OpenBSD 7.1 Released with Support for Apple M1, Improvements for ARM64 and RISC-V

“Everyone’s favorite security focused operating system, OpenBSD 7.1 has been released for a number of architectures,” writes long-time Slashdot reader ArchieBunker, “including Apple M1 chips.”

Phoronix calls it “the newest version of this popular, security-minded BSD operating system.”
With OpenBSD 7.1, the Apple Silicon support is now considered “ready for general use” with keypad/touchpad support for M1 laptops, a power management controller driver added, I2C and SPI controller drivers, and a variety of other driver additions for supporting the Apple Silicon hardware.
OpenBSD 7.1 also has a number of other improvements benefiting the 64-bit ARM (ARM64) and RISC-V architectures. OpenBSD 7.1 also brings SMP kernel improvements, support for futexes with shared anonymous memory, and more. On the graphics front there is updating the Linux DRM code against the state found in Linux 5.15.26 as well as now enabling Intel Elkhart Lake / Jasper Lake / Rocket Lake support.

The Register notes OpenBSD now “supports a surprisingly wide range of hardware: x86-32, x86-64, ARM7, Arm64, DEC Alpha, HP PA-RISC, Hitachi SH4, Motorola 88000, MIPS64, SPARC64, RISC-V 64, and both Apple PowerPC and IBM POWER.”
The Register’s FOSS desk ran up a copy in VirtualBox, and we were honestly surprised how quick and easy it was. By saying “yes” to everything, it automatically partitioned the VM’s disk into a rather complex array of nine slices, installed the OS, a boot loader, an X server and display manager, plus the FVWM window manager. After a reboot, we got a graphical login screen and then a rather late-1980s Motif-style desktop with an xterm.
It was easy to install XFCE, which let us set the screen resolution and other modern niceties, and there are also KDE, GNOME, and other pretty front-ends, plus plenty of familiar tools such as Mozilla apps, LibreOffice and so on….

We were expecting to have to do a lot more work. Yes, OpenBSD is a niche OS, but the project gave the world OpenSSH, LibreSSL, the PF firewall as used in macOS, much of Android’s Bionic C library, and more besides…. In a world of multi-gigabyte OSes, it’s quite refreshing. It felt like stepping back into the early 1990s, the era of Real Unix, when you had to put in some real effort and learn stuff in order to bend the OS to your will — but in return, you got something relatively bulletproof.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.