OpenBSD thumb drive images

Update: These are now available! See this post

So after having to (yet again) go to a secondary machine to install OpenBSD on a flash drive so I can install OpenBSD on a primary machine that lacks a disk drive(and floppy drive), I figured "you know, they should provide thumb drive images"

Well, THEY (the OpenBSD developers) don't believe it's necessary.. and don't recommend using third party generated USB images.. but here we are.

Soon to come will be a few OpenBSD images for various flash drive sizes. I plan on these sizes: (Note, these are still OpenBSD and not in any way branched or whatever. The Micro/Mini thing is just what I make the host name at install)

  1. MicroBSD. 500M. sets: bsd, bsd.rd,, base, etc, man
  2. MiniBSD. 1G. sets: bsd, bsd.rd,, base, etc, man, comp, games and a few packages preinstalled
  3. MiniBSDX. 1G. sets: all, no packages
  4. InstallBSD. 500M. sets: bsd, bsd.rd, base, etc. Includes install sets off of install_XX.iso

I plan on trying to build images for i386 and amd64 each official release and snapshot(but not more than once a month). If you want more then I suggest building your own USB image. It really isn't that hard.

My main goal of these images is

  1. Easy way to get dmesgs off of computers
  2. As a "rescue" disk. The ramdisk kernel is extremely limited. Having a full BSD installation is invaluable whenever you accidentally update fstab to use sd1a instead of sd0a... Sure there is always ed to fix it with the ramdisk kernel.. but ed is not trivial to use
  3. As a quick way to see if OpenBSD will work on your computer(especially at retail locations)
  4. As an easy way to test snapshots

These images are very simplisticly made. They are basically a default install with one-big / and a mfs /tmp. The only modifications I make are to the fstab and I add a reminder to change the root password. All private keys are generated on first boot, so no worries there.

The main annoying thing about doing these images is just uploading them. About 130M uploaded at 60kb/s on stupid DSL is awful.

Posted: 8/19/2011 5:02:09 AM


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