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OpenBSD

OpenBSD is a really cool operating system! I've been using it as my daily driver and I couldn't be happier with it. The whole system really feels like a single unified system, unlike Linux which feels like a duct taped mess of things. For example, most configuration files use a very similar syntax, and the utilities work well together. The difference is almost indescribable, you just have to try it for yourself.

Issues

There is really just one annoying issues that I am having with the OS, which is that when I close my laptop lid, I can't wake it from sleep after re-opening it. I've worked around this issue by just using the hardware sleep key on my laptop before closing the lid. The one thing that did take some adaptation is the understanding that OpenBSD takes no effort to patch out dependencies or anything from ports, so Firefox, for example, depends on GTK2, dbus, and all the other bloat which I didn't have to deal with on ASD Linux. Because of this, it is likely that I will build my own ports tree at some point. There are really only three substantial packages that I use at the moment, Firefox, Claws-Mail, and HexChat.

The Calm Window Manager

OpenBSD ships with three X window managers installed by default, fvwm (The F Virtual Window Manager), twm (Tab [or Tom's] Window Manger), and cwm (The Calm Window Manager). When deciding which one to use, I quickly settled on cwm. fvwm seemed overly complex, and twm felt a bit too basic. cwm on the other hand, while appearing simple at first, is actually surprisingly sophisticated. Its a floating window manager, however its window control can be keyboard-driven, and has a cross between tag-style and more traditional virtual desktops, where you can have multiple desktops visible at once, however each window may only be part of one desktop (or a group, rather). I haven't delved very deep into the configuration of it, mostly because I haven't had to! I simply modified the defaults a tad to work better with my laptop, such as changing the mouse binding for resizing the window to be more accessible with a track-pad, and increasing the default size increment to better fit a high DPI display. I also very easily created a program launcher menu with all of my most used programs in it.

Ports

Maybe I just haven't learned the method to this madness, however the ports system is still the wild west to me. Coming from the beautiful KISS packaging system, the ports system seems messy, outdated, and hard to work with. Myself and a few others are interested in potentially replacing it with kiss, however I have decided to give a little more time into trying to learn the ports method.


Last updated on 2021-07-28