Dave's OpenBSD Blog 3. More!

Created: 2022-12-27

Go back to my OpenBSD page for more entries.

Six more chapters of Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition (nostarch.com) complete. With a long hiatus between chapters 14 and 15.

Summary (in my words):

Indeed, the security chapter is short and painless. Honestly, it’s pretty comforting to see how few recommendations there are for securing OpenBSD. But that’s kinda the point, right? It’s secure by default.

The TCP/IP chapter is very important, but damn near put me to sleep. Same with the next networking chapter. Thankfully, the wireless connection on my laptop hasn’t caused any issues and I’d consider these either a crash course, a refresher, or a quick reference (pointer-style) when you need to do something specific with OpenBSD’s networking. It’s coherent and useful.

The software chapter was really good and I really like OpenBSD’s ports/packages system a lot. I would be jealous, but Slackware Linux has a very similar system (minus the automatic dependency management with the official Slackware tools). I will say that OpenBSD has a definite edge on Slackware regarding coherency, but I can live with a certain amount of chaos.

Particularly nice are the ability to see which packages were installed manually versus which ones were installed as dependencies (and which ones can be uninstalled without anything depending on them!). This is an area where default Slackware shrugs its shoulders.

The tour of /etc is excellent. This is where Michael Lucas’s experience really shines and the extra commentary on the contents of /etc is one of the highlights of Absolute OpenBSD for me so far. It was also interesting to see how much the 2013 book differs from my 2022 install. Most of it is the same, but it’s nice to see which things have changed. Clearly OpenBSD is not afraid to jettison old cruft and adopt new things. (Sorry, I’d give examples but I didn’t take good notes during this chapter and it’s been a couple weeks since I did the tour on my machine.)

Finally, the maintenance chapter is really good. I wish I had this information for Slackware Linux. Again, everything is as coherent as it can be given the weird Unix historic baggage that just about every Unix-like has to deal with. With Slackware, you just bring your own Unix knowledge or read some wiki content for 2017 or find some forum answers.

Nothing too exciting. I added and removed packages and explored the pants off of /etc (and let that metaphor fill your brain with delightful images).

I’d love to close out this guided book tour of OpenBSD this year (2022) to get a thing off my plate going into the next year, but we’ll see if that happens. :-)

See you next episode, starting with demons! Er, daemons.