are proprietary software support (better known under the name "bullshit"). By this i mean compliance with some standards like for example MS Word files, MS Exchange protocol, MS project, ...
        With some luck we will have OpenOffice available natively in a short period of time.

        But IMHO MS will always be a pain in the ass when talking about format/protocol compatibility.

    3. By lincr () on

      You have to use whatever works Dude. Solutions are what matters. But it shore is nice if you can use the same platform all the time.

      I have to run Windows software at work. How do you handle Active Directory management from OpenBSD? Maybe some elaborate perl, I don't have time. I can use my macppc iBook and use KDE's Remote Desktop Connection (a vnc front end) to control the Windows machines. They are my bitches.

      My gf is a publicity person, so I know that pros are definitely set on Photoshop vs. GIMP, PageMaker vs. KOffice and on and on. Whatever. Use what you need to use.

      Maybe someday I'll be good enough to have everything that happens on my office workstation automatically glued to my OpenBSD environment through some Python. It would be fun to try, there are some cool tricks you can do with scripting. But I don't have much time to work on it. I remember I had one job where I could do everything I needed to do from TurboLinux on my wireless laptop, that was pretty cool. But you do whatcha gotta do. If you read DDJ, those guys do a lot of work in Windows as well as MacOS, Linux, Solaris, the BSDs, whatever. There's a whole planet of software out there :)


      1. By Daniel Melameth () on

        If you need to manage Windows NT Terminal Server or higher machines from your OpenBSD workstation, use rdesktop ( know of nothing better or faster and it allows me to "interoperate" very well.

      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I have to run Windows software at work. How do you handle Active Directory management from OpenBSD? Maybe some elaborate perl, I don't have time. I can use my macppc iBook and use KDE's Remote Desktop Connection (a vnc front end) to control the Windows machines. They are my bitches

        AD - OpenLDAP + kerberos (believe me after deploying a huge multi-forest ad implementation it sucks)

        rdp client - rdesktop

  8. By johannes () on

    Thanks from me too!

    My (short) OpenBSD story: I got interested in the BSDs some years ago and got a book (included unofficial distributions of OpenBSD 2.2 and 2.3). But I never really got it installed back then (mainly due to trying a multi boot configuration).

    Some months ago I started again with OpenBSD. This time the installation of 3.4 worked quite well. I played around now and then, not much though.

    Today I got pf running. Complete with packet queueing (which I don't understand completely yet), NAT and redirections. It works really well! But I guess I won't replace my small USR router yet, mainly because the old PC (200Mhz K6 with around 130MB ram - I guess that's enough for some state table entries) is larger, louder and consumes more power.

    Thanks anyway, OpenBSD already gave me quite a joy! :-)


    1. By Chad Loder () on

      Buy a Soekris and install OpenBSD on it. It's small, quiet, has no moving parts, and makes an excellent firewall.

      1. By johannes () on

        Yes, they look quite cute. But something like 170$ (without case) are quite much in comparison to nothing for an old, unused computer.

        Therefor I'll have to live with the USR router for now. In some years perhaps.. :-)

  9. By JShadow () on

    I too am a very experienced windows user, and while I do enjoy using win2k as a desktop, I HATE using windows servers!!! >:|

    So recently I decided to put together a test box at home and start learning unix by learning OBSD. I'm not a TOTAL nix newbie, but enough of one that needed to spend a few weeks learning commands and how to change ownerships and such.

    The only trouble I've encountered so far is in setting up a DNS server for my home environment. I had real trouble figuring out that I needed to create a named_dump.db file for rndc and then set the user permissions correctly. Took about 5 sessions to finally figure it out. :)

    The one thing that really seems to set OBSD apart from Linux is it's silky smooth manual pages... so far the only thing that I've had trouble my head around have been the DNS as I said, and that's really a 3rd party sort of thing(had to look up the named.conf stuff, since the named_dump stuff wasn't set up in the example files that came with OBSD).

    Very soon I'm going to get my little firewall, running an really optimized version of Win98se because of memory constraints, running OBSD. Ah, how sweet that will be! :)


  10. By Mal () on

    I followed a similar path from Windoz to OpenBSD. I was first introduced to Open BSD here in Calgary Canada at a UNIX Group install fest. I was so impressed in the ease & quickness of the installation of Open BSD 3.2 on old i386 hardware. Following this experience I searched for a week to get my hands on an old machine to set up a router. I truly fell in love with the command prompt and its power. Finally a GUI didnít bog me down like MS and I had complete control over the computer.

    It took about a year working on Open BSD to start to feel comfortable and I really enjoy it more and more than any other OS. I am still perplex why my fellow classmates still insist on running Windoz when they could have the power, stability and freedom that OpenBSD.

    Thanks for your brief experience you shared.


  11. By stmok () on

    I took a life vest and jumped off the MS ship as well...(Just recently, but still a very newbie.)

    I'm also an "old-style" command line user since the days of DOS 4.01...I just got tired of MS's leaving "issues" unpatched until it becomes a threat. (Vulnerabilities are sometimes as late as over 200+ days!)

    I ran into OpenBSD when it was version 2.7 but never tried it, since I didn't have a spare machine to play with at that time...That changed until a few days ago...I then bought Absolute OpenBSD and downloaded the documents from the OpenBSD site...Whoaaa! Why didn't I start using OpenBSD back then?! I've wasted so much "Windows time"... :)

  12. By Alex Farber () on

    Whoa some Ntwak guy did install OpenBSD on his PC.
    What a great day

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      my sentiments


Copyright © - Daniel Hartmeier. All rights reserved. Articles and comments are copyright their respective authors, submission implies license to publish on this web site. Contents of the archive prior to as well as images and HTML templates were copied from the fabulous original with Jose's and Jim's kind permission. This journal runs as CGI with httpd(8) on OpenBSD, the source code is BSD licensed. undeadly \Un*dead"ly\, a. Not subject to death; immortal. [Obs.]