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Security Portal: OpenBSD 2.6 - new features

Feb 11, 2000, 05:14 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kurt Seifried)

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"Well it's been a few months, and a new release of OpenBSD is out (since December 1st 1999 actually) and I thought it was high time I covered some of the new features and improvements. For those of you unfamiliar with OpenBSD it is a flavor of UNIX based on BSD, with one main goal in mind. Security. The entire purpose of OpenBSD is to provide a fast, stable, and above all, secure computing platform."

"The most noticeable change in OpenBSD 2.6 is probably the addition of OpenSSH. OpenSSH is SSH with all the proprietary components ripped out, a lot of bug fixes, and the encryption is all done externally via OpenSSL. OpenSSH ships with 2.6 and is part of the default install, but due to the RSA patent in the US the OpenSSL components are not available on the CD-ROM, so you will need to download this from an OpenBSD ftp site (they could have included OpenSSL on the CD-ROM, but then they would need to produce one for the US, and one for international use, and there would be other possible legal problems as well, so they opted not to). During the install however you will be prompted to install it, first which version (US or international) and then for the method (FTP, HTTP, CDROM, etc), and then for the location...."

"OpenBSD has historically lagged behind systems like Linux and Windows for driver support, which is a good thing in my opinion. Linux and Windows support a lot of BAD hardware (i.e. estimates run as high as 70% that NT crashes are due to bad drivers and software problems), OpenBSD tends to support the better quality hardware, because that is what the developers want. However OpenBSD has also lacked support for some very popular hardware (especially in the area of sound cards), so with the release of 2.6 a lot of drivers have been added, and others improved."

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