Joy of OpenBSD

I really appreciate OpenBSD for the pure joy that it provides for me when it comes to computing. In the twenty years that I have been using it, this operating system continues to teach me new and interesting aspects of computing and the internet. Today’s hyper corporatized and monetized internet, makes me that much more grateful for an operating system that is free. I love how the philosophy of the project is not one of hand holding but forces you to learn and think critically. Instead of hiding the internals being a point and click interface, you do a deep dive into learning how your computer works. It doesn’t hide the internals and tell you, “Oh you don’t need to know that!”

Instead OpenBSD encourages learning and provides real satisfaction when you successfully solve a problem or learn a new skill. I still remember the first time I set up an FTP, Web, and Email server. I had used a dialup PPP internet account with my Macintosh from around 1994-1997. But I was always curious about how the internet worked. OpenBSD taught me all of that and more. I remember wanting to know what happened behind the scenes when you made an http or ftp request and how routing works. Between Google, OpenBSD, and my college roommate, I became hooked.

To this day, OpenBSD provides a welcome respite from the drudgery that is computing today. Corporations took the fun out of the internet ecosystem and replaced it with a walker garden. Or they want us to be creative but not so creative that it digs into their opportunity to make money. After being exposed to the beauty of free, using software that isn’t free and open source is an anathema to me.

When I turn on my OoenBSD desktop or laptop, I wonder what I will be learning today. What kind of fancy, new, and awesome trick will catch my attention? That’s just what I think about whenever sitting at the keyboard to the powerhouse that is the greatest operating system of all time. I cannot wait for the new versions to come forward.

See also