Dynamic host configuration, please

Prologue

The minimal viable product for an OpenBSD laptop has the following features:

  1. It has a real time clock (RTC).
  2. It runs Emacs.
  3. It can suspend and resume.
  4. It has working Wi-Fi.

With those things available we can start to improve the user experience.

A smart phone is basically always online in urban areas and even in rural areas1. Nearly seven years ago at a hackathon in Cambridge, UK, we set out to have a similar experience for our laptops. We will look at how OpenBSD configures Wi-Fi networks, deals with network auto-configuration for IPv4 and IPv6, and DNS resolution. We will show how it does this in a reasonably secure way with minimal manual configuration.

Join the Wi-Fi.

The reader might recognize this conversation when arriving at a new location and taking out their phone:

Me: Hey, what's the Wi-Fi password?

Them: We are in the middle of nowhere, there is no Wi-Fi.

Me: All lower-case, one word?

On the phone, we need to select the Wi-Fi and enter the password only once. The phone then remembers it indefinitely and auto-connects to it whenever the Wi-Fi is in range.

On OpenBSD, network interfaces are configured by ifconfig(8), or persistently in /etc/hostname.IF2, which is read by netstart(8) during boot. netstart(8) calls ifconfig(8) internally to handle the network configuration.

For a long time, we could only configure one Wi-Fi network:

$ cat /etc/hostname.iwm0
nwid home wpakey "trivial password"
inet autoconf
inet6 autoconf
up

This configures a Wi-Fi network named "home" and a password "trivial password". IPv4 and IPv6 auto-configuration are enabled. Whenever the network is in range the kernel automatically connects to it.

That is not a good user experience (UX). We typically take our laptops with us and connect to different Wi-Fi networks, like our phones. We have a Wi-Fi at home, at work, there are open Wi-Fis at hotels, and so on.

People came up with all kinds of weird shell scripts that would run in the background or triggered by cron(8) to notice when the laptop moved to a different Wi-Fi. The script would then call ifconfig(8) to reconfigure Wi-Fi from a list of networks it knew about. This was all incredibly fragile and not the OpenBSD way.

Peter Hessler (phessler@), with the help of Stefan Sperling (stsp@) went ahead and tackled this problem: What if we could pass multiple (name, password) tuples to the kernel and the kernel would chose the right one?

$ cat /etc/hostname.iwm0
join home wpakey "trivial password"
join work wpakey zUDciIezevfySqam
join "Airport Wi-Fi"
join ""
inet autoconf
inet6 autoconf
up

join implements exactly this. The argument to join is the name of the network and the following wpakey is the password for that network. If we leave out the wpakey, the Wi-Fi is open and does not require a password. Using join with the empty string (join "") means the kernel will try to connect to any open Wi-Fi if no Wi-Fi from the join list is found first.

We still need to configure the name and password by editing a file in /etc/ and run netstart(8) when we encounter a new Wi-Fi. This is probably not the best UI3 but the UX is pretty good and on par with a smart phone. Once the Wi-Fi is configured by adding a join line, the kernel will automatically re-connect to a known Wi-Fi whenever it comes into range.

Stop slacking.

Now that we are connected to the Wi-Fi, we need to configure IP addresses.

We started our efforts to improve the network configuration user experience with IPv6 for two reasons. Even in this day and age IPv6 is a technology for early adopters4, they are used to pain. When we break IPv4, people tend to complain. With IPv6 they are eager to help debug the problem.

The other reason was, OpenBSD got IPv6 support from the KAME project in the late 1990s and early 2000s and then there was not a lot of work done afterwards. The network configuration was handled mostly in the kernel, so there was no isolation from malicious input. For the most part it assumed a stationary work station that tried to acquire an IPv6 prefix for stateless address auto-configuration during boot by sending three router solicitations and then listened for router advertisements to create auto-configuration addresses and renewed their lifetimes when a new advertisement flew by. There was some rudimentary code in rtsold(8) to handle movement between networks, but nobody was using it because it was optional. rtsold(8) was used in one-shot mode where it would sent at most three router solicitations when an interface connected to the network and then it would exit.

We started to write slaacd(8)5 and once that was working we could delete rtsold(8) and remove a lot of code from the kernel.

slaacd(8) is a privilege separated network daemon that build previous experience with privilege separation in OpenBSD. It uses three processes, the parent process to configure the system, the frontend process to talk to the outside world and the engine process to handle untrusted data and run a state machine for the stateless address auto-configuration protocol.

pledge(2) restricts what a process is allowed to do and this is enforced by the kernel. Enforcement means that the kernel will terminate processes that violate what they pledged they would do. The pledges themselves are in broad strokes, we do not concern ourselves with single system calls but with groups of system calls. For example, the process is allowed to interact with open file descriptors ("stdio"), it is allowed to open connections to hosts on the Internet ("inet"), or it is allowed to open files for reading ("rpath").

The parent process pledges that it will only open new network sockets, send those to other processes and reconfigure the routing table ("stdio inet sendfd wroute"). The frontend process pledges to only receive file descriptors, open unix domain sockets and check the state of the routing table ("stdio unix recvfd route"). Checking the routing table includes seeing which flags are configured per interface. The engine process pledges to only read and write to already open file-descriptors ("stdio"). The engine process is very restricted what it is allowed to do. This is important because it handles untrusted data coming from the network. While the frontend process talks to the network, it never looks at the data. An attacker will not be able to confuse the frontend process with data they sent. They can and did confuse the engine process.

For more details see "Privilege drop, privilege separation, and restricted-service operating mode in OpenBSD".

slaacd(8) is enabled per default on all OpenBSD installations.

IPv6 stateless address auto-configuration is enabled on an interface by setting the AUTCONF6 flag using ifconfig(8): ifconfig iwm0 inet6 autoconf. The kernel announces this changed interface flag to the whole system using a broadcasted route message. slaacd(8) reads those messages using a route(4) socket.

slaacd(8) handles all aspects of stateless address auto-configuration. It sends router solicitations when needed, either multi-cast or uni-cast, depending on which is appropriate. It waits for router advertisements, parses them, and configures default routes, global and temporary IPv6 addresses, and passes name server information via a route message to the rest of the system. It takes care of the lifetimes of addresses, default routes, and name server information expiring and removing those from the system when no router advertisements are received to extend the lifetime.

slaacd(8) also monitors when network interfaces regain their connection to a network. For example because the laptop woke up from suspend or it got moved out of range of a Wi-Fi network and moved back into range. It then needs to find out if it connected to the same network as before or if it is now in a new network. If it is a new network we need to replace the old addresses, default route, and name servers. If there is no IPv6 available it needs to remove the old information.

The stateless address auto-configuration specification allows multiple default routers being present on the same layer two network, announcing the same or different network information. slaacd(8) tries to handle this, but this has not been extensively tested in all possible cases. There are still open questions being discussed at the IETF on how to run networks with different network prefixes in the same layer two network. Hic sunt dracones…

slaacd(8) does handle multiple interfaces just fine and we will show later how we pick the right source address when multiple are available to chose from.

Dynamic host configuration, please.

With IPv6 address configuration mostly solved, it was time to look at IPv4 again. We used a fork of ISC's dhclient(8). Henning Brauer (henning@) added privilege separation to it and in recent years Kenneth Westerback (krw@) heroically maintained it. It was showing its age though. The privilege separation was never quite right. This became more visible with the integration of pledge(2) and it would be difficult to integrate some of the features we developed in slaacd(8).

It was time to write a new daemon. Otto Moerbeek (otto@) solved the most pressing problem by suggesting a name for it: dhcpleased(8). We try to be polite towards the computer. It is pronounced "dynamic host configuration, please". The "d" is silent.

On a very high level IPv4 DHCP and IPv6 stateless address auto-configuration are very similar. We request some information from the router6, we use it to configure the system and we make sure that information does not expire. When we move networks we need to probe if our information is still up to date and if not, reconfigure the system.

The obvious solution is to copy sbin/slaacd to sbin/dhcpleased and replace the IPv6 specific bits with IPv4 specific bits. And that is exactly what we did.

On paper DHCP looks more complicated than IPv6 stateless address auto-configuration because it negotiates with the server and there is a complicated state machine to implement.

In practice it is the other way around. The "stateless" part in IPv6 does not apply to the client. The client must keep state and implement a state machine to keep track of which routers are available and when various information expires. In IPv4 we talk to one server and all information expires at the same time.

We will talk about a few differences between slaacd(8) and dhcpleased(8) in a moment, but from the user perspective both behave the same. They make sure that the address configuration and default gateway are always up to date and they pay attention when the machine moves between networks, either while awake or while sleeping.

Because dhcpleased(8) has to use bpf(4) instead of regular sockets for some of the network packets it needs to sent, the parent process cannot use pledge(2). There is nothing it could pledge that would allow the usage of bpf(4) at the moment. To protect the system and prevent exfiltration of sensitive data we use unveil(2) to restrict the parent process' view of the file system. dhcpleased(8) can only read its configuration file, read and write /dev/bpf, and read, write and create files underneath /var/db/dhcpleased/ to store information about received leases.

While we could get away with not implementing a config file for slaacd(8), we were not this lucky with dhcpleased(8). Some systems out there will only give us a DHCP lease if we sent the correct client id for example.

There are a lot of DHCP options specified in RFC 2132. We only implement the bare minimum, only the options we need and can handle. We do not need a swap server or a cookie server to get the quote of the day.

Like slaacd(8), dhcpleased(8) is enabled on all OpenBSD installations.

Route priorities.

dhcpleased(8) and slaacd(8) can handle multiple interfaces at the same time. The routing table might look like this:

$ netstat -nrf inet
Routing tables

Internet:
Destination        Gateway            Flags   Refs      Use   Mtu  Prio Iface
default            192.168.1.1        UGS        4      110     -     8 em0
default            192.168.178.1      UGS        0        0     -    12 iwm0
[...]

We end up with two default routes, one gateway is reachable via the em0 interface with priority value 8 and the other gateway is reachable via the iwm0 interface with priority value 12. A route has higher priority when its priority value is lower. em0 is an Ethernet interface and it gets higher priority over the Wi-Fi interface iwm0. All things being equal, the kernel will pick the address from em0 as source address when making a new connection to the internet and route traffic over the Ethernet interface, which is presumably faster.

If we pick up the laptop and unplug the Ethernet interface, all things are no longer equal, the route over em0 is no longer usable and existing connections using it will stall and time out. New connections will instead use iwm0.

If we plug em0 back in again, session might come alive again and new connections will use em0. Connections that are running over iwm0 will continue working, because the interface is still connected to the Wi-Fi.

Applications like web browsers, email clients or even video conferencing systems will automatically establish a new connection when they notice the old one is dead.

Unfortunately ssh(1) is not one of them. If switching between wired and wireless happens seldomly tmux(1) on the remote system might help with ssh(1) disconnects. Or maybe a wg(4) tunnel can be used so that the source address does not change when switching between wired and wireless.

Cellular networks.

In addition to Ethernet and Wi-Fi networks, OpenBSD supports "Mobile Broadband Interface Model" devices using the umb(4) driver. These can be used to connect to UMTS or LTE networks. They require a sim card and after being configured using a PIN they will connect to cellular networks and automatically configure an IP address and default route. The default route has an even lower route priority than Wi-Fi so it will only be used when Ethernet and Wi-Fi are not connected.

It is always DNS.7

We need to talk about DNS next. Humans are not particularly good at remembering 2606:2800:220:1:248:1893:25c8:1946, we are much better with names like example.com. When we run ping6 example.com we sooner or later end up in libc's stub resolver. It will open /etc/resolv.conf, and look for nameserver lines to use for DNS resolution.

We can learn name servers from dhcpleased(8), slaacd(8), umb(4), and iked(8). Historically dhclient(8) owned /etc/resolv.conf, which means that no other process could add name servers to it. dhclient(8) would just overwrite whatever was in there whenever it renewed its lease. This made it impossible to sometimes move to an IPv6-only network. slaacd(8) could not configure name servers and the left-over IPv4 name servers were not reachable.

We can either teach all name server sources to somehow cooperate and to not scribble over each other and share responsibility of /etc/resolv.conf or we can run an arbitrator that collects name servers from diverse sources and handles the contents of /etc/resolv.conf.

resolvd(8) is such an arbitrator. It is another always enabled daemon. It collects name servers from all the mentioned sources and adds them to /etc/resolv.conf.

It also monitors if /etc/resolv.conf gets edited in which case it re-reads the file and makes sure that the learned name servers are at the beginning of the file. This is useful when the administrator of the machine decides to add options to /etc/resolv.conf. For example, we can edit the file and add family inet6 inet to prefer IPv6 over IPv4 and resolvd(8) will cope. There is no need for an extra configuration file, /etc/resolv.conf is the configuration file.

Name servers are announced using route messages and resolvd(8) listens for them using a route(4) socket. They can also be observed using the route(8) tool: $ route monitor.

resolvd(8) can also request that name servers are re-announced by their sources. This is useful when resolvd(8) gets restarted.

Let us unwind8 a bit.

Good old plain DNS is not a secure protocol. It exchanges un-authenticated UDP packets without any integrity protection. This makes it easy for an attacker to spoof answer packets.

DNS answer packets are untrusted data, they come from the network. However, the process that sends DNS queries and parses the answer using the libc functions is almost always the single main process of the tool. When we run ping example.com, DNS packets are parsed using our user. An attacker who can spoof a DNS answer might be able to trigger a bug in libc and gain code execution that way.

On OpenBSD ping(8) pledges "stdio DNS", so the attacker will not get very far, but there are many more programs in ports that are not pledged that might want to resolve names.

It would be worthwhile to have some sort of proxy running on localhost so that DNS packets from the outside need to traverse a well locked down process running in a different address-space and as a different user than the program that needs to resolve a name.

An early experiment was rebound(8), written by Ted Unangst (tedu@). It was simplistic and did not understand DNS at all, it would just forward packets, but it would sit between the Internet and the program.

An alternative is to run a full recursive resolver like unbound(8) on the laptop, but this leads to problems, too. unbound(8) expects a well working network where nobody interferes with DNS, this is true in data centres and can be achieved in well maintained home networks, but it is not something we find when moving laptops to arbitrary networks like free Wi-Fi in a hotel or airport.

We can either give up and move to a different hotel9, or we need to adjust our expectations, figure out what we have and work with that.

It turns out that often the quality of the network changes over time. When we first connect to a hotel Wi-Fi we may find ourselves in what is referred to as a captive portal. Everything is blocked, DNS gets intercepted, and we are redirected to a web site where we need to agree to the terms and conditions. Maybe provide our name and room number. Once we are past that, network quality improves considerably and we are mostly free to talk to the outside world.

This is where unwind(8) comes in. It is another privilege separated network daemon that provides a recursive name server for the local machine. resolvd(8) detects when it is running and automatically rewrites /etc/resolv.conf to have only nameserver 127.0.0.1 listed as name server.

With that we have the first problem solved, or at least improved on the situation. Programs that need DNS resolution are insulated from the Internet. An attacker needs to get past unwind(8) first before they can try to attack the libc stub resolver.

unwind(8) understands and speaks DNS and it actively observes the network quality.

We did not write our own recursive name server. That would be difficult, it would be unlikely we would get it right on first try10, and DNS is constantly evolving, so it is a lot of effort to keep up. Instead we are standing on the shoulders of giants and use libunbound, which is part of unbound(8). It is developed under a BSD license by NLnet Labs.

The resolver process pledges "stdio inet dns rpath" and restricts access to the file system using unveil(2) to /etc/ssl/cert.pem. This is the process that is exposed to the Internet and handles untrusted data. It would be preferable to have one process exposed to the Internet and another to parse untrusted data but that is not possible to do with libunbound.

Since we are using a real recursive name server, that gives us a lot of options on how we can resolve names:

  • We can do our own recursion, walk down from the root zone using qname minimization to improve privacy.
  • We can use the name server we learned from dhcpleased(8) and slaacd(8) as forwarders, so we do not need to do our own recursion, which might be faster.
  • We can try to opportunistically speak DNS over TLS (DoT) to the learned name servers to prevent eavesdroppers from listening in.
  • We can configure forwarders manually to not depend on the network provided name servers. Those might be more trustworthy. They can also be DoT forwarders to prevent eavesdropping.
  • As a last resort, unwind(8) can behave exactly like the libc stub resolver11.

We call these resolving strategies and unwind(8) actively probes if they are usable by sending test queries when it notices that the network changed, for example because we moved to a different Wi-Fi network or woke up from suspend. It then orders them by quality and picks the best one.

There is an implicit skew in the strategies for finding the best one: A manually configured DoT name server is always considered better than a name server provided by the local network. As long as its available and not atrociously slow.

unwind(8) is not too concerned about preserving privacy, it is pragmatic and tries to resolve names the best way it can, if that means using the local name servers provided by the network because they are the only ones available it will use them.

Since unwind(8) uses libunbound it also supports DNSSEC. DNSSEC provides data integrity and cryptographic authenticity, it does not provide confidentiality.

unwind(8) is pragmatic about DNSSEC. When it tests the quality of a resolving strategy it also tries to find out if DNSSEC is available. There are many reasons why DNSSEC is not available: The network is misconfigured, DNSSEC is flat out blocked or the laptop does not (yet) have the correct time. If DNSSEC does not work unwind(8) does not insist on using it.

Of course this makes it susceptible to a downgrade attack. To mitigate this, unwind(8) will insist on DNSSEC working after it discovered once that DNSSEC is working in the local network. This means that an attacker needs to be able to block DNSSEC from the moment we connect to a network. They cannot show up later and try to downgrade us. unwind(8) will only become lenient again when we connect to a new network.

This is not a strong mitigation of course, but DNSSEC is not a silver bullet that fixes everything at the resolver. Applications also need to do their part and decide how much they are willing to trust DNS. For example ssh(1)'s VerifyHostKeyDNS feature will only trust host key fingerprints it obtained from DNS if they were validated using DNSSEC and the validator runs on the local machine12. Otherwise it will ask the user what to do.

A worst case scenario when joining a somewhat broken Wi-Fi network with captive portal and a manually configured DoT name server might look like this:

  1. We connect to the network, we cannot reach the DoT name server and cannot do our own recursion.
  2. unwind(8) will chose the name server provided by the network. It also notes that we just connected to a new network so it is lenient with respect to DNSSEC validation. In effect it will ignore validation errors.
  3. We try to access a web site and the captive portal detection in the browser triggers. We click the buttons and fill in the forms until we are allowed on the internet.
  4. unwind(8) notices that it can do its own recursion.
  5. At the same time, unwind(8) notices that the DoT name server is also reachable now and starts using it.

unwind(8) does not natively support DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and we sometimes find ourselves in networks that block everything except for TCP port 443. One way around this is to use dnscrypt-proxy from ports which does support DoH. We can point unwind(8) at it by manually configuring a plain DNS forwarder in addition to a DoT forwarder:

$ cat /etc/unwind.conf
forwarder "9.9.9.9" port 853 authentication name "dns.quad9.net" DoT
forwarder "2620:fe::9" port 853 authentication name "dns.quad9.net" DoT
forwarder "127.0.0.1" port 5353 # dnscrypt-proxy for DoH

Time for gelato.13

People from the future might encounter networks without any IPv4. If they are not too far in the future they might still need to talk to IPv4 hosts on the Internet.

There are various transition technologies that get us from an IPv4 only Internet to an IPv6 only Internet. We will only look at NAT64, DNS64, and 464XLAT.

NAT64 allows us to reach IPv4 hosts from an IPv6 only network by pretending that the hosts are IPv6 enabled. IPv6 addresses are so big that we can easily encode all of IPv4 in an IPv6 /64 prefix, which is the usual size of on IPv6 prefix we see per layer two network. In fact we don't need the whole /64, a /96 is enough to encode the whole IPv4 Internet.

Let us pretend we know the /‚Äč96 prefix used for NAT64 and the IPv4 address we want to reach. Forming an IPv6 address for the host is then simply a bitwise-or operation of the IPv4 address with the /96 prefix, the IPv4 address fills in the lower bits of the IPv6 prefix. This is called address synthesis.

We can then use this address to connect to the IPv4-only host. Somewhere on the network path is the NAT64 gateway that is dual stacked. It knows that our packets are using NAT64 because it is configured with the /96 prefix. It intercepts the packets and forms IPv4 packets and sends them on their way. The gateway needs to be stateful to be able to NAT the return traffic back to us.

To find out the IPv4 address we want to connect to we of course use DNS. The local name servers that slaacd(8) learned about would know about the NAT64 prefix used in the network and do the address synthesis for us. This is called DNS64. The problem with this is that the name servers spoof DNS answers, something that DNSSEC tries very hard to prevent. unwind(8) will detect this and generate an error, or unwind(8) might not even talk to the designated name servers at all.

To get around this unwind(8) can itself detect the presence of DNS64 on a network by asking the local name servers for the AAAA record, i.e. the IPv6 address, for something that is guaranteed to never have one: ipv4only.arpa. If it gets an answer, it can reverse the address synthesis and learn the NAT64 prefix. With that information it can do DNS64 itself and there is no longer a problem with DNSSEC.

The downsides of this mechanism are that it is quite complicated, it messes around with DNS, and it does not work with IPv4 address literals. It also does not work with programs that are fundamentally IPv4 only: ping example.com will never work in an IPv6 only network with only NAT64 / DNS64.

Instead of pretending the IPv4 host we want to reach has IPv6, we can pretend to have working IPv4 if a NAT64 gateway is present. We ask the kernel via the pf(4) firewall to do the IPv4 to IPv6 translation for us. The NAT64 gateway will then do the reverse translation and send an IPv4 packet on its way. This is called 464XLAT.

We first need an IPv4 address, RFC 7335 reserved 192.0.0.0/29 for this purpose:

ifconfig pair1 inet 192.0.0.4/29

We then need a default gateway:

ifconfig pair2 rdomain 1
ifconfig pair2 inet 192.0.0.1/29

Because pf(4) will only do address family translation on inbound rules we need a different rdomain and use pair(4) interfaces. We need to connect them:

ifconfig pair1 patch pair2

And then we can configure our default route:

route add -host -inet default 192.0.0.1 -priority 48

We set it to a very low priority14 so that it does not interfere with routes dhcpleased(8) configures when we move to an IPv4 enabled network.

We then need to configure address family translation in pf(4) when we detect NAT64 being present. This is were gelatod(8) comes in. It is a Customer-side transLATor (CLAT) configuration daemon15. CLAT is what 464XLAT calls the address translation happening on the laptop.

gelatod(8) is yet another privilege separated daemon17 that checks for the presence of a NAT64 gateway whenever we change networks. It does so either via the ipv4only.arpa trick or explicitly via router advertisements. RFC 8781 specifies how a network can signal the presence of a NAT64 gateway.

gelatod(8) needs a pf(4) anchor into which it adds rules that are similar to this example:

pass in log quick on pair2 inet af-to inet6 \
  from 2001:db8::da68:f613:4573:4ed0 to 64:ff9b::/96 \
  rtable 0

The rule is doing address family translation to IPv6 on incoming packets on pair2. In this example it uses 2001:db8::da68:f613:4573:4ed0 as the IPv6 source address, gelatod(8) learned this from the system when slaacd(8) configured it. 64:ff9b::/96 is the learned NAT64 prefix and we are moving traffic back to rtable 0. Remember pair2 is in rdomain 118.

While this is all cute and works rather well, it is also completely horribly complicated to set up. And that is why gelatod(8) is not in OpenBSD base but lives in ports. We believe in good defaults in OpenBSD and try to keep the buttons a user has to push to get something working to an absolute minimum.

Future work.

Which brings us to future work.

We want the functionality of gelatod(8) in OpenBSD base. gelatod(8) was mostly a proof of concept. We imagine that a new network device like clat(4) take over the role of client side address family translation. It could be always present and gelatod(8) just enables and disables it. At that point we can move the functionality into slaacd(8) and delete gelatod(8). CLAT is defined as a stateless mechanism so it does not need the full pf(4) machinery for address family translation.

It would be nice to have DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over Quic (DoQ) natively in unwind(8). We are mostly waiting on upstream to implement support in unbound(8).

And then there is some ongoing maintenance, little things that could be improved:

  • The captive portal detection in unwind(8) is not perfect and it will probably never be.
  • dhcpleased(8) and slaacd(8) should remember IP addresses from networks they have been connected to before to be able to quickly re-establish connectivity by probing if we are connecting to a previous network while the lifetime of our addresses did not expire yet. RFC 4436 "Detecting Network Attachment in IPv4 (DNAv4)" and RFC 6059 "Simple Procedures for Detecting Network Attachment in IPv6" have the details.
  • It would be nice if the dhcpleased(8) parent process could be pledged. This is not currently possible because of bpf(4). Things to investigate here are changes to the network stack that would allow us to use raw sockets instead of bpf(4) sockets or the ability to dup(2) an existing bpf(4) socket and re-program the interface it is using.

Epilogue

Writing all this software over the last six to seven years was a lot of fun. And combined with all the other features OpenBSD has to offer like the join feature, working suspend and resume and accelerated video on amd and intel graphic cards makes it a pleasure to use OpenBSD on a laptop as a daily driver. Things just work. Mostly. And if they do not you have something to fix!

Footnotes:

1

My phone automatically connected to the Wi-Fi at Elk Lakes Cabin. Never mind that we had to drag the satellite dish over the pass.

2

IF denotes a specific network interface. For example for iwm0 the file is /etc/hostname.iwm0

3

As far as I am concerned ed(1) is the pinnacle of UI design, but YMMV.

4

Which is quite sad.

5

I should not be allowed to name things.

6

In IPv6 we might not need to request the information, it might just show up unannounced.

7

In my line of work that is certainly true, but that is just sample bias.

8

See 5.

9

Which is not realistic.

10

Or second or third try for that matter.

11

I call this the Dutch train problem. The free Wi-Fi on Dutch trains do not like DNS queries with an EDNS0 option, they intercept them, do not understand them, and answer NXDOMAIN. There are other free Wi-Fi networks that are similarly broken.

12

Technically not entirely true, ssh(1) trusts what libc indicates and libc automatically trusts localhost. See trust-ad in resolv.conf(5).

13

Again, see 5.

14

Remember, a high priority value means low priority.

15

If you squint just right, gelato kinda sounds like clat16.

16

Again, I really really should be prohibited from naming things.

17

At this point you should believe me that that is a good thing and I will not go into pledge details.

18

Do not ask me about the difference between an rdomain and an rtable, I do not know either.

Published: 2023-03-07