Small OpenBSD and FreeBSD Experiment

by Ploum on 2022-04-01

As I feel the need for a more minimalist and more coherent system, I downloaded OpenBSD and FreeBSD to install on a spare laptop (a Starlabs Star-lite MKII). I was baffled by the very pleasant OpenBSD installer. Clean, efficient.

Best of all?

I could choose, at install time, my keyboard layout (French Bépo) with capslock already replaced by Ctrl. Waw! Nice.

Too bad, the installer didn’t managed to load the wifi driver (and this computer doesn’t have an RJ-45 port). Maybe I should report the issue somewhere.

Anyway, I know that I could not make it my main OS as OpenBSD has no bluetooth support, something I use to listen to music (headphone) or watch a movie with my wife (bluetooth speaker).

Also tried FreeBSD but the installer was a lot messier and still had a 15 years old Frech-Dvorak keyboard unrelated to Bépo. Didn’t want to spend time installing with a bad layout so cancelled the installation. Perhaps I should investigate to contribute the Bépo layout into FreeBSD. FreeBSD also have a nice feature allowing to run Linux binaries, which would be very useful to run the spellchecker Antidote (which recently announced removing Linux support…)

I also downloaded images of Alpine Linux and Void Linux but I guess I will stay with Debian and install a fresh Regolith 2.0 as soon as it is released. You don’t change easily 21 years of apt-get.

But I’m really impressed by how nice and clean OpenBSD installer is. "Absolute FreeBSD" by Michael W. Lucas is a wonderful book even if I don’t currently use FreeBSD. Learning a lot of stuff. I welcome OpenBSD books suggestions.

As a writer and an engineer, I like to explore how technology impacts society. You can subscribe by email or by rss. I value privacy and never share your adress.

If you read French, you can support me by buying/sharing/reading my books and subscribing to my newsletter in French or RSS. I also develop Free Software.