Tues Sept 21, 2021

I'm a huge fan of OpenBSD. The simplicity of the system, the cohesive feel it has, the proactive stance on security... when we decided we'd set up a tilde, I knew I wanted it to be on OpenBSD.

The only problem? My preferred registrar (Linode) doesn't support it!

Fortunately there's a comprehensive post on the Linode forum of how to do it 1.

It took us ~45m, the longest OpenBSD install I've had since I first flashed it on an old thinkpad. 40m of that was waiting for the node to boot and reboot, etc (we kept messing up the configuration).

  1. Create a New Linode (any OS will do)
  2. Once booted, shut it down
  3. Under the "Storage" tab delete the ext4 partitions
  4. Create two new disks, both "Raw" format:
  5. Boot in "Rescue" mode
  6. In the serial console, wget the minirootXX.img
  7. Find the install disk with lsblk
  8. Flash the img using: dd if=minirootXX.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1M
  9. In the Configurations tab, create a new one:
  10. Reboot into configuration, install OpenBSD from serial console
  11. Halt/shutdown, and change configuration to boot from sda
  12. Rejoice!

In our case, our main problem was that we skipped the "Direct Disk" kernel step so we were booting a Linux kernel and trying to load the img... it panic'd every time! Took us a few boots to figure that out :)