Ben Adams runs OpenBSD

Hello, I’m Ben Adams a 37 year old web developer and system administrator.

I started using Red Hat Linux 7.0 in 2000. That’s not Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but Red Hat from pre-Fedora era. For the next few years I did a good amount of distro hopping. :) I used Linux until around 2005, where I started to use FreeBSD, and then I came across an OS that had no security holes for over seven years. Wondering how this could be I dug in to the system. At that time was OpenBSD 4.2 released—November 2007. I found the documentation very easy to read and pick-up.

At the same time I worked at a hospital as a Clinical Data Manager, I found a security hole in a enterprise vendor web application where I could see patient information from other hospitals, for incident occurrences (med errors, patient falls, lawsuits based on incidents, etc). After going back and forth with the company’s developers in India and finding they have trouble fixing the security vulnerability. My boss challenged me to come up with a safe secure alternative.

I then created my own incident occurrence system that was using PHP on a small OpenBSD workstation the application was used across two hospitals and five long term care facilities. Application held this information and I recorded and calculated core measures information for tracking by floor/wing. The system held its own with software code updates and running on a RAID 1 setup on this small workstation for over three years at which I left the hospital.

From there I work primarily on Linux based systems for the next few years as a Python/Node.js/Erlang developer. Currently I work at a company that manages a mix of 18,000 servers using 70% Linux, 20% Windows and others a mix of HP/Solaris boxes. Using Ansible development tools for managing systems and keeping track of certificates.

Back to BSD. My number one BSD without hesitation is OpenBSD followed by FreeBSD, but I’m more of the Have a problem?—Find the best tool in the box to fix the problem. If multi-threading and bandwidth performance is key use FreeBSD. If security and business critical services are required, then OpenBSD without hesitation.

Today at home I have a ThinkPad X270 running OpenBSD. I use this system for developing an Erlang application hosted at MessageMap. This is a RabbitMQ type application with some smarts :) coded in Erlang and deployed on Vultr.

Still trying to get traction on my project, but hope to open source it once I have some usage and all my features I wanted included are built into it.

Find me on Mastodon or email me at

10 Aug 2018

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