Dave's OpenBSD Blog 2. Sysadmin Basics and filesystems

Created: 2022-08-26

Go back to my OpenBSD page for more entries.

I’ve made it through six more chapters of Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition (nostarch.com). Summary (in my words):

Pretty much everything in Chapter 4 of the book is covered (or has pointers to more info) in the excellent afterboot(8) man page! Again, I’m very impressed with the OpenBSD documentation. I do believe that if you were stuck on an island with nothing but an OpenBSD computer, you just might be able to figure out how to use it from the available man pages, etc.

Another thing I love are the example files in /etc/examples. In no way are they going to replace knowledge about all of the available software, but they’re a great start and they’ll save some typing. I’ve found stuff I didn’t know to look for by greping for keywords in /etc. The thing I want is sometimes in the examples. Most recent example: the danged keyboard bell in /etc/wsconsctl.conf

8:keyboard.bell.volume=0    # mute keyboard beep

The boot process is simple. I’m used to this type of init system from Slackware and Alpine Linux. It’s certainly very nice and tidy.

I really like the concept of the base OpenBSD system. It’s compact, but complete.

The sudo material in the book would probably be replaced with doas, since that’s now OpenBSD’s default tool for running commands as root (or other users).

I’ve found doas to be very easy to use. For home use like mine, it’s a total drop-in replacement for sudo.

The book devotes a lot of pages to file systems and OpenBSD’s FFS (Berkeley Fast File System) in particular. Which makes plenty of sense. It’s pretty dry material, though.

OpenBSD remains a pleasure to explore so far.

I’m not super into security, but it’s always been one of OpenBSD’s strengths and the next chapter ("Securing Your System") is short.

See you next time!