If you can read this, you might want to skip straight to the content. Also, kindly take a moment to read my rant about Web design—especially if you’re wondering why this site looks a bit…dull.


My contributions

by Ben Goren

There’s only one operating system that I’ve actually come to like: OpenBSD. It has a well-deserved reputation for security, which is certainly a great selling point, but that’s only a small part of why I like it.

OpenBSD’s motto is, “Free, Functional, and Secure.” At some point, I’ll write a rant about software licensing, but suffice it to say that, for all the GPL’s positive effects, the BSD license is more sane. The core design team has a simplistic design in which they try to achieve elegance through reduced complexity, but not at the cost of functionality—quite the contrary. And their approach to security mostly means doing things right and reducing bugs: when you write correct code, it’s not only more secure, but it also works better. The “more secure” lets me sleep at night, but the “works better” lets me get more done during the day.

I’ve been using OpenBSD since version 2.6, and buying CDs since 2.7. I’m now to the point that I’m ready to start giving (a little) back to the community.

First, I have a local mirror of www.openbsd.org that is updated nightly from CVS. If you’re in the United States Southwest—especially if you’re a customer of FastQ—feel free to use my mirror.

I also have a local mirror (HTTP only, no FTP) of the OpenBSD FTP repository updated regularly with rsync. Currently, I only have the disk space for 3.0, but I’ll expand that to a full mirror sometime before the end of Spring.

If you’re local to me and want to use my CVS mirror, email me an SSH public key and I’ll add it to the list.

I have a (currently preliminary) port of chrsh, a chroot wrapper for ordinary shells written by Aaron Gifford. Comments welcome.

Despite the wonderful documentation available for OpenBSD, people still ask questions that have been answered repeatedly. To help make it easier to answer these questions the next time they arise, I’ve started a Meta-FAQ.

On the advocacy front, I recently had an article published in BSD Today that details my parent’s pleasure with OpenBSD. At the request of a client of mine, I wrote a paper on OpenBSD and network security (in PDF) that details many of the practical uses of OpenBSD.