How to Install OpenBSD - Easiest Guide Ever !

May 6, 2015 | By in HOWTOS
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OpenBSD is forked from NetBSD in 1995. Now OpenBSD is the second most popular BSD system. This system is widely known for the developers insistence on open-source code and quality documentation, uncompromising position on software licensing, and focus on security and code correctness.

The OpenBSD project maintains ports for 20 different hardware platforms: i386, x86-64, Apple PowerPC and many other. The current release of OpenBSD system is 5.7.

Installing OpenBSD

The OpenBSD system has an excellent documentation. There is many different ways to install OpenBSD system. We show how to install this system from full ISO image. 

Firstly we need to download an iso-image. Select closest mirror here. Then go to “5.7” folder, select folder with name of your architecture and finally download file “install57.iso”. Now you can burn it onto CD/DVD or flash  it to USB. Then boot from it.

You can see something like this:


Here type “I” for start installation.

Then select a keyboard layout. For more information you can type a question mark.


Press ENTER.

Now system asks you about system hostname and about configuration for available network interfaces. In square brackets display a default variant. This variant selected in case of push ENTER with empty prompt string.


Let's configure em0 interface.


As you see, next question is about IPv6. We skip it. Moreover we skip configuration of the second interface vlan0. Both of them are useless for this example.


In the next step we must set a root password.


After a root password, system asks about default launch of sshd (OpenSSH Daemon), ntpd (Network Time Protocol daemon) and X Window system. If you know nothing about these daemons leave default values. Otherwise you best known daemons configuration.

Then, we can create additional user and set a timezone.


By default you see an automatic calculated timezone. If you want to change default value, type an question mark and select preferable timezone.

Next step of installation is about partitions. In current example we have 3GB of a free space without any volumes. That is why partition manager can auto-allocate layout. In any time you can edit the auto-allocated layout by typing “E” or create you own layout through typing “C”.


Anyway, preferable if you create separate volumes for root, home and swap.

Remember about file system. By default set FFS/UFS (Unix file system).

And final step. Sets selection. Sets is a base component of the system. Here is a short description of sets from CD:

  • bsd — kernel
  • — kernel for multiprocessor system
  • bsd.rd — kernel with wirtual RAM-drive
  • base57.tgz — base OpenBSD system
  • comp57.tgz — compilers, development tools, libraries, headers etc
  • man57.tgz — man pages
  • game57.tgz — games
  • xbase57.tgz — base installation of X11
  • xfont57.tgz — font server and fonts X11
  • xserv57.tgz — X11 server
  • xshare57.tgz — manuals, locales, header files and other for X


If you want more sets you can select http as location for sets. Sets on screenshot available into base iso-image ("disk" option in dialog).

Type “done” and wait a minute. During sets installation you can see something like this:


Now installation is complete.


Type “reboot” and look at you fresh OpenBSD system.


How to install packages

There is two way: easy and advanced. In the first case you must set environment variable PKG_PATH. For example:

export PKG_PATH=ftp://your.ftp.mirror/pub/OpenBSD/5.7/packages/`machine -a`/

And then use following commands:

  • pkg_add - a utility for installing and upgrading software packages;
  • pkg_delete - a utility for deleting previously installed software packages;
  • pkg_info - a utility for displaying information about software packages;
  • pkg_create - a utility for creating software packages.


In new version of OpenBSD fixed multiple bugs, improved reliability and make several security fixes. Here is detailed log of changes between the 5.6 and 5.7 releases. So, OpenBSD remains a reliable system. And it is good choice for security, desktop and enterprise purposes.

Category: HOWTOS

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