OpenBSD 5.8 on an HP 6560b laptop

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HP 6560b

The HP 6560b is a laptop running an i5 processor with 4Gb RAM.

It is heavy and not very pretty. It has a big 15.6" screen with a not so big resolution - 1366x768 (WXGA Wide).

The laptop has the sex appeal of a brick wall, However, it has a very sturdy housing and the specs are great - besides the screen that is. Because I am a great fan of text mode applications this screen is something I can easely live with, so I am happy with it.

I got it from an acquitance, for which I am very thankfull. It was already some years old and had become obsolete. For me it is a great piece of hardware which probable will be able to run Debian or OpenBSD for many years to come.

OpenBSD 5.8

As I am using OpenBSD more and more I decided to replace FreeBSD on this laptop with OpenBSD. As OpenBSD 5.8 is the current release of OpenBSD I installed this version.

Install from very tiny USB image

I downloaded the file miniroot58.fs from the Amd64 tree and dd-ed this image to an old 128 Mb USB-drive.

This is truly a very tiny image, about 3.5 Mb small.

Get the appropriate files

I downloaded the following files to a local webserver.

  • SHA256
  • SHA256.sig
  • base58.tgz
  • bsd
  • bsd.rd
  • comp58.tgz
  • game58.tgz
  • man58.tgz
  • xbase58.tgz
  • xfont58.tgz
  • xserv58.tgz
  • xshare58.tgz

Install from USB

After booting the 3.5 Mb image from the USB pen the installation can start.

This OpenBSD install sits alongside a Debian install on this laptop, with Grub2 to boot either one of the operating systems.

Before the start of the installation, I used fdisk in Debian to set the appropriate type on the partition that I had reserved for OpenBSD.

Everything works out of the box

I just followed the defaults during the installation process.

After the installation was finished I rebooted and started using the system.

Without any additional package installation, just a simple "startx" was enough to get X running. Default OpenBSD comes with the FVWM window manager, which is fine by me.

Probabley I will install the ratpoison window manager later, but for now this is OK.

The wireless network interface works out of the box. I just had to add an hostname.iwn0 file to the /etc directory.

nwid <ssid name>
wpakey <my key>

In order to get some work done, I added Firefox, gv and mupdf.

For this, I used binary packages, nothing to compile.

As root, I added the following line to .profile:

export PKG_PATH=`uname -r`/packages/`uname -m`/

Afther this, pkg_add firefox will do the trick.

Sound works

When playing some songs from youtube through Firefox the music comes out of the speakers. A bit more volume would be nice, but I am sure this can be solved.

So after less then an hour I am quite happy with my OpenBSD laptop. In the coming weeks I will find out what else I need to install.