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# 1  
Old 02-24-2005
Question Trying to get into OpenBSD

I am an eight year Linux user and after getting into an argument with someone about OpenBSD overiding my theory that OS security is 50% OS and 50% admin skill, I decided to try OpenBSD for myself. I've tried BSDs before and haven't been able to get into them for day to dy use, but I am going to really give OpenBSD a good go. So, this leads me to a few questions. (I already posted some of these in the General forum for newbies of

1. How do I get X working? I performed the OpenBSD install via HTTP from That seemed to go pretty smoothly once I got to understanding how the install works. I requested that all packages be installed since I wanted "everything". It appears that this includes X. The response I got in the other forum was to run X -configure to generate a new XF86Config file. (Just like I'm used to doing in Fedora Linux if I need to) I did this and then put the file in /etc/X11 and renamed it XF86Config. I then tried typing 'xdm' (as root) to launch the X display manager, but there was a blink and then I was back to the console with no X. So I tried 'startx' (as root) and I got some more useful errors claiming that X was already running. I also checked /var/log/XFree86.0.log and saw the same thing. However a 'ps ax | grep X' showed me no processes. Since OpenBSD is so tightly secured, I imagine I have to change something to allow X to run (at least on :0 because I WAS able to get an X server to run on :1)? Finally, after fixing the PATH variable for my regular user, I could use 'startx' But I prefer 'xdm'. What could be going wrong?

2. When I performed the install originally, I set the system up for DHCP. When I rebooted, I got "device timeout" errors for ne3. After poking around in the man pages I discovered /etc/hostname.ne3. I rewrote it to set up static IP instead so now it looks like this:


When I do: 'sh /etc/netstart ne3' and then 'ifconfig ne3' It appears that the card is up and configured with the right IP info. A little more digging on the net indicates that my problem may be the result of an IRQ conflict??? I run 'vmstat -i' and there is no information regarding ne3. This is all odd to me as the NIC worked fine during the HTTP install. A little more Googling turns up the possibility of a problem with ACPI for the ne2000 based NICs (This is a Netgear FA series NIX). But I can't find any information on how to set the IRQ (or how to probe it since I don't know what the IRQ address is to begin with. I also can't find info on how to disable ACPI support. I don't know if this is a probem since this is an older system (Pentium 233 MMX).

3. Is there a command to list all the installed base packages? I imagine that since the OpenBSD default install is secure, that it must come with everything I need (at least that's what the person I was arguing with implied). 'pkg_info -a' didn't display anything when I ran it. What I am looking for is basic internet services ike Apache, BIND, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, LDAP. The person who started me on this quest implied that to use Apache, all I need to do is "turn it on" and use it.

4. Apache. Does it come precompiled with support for SSL, Webdav, PHP and Perl? I am really trying to stick to the default install in order to retain OpenBSD's security.

5. How do I set a regular user's PATH? I created a regular user account and attempted to startx and it seems that /usr/X116/bin is not in my path. I tried the usual: PATH=$PATH:/usr/X11R6/bin but that didn't work with 'sh'. So, there ust be some other way to do it on-the-fly. There is probably also a file for a more permanent addition to the PATH environment variable for setting it globally? I looked for /etc/profile and /etc/login and found neither. I did find /etc/skel/.login and /etc/skel/.profile, but this seems like an odd place to make a global setting so I don't think that's the right place. I also just this moment discovered 'ksh' which seems a lot nicer than 'sh'. Hmmm... maybe I just answered my own question. ;P I'll have to investigate this more.

Well, that's it for now. I admit it... I'm lost with OpenBSD, but I want to plow through anyway to see if it really can suit my needs with a minimum of admin skill expended. So far it's been a pretty hash mistress.
# 2  
Old 02-24-2005
Your first stop ofcourse is to read the FAQ's on the OpenBSD website.

Then read the man pages installed on your system, or you can read them online at the website above.

Not sure exactly how to run X on OpenBSD, since I never seen a reason to install X on this OS, As it is best used for Firewalls, routers. Should not be more difficult than on most systems running X.

Apache has been chroot, which increases its security. You will probably need to install mod_dav-1.0.x.tgz to give Apache WebDAV support. Most likely will need to install the SSL support for apache also.

Sendmail should be able to handle your SMTP, just create your file. You will likely need to decide on a package for POP support.
# 3  
Old 02-24-2005
Yes i know the problem where it complains about X already running try to clear your /tmp directory this should work. Also try to remove all XFreeconfig files you have made previous maybe it still loads one of the old once.
# 4  
Old 02-27-2005
Thanks. That worked. I did 'rm-rf /tmp/.X* /tmp/ICE*' and then xdm ran.
# 5  
Old 02-27-2005
Thanks. A read through the FAQs did prove more helpful than I intitially thought with regard to my question about which packages are installed by default. The only resolution to the "device timeout" error on ne3 so far was for me to yank out the ISA sound card (Soundblaster 16 PnP). Not the ideal solution, but it works for now. I still need to find out how to assign IRQs to ISA devices. The only thing I found in the man pages were some references to isapnp and isa, but nothing about actual management commands.
# 6  
Old 03-03-2005
3. pkg_info -a shows all installed packages.

5. The syntax for setting environment variable in sh is:
PATH = /usr/X11R6/bin
export PATH

Migrating from Linux to BSD takes some time to adjust. When I first learned to use FreeBSD, I had to reinstall quite a few times. So you shouldn't give up.
# 7  
Old 03-15-2005

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