OpenBSD 4.5

With a release date of May 1, OpenBSD 4.5 is probably going to be hitting the mirrors later today -- maybe late tonight.

Notable features and enhancements:
* Enhanced support for the sparc64 platform
* Support for more hardware monitoring sensors
* Lots of new or improved drivers for miscellaneous hardware
* Reliability and security improvements from 4.4, which was fraught with a couple of critical issues.

Thanks to Venture37, I've already got my hot little paws on 4.5; I didn't get to pre-order it. I plan on upgrading my main workstation to 4.5 over the weekend, but for the time being, this looks like a release worth upgrading to!

If you're not familiar with OpenBSD, it uses a "text-adventure" style installation script with a couple of very straightforward options. The only tricky part is partitioning and formatting the disk for installation. The Installation Guide can help you set up the disks.

Once installed, OpenBSD is "secure by default" without any remote services running other than the ones you specify. The only ones you can enable during installation are ntp and ssh (but they default to disabled).

OpenBSD's minimalist nature means that you're left with a powerful but svelte platform upon which to build to suit your needs: whether that's a workstation, firewall/router or an Apache/MySQL/PHP (OAMP) web-hosting environment. The installation media comes with apache, Xenocara (which includes Xorg), GCC, perl, Suhosin PHP and a host of other open-source components, most of which have been audited, patched and hardened by the OpenBSD dev team.

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