I have been occasionally toying with OpenBSD for pretty much the better half of my life, occassionally using it as a workstation OS from 10th grade on. During most parts, of my life, however, my main operating system were different flavors of linux. Starting out with Gentoo, later Scientific Linux, and finally Fedora, and CentOS or Scientific Linux on work related servers, while (private) servers kept running Debian.

Around four years ago I got somewhat frustrated with the Linux world. The complexity of linux systems just got to me. Others had similar thoughts, and for brevity, I’d like to just point you there. In a fit of frustration (and supported by the more-or-less stability of VMM), I decided to move my private infrastructure to an OpenBSD hypervisor with a couple of VMs for services:

  • A shell host
  • An authoritative DNS server
  • A mail-server
  • A general (static!) webserver
  • A funny ‘knowledge organization’ system for the study program I did in my bachelor (which, for some reason I keep running for over a decade now) Besides that, the nature of my job changed, and I would no longer be a system administrator (which I wasn’t before, but things always come around…)

The course of the pandemic made me realize some things. First of all, due to practical needs I ended up running production infrastructure–using linux–again, specifically, a BigBlueButton instance. This made made me realize that, as odd as it may be, running and building systems is something that brings me joy. Especially, the hand-crafted-old-way-done kind of running systems.

At the same time, I started to look into cloudification a bit more. We are moving to a very centralized Internet, putting a lot of power in very few places, which usually is not really a smart idea. Hence, as I have a thing for selfhosting anyway, I decided to de-dust my IPv4 network, finally make the step to become a RIPE NCC member, and start to do some more selfhosting (again).

So, over the past couple of months, I started to build again, also providing some services to friends and family. Given my allergy to how many ‘modern’ things work in linux, I decided to do this mostly with OpenBSD (as much as feasible), often using sysadmin tools that fell out of fashion over time. Ultimately, this resulted in a rather nice setup, in which I built a couple of things which others might be interested in. At the same time, many of the things I built use experimental features or push things into form in ways that would not be considered ‘ideal’ for production setups.

To document and share what I built, I thought it might be worth a shot to setup a blog (which, most likely, I will forget about again…) To make sure people don’t think stupid things I did are production ready, I will tag those things clearly not safe for production as NSFP. ;-)

So, let’s see if I manage to blog…