Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9
Security, correctness of code, good documentation, small base system, portable
Lack of some common hardware devices, some software difficult to obtain, package management a bit primitive still
I first picked up OpenBSD with the release of version 3.5. I was drawn in by the claims that it was "the most secure operating system on the planet" and that every line of source code was audited to ensure the correctness of code. Just recently, 3.7 was released so I gave it a try on my Compaq Presario 900 laptop -- I was quite impressed.
Already having a few years' experience with FreeBSD, OpenBSD was easy to install and configure. There were a few major differences between it and other Unix-like operating systems, but anything I was confused about was quickly answered in the OpenBSD FAQ.
A major difference that I liked was that there was no heavy emphasis on compiling programs from source like there is on FreeBSD. The GENERIC kernel is configured to have support for the most common devices, so no recompile was necessary. OpenBSD's packages are also compiled with the most frequently used settings, so there was no need to compile applications from the ports tree.
OpenBSD's PF firewall is unparalleled. If you're thinking of making a home-built firewall/router, OpenBSD is the way to go.
I like the direction Theo de Raadt is taking the OpenBSD project. OpenBSD 3.7 has still proven to be extremely secure and bug-free. Many new hardware devices are supported each release. And 3rd party applications that conflict with OpenBSD's philosophy of freedom are reworked and reimplemented with less restrictions by the OpenBSD team (Apache 2.x as an example).
The single major issue I had with OpenBSD 3.7 was that my audio device did not work. For a laptop that I use as my primary machine, this is a bit of an issue. All other hardware devices worked flawlessly, however.
I was impressed with the new features of the package management system, but I'm still disappointed to see that the full path to packages must be specified. For example, this may be the way you would add "foo-package"
# pkg_add ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/3.7/packages/i386/foo-package-1.0p1.tgz
A bit annoying and unnecessary when on FreeBSD, the same package might be obtained and installed with
# pkg_add -r foo-packge
There is still some work to be done on OpenBSD before I'd want to use it as my primary laptop operating system, but it's still great for many applications (servers, routers, desktops/laptops that are fully supported).