OpenBSD on Thinkpad T420s | skybert.net

OpenBSD on Thinkpad T420s


Getting OpenBSD 6.2 installed on my Thinkpad T420s was surprisingly easy. This was the first time I installed OpenBSD on bare metal, so I had a lot of wonderful discoveries this evening.

All in all, OpenBSD was a joy to use. Old school, really Unixy, no bloat. Just edit text files and issue commands. Nothing more. No magic. No systemd, no NetworkManager, no PulseAudio. After installing the OS, which was a pure text based, simple question and answer style installer (you know, the kind of BASH scripts you made second year in Uni), it said:

openbsd installer

Man, I instantly fell in love in OpenBSD ♥

A quick reboot later, X came up with a login screen looking awfully lot like xdm:

openbsd login

Network configuration

Really old school. Back to basics. So nice, so simple. Minimal conf: See all the network devices the kernel has recognised with ifconfig, then create a file:

/etc/hostname.<device>

Wireless

After connecting my laptop to a wired connection, I installed missing firmware for the Intel wireless card with:

# fw_update -a

Suspend & resume

Suspend to RAM and resume worked flawlessly without doing much. I just had to start apmd:

# apmd &

To make apmd start on the next boot, as well as make it scale the CPUs up and down, I added the following to /etc/rc/.conf.local:

apmd_flags=-A

I could then suspend to RAM as a regular user by typing (I started apmd;

$ zzz

and hibernate (suspend to disk) by typing the same in upper case letters:

$ ZZZ

Issues

Slow booting

I'm hit by this error: OpenBSD 3.1 slow boot due to pciide error - Ars Technica OpenForum. Luckily suspend and resume works flawlessly so I "never" need to do a cold boot.

Useful reading

Apart from the man pages, I found the following articles helpful: - OpenBSD FAQ: Networking - Installing OpenBSD 6.1 on your laptop is really hard (not) - An OpenBSD Workstation - List installed packages on Linux or FreeBSD / OpenBSD system nixCraft


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