Tom Smyth runs BSD

My name is Tom, I’m the CTO of Wireless Connect Ltd. My first exposure to Unix was Solaris back in the year 2000, I got an educational discount for Solaris for x86 systems, I also got to use it by sneaking into the Telecoms Lab in my University, Dublin City University. Around the same time I was a member of Redbrick and had a shell account on mother.redbrick.ie which was running FreeBSD at the time.

My current favourite BSD is OpenBSD, I was first exposed to it back in 2006. I fell foul of the Em64T Intel Xeons not being supported by OpenBSD (amd64) due to the hardware execute disable bit, not being available in 64 bit on those processors. (At the time I was not happy… but since realised it was the right call by OpenBSD project). I also used FreeBSD + Dummynet for WAN link Simulation and Testing.at around 2007. I had better success with OpenBSD around 2009 where I used it as a DNS (BIND) server, and as an SSL terminator using stunnel ahead of a reverse proxy. As DNS servers and as a SSL reverse proxy we found OpenBSD to be very reliable, unfortunately because they just worked… the opportunity to learn about OpenBSD was mostly confined to the setup. My favourite feature of OpenBSD is rdomains/VRFs, the syntax of PF and rdomains, is concise yet it has profound capabilities… roll on approx ten years we are using OpenBSD more and more in our organisation.

Currently in 2018, we use OpenBSD for a variety of roles in our company,
0) BGP Route Reflectors for our ISP using OpenBGPD,
1) DNS recursive resolvers using Unbound,
2) DNS authorititive DNS servers for reverse DNS PTR records using NSD,
3) TLS termination using relayd,
4) load balancing using relayd,
5) NTP for our ISP and our clients using OpenNTPD,
6) mail relay servers for our ISPs and our clients using OpenSMPTD,
7) website hosting—we are rolling out OHMP OpenBSD + httpd + MariaDB + PHP based servers,
8) OpenVPN VPN terminators for our client WANs,
9) BGP looking glasses for our helpdesk staff to diagnose internet routing issues using BGPLG CGI + OpenBGPD + httpd,
10) internal ISP certificate authority infrastructure,
11) filtering DNS infrastructure for business clients (Optional—opt-in service) using Unbound,
12) we are using OpenBSD as our preferred CPE OS (client premises equipment), for business firewalls and fail-over devices.

I’m on Twitter and Mastodon.

31 Dec 2018


RunBSD is maintained by Mischa Peters and Roman Zolotarev.