My OpenBSD Adventure Part 3

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approximate reading time: 5 minutes
created by pur on 2022/04/06 - last changed on 2022/09/13

Read the Second Part of this Adventure
this post was written from my new OpenBSD 7.0 box

I wanted to edit some typos and grammatical error in my last OpenBDS post from my OBSD box, but after an unexpected shutdown I ended up with a corrupted file system. I was greeted with a lot of error messages and a recovery shell. Luckily the error told me exactly what to do: use the file system check utility fsck_ffs to check the partition wd0e (or so). I used the F option which auto deleted all corrupted files. That allowed me to boot again, but I also deleted files from /usr/. So it turned out that I couldn't open xterm anymore.

I decided to go for a reinstall, which anyway only takes around 10 minutes. This time I didn't want the display manager xenodm to auto start. I thought: I might just use startx to start i3. So I followed my last OBSD post and executed startx (pre-installed in contrast to arch) and got fvwm running. Whoop whoop! When I prepared my xinitrc

# content of $HOME/.xinitrc
exec /usr/local/bin/i3

I got the following error:

no screens found(EE)

Even after deleting my xinitrc I didn't manage to get the X server running again. So, I thought: "I'll reinstall and adapt /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to execute i3 instead of fvwm since I don't know what I changed in order to stop X11 from working". Auto partitioning, X Server yes, xenodm yes, sshd no and reboot:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=obsdbox.img -m 4G -smp cpus=2 -cdrom openbsd_install70.iso -boot once=d


  1. use st as terminal emulator
  2. use firefox as graphical browser
  3. use i3-gaps as window manager
  4. use shutdown to power down completely


Before installting a new terminal emulator I did some minor conifguration and downloaded some essential packages. I added the group wheel to doas.conf such that I don't have to use su or login as root:

su root -c 'echo "permit persist :wheel" > /etc/doas.conf' 
doas pkg_add git vim lynx bash bash-completion 

1. Suckless Terminal

First off, I created a folder for global software and cloned the suckless terminal source code. I removed the -lrt option from the file with sed (see OBSD pt.2). And added /opt/local/bin to the PATH variable. I also changed the keyboard shortcuts for shrinking and expand font sizes (search for zoom in config.h), but didn't document it here.

doas mkdir -p /opt/local/src /opt/local/bin
cd /opt/local/src
doas git clone
cd st 
doas sed -i "s/ -lrt//" && doas make 
doas ln -s /opt/local/src/st/st /opt/local/bin/st
echo -e "export PATH=$PATH:/opt/local/bin" >> ~/.profile
echo -e "set -o vi\nexport PS=\"\u@\h:\w\$ \"" > ~/.bashrc

2. Install Firefox

This step is luckily literally one command:

doas pkg_add firefox

3. Make i3 default Window Manager

I don't know how, but it is the default window manager. Try:

echo "exec /usr/local/bin/i3 > ~/.xsession" 

4. Shutdown

halt -p 

You might want to avoid typing your password everytime:

echo "permit :wheel cmd /sbin/halt -p" | doas tee -a /etc/doas.conf

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