OpenBSD 2.9

Business Released June 1, 2001
Copyright 1997-2001, Theo de Raadt.
ISBN 0-9683637-7-6

All applicable copyrights and credits are in the src.tar.gz, sys.tar.gz, xenocara.tar.gz, ports.tar.gz files, or in the files fetched via ports.tar.gz.

What's New

This is a partial list of new features and systems included in OpenBSD 2.9. For a comprehensive list, see the changelog leading to 2.9.

How to install

Following this are the instructions which you would have on a piece of paper if you had purchased a CDROM set instead of doing an alternate form of install. The instructions for doing an ftp (or other style of) install are very similar; the CDROM instructions are left intact so that you can see how much easier it would have been if you had purchased a CDROM instead.

Please refer to the following files on the two CDROMs for extensive details on how to install OpenBSD 2.9 on your machine:

Quick installer information for people familiar with OpenBSD, and the use of the "disklabel -E" command. If you are at all confused when installing OpenBSD, read the relevant INSTALL.* file as listed above!


Play with your BIOS options to enable booting from a CD. The OpenBSD/i386 release is on CD1. If your BIOS does not support booting from CD, you will need to create a boot floppy to install from. To create a boot floppy write CD1:2.9/i386/floppy29.fs to a floppy and boot via the floppy drive.

If you are planning on dual booting OpenBSD with another OS, you will need to read the included INSTALL.i386 document.

To make a boot floppy under MS-DOS, use the "rawrite" utility located at CD:/2.9/tools/rawrite.exe. To make the boot floppy under a Unix OS, use the dd(1) utility. The following is an example usage of dd(1), where the device could be "floppy", "rfd0c", or "rfd0a".

# dd if=<file> of=/dev/<device> bs=32k

Make sure you use properly formatted perfect floppies with NO BAD BLOCKS or your install will most likely fail. For more information on creating a boot floppy and installing OpenBSD/i386 please refer to FAQ4.1.


The 2.9 release of OpenBSD/sparc is located on CD2. To boot off of this CD you can use one of the two commands listed below, depending on the version of your ROM.

> boot cdrom 2.9/sparc/bsd.rd
> b sd(0,6,0)2.9/sparc/bsd.rd

If your sparc does not have a CD drive, you can alternatively boot from floppy. To do so you need to write "CD2:2.9/sparc/floppy29.fs" to a floppy. For more information see FAQ4.1. To boot from the floppy use one of the two commands listed below, depending on the version of your ROM.

> boot floppy
> boot fd()

Make sure you use a properly formatted floppy with NO BAD BLOCKS or your install will most likely fail.

If your sparc doesn't have a floppy drive nor a CD drive, you can either setup a bootable tape, or install via network, as told in the INSTALL.sparc file.


Create BSD partitions according to INSTALL.amiga's preparation section. Mount the CD2 under AmigaOS as device CD0: Next, execute the following CLI command: "CD0:2.9/amiga/utils/loadbsd CD0:2.9/amiga/bsd.rd".


You can boot over the network by following the instructions in INSTALL.hp300.


Boot MacOS as normal and partition your disk with the appropriate A/UX configurations. Then, extract the Macside utilities from CD2:2.9/mac68k/utils onto your hard disk. Run Mkfs to create your filesystems on the A/UX partitions you just made. Then, use the BSD/Mac68k Installer to copy all the sets in CD2:2.9/mac68k/ onto your partitions. Finally, you will be ready to configure the BSD/Mac68k Booter with the location of your kernel and boot the system.


You can either setup a diskless boot or create an installation tape, as described in INSTALL.sun3.


Get the release via ftp. Then, you can either setup a diskless boot or boot via floppy as described in INSTALL.alpha.

Notes about the source code

src.tar.gz contains a source archive starting at /usr/src. This file contains everything you need except for the kernel sources, which are in a separate archive. To extract:

# mkdir -p /usr/src
# cd /usr/src
# tar xvfz /tmp/src.tar.gz

sys.tar.gz contains a source archive starting at /usr/src/sys. This file contains all the kernel sources you need to rebuild kernels. To extract:

# mkdir -p /usr/src/sys
# cd /usr/src
# tar xvfz /tmp/srcsys.tar.gz

Both of these trees are a regular CVS checkout. Using these trees it is possible to get a head-start on using the anoncvs servers as described here. Using these files results in a much faster initial CVS update than you could expect from a fresh checkout of the full OpenBSD source tree.

Ports Tree

A ports tree archive is also provided. To extract:

# cd /usr
# tar xvfz /tmp/ports.tar.gz

The ports/ subdirectory is a checkout of the OpenBSD ports tree. Go read if you know nothing about ports at this point. This text is not a manual of how to use ports. Rather, it is a set of notes meant to kickstart the user on the OpenBSD ports system.

Certainly, the OpenBSD ports system is not complete. It is doubtful it will ever be. However, it is growing very fast and getting more stable. Almost all ports provided with this release should build without problems on most architectures (over 1200 packages build on i386, for instance).

The ports/ directory represents a CVS (see the manpage for cvs(1) if you aren't familiar with CVS) checkout of our ports. As with our complete source tree, our ports tree is available via anoncvs. So, in order to keep current with it, you must make the ports/ tree available on a read-write medium and update the tree with a command like:

# cd [portsdir]/; cvs -d update -Pd -rOPENBSD_2_9

[Of course, you must replace the local directory and server name here with the location of your ports collection and a nearby anoncvs server.]

Note that most ports are available as packages on our mirrors. Updated packages for the 2.9 release will be made available if problems arise.

If you're interested in seeing a port added, would like to help out, or just would like to know more, the mailing list is a good place to know.