Afterboot OpenBSD —

Afterboot OpenBSD

by Joshua Branson — April 28, 2023

set up doas

Let’s make any user that is in the group “wheel” able to execute privledged commands.

# cat /etc/examples/doas.conf | sed 's/keepenv/persist keepevn/' > /etc/doas.conf

install packages

# pkg_add emacs dino netsurf dino git fish mpv firefox gpg \
  hack-fonts pkg_add isync evince libreoffice xfce4-terminal \
  xfce4-screenshooter xfce4-dict i3

When I installed isync, I got a message that said, the following rcscripts were installed: /etc/rc.d/saslauthd apparently openbsd’s packaged isync, lets you set up a daemon to periodically fetch your email. looking at the file, I’m not sure what it is.

Well I could list all of the packages that I minually installed, it is actually much easier to create a list of packages.

pkg_info -mz | tee openbsd-pkg-list

Now, when I want to re-install those packages I can just do this:

# pkg_add -l list

clone my various repos

cd ~/
git clone
cd prog
mkdir -p gnu/guix/
cd gnu/guix
git clone
mv guix guix-src
git clone

update my OpenBSD install

# doas syspatch

enable softupdates

Unless you are using really old ancient hardware, you should enable softupdates.


43434930490.a / ffs rw 1 1


43434930490.a / ffs rw,softdep 1 1

window manager stuff

modify my ~/.xsession

auto start xfce, prefer utf-8, set up a background color, and lock X after some inactivity.

cat ~/.xsession

# prefer UTF-8 whenever possible
export LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"

# use UTF-8 everywhere
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

# specify location of kshrc
export ENV=$HOME/.kshrc

# set your background color
xsetroot -solid dimgray

xidle -delay 5 -sw -program "/usr/X11R6/bin/xlock -mode flag" \
                   -timeout 300

exec i3

set up polybar for i3

# doas pkg_add polybar
$ mkdir ~/.config/polybar
$ cp /usr/local/share/examples/polybar/config ~/.config/polybar

This wiki page has a lot of details about setting up fonts.

More information is in my polybar config.

If this is a laptop with a battery, then install this

# doas pkg_add obsdfreqd
# rcctl enable obsdfreqd
# rcctl stop apmd
# rcctl disable apmd
# rcctl start obsdfreqd

set up doom emacs

(I also need to ensure that ~/prog/gnu/guix/ exists because my emacs looks for some guix snippets).

git clone --depth 1 ~/.config/emacs
~/.config/emacs/bin/doom install

add doom emacs to path

cat ~/.profile

# $OpenBSD: dot.profile,v 1.8 2022/08/10 07:40:37 tb Exp $
# sh/ksh initialization


copy my ~/ config files

cp .authinfo.gpg, .ssh, .mbsyncrc, .gnupg/

cp documents to ~/

import my gpg keys from my usb stick.

gpg --import ./

git config --global commit.gpgsign true

gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format=long

Copy the really long alphanumeric word from the above command. It'll look something like:


git config --global user.signingkey <your alphanumeric word>

set up pinentry

pkg_add pinentry-dmenu

There are two things that you need to do to set up pinentry-dmenu, so that when I need to sign commits or decrypt stuff, the pinentry-dmenu popup happens.

  • set up gpg agent

    cat ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf
    pinentry-program /usr/local/bin/pinentry-dmenu
    default-cache-ttl 3600
  • man gpg-agent says to do this:

    You should always add the following lines to your .bashrc or whatever
    initialization file is used for all shell invocations:
    cat ~/.profile | grep GPG_TTY
    export GPG_TTY
  • start a dbus session

    This is only needed if you want to use pinentry-gnome3

    cat ~/.xsession | grep dbus
    # start a dbus session, which I believe gpg needs to for graphical pinentry
    # I found this command in /usr/local/share/doc/pkg-readmes/dbus
    if [ -x /usr/local/bin/dbus-launch -a -z "${DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS}" ]; then
            eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-x11`

If you have difficulty getting pinentry to work, here are some steps to manually get pinentry to work:

in a fish terminal a type in:

gpgconf --kill gpg-agent
set GPG_TTY $(tty)
export GPG_TTY
git commit -m "my commit message"

change /etc/motd

I once set an invalid option up in /etc/fstab that threw me in a root shell with only root mounted. All of a sudden vi would not work. That below command is how to fix it: export TERM=vt200

cat /etc/motd

OpenBSD 7.2 (GENERIC.MP) #7: Sat Feb 25 14:07:58 MST 2023

Welcome to OpenBSD: The proactively secure Unix-like operating system.

Please use the sendbug(1) utility to report bugs in the system.
Before reporting a bug, please try to reproduce it with the latest
version of the code.  With bug reports, please try to ensure that
enough information to reproduce the problem is enclosed, and if a
known fix for it exists, include that as well.

If you are having trouble using vi in the console try this:

export TERM=vt200;

install haunt on OpenBSD

doas pkg_add guile info

First install guile-commonmark:

$ cd ~/prog/guile
$ git clone git clone
$ cd guile-commonmark
# export AUTOCONF_VERSION=2.71
# export export AUTOMAKE_VERSION=1.16.5
# doas pkg_add autoconf automake

Why am I seeing 2 aclocal binaries? No idea.

ls /usr/local/bin/aclocal*
ls /usr/local/bin/automake*


Arsen on irc helped me figure out the next incantation.

AUTOMAKE=automake-1.16 ACLOCAL=aclocal-1.16 ./bootstrap
make check
# make install

Now let’s install haunt

git clone
cd haunt
AUTOMAKE=automake-1.16 ACLOCAL=aclocal-1.16 ./bootstrap
make check
# make install