Executive Summary

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-11-04 Print this article Print

: OpenBSD 3.2"> Executive Summary: OpenBSD 3.2

Usability Good
Capability Good
Performance Fair
Interoperability Good
Manageability Fair
Scalability Fair
Security Excellent
Organizations that lack the hardening skills to lock down a mass-market operating system and those that use hardware firewalls will find OpenBSDs small footprint and secure-out-of-the-box approach attractive.


Purchase price is obviously not a barrier, since OpenBSD is free. The costs of the system are in maintaining it, especially when updates are released, because applying them is not a point-and-click operation. However, with hardware firewalls costing tens of thousands of dollars, OpenBSD can really save on capital expenditures.

(+) Secure by default; built-in packet filter provides powerful firewall abilities, traffic forwarding and network address translation features; centralized configuration settings; updates issued quickly when vulnerabilities are found; large collection of prepackaged applications.

(-) No software update agent; older versions usually are not maintained for more than one year; gets little attention from software developers or big system vendors, so software is often not tested with or supported on OpenBSD; doesnt support SMP.

  • Linux
  • Firewall hardware
  • Other BSD-based operating systems
  • www.openbsd.org

    Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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