Creating an OpenBSD distro - Printable Version
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Creating an OpenBSD distro - pizzaroll1 - 23-10-2014

That project we had going a while back to make a Nixers Linux distro was pretty cool, I thought, but I like OpenBSD more. I had to think of a name for the repo, so I called it DietBSD (like diet libc, it's OpenBSD but on a diet).

The repo is here: If you want to try it out, there's an image for amd64 on one of the releases, you can run it using

$ qemu-system-x86_64 dietbsd-0.0.1-amd64.fs

Or I suppose you could dd it to a USB stick and boot it on your real amd64 machine, but that's probably not worth it.

It doesn't do much at the moment (inits then starts /bin/sh), and I'm looking for ideas. What would be cool to have in an OS? I'm thinking musl libc, maybe sbase and sinit (from, but what else?

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - pizzaroll1 - 26-10-2014

Oh man, I accidentally nuked everything in /etc, /bin, /usr, and /sbin by installing with DESTDIR set to nothing. Wow, I'm a genius.

Anyway, I assume the lack of replies means no-one has any ideas, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing now until I end up with something usable, then maybe I'll solicit comments again.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - venam - 26-10-2014

Seems like everyone are a bit busy with universities and schools these days.
Give it a bit more time so we can spend the weekends or vacations playing around with it.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - kirby - 26-10-2014

I was going to have a look but the line

Quote:Currently, that only works if you're using OpenBSD.

Put me off, as I don't run OpenBSD. Once it works on other platforms I'll give it a look.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - pizzaroll1 - 26-10-2014

Well, you can still run the image using QEMU, but you can't build a new image (only really important for development). Also, there's barely anything in the image other than a shell. I'm mainly trying to get some ideas. Without ideas, I'll just end up making something boring. Any ideas on what you'd want in an OS like this?

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - sodaphish - 29-10-2014

OBSD is teh shit! I use Linux on my day-to-day laptop for work, but Windows on my home box because of Battlefield 4 and Titan Fall. My server platform of choice is either Debian or OBSD. Keep hacking!

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - pizzaroll1 - 30-10-2014

Thanks for the encouragement! Earlier today, I pushed some new stuff which makes it actually usable. You can log in, write things using the only editor you need (cat) and even change your hostname. The latest release is here: To use it, install QEMU:

# apt-get install qemu
# pacman -S qemu
# yum install qemu
# pkg_add qemu
# pkg install qemu

Then download the image from the releases page and gunzip it:

$ gunzip dietbsd-0.0.2-amd64.fs.gz

Then use QEMU to run it (or dd to a USB stick and boot it):

$ qemu-system-x86_64 dietbsd-0.0.2-amd64.fs

You don't even need OpenBSD to run it, only QEMU. It's still pretty useless at the moment and barely does anything, but since it does the bare minimum, I can now start adding actual programs and libraries. But what programs should I add to the base system? Is there anything anyone wants to see in an OS (albeit a toy OS)?

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - john65 - 24-01-2015

Hi pizzaroll1

I've been looking to move away from linux distros as systemd is creeping into all aspects of that OS. Are you still working on this project?

As for ideas, try JWM as the windows manager and maybe thin out the total number of apps.

I, and I'll bet many others, would love a functional desktop OpenBSD distro.

I don't know if that's your intention but I'll many would like that.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - pizzaroll1 - 25-01-2015

I'm really sorry, but I haven't really had any time recently to work on the project, and I don't think I will any time soon due to exams and that sort of thing.

If you are really looking to move from Linux, you can still do it, OpenBSD is still very minimal. This project was mostly for kicks anyway, vanilla OpenBSD is great as is.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - john65 - 26-01-2015

Thanks for responding. I'll give vanilla OpenBSD another try. To be honest I find it difficult to get OBSD set up and functioning as a useful desktop. I'm a pretty average computer user, wouldn't even call myself a superuser, but I do like the idea of security, so love the idea of a functional OBSD desktop. Therefor, I'm always hoping to find a nicely set up OBSD iso that I can burn to disc or USB.

Oddly, a few weeks ago I burned the newest version OBSD to disc but was unable to install it to the old computer I'm using right now, which I put Sparky Linux on. Sparky works great, except for the 5 second(ish) wait from the time the log in appears and when it will accept the password which is odd, but I'm not all that happy about the SystemD takeover of the Linux ecosystem and live in hope that someone package a modern looking, minimal resource hungry OBSD desktop iso.

What are your thoughts on JWM? I've seen a few distros use it and it's very resource light. I wonder why it doesn't get more mainstream use.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - Bones - 26-01-2015

john65, I'm a pretty average user, too, but if you stick with it and follow some of the good tutorials on the web, you can set up a decent desktop BSD pretty easily. Here's a good tutorial for setting up OpenBSD 5.6 with Xfce:

You could also go very bare-bones and stay (mostly) with base, and configure cwm to look good and keep things nice and light:

I have just recently (mostly) abandoned Linux in favor of OpenBSD, and I like it a lot: simple, solid, secure, stable.

JWM is a decent WM, lighter than Xfce, heavier than cwm. A good rundown of WMs here:

My favorites are cwm, spectrwm, and evilwm.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - john65 - 26-01-2015

Thanks Bones, I'll definitely check those links out.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - john65 - 27-01-2015

Bones, those are both good links. I'll have to watch the CWM link again. I'm not familiar with that type of WM, but I like what I saw. Thanks :)

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - bsdkeith - 01-05-2015

OpenBSD 5.7 is out today.
Downloaded & installed to pendrives.
Basic install (less comp & game)(added athn & urtwn wifi)(plus mpg123 & dillo) comes in at just 551mb, add to that firefox & it is 900mb.
If you're not interested in X, then an install of the base (less comp & game)(added athn & urtwn wifi)(plus mpg123) is just 242mb.

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - bsdkeith - 13-05-2015

Thought people might be interested in this -
(A lightweight desktop environment using OpenBSD 5.7)

RE: Creating an OpenBSD distro - jobss - 13-05-2015

(13-05-2015, 05:23 AM)bsdkeith Wrote: Thought people might be interested in this -
(A lightweight desktop environment using OpenBSD 5.7)

The concept is great but the end result looks like Openbox. I am sure lots of Gentoo users will like to have a try with that, because some of them can get overly crazy with dependinces and where they come from. Portage has made them go mad with power!