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Operating Systems Security Software Upgrades BSD

OpenBSD 4.7 Released 143

An anonymous reader writes "The release of OpenBSD 4.7 was announced today. Included in this release are support for more wireless cards, the loongson platform, pf improvements, many midlayer filesystem improvements including a new dynamic buffer cache, dynamic VFS name cache rewrite and NFS client stability fixes, routing daemon improvements including the new MPLS label distribution protocol daemon (ldpd) and over 5,800 packages. Please help support the project by ordering your copy today!"
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OpenBSD 4.7 Released

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  • This is the story Slashdot should have included to run.

    The insecurity of OpenBSD []

    A criticism of the OpenBSD security philosophy is performed, along with an examination of the claims made regarding the project. In particular their rejection of any advanced access control framework is examined. A well researched and well written article, followed by over 200 comments that are also worth reading.

    • The direct link for what's it worth: []
    • That article has been posted several times on *BSD mailing lists and is hardly relevant to the release of a new version.

      I wonder if an article criticizing the security of Slashdot's darling OS, Linux, would receive such positive moderation on a release story.

      • by Torino ( 1813872 )
        Slashdot regularly runs stories criticizing Linux's security,

        For some reason they refused to run this one, so I thought it would be good to draw attention to it on a related story.

        • Slashdot regularly runs stories criticizing Linux's security,

          So they regularly run such stories and yet not a single one appears after going back more than a month through the Linux section?

          • Most of us have been reading slashdot long enough that "several times a year" qualifies as sufficiently regular.

            In other words: get off my fucking lawn.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Most of us have been reading slashdot long enough that "several times a year" qualifies as sufficiently regular.

              And yet going back even farther to more than 6 months I've yet to see a single one of those supposed articles that criticize Linux security. Care to actually link to even a single article that isn't more than a year old?

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by magellanic ( 689252 )

          Maybe if the article had any real merit, instead of making stupid statements that aren't true.

          It's a shame the author's love affair with MAC can't help him write a decent article.

          I wonder how many installations of Linux have SELinux disabled because it broke something.

          • by Torino ( 1813872 )
            What in the article isn't true?
            • That MAC is anything but bloated a waste of time.

              The notion that adding security as an afterthought is a good idea.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drsmithy ( 35869 )

            I wonder how many installations of Linux have SELinux disabled because it broke something.

            The overwhelming majority, in my experience.

    • by rivaldufus ( 634820 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:14PM (#32270804)
      Perhaps every Ubuntu release story should have a link to a site titled "The Unusability of Ubuntu." Seems fair, doesn't it? The article would necessarily have to be negative... title non-withstanding. Slashdot has turned seriously hostile to non-Linux open source operating systems. I'm not sure why. I've even heard people here use the classic, "nobody uses it, so it must be bad" argument - the same one Windows users make about Linux.
      • by Torino ( 1813872 )
        Ubuntu is not unusable regardless of what features they decide to leave out, while the argument is made that OpenBSD is insecure because of features they do leave out. So, the analogy doesn't quite work.
        • No, Ubuntu isn't unusable because of omitting features. It's unusable because what they start with is unusable, and they have nowhere to go from there.

          Much like security. You can't bolt on features after the fact and suddenly have a secure product.

          • by Torino ( 1813872 )
            It isn't unusable to start with, your just attacking it because you personally don't like it. Additionally, an argument for MAC is not bolting features on after the fact. If it is properly implemented, it is in the kernel to start with. Unlike, say, rewriting Apache over 10 years to have privilege separation, which is adding it on after the fact.
            • No, it's unusable because it doesn't support my wireless on my Dell laptop at all. My choices are crap NDIS wrappers or the reverse engineered Broadcom drivers, both of which drop the connection at least twice a minute which makes doing any actual network transfer nigh impossible.

              It's unusable because the goddamn thing can't remember the way I arranged my panel from one boot to another without moving shit all over the place regardless of whether I lock it or not.

              It's unusable because the power management sl

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by udippel ( 562132 )

      While I consider your comment as 'Interesting', if not 'Insightful', I still can't approve of your

      This is the story Slashdot should have included to run.

      The story is about the release of the most recent OpenBSD, 4.7; its availability, funding, etc. The discussion about its 'lack of security' is surely of a very different nature.

      Having read the article mentioned by you (I saw 43 comments,?), I can only agree - and I knew that for long - that OpenBSD has no access control systems on top of the Unix-permission

    • The original author's argument consists entirely of pillorying OpenBSD for its lack of any Extended ACL framework as a second line defense against security breaches. Posters in the comments section rightly point out that OpenBSD does indeed include other second line defenses like PID randomization, ASLR, and extensive support for chroots - some of which are still not supported by default in Linux distributions today. The OpenBSD maintainers' choice to focus on ensuring the quality of the first line applicat

  • Does anyone know if ldpd is available in Linux also? Do you need OpenBSD to support VRF's?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, not without removing a lot of OpenBSD'isms from it.

  • Now go RTFA before you post.

    Darn, FAILED.
  • I just downloaded the old version 2 days ago!

    On a serious note; Can a BSD client read/write/use a Debian NFS share?

  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:09PM (#32269356) Journal

    If I can't see examples of OpenBSD running Gnome with transparent Conky over a red Lamborghini Murcielago wallpaper and maybe some cascading green character columns like the Matrix, I'm going back to Ubuntu.

    • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:28PM (#32272554)

      yes, have some.


      on a Toshiba laptop too (all devices work)

  • by eudaemon ( 320983 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:15PM (#32269444)

    Yeah, I use OpenBSD. My firewall's named linksys and the SSID is default, both for sheer entertainment value. OpenBSD like anything else has its flaws: namely a insular and hostile user community and theocratic leader with a vision. On the other hand it's people like that who get things done.

    It would be nice to do more with OpenBSD than I can now, but last I checked ports didn't have the latest asterisk, getting the latest Java running is a pita, the latest Apache has an incompatible license or something, ZFS will never be supported, etc, etc, etc. But staying up with the latest software isn't really a design goal for Theo & crew. It's sort of the PVP UNIX - no care bears welcome. Their targeted approach to security over features makes it the best OS out there for targeted uses, but who knows if they'll make it to 5.7 - decreasing relevance and due to narrowing mainstream software support definitely also narrows interest.

    Regardless, congrats on another great release.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by value_added ( 719364 )

      Yeah, I use OpenBSD. My firewall's named linksys and the SSID is default, both for sheer entertainment value.

      I guess you could describe that as "What's the sound of one-hand clapping?" or "An inside joke of the nth degree". ;-) Entertainment aside, pf users and fans should note the pf syntax changes [].

    • My firewall's named linksys and the SSID is default, both for sheer entertainment value.

      "Entertainment value"?

      I've got to party with you, sometime.

      • by mirix ( 1649853 )

        I'll bring the sparkling apple beverage.

        I've got a couple openBSD boxes myself. One is on httpd duty, the other doesn't do much, just sort of general purpose - I'm planning on making this one into some sort of automatics control for the house (turn the lights on, report temperature, I don't know, a bunch of lame stuff like this).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by yo_tuco ( 795102 )

          "I'm planning on making this one into some sort of automatics control for the house (turn the lights on, report temperature, I don't know, a bunch of lame stuff like this)."

          OBSD has support for the 20 pin gpio header on a Soekris net4801 board out-of-the-box. With that you can easily make either digital or transistor switches to control things. The shell command is gpioctl which you may want to grab the source and mod it so its not reading command line arguments and can be put in your code without an os s

          • by mirix ( 1649853 )

            Cool. I've got an AVR32 [] (not ARM or MIPS, something completely different) powered board that I've played with a bit, similar idea I suppose. Although I don't believe there is an openbsd port for it... I should pick up something ARM sometime, here..

            I've got a sort of hate for the gpio subsystem in linux, and I've never played with the one in openBSD - I'll have to look into that.

            Luckily the board I have in mind has a full PC/104 bus (essentially ISA, with a different connector), so I can inb/outb to my heart

        • I'll bring the sparkling apple beverage.

          I've got a couple openBSD boxes myself. One is on httpd duty, the other doesn't do much, just sort of general purpose - I'm planning on making this one into some sort of automatics control for the house (turn the lights on, report temperature, I don't know, a bunch of lame stuff like this).

          For that I would use a microcontroller. An atmel atmage8 draws 5mA running at 20MHz. It has better low level IO capabilities than a PC and it can talk to a PC through a serial port. The idea would be to use the microcontroller for day to day control and start the expensive (in power) PC when you have new instructions for it.

          • by mirix ( 1649853 )

            I've done some work with AVR's, and they're great. But I want to be able to SSH into this thing and see what's going on from work :)

            (this is a low power centaur board anyways, I think it uses 15w full tilt..)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by eudaemon ( 320983 )

        Heh, glad I made you laugh. Why are there no slashdot meetups? Oh yeah, because that would require getting dressed and leaving the house.

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Why are there no slashdot meetups?

          What's that? I think it's the sound of thousands upon thousands of buffet restaurants slamming and locking their doors at the thought.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      theocratic leader

      Yeah, he can really de ratchet up the abrasiveness when he wants to.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      Targeting a small specialized market is never good for your longevity, regardless how good you do it.

      • now that's funny, considering openbsd has been around since 1995, three years after the first real linux distro.

        • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

          15 years is a blip. When it hits 30 we can talk.

          • bullshit, for software project 15 years with tens of thousands of users worldwide is smashing success and proven endurance. There are multi-million dollar commercial software success stories that have risen and fallen in a shorter time and are no longer used.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by magellanic ( 689252 )

        OpenBSD doesn't want to take over the world, see the project goals []. This doesn't stop their work becoming used on a large scale, but this happens because of the software's features and technical superiority.

        On the other hand, many Linux advocates seem to be obsessed with the idea of world domination. I've seen these people choose Ubuntu for reinstall/upgrade jobs when their friends and family would genuinely be more comfortable, and better off, with Windows or OS X.

        Decide for yourself which is the more no

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jd ( 1658 )

      I'm not sure that it has decreasing relevance. For something like a firewall or other networked appliance (where you don't actually have users logging on and interactively using it), OpenBSD is way ahead of the game. Auditing the kernel and securing that is actually a good strategy for such devices, whereas mandatory access controls would be more of a cycle-hog. For reasons I don't entirely understand - or agree with - the world is slowly moving away from desktops and towards appliance-based computing. Look

    • OpenBSD like anything else has its flaws: namely a insular and hostile user community and theocratic leader with a vision.

      I see what you did there.

    • by rsax ( 603351 )

      and theocratic leader

      Nicely done.

    • ...hostile user community and theocratic leader...

      I've observed the OpenBSD attitude as being anything but religious in most cases, at least compared to FSF/GNU folk, and far closer to the laudable `shut up and hack'. The community may appear hostile, but successful users need to have initiative rather than being spoon fed. `RTFM', or a milder equivalent, is often the best way to encourage that.

      • As others have noted, this was a double entendre if not downright pun. OpenBSD users are not by and large welcoming if someone trips across the wrong e-mail list. As I stated - it's the PVP OS: come prepared to defend yourself. In the case of OpenBSD that means reading the FAQs, trolling the list history and submitting a dmesg when you do ask a question. Failing to do that is the EVE Online equivalent of flying your pod through 0.0 space.

        • I'm surprised you have time to investigate other operating systems if you're thinking in MMORPG analogies. :)

      • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

        IMHO if someone has problem with OpenBSD community/leader, he should hang at Mac community/websites/mags and especially IRC channels for a while.

        I also think OpenBSD theocratic leader and hostile community could be the reason why OpenBSD has its unique and prestigious position today... We all heard how many users got banned for questioning inclusion of Mono to a "user friendly" Linux OS distro which has democratic leadership right?

        • by teknopurge ( 199509 ) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:56AM (#32278454) Homepage
          The difference between the OpenBSD community and the Apple community is that the OpenBSD folks know what they are doing. I'm not trying to troll here, but Theo is an asshole, and the exact type of person that I want developing my kernel. His know-it-all attitude and demand for "not-created-here" things to gtfo led to the development of things like OpenSSH. I like the OpenBSD coding style and best-practices in addition to how they audit and analyze their code; more than any feature this is paramount in selecting software for us.

          OpenBSD has fewer kernel panics than 2.6.xx.xx and for network tasks has better performance for us.

          Again, kudos to the OpenBSD team for another release.
    • by Torino ( 1813872 )
      It would just be nice if they extended their definition of security to be more than preemptive bug fixing.
      The article I linked to above is a good discussion of this. Given how they flat out reject MAC, and the reasons they give for doing so, it seems they know very little about actual security.
      • Their definition of security goes far beyond pre-emptive bug fixing, but the author of that article is ignorant of OpenBSD security, and Unix security in general, and moreover thinks MAC will save him from the common exploits that bring down real machines (which any experienced Unix admin knows is total B.S.)

    • Your beef about asterisk might be a bad assumption. I build asterisk systems as part of my job. The 1.6 series asterisk has all manner of issues, you'll be wanting to use 1.4.x (1.4.25 or above) if you intend to do production stable system. As it happens, OpenBSD even has binary 1.4.25 package ready to install at a single command.....

      And, in the ports (scripting-based system), you have which is considered a more stable of the 1.6.x series, such as it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good for OpenBSD for supporting a computer architecture that is fully open and documented. Oh, the irony that it hails from communist China! And, eee-gads! It looks like Theo and Richard both like it! []
  • by lanner ( 107308 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:22PM (#32269536)

    When it came to things like OSPF, BGP, routing, filtering (pf failover) and that sort of networking things, Linux hasn't been the best (though queuing and protocols have had some innovations and dev work).

    Anyone have an opinion on this?

    For example, Zebra was basically abandoned (it sucked anyway), which now became quagga -- if I wanted a Cisco, I'd get a Cisco. Stop trying to make it a damn emulator.

    BGP? I don't even know if there is anything.

    iptables is cool, but it just doesn't have failover like pf has (I want people with real-word experience, don't tell me "it's supported" when it's crap.)

  • Please be sure to use a mirror [] (or torrent []) rather than overloading the main site.
  • I love OpenBSD (Score:4, Informative)

    by lemur3 ( 997863 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:29PM (#32269656)

    I started using OpenBSD at version 2.7 after a few years using various versions of Redhat linux and Mandrake.

    I was hooked right away.. It was a lot of things. Maybe the first was the really easy installation process... In my opinion it still might be the simplest out there. There is the well written man pages.. And the simple 'full' installation. It was easy to understand where everything was and it mostly stayed that way from release to release. The config files seemed easy to read and the firewall was really snazzy!

    They do some good work! I enjoy using it, even if all I am really doing is small scale hobby work.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Bacon Bits ( 926911 )

      Maybe the first was the really easy installation process...

      Bullshit. Looking at the release folder, I can't even figure out what I'm supposed to download to install without reading the documentation.

    • Maybe the first was the really easy installation process...

      The trouble with BSD people in general is that you can't tell if they're trolling (Theo), being trolled (80% of the BSD community are responding to obvious trolls at any one time which is why they advance so slowly,) or they actually believe what they're saying.

      Maybe you're the same guy that said he was running the Linux Quake 3 under OpenBSD's Linux emulation and getting a higher framerate? This was on Slashdot quite a few years ago. It was soon pointed out that it really, really, wasn't possible to run th

  • why has no one tagged the article "Beastie?"

    • by hhw ( 683423 )
      Because OpenBSD is represented by a blowfish? It's FreeBSD that has Beastie as its mascot.
      • by mirix ( 1649853 )

        openBSD used to have the beastie until 2.x, I think.

        I've got a shirt with him and "openBSD" on it :-)

        I still think the "greasy cop" mascot from 2.5 was the best though. picture []

  • by Improv ( 2467 ) <> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:57PM (#32270624) Homepage Journal

    Used to be that the Plaid Tongued Devils provided a new song for every release - this is the first song I've seen by someone else.

  • What's a functional network appliance type device that supports OpenBSD through and through to load up OpenBSD 4.7 on?
    • I run it on an HP T5135 thin client to which I've added usb microdrive, I use it as a domain server (apache and postfix) and also irc client under "screen" to a couple tech channels. Got that thin client used on eBay for $25.

      Only pulls 16W of power according to kill-a-watt meter, the only machine at home I leave on constantly.

  • Does it support UTF-8 out-of-the-box yet?
  • NFS still doesn't effing work right? Wow.

    • uh, you do realize every effing OS on planet earth that can run NFS has "NFS stability Fixes" in their patch sets.

      you don't do anything serious with computers, do you?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Risking to be modded troll:

    1. No proper ACPI support. This is what kept me away from OpenBSD already in 2004 and still I can not put my laptop to sleep

    2. Only secure if you have time to compile by yourself... no binary updates!!

    Otherwise i really like OpenBSD and I would switch at any moment!

    • most would consider openBSD mainly a server OS, though it has the main common desktop wares available as binary packages there are plenty of other open source OS that have more creature comforts for desktop and laptop use (though I carry USB drive with obsd that does work well with my Toshiba Satellite and for any other thing I need to quickly turn into temporary OBSD appliance).

      cvs update, patching, compiling doesn't take too long on modern normal GHz hardware though, minutes. On the other hand, doing it

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn