OpenBSD Sucks? Thoughts From One Of Their Developers
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 18 March 2015 at 11:55 AM EDT. 24 Comments
BSD --
AsiaBSDCon 2015 happened last week in Tokyo, Japan. Besides learning about OpenBSD's custom-built HTTP/web server, there was also a presentation entitled "OpenBSD Sucks" by one of the OpenBSD developers.

Henning Brauer of the OpenBSD project presented at this Asian BSD conference about why OpenBSD "sucks" along with the strengths of this popular BSD distribution. As most OpenBSD users know, its stengths come down to a focus on security, networking, documentation, and consistency. However, Brauer was quick to admit that OpenBSD isn't perfect and there's some weak spots.


From Henning's perspective, among the shortcomings of OpenBSD is missing of snapshot capabilities with the FFS file-system, fsck on OpenBSD has various issues, various FFS inodes issues, and other FFS issues. Aside from the file-system related concerns, performance is another potential issue when it comes to micro-benchmarks, but overall it's believed that OpenBSD's system performance is in line with the competition. One area of performance that OpenBSD tends to be poorer than other OSes though is with regard to SMP performance due to the kernel being biglocked, etc.

OpenBSD's hardware support is generally in good shape with the exception of NVIDIA graphics hardware, due to the company not providing any public documentation / no support for the Nouveau DRM driver. There is the high-quality NVIDIA binary graphics driver for FreeBSD and others, but OpenBSD of course doesn't like binary blobs for freedom and code security reasons.

Those wishing to find out more from this OpenBSD good/bad presentation can find the HTML slides available.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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