2.7 Where Is OpenBSD Used?
Most people do not use OpenBSD as a desktop OS, though there are some people who swear by it. Some mainstream applications are not supported by OpenBSD, causing many newer-generation UNIX users to shy away from it. Many people do decide to use OpenBSD as a desktop due to its numerous advantages, and they either make sacriﬁces by not being able to use the missing software or actually make it work. However, OpenBSD is untouchable as a secure network services platform. Most OpenBSD systems are deployed as ﬁrewalls or other edge servers where high security is vital. The systems also shine as Web, e-mail, DNS, and intrusion detection servers. Almost anywhere that security is a high concern, OpenBSD is well designed to ﬁt the role.
For users who wish to have modern ofﬁce, multimedia, and productivity applications, OpenBSD may not be the best choice. The support for third-party applications that meet these requirements is growing, but relatively thin. Java support in OpenBSD, for example, is poor.
OpenBSD also forms the base of several commercial applications—speciﬁcally, networking and security applications. Several of the project members are employed as software architects at different companies. The license of the project allows for the reuse of the software in commercial, closed-source applications. Nevertheless, many of the beneﬁts and bugﬁxes of commercial development eventually return to the project as reliability patches and enhancements.