OpenBSD Webzine


Recent -current changes

7.0-stable updates (since last webzine issue)


For this issue, Florian@ accepted to reply to my questions for a short interview.

Solène: Hello, could you briefly introduce yourself to the readers?

Florian: I'm in my mid forties, living with my partner and two cats in the Netherlands. During the day I work as a sysadmin for the RIPE NCC running So that's mostly DNS and BGP. My favorite hobby is being outdoors, I suppose. Hiking, camping, bicycle touring, that kind of thing.

Solène: How did you join the project, and when?

Florian: I was working at a hosting company and we were rolling out IPv6 and I chased down all the bugs, missing features and so on. We were using OpenBSD on routers and firewalls and one missing feature was IPv6 support in pflow(4). In my youthful carelessness, I figured "how hard can it be?" and started hacking on the kernel. And what can I say, it didn't panic *that* often. And here we are: 10 years later, still wrangling IPv6. Maybe I should have just sent a feature request to misc@ back in the day?

Solène: To my knowledge, you mostly work on IPv6 and DNS on OpenBSD. How did you get your hands into these network fields?

Florian: I think my taste is more eclectic than that. I have to poke at things that don't work quite correctly. And suddenly the whole house comes crashing down on you and you have to dig yourself out. I think this is true for most OpenBSD developers. And we come back for seconds... About DNS, in my experience that's one of those things that is taken for granted. It only turns into a catastrophe when it stops working, because it's fundamental to the working of the Internet. So of course I have to poke at it when it's not working correctly. But everybody else is too scared to touch it. Suddenly I'm the DNS expert.

Solène: In your opinion, what is your greatest contribution to the project?

Florian: What I'm most proud of is that I deleted more lines of code than added. Not sure if that's my greatest contribution. sysupgrade(8) is pretty neat.

Solène: How do you use OpenBSD outside of the development scope?

Florian: I run my own mail and DNS infrastructure, as well as a nextclown [sic] installation (Thanks Gonzalo! It just works.) among other things, all on OpenBSD. And of course my main workstation is an OpenBSD laptop, I do all the things on there, browse the web, read email, play music, videos, plan hiking / cycling trips and so on.

Many thanks to Florian for playing the interview game and talking about himself and his work!

Shell tips

Enable "vi mode" in your ksh shell and embrace the feeling of vi shortcuts:

echo "set -o vi" >> $HOME/.kshrc

In a new shell, you can navigate the history with Esc + j or k

Move the cursor in a long command with h or l

Search and filter the history with Esc + /

Vi lovers, see to add xcape -e 'Alt_L=Escape' & to your "$HOME/.xsession" file.

Reader comments

Message received from Jay Williams: Best issue yet! The interview was great to read, and I learned a new ksh trick.

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Artworks of the moment

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"When I log in as root." by

About the webzine

I decided to switch to a monthly release schedule. Making a good issue in two weeks without burning myself out in the process is hard. With a monthly release, this will give me a lot more time to find interesting content to share and more time to enjoy putting things together gradually.


Solène Rapenne, florian@, prx, pamela@ and eventual people who contributed outside of git that I may have forgotten. Many thanks to everyone involved and supportive to the idea!