OpenBSD in QEMU

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approximate reading time: 6 minutes
created by pur on 2022/03/04 - last changed on 2022/09/09

About OpenBSD

OpenBSD 7.0

OpenBSD is a fork of BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) which is it self a fork from the original UNIX and I've heard a lot of positive things about it. For some time I've played with the idea of installing it and some days ago it popped up in my mind and I decided to give it a try. So I watched some youtube videos and read some articles and dove into it. Especially this video gave me a very good tip/warning: there is a big difference between how to retrieve information about Linux and OpenBSD. Because Linux is relatively wide spread, one can just duckduckgo one's question and find the answer. OpenBSD has a rather rtfm (read the fucking manual) mentality, but on the other hand it is well know for it qualitative manual pages. So I started this journey with a mindset of reading a lot of docu and it was amazing.

Installation

I decided to try it in a virtual machine first. As I am on Linux, my VM of choice is qemu because it can be used from the command line and I find that cool. So the first step was to create the virtual hard disk:

qemu-img create -f qcow2 openbsdbox.img 10G

This command creates a dynamically allocated virtual hard disk with a maximum size of 10GB with the name openbsdbox.img and the file format qcow2. That means that the file will only be as big as it needs to be. I downloaded the image from openbsd.org:

wget https://cdn.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/7.0/amd64/install70.iso

Now I can already boot into the installation live disk:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=/home/pur/Doc/Computer/Distros/obsdbox.img,format=qcow2 -enable-kvm -m 4G -cdrom /home/pur/Doc/Computer/Distros/openbsd_install70.iso -boot once=d

The installation process is rather straight forward. I was be prompted with some questions and the answers determined what has been installed. I chose to install a graphical user interface (GUI). Then I rebooted, but I wasn't greeted by a nice OpenBSD display manager (graphical login), but rather the command line interface (CLI). Eventually, I found out that the problem was the video driver. How? I don't remember, but I think dmesg gave me the needed hint. The solution was to use the vmware vga card emulator:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=/home/pur/Doc/Computer/Distros/obsdbox.img,format=qcow2 -enable-kvm -m 4G -vga vmware 

With this command I managed to arrive at the display manger and I could enter my user name and my password but I couldn't see my mouse.

to be continued ...

After Boot

After booting I read the mail with the mail command did some basic stuff:

mail
man afterboot 
info
su
echo "permit :wheel persist" > /etc/doas.conf
doas pkg_add vim screen

Read the Second Part of this Adventure