OpenBSD on Raspberry Pi


I haven’t played with Raspberry Pi quite enough. I’ll do a write up on my garage door opener project at another time. But a really promising place for the Pi in my opinion is the role of a traveling router/access point. I don’t find the process of connecting to the WiFi in a hotel room particularly hard. It’s connecting back into my own network to access my my services that is difficult. The methods that I have at my disposal are:

  • IPSec VPN
  • SSH/SCP to selected service
  • Direct access where things are configured for it

Running OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi gives me a solid place to put an IPSec connection for the whole hotel room network. Getting there involves installing OpenBSD on the Pi in the first place


  • A Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+ each model has plusses and minusses
  • An OpenBSD Raspberry pi snapshot release available at this url.
  • OpenBSD does not support the Pi video yet. The install console is serial. You need an Arduino/Raspberry Pi serial cable. The link points to a 4pin style. It connects as follows:
    1. Black <-> Pi GND
    2. White <-> Pi TX0
    3. Green <-> Pi RX0
  • A fast USB stick. OpenBSD can’t run from MicroSD card yet. This one works.
  • A WiFi adapter that you can live with this is going to be a compromise because WiFi has somewhat left the BSDs behind. These two CanaKit Wifi, and  TP-Link WiFi, work.

As I write this, I’m running through the procedure again. Once installed, you will run OpenBSD from the USB stick. That requires no change on the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. but on the 3 B, you have to modify the U-Boot configuration to support usb boot. Instructions are all over the net on how to make this change in the forward direction. I haven’t seen any links that specifically document how to revert it back to the defaults.

Which Pi 3B or 3B+?

The Raspberry Pi 3B+ is a bit faster than then 3B but the ethernet isn’t supported due to an issue with USB.