Notes on the installation process

OpenBSD Installation

Base Installation

The installer is straightforward if you follow the script. Encryption requires some more steps. The following steps should work for OpenBSD 6.8.

Encryption

We need to set up softraid and bioctl. At the initial prompt, drop a shell session.

Create the /dev/sd0 device and write random data onto the drive.

# cd /dev
# sh MAKEDEV sd0
# dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/rsd0c bs=1m

Initialize the partition table.

# fdisk -iy -g -b 960 sd0
fig. Command for UEFI systems.
# fdisk -iy sd0
fig. Command for MBR systems.

Create your partition layout.

# disklabel -E sd0
sd0> a a
offset: [64]
size: [39825135] *
FS type: [4.2BSD] RAID
sd0> w
sd0> q
No label changes.

Now that the a parition is created, we can encrypt it and exit the session.

# bioctl -c C -l sd0a softraid0
# exit

Firmwares

OpenBSD only comes with firmwares that have acceptables licences. You may need to download your missing firmares from their open directory, or use fw_update.

You can install your missing drivers from files like this:

# fw_update -p [path] [driver]

Or directly from if your installation is already connected to the internet.

# fw_update -a

Post installation

Enable the services you need with rcctl. You can also tinker with /etc/rc.conf.local.

man pages

Copy the example file to /etc and add manage your manpath.

# cp /etc/examples/man.conf /etc/man.conf

doas

doas is a replacement to sudo. You can configure it by editing doas.conf. Just like man.conf, there is an template in /etc/examples


From there, it’s pretty much the same as any basic Linux distribution. You may want to install git or got.

openbsd flavors

-release
The version that you downloaded from their homepage, two releases per year, every six months.
-stable
Fixes added to -release.
-current
The development version, with the latest fixes and features.

It is recommended to follow -stable or -current if patches matters. To follow the ‑stable flavor, you have to use syspatch. But you can’t install patches independently.

# #install patches
# syspatch

# #revert to -release
# syspatch -R

# #revert the last installed patch
# syspatch -r

To follow -current, the sysupgrade command is the way to go since OpenBSD 6.6.

# sysupgrade -s

Now that the system is installed, you may want to read my notes about how I use it as a desktop or as a server.

Questions or corrections? Send an email to roy@royniang.com.