OpenBSD/i386 runs on the standard PCs and clones, with a wide variety of processors, I/O bus architectures and peripherals supported.
The OpenBSD/i386 port has been present since the inception of the project. Over the years, more and more hardware support has been written specifically for OpenBSD (such as the cryptographic accelerator drivers), or adapted from FreeBSD and NetBSD.
It can be expected to install and run with minimal difficulty on most current hardware. Machines using custom BIOS (such as older proprietary PCs, laptops, and some specialized server machines) may cause problems.
X Window System support is available for most graphics cards, using the X.Org server. As with other free operating systems, it is highly recommended that Nvidia cards are avoided since this vendor continues to show tremendous resistance towards releasing information that would allow X.Org to support their hardware properly.
Due to the increased usage of OpenBSD/amd64, as well as the age and practicality of most i386 hardware, only easy and critical security fixes are backported to i386. The project has more important things to focus on.
All CPUs compatible with the Intel 80486 or better, with Intel-compatible hardware floating point support should work.
OpenBSD/i386 supports most SMP (Symmetrical MultiProcessor) systems,
including multi-chip, multi-core and/or hyperthreading designs.
To support SMP operation, a separate SMP kernel (
included with the installation file sets.
New hardware is constantly being released, some of which may lack support. Your donation of time, hardware, or documentation can accelerate this support!
OpenBSD/i386 can be installed to share the system disks with other operating systems, such as MS-DOS, Windows or Linux, using the MBR/partition table scheme, and an optional boot selector program. Everyday operation is trouble free, but setup requires care, and several operating systems, such as Windows 95, are known to be careless about pre-existing MBR information.
Also, some laptop computers use a specific partition as suspend-to-disk storage, which should not be clobbered.
More details on this process can be found in the Installation Guide and Disk Setup Manual.
The latest supported OpenBSD/i386 release is OpenBSD 6.6. Here are the OpenBSD/i386 installation instructions.
Snapshots are made available from time to time, in this location as well as on a few mirrors. Here are the OpenBSD/i386 snapshot installation instructions as well.
There are several installation media provided: