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OpenBSD?
Posted by: idisappear
Date: March 23, 2012 08:53PM

I recall reading (in the introductions) that id and rsnake prefer OpenBSD. I am looking to learn programming and it seems I might be best served if I get comfortable with an open source, non-UNIX-based operating system.

In the past, I have installed and used Ubuntu and messed around with it for about a month, but never did anything heavy with it. Is OpenBSD a bad idea for someone who is not proficient with Linux? Is it a bad idea for a first operating system?

Secondly, as security lovers, how do you reconcile your choice with this news?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20025767-281.html

Are the authors of those articles overlooking something? Blowing things out of proportion? Can I just delete the encryption software after I install OpenBSD and eliminate the prospect of any backdoor problems?

What advantages are there to OpenBSD? Why not Ubuntu? Why not Fedora Core? Why not FreeBSD? I don't intend to host a website or run a server. Does that make OpenBSD a less a sensible choice for me? I want to learn about security and programming. Of course, being secure is always nice too.

Can I dual boot OpenBSD with Windows? Is it known to install well on most hardware without troubleshooting? Is there a good chance that a beginner would be able to get on the internet? Have any thoughts about OpenBSD's detection of modern wireless cards on laptops? I am considering installing it on a laptop.

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: lightos
Date: March 24, 2012 06:46AM

This is a Web Application Security forum, so try to keep your questions related to security if you want them to get answered.

You should just use whichever distribution you are comfortable with, it doesn't really make a big difference as long as it does what you need it to do. If you're just installing the OS to learn programming, then anything will do. If you want to learn security, you may want something like BackTrack. Whatever you end up choosing, I would recommend installing it in a virtual machine and once you feel comfortable enough, you can move on to doing a full disk install.

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: id
Date: March 26, 2012 12:02PM

I do think OS choice is relevant to all forms of computer security..

We use OpenBSD firewalls and FreeBSD servers.

OpenBSD because it's fast and rock solid along with PF (the firewall software). The article you linked has been discredited long ago, it was never relevant.

FreeBSD because it's easier to host a large variety of application on, and we use some special features that are not available in Linux/OpenBSD such as jails. It's not to say that you can't reasonably secure a Linux box, but it's just not worth our time. Also from a pure supportability issue, I can run binaries from 10 years ago on my FreeBSD machines, Linux doesn't give a shit about backwards compatibility.

On the desktop I run FreeBSD with two Win 7 VMs and a variety of jails for various applications I do not trust like skype. Then I run a local firewall and direct traffic from those jails out of my network with out letting them touch anything else on the local networks.

I agree with lightos on the VM idea though, it's the best way to learn an OS.

-id

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: thrill
Date: March 26, 2012 09:17PM

Quote

Why not Ubuntu? Why not Fedora Core? Why not FreeBSD? I don't intend to host a website or run a server.

If you were a safe cracker, why wouldn't you get every single type of safe (if money were no object, which it isn't with Open Source Software)? The more you know about each OS the better you would be at protecting it, or alternatively, breaking into it.

Seems you just decided sometime not long ago that you wanted to find something where you didn't need to do too much work.. again, security is a way of life, not something you learn during one semester at a community college.

--thrill

---

It is not the degrees you hold, but the mind you possess. - thrill

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: Albino
Date: March 30, 2012 10:03AM

Wow that's a nice setup id. Thanks for sharing. Do you have to use distinct license keys on the 2 win7 VMs?

As for openBSD, Getting internet access and kde working was simple enough, then I spent a pitiful ~16 hours trying to get it to cooperate with my graphics card before giving up. I plan to use it as a server OS in the future, though.

-------------------------------------------------------
Research blog

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: id
Date: March 30, 2012 12:41PM

I have an enterprise key, so it doesn't matter how many win7 VMs I make.

As for *bsd on the desktop you should give pcbsd a try, it should set up your graphics card for you. The one issue is with newer Intel video cards, they use KSM and FreeBSD does not support it yet, though it should be ready in a few months. I've had the best luck with Nvidia cards using the propriety driver (it's in the ports tree under /usr/ports/x11/nvidia-driver ). I have a GTX 460 running two 27" monitors, does movies and video games fine.

http://pcbsd.org

-id

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: idisappear
Date: April 24, 2012 12:56AM

Has anyone tried PC-BSD? Any opinions?

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: Skyphire
Date: June 18, 2012 07:23PM

I never liked BSD. But this isn't an OS war thread. I would never use a BSD desktop. I concur with the others, run a VM, download images and try 'em all out. It's about what works for you, not what's best for you. I still use Windows and I've never been hacked on it and even if I got hacked on, there isn't anything of value on it, since the valuable stuff isn't wired to the net.

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Re: OpenBSD?
Posted by: id
Date: August 03, 2012 05:42PM

old thread, but PC-BSD rocks, I don't use full desktops, just 2x27" monitors filled with term windows (12 virtual desktops each), but if I had to set my mom up with a desktop it would be PC-BSD.

-id

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