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3 - Obtaining OpenBSD

Table of Contents

3.1 - Buying an OpenBSD CD set

Purchasing an OpenBSD CD set is generally the best way to get started. Visit the ordering page to purchase your copy: OpenBSD ordering page.

There are many good reasons to own an OpenBSD CD set:

If you're installing a release version of OpenBSD, you should use a official CD set.

3.2 - Buying OpenBSD T-Shirts

Yes, OpenBSD has T-shirts for your wearing enjoyment. You can view these at the OpenBSD T-shirts page. Enjoy :)

3.3 - Does OpenBSD provide an ISO image for download?

Starting with OpenBSD 4.2, for select platforms, yes!

Users of the alpha, amd64, hppa, i386, macppc, sparc and sparc64 platforms can now download and install ISO image which can be used to create a CD-ROM that can boot and install all of OpenBSD.

Note, this ISO is not the same as the official CD set. These images are for single platforms, and do not include any of the pre-compiled packages, stickers, or artwork that the official CD set does.

As before, however, ISO file installation is NOT the optimum installation method for many people. It is still usually faster and simpler to download the boot media and then install just the portions needeed. However, for those who wish to do a number of installations, or can not figure out how to drop ten files on a CD-ROM or set up a local FTP server, ISOs are available.

The OpenBSD project does not make the ISO images used to master the official CDs available for download. The reason is simply that we would like you to buy the CD sets to help fund ongoing OpenBSD development. The official OpenBSD CD-ROM layout is copyright Theo de Raadt. Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of the official OpenBSD CDs. As an incentive for people to buy the CD set, some extras are included in the package as well (artwork, stickers etc).

Note that only the CD layout is copyrighted, OpenBSD itself is free. Nothing precludes someone else from downloading OpenBSD and making their own CD.

For those that need a bootable CD for their system, bootdisk ISO images (named cd42.iso) are available for a number of platforms which will then permit the rest of the system to be installed via FTP. These ISO images are only a few megabytes in size, and contain just the installation tools, not the actual file sets.

3.4 - Downloading via FTP, HTTP or AFS

There are numerous international mirror sites offering FTP and HTTP access to OpenBSD releases and snapshots. AFS access is also available. You should always use the site nearest to you. Before you begin fetching a release or snapshot, you may wish to use ping(8) and traceroute(8) to determine which mirror site is nearest to you and whether that mirror is performing adequately. Of course, your OpenBSD release CD is always closer than any mirror. Access information is here:

OpenBSD FTP page.

3.5 - Obtaining Current Source Code

The source code for OpenBSD is freely redistributable and available at no charge. Generally the best way to get started with a current source tree is to install the source from the most recent CD and then configure AnonCVS to update it regularly. Information about AnonCVS, including how to set it up, is available here:

OpenBSD AnonCVS page.

Another alternative is to get the source code from the web. You can do that through cvsweb at: http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/.

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