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OpenBSD 4.0 Released 201

Undeadly Halloween writes, "On October 18th, OpenBSD celebrated its 11th birthday and ten years of punctual biannual releases. Now it's time for OpenBSD 4.0, which includes tons of new drivers for wireless, network, and storage chips. Consider helping the project by buying the new goodies (CD set, t-shirt, poster, Audio CD). And discover what's new and what battles developers must face daily to support new hardware in the traditional interview featuring nearly 20 developers."
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OpenBSD 4.0 Released

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  • Nice. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JoshJ ( 1009085 )
    Good stuff. Hopefully some of those free drivers will get spread around to Linux as well.
  • by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @09:04AM (#16671537)
    Whew... On the press release, under "New/extended platforms", it says:


    I read that as OpenBSD/amish. You can imagine the visions that swirled through my head at that point.
    • Whew... On the press release, under "New/extended platforms", it says:


      I read that as OpenBSD/amish. You can imagine the visions that swirled through my head at that point.

      I think the BSD mascot would go down real well in Amish communities.

    • They proudly announce a reimplementation of CVS.

      Let me repeat: CVS. In 2006.

      The CVS replacement is already here. We call it Subversion or SVN. It works like CVS, but with several nasty defects removed. Most of us are hoping that CVS will pass into history, to be remembered only on wikipedia.

      If you want to reimplement a version control system, you could pick something non-free that doesn't already have a free clone. You could pick BitKeeper or ClearCase, neither of which are 100% sucky or obsolete.

      So yes, "a
      • Their CVS implementation is BSD-licensed and has been/will continue to be fully audited for security purposes.
      • by raddan ( 519638 )
        The OpenBSD source repository is already in CVS format, everyone knows how to use it, and it works. What's needed are bug fixes. Hence OpenCVS. What you'll find out if you stick around with BSD for long is that the developers like new features in the OS, but hate them in the toolchain.
  • Cool ! can I run it on my toaster ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The whole documentation firestorm recently didn't seem to stop their progress. The issue remains, how to get the chip vendors to provide documentation that allows writing drivers for OpenBSD in this case, and all the other OSs. Maybe the pressure needs to come from a different side.

    What would Broadcom or Intel do if Dell or Hewlett Packard told them to provide documentation for each of the chips in the laptops or desktops. If it became a business decision, no Dell laptops with a non-documented Broadcom c
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dan Ost ( 415913 )
      Even if they're of one mind now, putting pressure on Dell, HP, and the rest might
      make them change their minds later. The key is to make this as visible an issue
      as possible.

      Talk to the chip manufacturers.
      Talk to the OEMs.
      Talk to the people who do the purchasing for your company. If you're lucky,
      they might start asking the right questions when they place an order. That's
      the kind of thing that makes Dell/HP/etc take notice.

    • Dell, et al. HAVE documentation. They signed legally binding NDA's and contracts. There is serious money involved. I still don't get why everyone thinks the community should be the ones to wirte the drivers. Make a stable ABI and allow manufacturers to write the drivers as they see fit and protect their IP.

      Other options is for OS people sacrifice any ability to work in their field and sign life-long NDA's and non-com's to gain acess to the info or have bounties to raise the millions to BUY the information a
  • imho, commercial OS's are just fascistware

    open unix rocks, and so does freedom
  • is that it can run Linux executables!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Even better is you can run them in a sysjail. This way, when your Linux executable is exploited, the whole box isn't compromised.

      This is a dream for those of us forced to have to run linux executables
    • By research, I mean the novel approaches they take to acheive new functionality in firewalling, routing, hardware drivers, and cryptography. They also have a reputation for coding "correctness" in improving the basic BSD/Unix utilities that are then used by other projects. I tend to think of the OpenBSD project as an extremely productive research institution run on the cheap. My opinion is that they are probably on a level close to Sun and its multi-million dollar R&D in pumping out Unix inovations.

      • My opinion is that they are probably on a level close to Sun and its multi-million dollar R&D in pumping out Unix inovations.

        Hmmmm, not sure I'd go that far. The OpenBSD group is very good at taking current (or legacy) software and improving it (often by an order of magnitude, however you'd measure that). However, I don't expect to see anything like ZFS [sun.com] coming from them anytime soon.

        DTrace [opensolaris.org], though, hmmmm, maybe...

        • However, I don't expect to see anything like ZFS [sun.com] coming from them anytime soon.
          DTrace [opensolaris.org], though, hmmmm, maybe...

          Sun is in situation whne it does some things because it cannot do anything else. They have lost focus many years ago - and have bumpy road ahead of them trying to regain it.

          On other side, OpenBSD is moved by need. The development is advanced by people with specific set of needs and goals. They do not lose focus - loss of focus would mean absence of developers wi

          • in real life and real work I really really seldom needed tool like [dtrace]

            Well, I don't know what kind of "real work" you do, but I develop software and dtrace is like a gift from above when you really need it. Even if you do have the source to everything, you can't just jump on a mailing list when the software that isn't working is stuff you wrote yourself. And even with source, sometimes it's easier to trace through some system calls to get a feel for what's going wrong than it is it meditate over the

    • by tommasz ( 36259 )
      Just like OS/2 could run Windows executables. That didn't save OS/2 and I doubt this will do much for OpenBSD.
      • Just like OS/2 could run Windows executables. That didn't save OS/2 and I doubt this will do much for OpenBSD

        That is a silly comparison. OS/2 tried to compete against Windows, OpenBSD does not try to compete against Linux. OpenBSD does its own thing and doesn't really care what others do. It helps to keep in mind that the OpenBSD folks are a little more mature (obviously referring to the community at large and excluding Theo :-)) and are religious only when it comes to security, not regarding platforms.
      • Just like OS/2 could run Windows executables.

        I seem to recall having to reboot into some sort of virtual machine to run Windows under OS/2. However with OpenBSD Linux emulation, I can run a Linux executable as though it was a native one. The difference is that they they run on a more secure operating system and (at least with FreeBSD and NetBSD Linux emulation) they sometimes run faster. Now that the Sun JDK is running native on FreeBSD and NetBSD, the last reason I have for running Linux binaries on a

  • presumably this contains the installer, encoded into audio Commodore 64-style?
  • Has anyone actually gotten a straight answer from hardware vendors as to why they wont give out documentation? Can you build a modern x86 PC using only hardware that is fully supported by free software with no binary bits, blobs, non-redistributable firmware or missing functionality? Are there any hardware companies that DO give out documentation?

    • Simple
      WiFi cards. May run into issues with the FCC since they are are supposed to be not "easily modifiable by the end user".
      Graphics cards. May use technology from another company that is under an NDA.
      DMCA. Intel has released all the documentation for their graphics chips except for the MacroVision part.
      And last but not least, cost. It costs money to release documentation. Frankly for most companies the Linux OpenBSD market isn't worth it.
      The simple answer is no. If you build an all Intel system then you
      • lets set some definitions before we start talking.

        microcode: a binary piece that is loaded directly into the hardware
        binary blob: a binary piece that is loaded directly into the kernel

        microcode is fine. any OS on any arch can do that (provided it has the appropriate hardware, natch). you bought a kick ass RAID card? sweet. Vendor 'designed' it to run only on i386. you want to put it into your sparc box.

        if the vendor requires a binary blob, you're screwed. so you take it back and get your money back.

        • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
          I do understand. The thing is I don't think Theo does.
          He was complaining about the WiFi chipset that the one laptop per child program was using. At run time it loads a binary file into the wifi chipset that gets executed on an arm core. He was using the term binary blob for that even though it was NOT being loaded into the kernel or even executing on the host CPU. I don't see the difference between this and the code being in flash except it is cheaper and will run faster out of ram than flash. So you see i
    • All chip docs suck, and it costs money to finish them and clean them up for public consumption. Vendors probably just don't see the business case.
  • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:22AM (#16672285) Homepage Journal
    T-Shirts - Hideous
    CD Set - More toxic landfill
    Posters - see t-shirts above
    Audio - got to be kidding

    • by dylan_- ( 1661 )
      T-Shirts - Hideous
      Actually, I kind of like the 4.0 t-shirt, but given the Mobilix affair, I wouldn't expect them to last long. Get 'em while they're hot!
    • Even since OpenBSD started to "theme" each release I've been disappointed in the merchandise. The artwork is great, but it's just something I wouldn't want to hang on my wall or wear in public.

      Thankfully you can still order stuff from old releases. My personal favourite is the poster from 2.9 [openbsd.org], which is simple and illustrates exactly what OpenBSD is about but professional enough you could hang it your office. I'd buy something every release if they were more like that.

    • If the old T-shirt with the Daemons Head was available I would buy one now. There is something about the Puffy mascot that just puts me off.

      And Pufferix? Come on, wasn't there a Linux distro that got into major trouble over the -ix postfix? And that was without the visual representation of the cartoon character.

      So, anyway, what I'm saying: get rid of the stale Puffy, get back to the roots with The Daemon.

      • by Shanep ( 68243 )
        If the old T-shirt with the Daemons Head was available I would buy one now.

        Do you mean this [openbsd.org] one?

        This shirt was unavailable for a short while, but it's been available again for some time now.
  • Is anyone using a hardware encryption accelerator with OpenBSD? I'm considering a purchase but finding good information has been somewhat problematic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by raddan ( 519638 )
      I have a Soekris vpn1401 [soekris.com] and it works well, although I don't believe all the features are supported. IIRC, this is because hifn has not been forthcoming with their documentation. The vpn1201 [soekris.com] is known to work as well. I'm not sure if later revisions (like the lan1461) work-- OpenBSD does not have a good relationship with hifn at the moment. BTW, I haven't done any benchmarking with my 1401, but the machine handles crypto much faster with than without it. That's all I can say.
  • I love OpenBSD, and now its time to build a couple of new, shiny pfsync boxes!

    Congrats on a great new release!
  • They don't seem to offer any torrent downloads, which I think most people would find somewhat odd in this day and age. In addition, they don't even seem to publish MD5 and SHA1 checksums of the discs, which I personally think is especially odd due to the security focus of the OS.
    • Well, there is no torrent support in the default install of OpenBSD, and it's not the kind of protocol to fit well on a floppy drive with everything else - the core implementation is in python of all things, not so tiny. It's also not stable, bittorrent is still changing. And the licence is not very free, the BitTorrent licence is actually kinda wordy, which OpenBSD hates. Ftp and http work just fine however, they're available under the BSD licence in C and they're actually standardized. Those Linux dis
      • So why should there be torrents of OpenBSD, regardless of what the day and age is?

        Because it would save Theo a heck of a lot of bandwidth?

        • Theo doesn't pay for the bandwidth provided by the University of Alberta, or any of the other big mirrors. Theo's bandwidth is likely based almost entirely in cvs runs from developers and his initial uploads of releases and snapshots to mirrors.

          This would drain users bandwidth without saving Theo any - it would be a cd-only option, since bittorrent is too big to support on a floppy. Most everyone netinstalls via floppy, so it's work that would benefit few and would not do what you suggest, got anything
      • It's also not stable, bittorrent is still changing.

        Base protocol is stable thru last 4 years or so.

        It is advanced features which are changing: UDP support, traffic encryption, DHT decentralized network, various accelerations and improvements.

        But simple client doesn't have to (and doesn't) support all that.

        As Linux distros have showed over time, BitTorrent is one of the simplest ways to manage mirrors. Or to put it plainly: BT replaces mirroring and removes need for management. Throw RSS into t

      • the core implementation is in python of all things, not so tiny.

        Get a life man. protocol != implementation.

        There are BT protocol implementations in C [sourceforge.net], C++ [rakshasa.no] and Java [sf.net].

        • The GPL licensed implementations, even the one in C, are unacceptable because they're GPL licensed. Also Java stuff is not included in the base install of OpenBSD, that's worse than Python.
          • Hm. So what BSD then uses for compiling??? Isn't it GNU Compiler Collection licensed under GPL?

            If you are licensing zealot - FSF/GNU would welcome you any time. They are full of it. BSD folks au contraire are pragmatical - and use whatever fits best their needs. (And that's actually why they use BSD license: it fits their needs and it is extremely pragmatical.)

            Including BT client into disto make sense just to pilot it and see would people use it at all. And if there would be interest (and normally th

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Nimrangul ( 599578 )
              You obviously don't know OpenBSD, it's the one that gets new drivers for wireless cards and removes ipf because of it's developer's interpretation of his licence. It's the one that will never move to a newer version of Apache, since it's licence is too restrictive. It's the one that rewrites compress to include all the functionality of gzip, just so it can remove gzip, and it's done the same for size, and diff, and grep...

              The gcc is one of the last remaining non-BSD licensed bits in OpenBSD, OpenBSD has

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