OpenBSD on Dell Latitude X1

Even though I'm far from switching to bsd as my daily driver I'm eager to have a OpenBSD laptop around. And as I feel the need to switch my Thinkpad X270 back from OpenBSD 6.8 to Linux—for reasons—I installed OpenBSD 6.8 on an rather old i368* laptop: a Dell Latitude X1...


The overall installation, including the setup of full disk encryption, was pretty simple and straightforward—as usual. I really enjoy the OpenBSD install experience, very slick!

Starting w/ downloading the latest installXX.iso for i368 from and flashing it onto a USB drive.

While in the past, for the actual installation, I was successfully and happily following Roman's install (git src repo), this time around, I followed this recipe: Installing OpenBSD 6.8 with disk encryption (+ FVWM ricing) (but actually, w/ out configuring or ricing FVWM, as my window manager of choice is (still) i3wm)

Post install:

su -
# echo 'permit username' > /etc/doas.conf

# sysptach

# rcctl enable apmd
# rcctl set apmd flags -A -z 7
# rcctl start apmd

# echo "keyboard.bell.volume=0" >> /etc/wsconsctl.conf

The Hardware

The hardware is quite outdated:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium M ~1 GHz
  • Ram: 1.2 GB

Right away, I was tempted to replace the HDD w/ an SSD... but, unfortunately, it's a 1.8" HDD w/ a 50 pin connector (PATA?). And, as it turns out, one can't get hold of such an SSD anymore. At least, it seems impossible doing so at a decent price point.

I even looked into a adapter option, using a Compact Flash Card instead... only to discover that the Dell Latitude X1 actually has a dedicated slot for a CF Card. But, as I do not have a decently sized CF around, I went w/ the HDD—for now.

Software & Ricing—WORK-IN-PROGRESS

# Install i3-gaps
doas pkg_add i3-gaps
mkdir -p /.config/i3
cp /usr/local/share/examples/i3status/i3status.conf ~/
cp /usr/local/share/examples/i3/config ~/.config/i3/

echo "setxkbmap -layout de -variant nodeadkeys -option caps:escape" > .xinitrc
echo "exec i3" > ~/.xsession
doas rcctl enable xenodm

Use urxvt as terminal emulator:

doas pkg_add rxvt-unicode
# vi ~/.config/i3/config
# bindsym Mod1+Return exec /usr/local/bin/urxvt

To be continued, eventually (though likely not 🙈)