A technical look at the OpenBSD operating system
from a NetBSD perspective
Hubert Feyrer, April 2005

Motivation

As work related to my PhD thesis[0], I wanted to see if OpenBSD runs equally well in qemu as NetBSD and FreeBSD do. While there, I wanted to see what is there in OpenBSD that is not there in NetBSD, given that OpenBSD forked from NetBSD some time ago. The list below is an analysis of the OpenBSD operating system from a NetBSD POV, with an emphasis on what is in OpenBSD that's not in NetBSD.

Given my >10 years of experience in NetBSD, I know it quite well, and I have no interest in making a comparison the other way 'round. I'd probably leave out too many interesting things present only in NetBSD, and this text is intended as a "what we can learn from OpenBSD" instead of a dicksize contest.

I welcome everyone to try out NetBSD themselves!

Installation

The System

Things left out

While the above list contains a look at a static installation of OpenBSD, dynamic behaviour, general system operation in practice and performance were not covered. Some areas that may be interesting to look at from a NetBSD point of view include:

Conclusion

References

[0] http://www.feyrer.de/vulab/
[1] http://www.OpenBSD.org/
[2] http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-advocacy/2005/01/08/0003.html
[3] http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/

Errata


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