Little by little, because it is a substantial change, new operating systems are arriving that are compatible with Apple’s M1 family of chips, and today we know of a luxury addition to the roster, OpenBSD. And this is not just any incorporation, since Apple’s relationship with BSD goes back a long way, and for years it has played a very important role in the history of the Cupertinos, although curiously, many of its users are completely unaware of it.
But let’s go by parts. Perhaps the first thing you thought of (if you didn’t already know that, of course) is if there is any relationship between FreeBSD, the derivative of the historical BSDborn in turn as a derivative of UNIX, at a time when Linux was still decades away from seeing the light and becoming popular, and OpenBSD, which is the operating system that is the star of this news, in communion with the chips of Manzana.
The answer is yes, since both are derivatives of BSD. The main difference is that FreeBSD concentrates a large part of its efforts on offering a simple and very stable administration environment, thus ensuring a fairly accessible environment, OpenBSD puts the focus on security, to the point of making it its leitmotiv. Thus, OpenBSD is a particularly recommended option in environments where asset protection plays a key role.
Well, concepts clarified, the good news is that, as we can read on its website, version 7.1 of OpenBSD has made substantial progress in its support of Apple M1to the point that for its developers is now ready for general use. An advance that can be very positive for Apple since, as I mentioned before, OpenBSD is an operating system that is especially highly valued in environments where security is a key function.
This is undoubtedly excellent news for the ecosystem and users of computers with M1 chips. A little over a month ago we were talking about Asahi, the Linux distribution specially designed for Apple SoCs, was already making the leap to its first alpha version, an operating system that, according to some performance tests, could even improve the use of the features of the M1 than Apple’s own macOS. And now, with the arrival of OpenBSD, the offer continues to grow.
And I said at the beginning that the arrival of OpenBSD to Apple computers with M1 chip appeals to the relationship between BSD and Cupertino. And what relationship is that? Well, MacOS X, as we already remembered when talking about the 20th anniversary of its arrival, had BSD in its guts, which also included NeXT and other open source operating systems. In other words, BSD has been part of the Apple experience for years, albeit only in fragments of it used for macOS or, of course, already in its normal distributions for X86 in the years in which Apple based its systems on Intel.