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    The real answer is elsewhere in the thread: OpenBSD does not allow userspace to access the hardware debug registers.

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      They in fact dont chase fads. Others they ignored included virtualization, a desktop experience, and a business model like Red Hat’s supporting the developers. They always do their own thing. Whether that’s better or not varies a lot. ;)

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        Hey, not sure if this post was sarcasm, but OpenBSD does have virtualization now, called vmm. And it’s actually known for having pretty good desktop experience relative to other BSDs, they even have mocked up enough systemd stuff to get gnome3 running.

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          They ignored it for a long time with the kind of mockery you see here. It’s one of few times they reversed their position with them building a hypervisor.

          Far as desktop, you can install a 3rd party desktop. You used to be able to do that for MS-DOS, too, but we wouldn’t call it a “Microsoft” desktop. I think an OpenBSD-focused project would be pretty different than vanilla Gnome. It could even be just an standardized integration of select components like individual developers probably already do. Note that there have been attempts to build OpenBSD distros for things like LiveCD’s. Idk if they were project members, though.

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            I’m not sure what you’re saying. Are you saying that in order for OpenBSD to be considered not ignoring the desktop experience they have to build their own desktop environment? Why do that if they can leverage what already exists and works?

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              Why do that if they can leverage what already exists and works?

              That’s not how OpenBSD project does things haha. You’re talking like a Linux user now now with Gnome itself coming from those kind of people. ;) Same crowd was behind most desktop environments that could go mainstream with lay people. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen with OpenBSD’s work since they don’t target such people. They mostly seem to use terminals with a preference for the base system to focus on terminal use. Some are content with 3rd party stuff on OpenBSD for this purpose. Some are on Mac’s which were a great answer to usable desktop with UNIX’s power underneath.

              To further illustrate the point, OpenBSD people like to build their own stuff consistent with their philosophy of doing things with a focus on a specific, technical audience (esp themselves: the main users). They have a part of the site where they highlight a lot of “OpenBSD’s” contributions to software. Those are their things that they’re proud of. They certainly can and do use third party software on an individual basis. That’s not the default experience of OpenBSD, though, which is a narrower set of software done in a specific way.

              I did try to imagine an OpenBSD desktop when looking for potential business models they could use to get more support. If they built one, I predicted it would be lightweight, consistent, well-documented, use their custom libraries, and work with their security mitigations. It would also be the default, graphical environment you get after installing OpenBSD. It would probably be an option in the installer given many will use terminals. Major apps would have packages that installed them into this environment automatically setting up any configurations, functional and security, that were necessary. That would use their internal tooling as well to reduce crud. It would be tested or certified on a small set of high-quality hardware their developers were able to build good drivers for. That would be a desktop deserving the OpenBSD branding that might also sell commercially.

              Gnome on OpenBSD isn’t an OpenBSD desktop. It’s a Linux desktop experience running on a terminal- and server-focused BSD. Totally different.

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                OpenBSD actually comes with Calm Window Manager, some developers use it but not all of us. If I had to hand wave what’s popular among developers I would say: i3, cwm, fvwm, ratpoison, dwm, xfce4 - in no particular order.

                I think both of you are right to a degree. @apy is correct that OpenBSD can be deployed as perfectly fine desktop and m:tier proved that by providing Gnome based workstations for corporations. When @apy says:

                And it’s actually known for having pretty good desktop experience relative to other BSDs

                I think he has in mind the pretty good situation with OpenBSD on laptops (suspend/hibernate, wifi, many things working out of the box), which is a result of many developers running the system as daily drivers on their main machines.

                That said, you are correct that the project goals are not focused on providing a mainstream desktop. If desktop became a big focus for the project I still believe it would not be any different to the work already done with cwm, OpenBSD doesn’t cater to mainstream needs, if you dog food your software - you tend to make what you like to eat.

                OpenBSD works for me as a desktop, I use it for gaming, work and every other computer related task. It runs on 3 of my laptops and on my server. If it doesn’t work for you yet, and you’re the type of person that wants to put the work required to make that happen - you will find a supportive community. However if you only want a working desktop without putting in any effort, you are better of picking up a mainstream operating system.

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                  I appreciate your reply. I forgot about CWM. It’s not quite a full, desktop environment but it does address the most important functionality. Interestingly, its description matches some of my predictions for what one would look like on OpenBSD. I should probably try using it at some point since it’s keyboard-focused. Been meaning to try one that was.

                  I didn’t know about m:tier’s desktops. Thanks for the tip along with the picture of what people are using. All that collectively could be helpful in event anyone wanted to tackle a project creating a more complete desktop. Gotta know people’s preferences to start with. I doubt there will be a lot of interest in that, though. One advantage of just using something like Gnome is people only need to be trained on one thing across several platforms. Pretty intuitive, too, for basic use.

                  Far as gaming, it still trips me out that there’s an OpenBSD gaming scene at all given how niche it is. Unexpected but neat. Aside from the Reddits, are there any goto, introductory links for the best games and/or what goes into porting one to OpenBSD? I figure the latter part could have interesting challenges if game wasn’t originally made for OpenBSD.

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                    We are pretty active on freenode #openbsd-gaming, thfr made amazing progress with porting FNA based games which accounts for some pretty decent and quite new Indie titles (https://github.com/rfht/fnaify#status). He is also now making strides into VR on OpenBSD.

                    We also have a GOG mix listing games with native OpenBSD engine available (so excluding dosbox etc). We also game every Saturday, usually Quake 1,2,3. This Sat we spent 8 hours on a 3v3 game of Wesnoth :)

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        It’s always nice to have Theo to remind us that Linus isn’t as bad of an asshole as people like to portray.