Six months after moving from FreeBSD to OpenBSD. No, no, I’ve not abandoned FreeBSD/PC-BSD in favour of OpenBSD, let’s say.. uhmm, it’s only about testing OpenBSD capabilities.
I must say I’m very glad with OpenBSD in general. Then reason to move from FBSD to OBSD is mainly the suspend/resume support. I’m going to enumerate positive and negative issues of OpenBSD, always from my particular point of view. Of course this is only a personal opinion, based on my experience. Possibly I haven’t reached all the OpenBSD potential.
Thinkpad R61 Centrino DUO 2200Mhz 4Gb RAM
OpenBSD Current snapshot 30/04/2012 (stable now is 5.1) amd64
- Fast and reliable Suspend/Resume support, both in amd64 and i386. The only 100% functional in SMP architectures in BSD world. FreeBSD and NetBSD support suspend/resume (FreeBSD only in amd64 architecture) but with problems, mainly usb stuff after resume. See others posts in this blog for suspend/resume in FreeBSD/NetBSD.
- Very good performance in userland apps, network, etc.
- The easiest way to upgrade in BSD world. No need of usb sticks, isos, etc. With bsd.rd you can boot and launch the installation/upgrade tool.
- Low resources consumption.
- Secure by nature.
- Very easy usb mount/umnount with hotplug-diskmount.
- Very frequent snapshots and up-to-date apps (i.e. firefox)
- No NTFS writing support.
- No Linux emulation in amd64 and not very fast emulation in i386.
- No flash support. No problem with youtube due to html5 support in firefox. Some flash videos can be watched with gecko-mediaplayer and FlashVideoReplacer addon for firefox. Most of flash videos will not work.
- No good video acceleration. Gnome3 work only in fallback-mode, and with ugly appearance.
- No KDE4 available. But KDE 3.5 runs fine. It’s my desktop environment of choice.
- USB storage is, in my experience, not as quicker as in FreeBSD or Linux.
- No CPU P-States, so worse autonomy when on battery.
- Not so many ports as FreeBSD.
- Not in the bleeding edge of desktop apps.
In general, if you need suspend/resume in your laptop OpenBSD is a good option. The same if you are concerned about secure in your server, or even if you own a low resources computer.
In my opinion, OpenBSD team is making things in the best manner. And things are going faster. Keep on the good way!
Give an oportunity to OpenBSD!