back to article OpenBSD 6.0 lands

OpenBSD developers might be keen on the 1980s in their artwork, but not in their operating system: Version 6.0 has just landed, and the maintainers have killed off VAX support. Apart from a logo that pays homage to the cover art for the iconic album The Wall, there's a fair amount of new stuff landing in OpenBSD 6.0. W^X – …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But will it run Crysis?

      No, Crysis *3* now. And I actually consider this important since games are one reasons people like myself are stuck with Windows.

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Re: But will it run Crysis?

      Probably not, makes a fine firewall though. The only method I can think of is VirtualBox and a suitable OpenGL driver, but I'm not sure if VirtualBox is fine on OpenBSD, and there are no binary drivers due to OpenBSD's code policy, so OpenGL and general driver support is lacking a bit.

      It will however run the open GTA 3 engine, if you're that way inclined.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: But will it run Crysis?

      PS3 can play Crysis (was free on PS+ once)

      PS3 runs CellOS

      CellOS is based on BSD

  2. corestore


    So I won't be able to run it on my VAX....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting to realise we ran whole companies on the sort of power now available in the average individual smartphone...

    2. Adrian Jones

      I've had no success installing it on my VAX, but it still does a lovely job of cleaning the carpets.

      1. corestore

        Well I'm really more of an anti-VAXxer...

        I don't care what people say...

        36 bits is here to stay...

        %DECsystem-10 continued...

    3. Chris King

      It never ran on VAXen that old, MicroVAX 2000/VAXStation 2000 was about the oldest hardware they supported, the rest of the list was 3000/4000 series.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge


      I remember when we got on of these - a hole fucking MIP!!! We ran about 2 dozen chip designers and support coders on it and later added 120 secretaries doing 'word processing' on VT100 terminals.I had a lovely bit of code that crashed and left me in admin mode so I could up the priority of my small batch jobs so they would run in a minute or two instead of a couple of hours. Pissed of the admins but I dont think they ever worked out why everyone else went a bit slow.

    5. John Klos

      There's always NetBSD

      That's what NetBSD is for. Install 6.1, or wait for 8 because the toolchain in NetBSD 7 can't generate binaries beyond super simple things.

  3. Doctor_Wibble
    Thumb Up


    Title says it really.

    The big question now is whether I upgrade the mail server in-situ (oh how you envy those of us who live on the edge), or do a clean one on hardware that's actually from this century.

    Or go the ultimate dead-fancy route and get a new machine that's a tenth of the price of the old box, at least fifty times faster, and uses a quarter of the power... hmm... I'm seeing the glimmer of an excuse here...

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Re: Yay!

      Also probably quieter, cooler, and using modern storage that basically 'just works'.

      In the near future I'm going to replace my home firewall, a pentium 3 system with compact flash card, and an ISA graphics card, with one of these : Looks shiny, definitely works, with an AMD chip in it that doesn't suck.

      1. Chris King

        APU2C4 (Was Re: Yay!)

        I just bought one of those, very shiny for what it does, and supposedly has the chops to run ESXi for very small VMs.

        That AMD chip still gets kind of toasty, but no worse than 60C under load with the passive cooler.

    2. pitrh

      Re: Yay!

      The only possible breakage that comes to mind is wxallowed (ikely) needed for /usr/local - if your /usr/local is *not* on a separate partition, you will need to either make it so before upgrading or reinstall. Otherwise upgrades from N.m to N.m++ tend to be ultra-smooth.

      The simple sysmerge cases are even handled by rc.firstboot, and you will be notified by email to root of anything that needs another sysmerge run. Most of my 'keeping your system in trim' blog post should stil apply - - but it's probably time to give that a freshening up as well.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Linux emulation ... removed."

    So that rules out OpenBSD for systemd refugees who might just happen to need to run binary-only stuff from Linux land.

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Use FreeBSD. Linux compatibility was removed from OpenBSD because no one used it, and it wasn't very good. If I remember correctly it only ever worked on 32 bit x86 OpenBSD, too..

      Alternatively use Slackware, Salix, or Gentoo with OpenRC

    2. Chris King

      The emulation stuff was pretty limited in what you could run, and wasn't all that stable when I tried to use it - no great loss there.

    3. JamesWRW

      There's always the Windows Linux subsystem.

      * runs *

    4. hattivat

      You can run Arch Linux, or even Manjaro with OpenRC. In fact, that's what I'm doing atm.

  5. /dev/null

    On the other hand...

    NetBSD 7 still claims to support various VAXen (as a Tier II platform) *and* Linux emulation (though probably not Linux emulation *on* VAX...)

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Linux on VAX

      Some people have tried:

  6. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Does anyone know

    If there's a decent VAX editor around? Or should I have a crack at writing one (I've always fancied writing an emulator, truth to tell, but everything's already been done so well it seems pointless...)

    1. Munchausen's proxy

      Re: Does anyone know

      Tom Almy and Blake McBride have you covered:

      Not war?


    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone know

      When discussing editors, there's always a bit of touchiness around "what do you call decent?"

      If you have real Vax, running a real Vax OS (VMS), you could use TPU, especially with the EDT keybindings for those who started out in KED. If you like that, but want more OS-agnosticism, you might look into the hacked micro-emacs that has been around for yonks. I've used it on everything from CP/M-68K to OS X, via System III, Linux, DOS (x86, not S/360) and others I have forgotten.

      And of course there's always Teco (already mentioned) vi, and emacs. I used xemacs under VMS back in the day, as well as under Irix. One guy I knew used a WILBUR clone written in FORTH in PDP-11 emulation mode, but I think that he was just yanking our chains.

  7. ATeal

    Write XOR execute

    W^X is a clever play, I'm surprised the author didn't see that.

  8. Crazy Operations Guy

    W^X is for weenies on Von Neuman machines

    I love how long it took Intel / AMD / ARM to implement some kind of method to keep Executable code and Data separate, and the vast majority of software still doesn't support it. The vast majority of exploits nowadays exist only because a machine can be tricked into running user data in a privileged context. It makes me sad to see a complete lack of Harvard-Architecture machines out in the world (I have VHDL skills and a couple FPGA dev kits, if anyone wants to join me in building a Harvard-Arch general-purpose computer).

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: W^X is for weenies on Von Neuman machines

      The StrongARM was the first ARM to have separate instruction and data caches with no automatic synchronisation, which broke execution of code written in to data areas as well as self modifying code, mainly affected games.

      But with RISC OS being a friendly place with hardly any malware over its history, a friend of mine wrote a very clever bit of code called StrongGuard which detected attempts to execute code in memory that had been modified in the data cache, and synchronised the instruction cache. It the cache syncing was quite slow, but as the old code was coming from ARM 3/6/7s and the StrongARM was between 20x and 7x faster, games still had to be slowed down to be playable.

  9. g00se

    W^X – write or execute

    If you want to get symbolic about things, should that be W|X ?

    1. g00se

      Re: W^X – write or execute

      Oops - i see what they mean - as you were

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: W^X – write or execute

        How to make a goose of yourself with one bitwise operator. ;-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: W^X – write or execute

        > Oops - i see what they mean - as you were

        Talking about computer science would be easier in Basque. If nothing else because it has both inclusive and exclusive or:

        Idatzi ala exekutatu : Write XOR execute

        Idatzi edo exekutatu : Write OR execute

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: W^X – write or execute

          To be fair, the English "or" is normally exclusive. If we mean and/or, we normally say so explicitly.

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