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FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc.
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I went to the OpenBSD site, and to my surprise there is no single ISO available to download. All there are are individual packages and such. I have looked at the documentation, but I have only managed to determine that is required is one like cdemu.iso (or another boot disk like that) - but at best that is only 2-4 MB, obviously not the whole system - only enough to boot the system. What else do I need? Why do they not provide a complete ISO system? Is OpenBSD worth the effort?
...I have only managed to determine that is required is one like cdemu.iso (or another boot disk like that) - but at best that is only 2-4 MB, obviously not the whole system - only enough to boot the system. What else do I need? Why do they not provide a complete ISO system?
uselpa is right: the reason there's no full distribution on CD available is because that's the primary source of the OpenBSD project's income, and they want you to purchase it. But such a CD is completely unnecessary to install a system. Just grab the ISO you mention, then use it to boot. Then you can do a net-based installation, where you download the files you need from the OpenBSD project website or a mirror (automatically). You could also download these files before-hand onto your own server and use it, if you have one, or download them to an accessible location on your hard-drive. These files are then extracted and installed to form the system. Several BSD and Linux distributions use this method, including NetBSD, FreeBSD, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE, and others. I find it more convenient, because I don't have to burn six CDs ala Fedora Core, but if you've got a slow link then prepare to spend some time waiting.
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder
Is OpenBSD worth the effort?
You won't know until you try it! I say yes, but it depends on your needs. Not a very good desktop system, if you ask me, but a great server and firewall system.
I think it is unfair having to pay for trying OpenBSD, it may well not recognise all your hardware or not be what you need, and the only way of knowing is testing it, and if you order the CD's and then you only use one day it does not really seem fair to me.
You know, the world isn't being fair to OpenBSD either. Plenty of companies use their work (such as OpenSSH) and don't pay a cent. I can understand that they want to have some kind of income for their excellent work. And with so many excellent things being free, such as FreeBSD which you seem to be using, I don't think you really have a reason to complain.
I tried getting OpenBSD through EDK2 and after a long download, I burned it to disc and booted up my system and it just wouldn't boot. I also have never had to much luck trying to install via FTP. So the best way to obtain it seems to be to buy the CD/DVD from the project themselves. But for those who really like OpenBSD and need its features, I don't think that fifty dollars is alot to pay for the fine work these developers do. Remember, they have families to feed to.
This is fine, but I have FreeBSD and NetBSD up and running - and I don't really have any free partitions and no free primary partitions, so I guess I won't be using OpenBSD for the time being.
Or you could just download the files and make your own bootable iso. It's pretty simple to make and they provide all the bits you need. And most CD burning programs have support to take a tree and make it a bootable iso (just point to the image that is bootable in it).
Just grab all the sets and the install stuff.
Here we go... a complete transcript to making a bootable CD on *nix for it.
# cd /tmp
# mkdir -p openbsd/4.0/i386
# cd openbsd/4.0/i386
# ftp ftp.openbsd.org [user: ftp pass: whatever]
ftp> cd pub/OpenBSD/4.0/i386
ftp> get cdrom40.fs
ftp> get bsd
ftp> mget *.tgz
# cd ../../../
# mkisofs -o OpenBSD.iso -b i386/cdrom40.fs -c boot.catalog -l -J -R -allow-leading-dots openbsd/
And that's it... you have /tmp/OpenBSD.iso ... a bootable iso install image. It's certainly faster (and less likely to be tampered with) than trying to find and download a legit copy of the real CD.
Edit: I assume /tmp is large enough to hold this. If not, you may do it anywhere that is.
Edit#2: Naturally, grab more stuff if you want it and get the architecture you want. Windows is capable of this as well but I don't know the utilities at all, let alone well enough to suggest a methodology.
Distribution: Slackware & Slamd64. What else is there?
The whole point of OpenBSD is that you're getting a reliable OS. Downloading prepared ISOs from unofficial sites means you have no idea what you're getting. Why would anyone do that?
Frob gave all the info you need to burn a complete bootable CD.
> Is OpenBSD worth the effort?
There's so little effort required it's hard to understand the question. Once you get past the disklabel step (which is necessary for all BSD variants) the OpenBSD is one of the simplest installs you will ever see. Certainly much simpler than FreeBSD's installation.
btw you don't need an ISO except for the kernel and installer (actually you don't need even that, you can PXE boot). Like some of the guys said you can do an ftp install (great if you have a fast connection) or you can even download all the installation packages to a USB stick and mount it from the shell during the installation (I've done that a few times) or burn another CD with the packages on it or use an NFS share with the packages on it. Choices, choices, choices! Ain't life grand?
OpenBSD, in my experience, is a wonderful OS. Sure, it's a pain for people coming from a Windows "gimme-gimme-gimme" background, as sometimes it can require you to google a few error messages or for howtos. But if you've been using Linux you're already accustomed (I would hope) to finding information yourself.
Originally Posted by taylor_venable
Not a very good desktop system, if you ask me, but a great server and firewall system.
I certainly won't argue against OpenBSD's capabilities as a server or firewall platform, but I will say that I've set up OpenBSD/Fluxbox for Windows users before (with a lot of script "glue" to make tasks like mounting a cd or whatever even easier), and it's worked out nicely. Takes a bit to get used to, but anyone who's tired of being hammered by a virus or whatever is much more open minded to it than they otherwise would be. For gaming, obviously it's a no-go, but for typical desktop usage, OpenBSD is just as capable (given a bit of scripting, perhaps) as any other open source system.
Distribution: Slackware & Slamd64. What else is there?
I agree with rocket's appraisal of OpenBSD as a desktop. Things work, it's a very nice and lean/clean system. If you want current packages or a lot of variety it's not for you, but if you want something trustworthy it can be a usable desktop.