OpenBSD is an open source BSD Unix-like operating system ported to HP PA-RISC computers and focuses on 32-bit workstations and some 64-bit models running in 32-bit mode. Hardware support is solid for most on-board components and HP expansion options in support systems, in contrast to HP-UX there is significant support for generic/third-party devices.
The current OpenBSD/hppa version is 6.2, from October 2017.
Work on an OpenBSD port to PA-RISC HP 9000/700 systems was started by the late Michael Shalayeff around 1999. Main sources of information and code at that time were the previous porting efforts Lites/HPPA and MkLinux. The first more or less complete OpenBSD/hppa release was version 3.5, albeit still with limitations many unsupported machines and I/O devices.
NetBSD/hppa is heavily based on OpenBSD/hppa.
An OpenBSD/hppa64 port to support PA-RISC 2.0 computers running in 64-bit mode was started in 2007, but was discontinued after 2016.
Since 2008/2009, work on the OpenBSD/hppa port became rather quiet, similar to the other open-source PA-RISC ports.
|700s||705, 710, 712, 715, 720, 730, 750, 725, 735, 755|
|740s VME||742i, 743i, 744, 745i, 745, 747i, 748i, 748|
|B-Class||B132L, B160L, B132L+, B180L+, B1000*, B2000*, B2600*|
|C-Class||C100, C110,C132L, C160L, C160*, C180*, C200*, C240*, C360*, C3000*, C3600*, C3700*|
|D-Class||D220, D230, D320, D330|
|J-Class||J200, J210, J280*, J282*, J2240*, J5000*, J5600*, J6000*, J6700*, J6750*, J7000*, J7600*|
|K-Class||K100, K200, K210, K220, K400, K410, K420|
|Portables||RDI PrecisionBook, SAIC Galaxy 1100|
Unsupported systems: PA-RISC 1.0 systems and the older HP 9000/800 servers like Nova, the E-Class, and the even older systems. Also in doubt are some of the newer 64-bit server systems with the rp designations, due to their chipsets and I/O systems.
Buses and chipsets
All PCI, GSC and Runway buses and onboard bus controllers such as ASP, LASI, Dino/Cujo, U2/Uturn, Astro and Elroy on the above machines are supported. Additionally, Yenta-compatible PCI-Cardbus bridges are supported, as for instance found on the RDI Precisionbook.
Up to 2 GB of memory is supported.
ISA/EISA and HP-PB, VME buses and bus controllers are not supported.
All on-board Ethernet and Fast-Ethernet network interfaces on the above machines are supported; the FDDI on the 735/755 are not supported. Expansion cards for the GSC/HSC and PCI bus slots with a supported Ethernet chipset, like Intel i82596, DEC 21142/43 Tulip, Intel EtherExpress PRO/10 and PRO/100 series, Intel Gigabit chipsets, in various incarnations for the PCI bus, NE2000-compatible, 3Com 3c9xx EtherLink XL, should also work. PCMCIA and to a lesser extent Cardbus devices are supported in a compatible PCI-Cardbus bridges, including various WLAN and Ethernet cards. The OpenBSD port page has the current and complete list.
Storage is at the moment supported via either the NCR 53C700 narrow, NCR 53C710 Fast-Narrow, NCR 53C720 Fast-Wide HVD/differential or the NCR 53C875 Ultra-Wide SE SCSI controllers. GSC/HSC and PCI expansion cards with one of the 53C7x0 or 53C8xx SCSI chipsets and Adaptec 2940 PCI SCSI adapters should also work, though are not neccessarily bootable.
Various newer PCI SCSI controllers based on Adaptec AHA and LSI Fusion-MPT chipsets are also supported, though also not bootable.
All on-board graphics adapters are supported for text-mode via STI routines, similar to PC VGA BIOS, additionally the CRX, CRX-24, HCRX-8, HCRX-24, Visualize-EG and Visualize-FX (FX2, FX4 and FX6) graphics expansion boards on GSC and PCI are supported. X11 graphics capabilities are apparently working, in some way, since April 2015.
Human I/O and multimedia
Input/output is supported via PS/2 or HIL on-board interfaces, though not all HIL devices are supported.
Various USB devices are supported, including networking adapters and I/O devices attached to expansion USB controllers, PCMCIA/PCI.
The on-board 16-bit
Harmony audio device, found on many PA-RISC workstations, is supported.
- OpenBSD/hppa official page, OpenBSD (October 2017: accessed February 2018)
- Discontinued OpenBSD/hppa64 official page, OpenBSD (2016. Accessed January 2020)
There might be newer OpenBSD/hppa versions than listed below.
- OpenBSD/hppa 6.6 release (October 2019) ftp.openbsd.org
- OpenBSD/hppa snapshots ftp.openbsd.org
- Packages for add-on software see OpenBSD: Getting Packages
- Software is available through the OpenBSD Ports tree, a framework for open source software.
- INSTALL.hppa (snapshot) installation instructions, OpenBSD (2020)
- INSTALL.hppa (6.6 release) installation instructions, OpenBSD (2019)
- Michael Shalayeff: OpenBSD on PA-RISC talk NYCBUG (2007: NYCBUG 2005 talk. Accessed January 2009)