OpenBSD Journal

undeadly grab bag

Contributed by grey on from the gestalt story submissions dept.

We've had several smaller posts but rather than deal with them individually, I thought I would try something different and roll a few together.

First off chas asks:

The simh VAX emulator has received a bit of media attention lately, and seems to be growing in popularity. However, OpenBSD will not run natively on the simulator without a kernel patch. While an installed disk image is available, why not fix the problem at the source?

Also, just as an update to previous stories, it looks like at least the IETF may be gaining some sanity with respect to Sender ID.

I realize that this post is rather out of the ordinary. While we as editors do our best to fill the rather large shoes left by, things sometimes get delayed, slip through the cracks or we try too hard to balance quality against lack of updates. I thought this approach might help a bit.

We really do rely heavily on reader story submissions, and appreciate all the help we get that way. But on that note, please feel free to include a working email address so that we can contact you if we feel your submission is better answered privately than as a frontpage story (note to such a person named george: if you're curious about PAM and OpenBSD here is mention of an early attempt and further searching even on this site can reveal some useful explanations of why BSDAuth has been prefered).

Naturally, we will not include your email address in the posted story if you request as much when using the add story function. Even when we do link to email addresses, I know I at least try to insert some extra chaff to make the mailto: links less spam-spider friendly; though of course if you request it we will be happy to leave your address unaltered. On another note, we appreciate the feedback from the polls as well, but if you have anything else you would like to chime in on, or think this style of posting is a bit too over the top, let us know. Feel free to reply here, or give us an earful at

(Comments are closed)

  1. By t ( on

    While we as editors do our best to fill the rather large shoes left by, things sometimes get delayed, slip through the cracks or we try too hard to balance quality against lack of updates.

    FWIW, I think you guys are doing an excellent job with the new site. Keep it up.

  2. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    simh is pretty cool, and Ive been using it a while to play with unix V7 & BSD 2.11 & whatnot... Ive even used it to SLIP to a cisco router... :)
    Anyways where do you feel the OpenBSD part should be fixed? simh or openbsd?

    1. By krh ( on

      If OpenBSD runs correctly on a real VAX, then it's not our problem. If not, then it is.

    2. By Markus ( on

      I'm the author of the OpenBSD kernel patch mentioned above, not that I'm proud of this particular chunk of code.

      To make a long story short, while the OpenBSD kernel works on real hardware, SIMH exposes a disk driver issue that the other two BSDs that run on SIMH don't have - owing to a more conservative driver design. It is debatable whether this is ultimately an OpenBSD driver bug, a SIMH emulation bug, or both - and who should fix what.

      While a third-party kernel patch is far from ideal, it will have to suffice until such time as a proper solution is found.

      1. By Markus Weber ( on

        By the way, there now is a documented workaround using a SIMH runtime config parameter.


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