Reflection on one-year usage of OpenBSD

I have used OpenBSD for more than one year, and it is time to give a summary of the experience:

(1) What do I get from OpenBSD?

a) A good UNIX tutorial. When I am curious about some UNIXcommands’ implementation, I will refer to OpenBSD source code, and I actually gain something every time. E.g., refresh socket programming skills from nc; know how to process file efficiently from cat.

b) A better test bed. Although my work focus on developing programs on Linux, I will try to compile and run applications on OpenBSD if it is possible. One reason is OpenBSD usually gives more helpful warnings. E.g., hint like this:

warning: sprintf() is often misused, please use snprintf()

Or you can refer this post which I wrote before. The other is sometimes program run well on Linux may crash on OpenBSD, and OpenBSD can help you find hidden bugs.

c) Some handy tools. E.g. I find tcpbench is useful, so I ported it into Linuxfor my own usage (project is here).

(2) What I give back to OpenBSD?

a) Patches. Although most of them are trivial modifications, they are still my contributions.

b) Write blog posts to share experience about using OpenBSD.

c) Develop programs for OpenBSD/*BSD: lscpu and free.

d) Porting programs into OpenBSD: E.g., I find google/benchmark is a nifty tool, but lacks OpenBSD support, I submitted PR and it is accepted. So you can use google/benchmark on OpenBSD now.

Generally speaking, the time invested on OpenBSD is rewarding. If you are still hesitating, why not give a shot?

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