The official website for the OpenBSD project is located at: http://www.OpenBSD.org
A lot of valuable information can be found here regarding all aspects of the OpenBSD project.
Additional information for laptop users can be found at:
The OpenBSD project maintains several popular mailing lists which users should subscribe to and follow. To subscribe to a mailing list, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. That address is an automated subscription service. In the body of your message, on a single line, you should include a subscribe command for the list you wish to join. For example:
The list processor will reply to you, asking for confirmation of your intent to join the list. The confirmation you send back to the list processor will be included in its reply to you. It will look something like this:
auth 90855167 subscribe announce email@example.com
Once you have confirmed your intent to join, you will be immediately added to the list, and the list processor will notify you that you were successfully added.
To unsubscribe from a list, you will again send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. It might look like this:
If you have any difficulties with the mailing list system, please first read the instructions. They can be obtained by sending an e-mail message to email@example.com with a message body of "help". These are the currently-available OpenBSD mailing lists:
Archives of the OpenBSD mailing lists can be found by visiting the mailing lists
You can also get mail archives from http://www.monkey.org/cgi-bin/wilma or http://www.geocrawler.com/lists/4/OpenBSD. These website contains searchable archives of the OpenBSD mailing lists.
Another mailing list that may be of interest is firstname.lastname@example.org. This mailing list is a discussion of the use of OpenBSD in mobile computing.
To subscribe to this list use:
'echo subscribe | mail "email@example.com"'
The archives for that can be found at: http://www.monkey.org/openbsd-mobile/archive/
OpenBSD comes with extensive documentation in the form of manual pages, as well as longer documents relating to specific applications. To access the manual pages and other documentation, be sure that you installed the man, misc, and text distributions.
Here is a list of some of the most useful manual pages for new users:
Also, If you are one of the people who didn't install the man28.tgz package, you can find all the OpenBSD man pages on the web at http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi.
In general, if you know the name of a command or a manual page, you can read it by executing `man command'. For example: `man vi' to read about the vi editor. If you don't know the name of the command, or if `man command' doesn't find the manual page, you can search the manual page database by executing `apropos something' or `man -k something' where something is a likely word that might appear in the title of the manual page you're looking for. For example:
bsd# apropos "time zone" tzfile (5) - time zone information zdump (8) - time zone dumper zic (8) - time zone compiler
The parenthetical numbers indicate the section of the manual in which that page can be found. In some cases, you may find manual pages with identical names living in separate sections of the manual. For example, assume that you want to know the format of the configuration files for the cron daemon. Once you know the section of the manual for the page you want, you would execute `man n command' where n is the manual section number.
bsd# man -k cron cron (8) - daemon to execute scheduled commands (Vixie Cron) crontab (1) - maintain crontab files for individual users (V3) crontab (5) - tables for driving cron bsd# man 5 crontab
In addition to the UNIX manual pages, there is a typesettable document set (included in the misc distribution). It lives in the /usr/share/doc directory. If you also installed the text distribution, then you can format each document set with a `make' in the appropriate subdirectory. The psd subdirectory is the Programmer's Supplementary Documents distribution. The smm subdirectory is the System Manager's Manual. The usd subdirectory is the UNIX User's Supplementary Documents distribution. You can perform your `make' in the three distribution subdirectories, or you can select a specific section of a distribution and do a `make' in its subdirectory. Some of the subdirectories are empty. By default, formatting the documents will result in Postscript output, suitable for printing. The Postscript output can be quite large -- you should assume 250-300% increase in volume. If you do not have access to a Postscript printer or display, you may also format the documents for reading on a terminal display. In each Makefile you'll need to add the flag -Tascii to each instance of the groff(1) commands (or execute it by hand). Some of the documents use the ms formatting macros, and some use the me macros. The Makefile in each document subdirectory (eg, /usr/share/doc/usd/04.csh/Makefile) will tell you which one to use. For example:
bsd# cd /usr/share/doc/usd/04.csh bsd# groff -Tascii -ms tabs csh.1 csh.2 csh.3 csh.4 csh.a csh.g > csh.txt bsd# more csh.txt
The UNIX manual pages are generally more current and trustworthy than the typesettable documents. The typesettable documents sometimes explain complicated applications in more detail than the manual pages do.
For many, having a hardcopy of the man page can be useful. Here are the guidelines to making a printable copy of a man page.
This is found throughout the src tree. The man pages are found in the tree unformatted, and many times through the use of CVS, they will be updated. To view these pages simply :
# nroff -mdoc <file> | more
This is helpful to get the man page straight, with no non-printable characters.
# man <command> | col -b
Note that [man_src_file] must be the man page source file (probably a file that ends in a number; i.e., tcpdump.8). The PostScript versions of the man pages look very nice. They can be printed or viewed on-screen with a program like gv (GhostView). GhostView can be found in our Ports Tree. Use the following groff(1) command options for getting a PostScript version from an OpenBSD system man page:
# groff -mdoc -Tps [man_src_file] > outfile.ps
The above command line will only work for man pages formatted with the mdoc(7) macro package, used to format the BSD man pages. For getting a PostScript version from a third party software man page (either self-compiled or installed from the ports(7) or the packages(7)), do instead:
# groff -Tps -mandoc [man_src_file] > outfile.ps
Before submitting any bug report, please read http://www.openbsd.org/report.html
Proper bug reporting is one of the most important responsibilities of end users. Very detailed information is required to diagnose most serious bugs. Developers frequently get bugs reports via e-mail such as these:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: HELP!!! I have a PC and it won't boot!!!!! It's a 486!!!!!
Hopefully most people understand why such reports get summarily deleted. All bug reports should contain detailed information. If Joe User had really expected someone to help find this bug, he or she would have supplied more information... something like this:
(Note: See report.html for more information on creating and submitting bug reports. Basically, detailed information about your hardware is necessary if you think the bug is in any way related to your hardware or hardware configuration. Usually, dmesg(8) output is sufficient in this respect. Next, a detailed description of your problem is necessary.)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: 2.7 panics on an i386 After installing OpenBSD 2.7 from the CD which I purchased via your outstanding on-line ordering system, I find that the system halts when using any network utilities. After booting with a bootdisk and escaping to a shell. This is the dmesg output: OpenBSD 2.7 (GENERIC) #690: Fri Oct 29 16:32:17 MDT 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org:/usr/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/GENERIC cpu0: F00F bug workaround installed cpu0: Intel Pentium (P54C) ("GenuineIntel" 586-class) 120 MHz cpu0: FPU,V86,DE,PSE,TSC,MSR,MCE,CX8 BIOS mem = 654336 conventional, 15728640 extended real mem = 16384000 avail mem = 11112448 using 225 buffers containing 921600 bytes of memory mainbus0 (root) bios0 at mainbus0: AT/286+(63) BIOS, date 08/20/96 bios0: diskinfo 0xe055800c cksumlen 1 memmap 0xe0558088 apminfo 0xe0558134 apm0 at bios0: Power Management spec V1.1 apm0: battery life expectancy 95% apm0: AC on, battery charge high, charging, estimated 1:27 minutes pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0: configuration mode 1 (no bios) pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0 "Toshiba (2nd ID) Host-PCI" rev 0x11 "Chips and Technologies 65550" rev 0x04 at pci0 dev 4 function 0 not configured isa0 at mainbus0 isadma0 at isa0 wdc0 at isa0 port 0x1f0/8 irq 14 wd0 at wdc0 channel 0 drive 0: <TOSHIBA MK2720FC> wd0: can use 16-bit, PIO mode 4 wd0: 16-sector PIO, LBA, 1296MB, 2633 cyl, 16 head, 63 sec, 2654280 sectors sb0 at isa0 port 0x220/24 irq 5 drq 1: dsp v3.02 midi0 at sb0: <SB MIDI UART> audio0 at sb0 opl0 at sb0: model OPL3 midi1 at opl0: <SB Yamaha OPL3> wss0 at isa0 port 0x530/8 irq 10 drq 0: CS4232 (vers 63) audio1 at wss0 pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61 midi2 at pcppi0: <PC speaker> sysbeep0 at pcppi0 npx0 at isa0 port 0xf0/16: using exception 16 pccom0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo pccom1 at isa0 port 0x2f8/8 irq 3: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo pccom2: irq 5 already in use vt0 at isa0 port 0x60/16 irq 1: generic VGA, 80 col, color, 8 scr, mf2-kbd pms0 at vt0 irq 12 fdc0 at isa0 port 0x3f0/6 irq 6 drq 2 fd0 at fdc0 drive 0: 1.44MB 80 cyl, 2 head, 18 sec pcic0 at isa0 port 0x3e0/2 iomem 0xd0000/16384 pcic0 controller 0: <Intel 82365SL rev 1> has sockets A and B pcmcia0 at pcic0 controller 0 socket 0 pcmcia1 at pcic0 controller 0 socket 1 ne3 at pcmcia1 function 0 "Linksys, EtherFast 10/100 PC Card (PCMPC100), " port 0x340/16 irq 9 ne3: address 00:e0:98:04:95:ba pcic0: irq 11 biomask 4040 netmask 4240 ttymask 5a42 pctr: 586-class performance counters and user-level cycle counter enabled dkcsum: wd0 matched BIOS disk 80 root on wd0a rootdev=0x0 rrootdev=0x300 rawdev=0x302 Thank you!
For more information on getting the dmesg(8) output from a floppy, read FAQ 14.7 and FAQ 4.5.
If Joe User had a working OpenBSD system from which he wanted to submit a bug report, he would have used the sendbug(1) utility to submit his bug report to the GNATS problem tracking system. Obviously you can't use sendbug(1) when your system won't boot, but you should use it whenever possible. You will still need to include detailed information about what happened, the exact configuration of your system, and how to reproduce the problem. The sendbug(1) command requires that your system be able to deliver electronic mail successfully on the Internet.
If you have submitted a bug report and you want to check its current status without annoying anyone, the best ways are:
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