OpenBSD 5.9 released!


OpenBSD 5.9 released early!  This marks the 39th release.

Major changes include (from


  • Pledge
    With a great Hackfest presentation to lay out all the details, pledge(2) is one of the more prominent changes. We say prominent, but you actually shouldn’t notice any difference with it enabled… assuming all your applications behave correctly. Much work has been done in this area, with around 70% of the OpenBSD userland being modified to use pledge within a single release cycle! A few ports also got the same treatment – something to expect more of as time goes on.
  • UEFI
    Many new laptops come with UEFI now, some without an option to fall back to a traditional BIOS. With the 5.9 release, OpenBSD can now be booted on such machines.
  • GPT
    Assuming you’re on the amd64 platform, support for GPT has been vastly improved throughout the OS. The installer has been updated to accommodate as well, and it even works on softraid(4) volumes.
  • Rewritten less
    The less(1) we’re all familiar with has been completely rewritten. After importing a fork from illumos’ Garrett D’Amore, OpenBSD continued to make improvements to the code. A safer and more modern tool was the end result, even if it’s just for viewing text. Hopefully there will be less bugs now.
  • Xen domU
    If running OpenBSD under Xen (such as on Amazon’s cloud platform) sounds interesting to you, you’ll be happy to know that 5.9 includes some pretty solid support for this.
  • Graphics
    Laptop users rejoice, as 5.9 includes graphics support for Intel’s Broadwell and Bay Trail GPUs!
  • Network SMP
    Many improvements have been made to get the network stack running multithreaded. There’s still plenty more to do in this area, but some exciting progress has definitely been made already.
  • 802.11n
    Another big one for laptop users: initial support for N wireless has landed in both the iwm(4) and iwn(4) drivers.
  • UTF-8
    Locale support for everything but C and UTF-8 has been torn out, and many utilities in the base system have much better UTF-8 support than prevously.



As we all know the VAX that was used to build OpenBSD died, and the platform was removed.

But it’s still cool that OpenBSD is going strong, wherever there is support.







Platforms that still made the cut:

  • alpha
  • amd64
  • armish
  • armv7
  • hppa
  • i386
  • landisk
  • loongson
  • luna88k
  • macppc
  • octeon
  • sgi
  • sparc
  • sparc64
  • zaurus

6 thoughts on “OpenBSD 5.9 released!

    • No kidding, the luna88k is not only a dead end platform, but a dead end processor.

      Maybe Motorola could have fixed it, but then they got sidelined with that IBM deal. Seems all IBM did in the 1990’s was sideline great tech and destroy it.

    • Now that we live in the era of hardware backdoors, I guess in some ways, software crypto is really the way to go. Not to mention when it comes to any kind of data recovery, software raid is always tops!

  1. Thanks for reminding me that my Zaurus SL-C3100 needs to be updated to 5.9 🙂 I hope OpenBSD’s going to support these for a while to come, since there’s no current Linux distribution which explicitly supports Zaurii anymore, at least to my knowledge. Then there’s NetBSD/zaurus, still to be tried on my SL-C700 and C750…

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