Examining OpenBSD from the point of view of a Linux user

Veteran Linux users and administrators are likely to have heard of the BSD family of operating systems. However, the BSDs remain a mystery to many in the Linux community. With the upcoming release of OpenBSD 7.0, it is time to throw some light on this little gem.

Linux is the most popular Free and Open Source (FOSS) operating system, but it isn’t the only alternative. Many FOSS operating systems are too niche to serve as a true alternative to Linux – you would not use Minix or FreeDOS for the same things you use Linux for. However, the BSD operating systems are a powerful family that is worth considering for tasks usually assigned to Linux.

It is said that Linux users have a poorer understanding of BSD than BSD users have of Linux. Given that both BSD and Linux are closely related to Unix, it is not surprising to learn that using one does not feel very different from using the other. They have similar userspace tools, you may install (mostly) the same utilities on each, and they are both built around free software. On the other hand, once you dive a little deeper into the systems, differences start surfacing.

OpenBSD 7.0 is slated for release in 2021, so it is a good time to take a look at OpenBSD as an example of what the BSD family has to offer.

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