Installation with Other Operating Systems:

The OpenBSD/i386 port can be installed to share the system disks with other operating systems such as MS-DOS, Windows or Linux using the MS-DOS MBR/partition scheme and an optional boot selector. Everyday operation is trouble free, but setup requires care and Windows '95 installation is known to be careless about pre-existing MBR/partition information. See the Installation Notes for more details.

Install media

A number of install options exist:

Use the method that works best for you.

Binary compatibility with other Operating Systems:

The OpenBSD/i386 port can run Linux, FreeBSD, BSD/OS, SVR4 (including Solaris), and IBCS2 binaries.

Supported Hardware:

The OpenBSD/i386 port works across a broad range of standard PC's and clones, with a wide variety of processors and I/O bus architecures. It can be expected to install and run with minimal difficulty on most current products. The cases where problems may be encountered are typically older proprietary PC's, Laptops or specialized server boxes that rely on a custom BIOS to paper over implementation differences.

OpenBSD does not currently support multiple processors (SMP), but will run using one processor on a multi-processor system board.

Most laptops are supported. We have a page that details the specifics of most common laptops.

The list of supported hardware is relevant to OpenBSD-current. It will differ slightly from the support provided in the latest release version.


All CPU chips compatible with the Intel 80386 (i386) architecture:

Everything that is a clone of the 386 or up should work fine. The only CPU that is known to work poorly (due to flawed motherboard designs) is the Cyrix 386DLC.


The MCA bus found in various official IBM PCs is not supported.

Bus interfaces

Entropy sources

Disk Controllers

PCI IDE Controllers (pciide)

Any other PCI IDE-compliant controller should work, but those not specifically listed may not be capable of DMA modes.

SCSI Host Adapters

RAID and Cache Controllers

CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Drives

Sony and Panasonic proprietary CD-ROM interfaces are not supported.

Tape Drives

Display Adapters

Note that not all of the display adapters OpenBSD/i386 can work with are supported by X. (See the XFree86 FAQ for more information.)

Serial Ports

Parallel Ports

Communications Controllers

Ethernet Adapters

Please be aware that many NE2000 adapters fail or perform very poorly. We do not recommend using them, but your mileage may vary.

Wireless Ethernet Adapters

Gigabit Ethernet Adapters

ATM Adapters

FDDI Adapters

WAN Adapters

Cryptography Accelerators

PC Cards (PCMCIA and CardBus)

Universal Serial Bus (USB) Devices

USB Keyboards and Mice are not supported in console mode at this time, with the exception of those USB machines with a BIOS that can emulate a regular AT keyboard and PS/2 mouse.

Pointing Devices

Sound Devices

The following drivers are not extensively tested:

Miscellaneous Devices

Many kinds of ISA Plug-and-Play cards

If a device does not work, be sure to mail the output of dmesg(1) to dmesg@openbsd.org, and we will try to add support.


Roughly said, the following cards definitely work. Others may work as well; support is continually being improved.

(1) Drivers for hardware marked with (1) are NOT included on the distribution floppies.

(2) Support for devices marked with (2) IS included in the "generic" kernels, although it is not in the kernel on the installation floppy.

Unsupported Hardware

Unsupported hardware may be supported in the future, your donation of time, hardware, or documentation can accelerate this support!

If you are looking for to test new pre-release features, you can try one of the snapshots. For the i386 architecture, snapshots are made available from time to time.

OpenBSD www@openbsd.org
$OpenBSD: i386.html,v 1.212 2001/01/29 00:53:03 aaron Exp $