OpenBSD network booted Workstations

How to fearlessly introduce OpenBSD on your company Workstations


OpenBSD is a general purpose operating system. Its a common practice to use it as a router, firewall or as a server for other back-end services. Fewer people use it as a desktop system. This talk shows a way to introduce OpenBSD as a desktop system in your company's network without changing the existing OS installation. The lecture shows how easy it is to setup and run a single server that serves diskless(8) OpenBSD desktop systems for a whole company network.

Full Descripton

Our company uses Unix-like systems for workstations since it was founded. We started with BSD/OS in the 90's and using Linux from the 2000's till today. With that experience and the infrastructure created around it over the years, we were able test an OpenBSD setup on production network without ruin the existing installations. Thus, every employee was able to test this experimental setup without any fear of data lost or waiting time for an installation.

In this talk I will give a walk-through to our diskless(8) server setup. Also, I will show how we completed some gaps of the diskless(8) manpage. Further, I will give some tips and best practices how to centralize the administration of such desktop system. At the end, I will talk about my personal UX with an OpenBSD network booted desktop system in a daily usage over several month.