Two months of OpenBSD

September 1st: This blog post was originally written back in June 18th, and it was a draft so I didn’t publish it, but it’s been here for so long I decided to publish it.

If you haven’t already, read my previous blog post about OpenBSD where I shared my experience of switching to OpenBSD.

OK, in this blog post I am going to share my experience of using OpenBSD on my main rig for 2 whole months, and why I switched back to Linux (gasp!). I am writing this in Arch Linux which I just installed today, in case you’re wondering.

Let’s start off by saying, it has probably been my favorite experience from an OS. It is certainly the first OS (after the CRUX distro) that I did not feel dirty installing or using. With Arch I always have this itch in the back of my head which makes me uncomfortable using the OS.

The lack of GNU in my coreutils and ksh being the default shell was a very nice feeling.

It certainly felt weird to not be using a rolling-release OS, and I never installed any patches or -current so I probably missed out on a whole experience.

All I’m saying is, I didn’t leave OpenBSD because I didn’t like it. I loved it! I am leaving OpenBSD because the Node.js support on it is weak. And I know the guy maintaining the node package is doing his dangdest, but sadly without nvm or something similar one can’t have a good Node.js dev environment, and nvm depends on the prebuilt binaries Node.js offers, which do not have BSD versions. :/

For those unaware, when working with Node.js one often has to work with several versions of Node. 0.10 being stable, 0.12 being the stable but sorta new Node.js, and io.js being the absolute newest and least stable. Because you work with different versions depending on your client or your project, you need to switch between these versions. nvm offers a cool feature where you can do nvm use 0.10 and boom, your path now has Node 0.10 in the PATH instead of 0.12 or whatever.

The lack of a tool like nvm is incredibly inconvenient, and that is why I’m switching back to Linux. So it’s nothing personal, it’s just Node.js is my job and I need nvm.

In the future I will definitely be switching back to OpenBSD if the situation with Node.js improves, get on it devs! :)

June 18, 2015