Skip to main content

Adventures with OpenBSD - OpenBSD 5.0 on Sun Blade 1500

The scenario:

Installation of OpenBSD 5.0 on an Sun Blade 1500. I've replaced the default XVR-600 piece of proprietary junk video card with a Sun PGX-64 PCI Video Graphics card that uses the mach64 chipset for rendering things. Instantly I had a much nicer console and a far more workable X configuration. The only trick was getting the bloody thing to use 1280x1024 with 24bit resolution on my 19" Dell monitor. Here are the notes from the exercise:

Default installation
man afterboot

Dell E198FP Sync rates:
  • 30 kHz to 81 kHz (automatic)
  • 56 Hz to 76 Hz
Make sure to copy the above into the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and also add:
Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen0"
        Device     "Card0"
        Monitor    "Monitor0"
        DefaultDepth    24
                SubSection "Display"
                Viewport   0 0
                Depth     24
                Modes   "1280x1024"
- to force it to use 1280x1024

Add to .profile: PKG_PATH=`machine -a`/

Installing Fluxbox (to play with more than anything):

pkg_add -i -vv fluxbox feh

Make sure to add exec /usr/local/bin/startfluxbox to .xinitrc by doing:

$ cat "exec /usr/local/bin/startfluxbox" > .xinitrc

Also do this to .xsession so startx grabs it straight away:

$ cat "exec /usr/local/bin/startfluxbox" > .xsession

pkg_add -i -vv midori -> lightweight browser, and tends to install a billion dependencies (mostly media playing type stuff which isn't bad)
pkg_add -i -vv firefox36
pkg_add -i -vv mousepad (lightweight text editor)
pkg_add -i -vv filezilla (FTP and stuff)
pkg_add -i -vv goffice (some kind of office thing - need to examine it more closely)
pkg_add -i -vv ristretto (basic image editing and viewing)
pkg_add -i -vv epdfview (PDF viewing)
pkg_add -i -vv conky (for checking out the system loads)
pkg_add -i -vv eterm (my favourite terminal program)

Note: fluxbox menus need a lot of work - I've deleted/commented out a *lot* of stuff to clean this all up.

pkg_add -u (check for any updates or errata)

Also look at this : for using Gnome and GDM


  1. You have some really good ideas in this article. I am glad I read this. I agree with much of what you state in this article. Your information is thought-provoking, interesting and well-written. Thank you.

    Buy Dissertations


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Plone - the open source Content Management System - a review

One of my clients, a non-profit, has a lot of files on it's clients. They need a way to digitally store these files, securely and with availability for certain people. They also need these files to expire and be deleted after a given length of time - usually about 7 years. These were the parameters I was given to search for a Document Management System (DMS) or more commonly a Content Management System (CMS). There are quite a lot of them, but most are designed for front facing information delivery - that is, to write something, put it up for review, have it reviewed and then published. We do not want this data published ever - and some CMS's make that a bit tricky to manage. So at the end of the day, I looked into several CMS systems that looked like they could be useful. The first one to be reviewed was OpenKM ( ). It looked OK, was open source which is preferable and seemed to have solid security and publishing options. Backing up the database and upgradin

Musings on System Administration

I was reading an article discussing forensic preparation for computer systems. Some of the stuff in there I knew the general theory of, but not the specifics of how to perform. As I thought about it, it occurred to me that Systems Administration is such a vast field. There is no way I can know all of this stuff. I made a list of the software and operating systems I currently manage. They include: - Windows Server 2003, Standard and Enterprise - Exchange 2003 - Windows XP - Windows Vista - Windows 2000 - Ubuntu Linux - OpenSuSE Linux - Mac OSX (10.3 and 10.4) - Solaris 8 - SQL 2005 - Various specialised software for the transport industry I have specific knowledge on some of this, broad knowledge on all of it, and always think "There's so much I *don't* know". It gets a bit down heartening sometimes. For one thing - I have no clue about SQL 2005 and I need to make it work with another bit of software. All complicated and nothing straightforward. Irritating doesn&

Traffic Monitoring using Ubuntu Linux, ntop, iftop and bridging

This is an update of an older post, as the utilities change, so has this concept of a cheap network spike - I use it to troubleshoot network issues, usually between a router and the network to understand what traffic is going where. The concept involves a transparent bridge between two network interface cards, and then looking at that traffic with a variety of tools to determine network traffic specifics. Most recently I used one to determine if a 4MB SDSL connection was saturated or not. It turned out the router was incorrectly configured and the connection had a maximum usage under 100Kb/s (!) At $1600 / month it's probably important to get this right - especially when the client was considering upgrading to a faster (and more expensive) link based on their DSL provider's advice. Hardware requirements: I'm using an old Dell Vostro desktop PC with a dual gigabit NIC in it - low profile and fits into the box nicely. Added a bit of extra RAM and a decent disk and that&