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OpenBSD 4.4 Released 235

Linux blog writes "The new version of OpenBSD is available for download. There are lots of nifty new features to try out including OpenSSH 5.1 with chroot(2) support, Xenocara, Gnome 2.20.3, KDE 3.5.8, etc. Machines using the UltraSPARC IV/T1/T2 and Fujitsu SPARC64-V/VI/VII are now supported. It seems amazing to me that they keep delivering these new results on a six-month release cycle."
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OpenBSD 4.4 Released

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  • Congratulations (Score:5, Informative)

    by norbot ( 118878 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:36PM (#25605385)

    Congratulations to the OpenBSD team. BSD is far from dead!

    • by Ant P. ( 974313 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:49PM (#25605481) Homepage

      Indeed, BSD is not dead at all. In fact I took a look at their mailing list archives last week and saw more than half a dozen very active threads. Shame they were all flame wars.

      • Re:Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

        by david.given ( 6740 ) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @07:18PM (#25606245) Homepage Journal

        Yeah. I'd really like to like OpenBSD. Technically, it's superb. It's smooth, polished, well documented --- it's got a level of consistency that most Linux distros can only hope to dream of. The kernel is well designed and fast, with excellent hardware support. System setup is consistent and well-thought out. Above all, it doesn't confuse easy-to-use with easy-to-learn --- everything is as simple as possible without oversimplifying, which makes it a joy to admin.

        But then, every time I try to use it, I run up against the OpenBSD developers, who are an arrogant bunch of elitist assholes. In a couple of years, on and off, I think I've seen Theo make a civil reply to someone *once*. Maybe twice. No, I'm not kidding. When you see someone ask what looks to my untutored eye a reasonable question about VMs, and the head developer replies publicly with the words 'You are full of shit' and nothing else (apart from a complete copy of the original message, no snipping), there is something very wrong. Most of the other devs are nearly as bad, and of course there are hordes of groupies who assume that if the people in charge are okay with personal abuse, then it's alright for them, too.

        Despite this, the actual operating system is definitely worth checking out if you're interested in what a well-designed Unix actually looks like. Linux can learn a lot from it.

        • Re:Congratulations (Score:4, Informative)

          by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @07:29PM (#25606305) Homepage Journal

          I've used OpenBSD for many years (early 2.x days). Before asking questions on the list it helps to gooooogle and read until your eyes are bleeding. OpenBSD has (IMHO) the best manpages of any *nix system I've ever used. The FAQ and How-Tos on the site are excellent as well.

          I've had a few replies from questions I've answered both on and off-list and the people have always been helpful. That includes the few exchanges I've had with Theo over the years.

          In short: exhaust your reading and searches before asking questions on the lists. The OS is free, but developers' time is limited.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jps25 ( 1286898 )

            In short: exhaust your reading and searches before asking questions on the lists. The OS is free, but developers' time is limited.

            And that justifies arrogance and being an asshole?
            We must be living in different worlds.

            • Re:Congratulations (Score:4, Insightful)

              by menkhaura ( 103150 ) <> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @07:54PM (#25606493) Homepage Journal

              Yeah, you and I (we) must. OpenBSD is not for the faint of heart, not for the n00bs, not quite for granny (but if she's asking questions on a OpenBSD mailing list, there's something seriously wrong with the way you set up her rig, or seriously wrong about your understanding of her computer understanding, or whatever). For user-friendly answers, the *BSD documentation is very extensive (try the FreeBSD handbook, most of which translates to OpenBSDdom or Linuxdom), and there are very, very many user-friendly Linux forums out there; the problems you'll have as a end user will be most probably with an end-user app, and kernel developers don't need to be hassled with such questions. As an analogy, I use to say that one novice user's question about the cup holder to the power users is the power user's question about the parameters to their device drivers.

              Not that I'm an OpenBSD developer or any such things, but I think that people who dwelve onto the *BSD realm must be braced for such coups, and must be prepared to RTFM!

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by DiegoBravo ( 324012 )

                >> For user-friendly answers, the *BSD documentation is very extensive (try the FreeBSD handbook,...

                Sadly these days people do not read documentation, and just expect there is somebody out in the forums that will respond something, not necessarily correct, just in order to make the system work (and no, it doesn't matter how it actually works).

                So responding to GP, I assume that openBSD is actually targeted for another world.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by coryking ( 104614 ) *

                but I think that people who dwelve onto the *BSD realm must be braced for such coups

                Nonsense. Mabye in OpenBSD land, but here in FreeBSD world, we dont flame people to death. The people I encounter in my travels are never hostile, always helpful, and very non-religious (i.e. you dont have to apologize for the fact you are sending in a patch via Outlook and your favorite windows text editor).

                That said, only would the OpenBSD flame this guy [] to a well deserved, and hilarious, crisp [].

                • Re:Congratulations (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday November 03, 2008 @07:54AM (#25610377) Journal

                  Mabye in OpenBSD land, but here in FreeBSD world, we dont flame people to death.

                  Interesting to hear. I did a series of articles about the new versions of NetBSD, OpenBSD and DragonflyBSD about a year ago. I originally intended to write one on FreeBSD for the same series, but decided to drop it. When I emailed the OpenBSD developers, I got well thought-out replies to my questions. The NetBSD guys went even further and forwarded my questions to some other people, collected replies, and gave me a huge amount of material to work with. Matt Dillon, likewise, gave me some great material on his plans for Dragonfly. The FreeBSD developers ignored me for a month, and then replied with a colossal flame ending 'never contact me again'. One of the other developers did apologise for this behaviour later. I thought this was a shame, since I've been a FreeBSD user for some years and wanted to give the project some free publicity. After this encounter, however, I dropped the idea of a FreeBSD article.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by libkarl2 ( 1010619 )
            I've been using OpenBSD for several years now, and right from the start I figured the lists were better suited for devs who are actually trying to deliver device drivers or serious kernelspace code. Seriously, the online documentation for OpenBSD is some of the best I have ever seen in any OS distro, ever.

            Theo is no better or worse than many in this game. His professional demeanor may need serious work, but his (Free and Open) OS doesn't. THAT is what matters most to someone like me... who learned the ha

        • Re:Congratulations (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mkiwi ( 585287 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:58PM (#25606985)
          Generally, it seems like many developers don't like to see their work criticized. They take anything you say, no matter how benign, and take it personally. Even when porting software to another platform. I was the first to ask a certain Mac OS X project about using prebinding to increase performance and make libraries more compatible with the rest of OS X. Of course it meant that there would have to be a substantial change in the way everything was complied. I was essentially told by the main developers to fuck off after writing a very reasonable post on the issue.

          A year later they implemented prebinding, which means my effort wasn't completely wasted.

          Parents don't like it when you criticize their children, even if in their heart of hearts they know the criticism is true. Here, software = children; developers = parents. It's not too hard to imagine nerdy group could be like that.
          • Re:Congratulations (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Monday November 03, 2008 @01:49AM (#25608775)
            Agreed. When publishing bug reports, mind you, Ubuntu and a few other communities are the exception to this rule, I find nothing but hostility. Suspicion that I'm making it up, that no matter how competent I profess myself to be, it's my problem. It's a hardware issue (effecting just one piece of software,) when Pidgin randomly deleted my buddy list and then kept it deleted, it was entirely AOL's fault. In reality, I suspect Pidgin incorrectly parsed the buddy list sent which works flawlessly for millions of users and clients (including Trillian) worldwide, and then interpreted that as my 'new' buddy list.

            I can't stand the arrogance of most open source developers I've associated with. To be fair, I can't stand the ambivalence most closed source companies have towards their users. Flash Player 10, for example, won't install on Windows unless you have -a- C:\. If you installed Windows onto a spare hard drive, it is given a different drive letter (such as E:\, in my case.) If I didn't have another disk that I could re-assign to C:\, or if I were a less technical person, I could not install Flash Player 10. Interestingly, from installing the trial of Adobe CS4 (the designer tool,) it was the only program that failed to install. I tried to contact Adobe and was told that support would come with a fee. WHAT? I am reporting a bug and they want to charge me money to elevate my call.

            Maybe I just hate other programmers? Perhaps Jean-Paule Sartre should have said, "Hell is other programmers."
        • But then, every time I try to use it, I run up against the OpenBSD developers, who are an arrogant bunch of elitist assholes

          Really? I wrote an article about an OpenBSD release a year or so ago and interviewed a number of the developers. I found them to be helpful, informative and courteous. As an OpenBSD user however, I have had no contact with the developers at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Truly, this is the year of BSD on the desktop.

      • That's why I stick to FreeBSD. The projects, Free/Open/Net are fairly well tied together, so you get a lot of similar advantages with each (though each has it's own specialty). With FreeBSD, the mailing lists are VERY civil and VERY helpful.

        That being said, having used it, OpenBSD is also a superb operating system, and I am very glad it is alive and kicking [the collective asses of many other operating systems].

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by fm6 ( 162816 )

      But Netcraft confirms it! Are you going to argue with Netcraft?

  • Congrats to the OpenBSD team.

    In related news, NetBSD 5.0 should be released soon, too.

    BSD proves Netcraft wrong again.

  • Rock Solid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have been regularly running OpenBSD for the last 8 years, and I have never been disappointed. 4.4 keeps up the string of solid releases.

    I have a thinkpad that runs it as well.

    Yes, I buy the CDs, and a few shirts, and donate $ when I can. Hopefully it keeps them working on the next release. I don't know what I would do without it running my DNS and other servers.

  • KDE version (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jadrian ( 1150317 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @06:16PM (#25605729)
    KDE 3.5.8? Why so old... even if KDE 3.5.10 released in late August was too late to make it, KDE 3.5.9 came out in February, that's over 8 months.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twistah ( 194990 )

      My guess is they care more about mature, audited code than something that's top-of-the-line by .1 version.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      3.5.9 is included in 4.4!

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      They audit every line of code they ship, including the external stuff they don't write. It is one of the most secure operating system distributions because of this policy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, they don't, they audit base, not ports.

      • Re:KDE version (Score:5, Informative)

        by OmegaBlac ( 752432 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:58PM (#25606983)

        They audit every line of code they ship, including the external stuff they don't write.

        I keep seeing this, but it is not entirely correct. According to their own FAQ they do not audit ports or packages to the same degree as the base system. One must assume that the "external stuff" has not been through an audit at all when installing a port/package. []

      • They audit every line of code they ship, including the external stuff they don't write.


        They only audit the base install. The ports tree is almost completely unmaintained.

        I am the author of some software [] that ships in a number of OS distributions. In September 2005, I found a serious security bug in my code. I immediately notified the project's mailing list as well as all of my downstream distributors I was aware of. Debian, SuSE, FreeBSD and others that I forget immediately released an update. OpenBSD left the old, buggy version in the ports tree for three months.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jggimi ( 1279324 )
          Perhaps you're thinking of another OS? Polipo 0.9.9 was added [] to the tree on 24 September 2005.
    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )

      You jest. Porting new KDE versions isn't as easy as it sounds. Most BSDs have a bunch of patches in the ports tree and they all have to be updated. It can be a lot of work. Even though OpenBSD is much bigger than MidnightBSD, they still don't have the same volume of help that some of the linux distros have for ports work.

      Not to mention that many open source projects are hard to get patches upstreamed to. Some linux developers in particular give us BSD folks a hard time on that front. The more obscure

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2008 @06:24PM (#25605783)
    This site is geared towards Linux users that want to learn OpenBSD: []
  • One Day.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by EEPROMS ( 889169 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @06:33PM (#25605851)
    [Death walking away muttering]
  • Silent Money Maker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by imus ( 1229508 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @07:15PM (#25606213)
    OpenBSD puts a lot of money in consultant's pockets. It's hands down the most secure OS on the market. Got a client that needs a secure redundant firewall but can't afford big, over-priced Cisco gear? OpenBSD to the resuce. OpenBGP, CARP, etc. You can do things with OpenBSD and 15K worth of hardware that would cost six or seven times as much money with dedicated networking hardware. And, you can do it better. So, if you need some easy extra cash get into OpenBSD and start making a killing in the firewall business in your hometown. When you get a reputation for solid, secure systems (they'll wonder how you do it :)) donate some cash to the OpenBSD Foundation and buy some CDs.
    • by sn00ker ( 172521 )
      $15k worth of hardware? Are you gold-plating the case, so they'll think it must be good? I'd be pushing it to spend NZD []15k on a top-notch OpenBSD box, and we're currently at USD0.54/NZD!
      Unless you're putting in 10GbE NICs, I guess, though that's getting a wee bit too bleeding edge for my liking in terms of support in OpenBSD.
    • they'll wonder how you do it

      Crap! I'd better remove my sig right away.
  • For a distro that prides itself on proactive security, OpenBSD seems to lack one security feature most mainline Linux distributions have: some form of package signing. I know package signing doesn't make a system 100% percent secure from Trojan'ed applications. I'm not a security expert, but I think having signed packages helps reduce the possibility of man-in-the-middle attacks, say, from malicious DNS redirection that points the user to a bogus mirror even if the "real" mirror (which presumably is running
  • 4.4 song (Score:2, Informative)

    by c0nst ( 655115 )
    Here's the song with lyrics for this release: 4.4: "Trial of the BSD Knights" []

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers