FreeBSD and OpenBSD: comparison (I)

This comparison is not really fair from my POV since I only fully use and manage FreeBSD for like several months with its latest version only 2 weeks or so when I have used OpenBSD for at least one year.

I’ll make several articles (or babbling) comparing between them. Today, I’ll compare them in aspect of Installation.



When installing FreeBSD, you get nice GUI with some informative help guiding through the process. It also offer installing some packages (ie. additional programs) by the end of the process. Kinda nice but it more bothers me than helping since I want to see actual system first before installing anyting. Most of time because I need to remove optical drive after it doesn’t needed anymore (most systems I installed FreeBSD doesn’t have its own optical drive).


  • Easy interface. There’s even automated choices
  • You get to install additional programs.


  • Kinda confusing for not-beginner-yet-not-expert with its core package choices (proflibs? local? info/man/catman/etc? wtfness) I can’t even found detailed explanation of it anywhere.


Basically, installing OpenBSD is, AFAIK, the most difficult compared to any other OSes. It is caused by its spartan installer, complete with primitive partition/disklabel editor. It is straightforward though. Once you get hold of it, installing it will feel just as easy as installing other OS. Additionally, there’s highly informative guide (or FAQs as they call it) in their website.


  • Fast and simple (in a sense).
  • You get to know everything in the process.


  • Intimidating for first time user. Be it beginner or expert in installing other OS.


If I get to choose, I’ll definitely choose OpenBSD installer. It’s just much simpler and do what it’s intended to do: installing an operating system.

[ FreeBSD | OpenBSD ]

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