OpenBSD on personal laptop? - Printable Version
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OpenBSD on personal laptop? - Rue - 06-12-2017
Been wanting to run BSD (especially OpenBSD) for a while, but:
1. I'm currently looking for a laptop, and because BSD's hardware support is very lacklustered, that would mean settling for intel gpu intead of nvidia and subsequently, an integrated gpu instead of a discrete (dedicated) gpu :(
(Reason this is even a concern is because I do need to/plan on running dual boot with Windows)
2. Having to give up the options for a lot of AUR and software that are otherwise possible on linux.
I know some of you run BSD, and OpenBSD seems to be a crowd favor on the forum judging by the recent threads, so I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on your decision process when making the switch and describe a little what kind of computer you typically install OpenBSD on? Personal computer? server? and perhaps what kind of stuff do you usually do on it, mostly for coding? everyday use? ever feel frustrated because certain things aren't supported? etc.
Thanks in advance.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - jkl - 06-12-2017
Quote:what kind of computer you typically install OpenBSD on?
Servers, mostly. My laptops currently don't have OpenBSD (but I liked its experience).
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - z3bra - 06-12-2017
I use openbsd on servers myself. I've first been surprised by the completeness and cleanliness of the system. All configurations look the same, program flags are boringly similar, thus making the OS surprisingly easy to tame.
On servers, I barely found a software lacking in the port tree, and for the one missing, I could easily find other alternatives.
When I wanted to try new/unknown software (by that, I mean MY softwares or things not in the famous AUR), I just used typical make/make install because I couldn't bother writing a port (a bit too complex for me, I must admit).
I tried using it on my notebook. Installation went smoothly, startup as well. cwm is awesome (I've been using it for years, even on linux, and still use it today).
As usual, it comes with everything needed to use a desktop environment. The only reason I had to drop it is because my wifi adapter is not supported. I'm considering buying an USB adapter though, to unkeash the full power of my notebook ;)
When it comes from lacking software, I've been used to packaging things myself (I run crux at home, which lack many software, but has dead simple oackaging recipes). I wrote my own pack manager to get around this, and use it to package things myself and track what I install. It is only one small step further than make/make install, so you get the idea.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - pizzaroll1 - 06-12-2017
Hello. I have OpenBSD installed on all of my machines, including my personal laptop that I use for programming, gaming, etc. I do dual boot with Windows due to terrible proprietary software I have to run sometimes, but that's not often.
I wouldn't say OpenBSD's support is very lackluster, if your laptop is >3 years old, chances are everything is very well supported (this is a bit lackluster, I agree). Nvidia graphics isn't going to work, but most laptops with Nvidia come with Intel GPUs too (then you have to mess around with Optimus and all that if you want the GPU switching to work). OpenBSD just uses the Intel GPU, which is fully accelerated and everything, so everything other than gaming should be ok. Watching videos online is good, if you're worried about that. AMD GPUs work well too in my experience.
I haven't been disappointed by OpenBSD, but that's mostly because I check through man pages to see if my device is well-supported by every OS I want to use before buying it. It's very possible that you might install OpenBSD and find out none of your shit works. I advise you to search man.openbsd.org to see if your devices are in a list of supported ones anywhere. Or if some really similar ones are, then your device will probably just work too. If it's something like WiFi, you can always pick up a cheap USB WiFi card.
Most commodity hardware is well-supported, especially since the developers all run OpenBSD on their laptops, servers and workstations and use it for everything. But still verify with the documentation if you can. Or send an email to the mailing list, email@example.com asking for help. Alternatively, search marc.info for "laptop" on openbsd-misc to get some help. For example, here is a thread with some good recommendations. That was 5 months ago, so some things have changed. For example, Kaby Lake now has graphics support.
Good luck with whatever you decide to buy.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - Tmplt - 06-12-2017
(06-12-2017, 05:00 PM)pizzaroll1 Wrote: I do dual boot with Windows due to terrible proprietary software I have to run sometimesAny reason you're virtualizing Windows? Hardware access requirements?
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - apk - 06-12-2017
the technology isnt there yet its impossible
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - pizzaroll1 - 06-12-2017
GPU passthrough on laptops with integrated+Nvidia graphics is a bit dodgy, I haven't been able to get it to work. It's not like a desktop where you just have the iGPU somewhere and the discrete GPU elsewhere with different ports, connected to different displays. On laptop the display is kind of connected through both GPUs all the time, the Nvidia GPU goes through the Intel one.
Or something like that. What it boils down to is that virtualising with GPU passthrough is really difficult on this kind of laptop. I do virtualise tons of stuff on my desktop.
Relevant for OP, OpenBSD does have a native hypervisor that works very well. It has been included in 6.1 and 6.2 and is getting more features all the time. Obviously it's still lacking compared to the very mature solutions on Linux, but if you don't need to be on the cutting edge, it's very workable. If this is a use case you're interested in, you have a non-zero chance of being disappointed.
This is amd64 and i386 I'm talking about, though. On sparc64, for example, OpenBSD supports LDoms while no Linux (other than Oracle Linux, ugh) does: OpenBSD is hilariously far ahead of any Linux in that case. Except maybe Gentoo, but I'm only saying that because I haven't tried it.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - evbo - 07-12-2017
Older laptops are definitely the way to go with OpenBSD. I have a Thinkpad T430 that used to run OpenBSD. The one thing I had to do was disable the Nvidia card on there and set the IGPU as the primary, which was done in the BIOS. After that it worked great on that hardware and OpenBSD can be a solid desktop OS. Servers are a different matter: I almost exclusively use OpenBSD. httpd and pf out of the box is a huge selling point.
Now that being said, I eventually found that OpenBSD didn't offer everything I needed for a daily driver, so I moved to CRUX Linux. It's the closest you can get to BSD while still having Linux-only features like NVIDIA support. Writing your own ports is waaaay easier than on OpenBSD, too.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - pecg - 26-12-2017
(07-12-2017, 02:31 PM)evbo Wrote: so I moved to CRUX Linux. It's the closest you can get to BSD while still having Linux-only featuresSlackware is also close to a BSD system in its design: there is a base system, and the init uses BSD-style scripts. I used to run Slackware-current on my laptop, but ultimately changed to voidlinux, didn't want to write my own slackbuilds for ports. The system is clean, and doesn't resolve dependencies in package management, a feature many learnt to love over time (I actually liked it a lot). OpenBSD, on the other hand, is the closest to the original Unix one can get, and I run it on production servers too.
RE: OpenBSD on personal laptop? - Rue - 02-01-2018
(06-12-2017, 05:00 PM)pizzaroll1 Wrote: Hello. I have OpenBSD installed on all of my machines, including my personal laptop that I use for programming, gaming, etc. I do dual boot with Windows due to terrible proprietary software I have to run sometimes, but that's not often.
May I ask why you went with OpenBSD and not FreeBSD? Simply because it's cleaner/simpler? I have such a hard time deciding :\
Especially since I'm using Arch Linux at the moment so the thought of not having access to certain apps is still somehow holding me back if I was to go with OpenBSD - though the idea of having a simple/clean system does sound very attractive.