OpenBSD 4.1 review
OpenBSD 4.1 was released on May 1 with its usual mix of new hardware support and enhanced operating system features. OpenBSD releases generally represent a large collection of small changes plus a few new administration and networking tools. Beyond the standard "many little changes," the big news with 4.1 is a working native port of OpenOffice.org, the elimination of the Simtech StrongARM "cats" architecture from active development, and improved greylisting capabilities in the spamd spam filter.
What's new in 4.1
The OpenBSD Project maintains a complete list of changes since 4.0 on its Web site. There have been hundreds of small improvements, but here are the highlights:
* OpenOffice.org 2.1: OpenBSD finally has a working Port and package for OpenOffice.org. It's been in the Ports tree for a while, but it didn't compile correctly in a release until 4.1.
* spamd enhancements: Greylisting is now enabled by default, and changes have been made to enhance performance.
* Multiple Packet Filter improvements: Many changes have been made to the OpenBSD Packet Filter that enhance its default security, expand the degree to which it can be customized, and improve its logging abilities.
* Initial RIM BlackBerry support: You can now plug in and charge your BlackBerry device through a USB cable connected to an OpenBSD machine. Unfortunately that's all there is to say about OpenBSD's BlackBerry support right now.
* The cats platform is gone: Due to the rarity of the hardware, the StrongARM "cats" platform port is no longer maintained.
If you're a software enthusiast who has never used OpenBSD before, you might enjoy installing it by yourself and figuring it out as you go. If, however, you're looking for a more practical approach to using OpenBSD 4.1 on a desktop or server machine, here's a quick guide to get you started in this spectacular operating system.