LowEndBox - Cheap VPS, Hosting and Dedicated Server Deals

The Top Ten OpenBSD Songs: "Goldflipper", "Pond-erosa Puff", and More!

For over 20 years, new versions of the OpenBSD operating system have been accompanied by new and free music.  These songs usually highlight what the project has been working on lately or major advancements in the code.  They’re sometimes based on real pop hits, or evoke a particular music genre.

Combined with artwork, they give each release a theme.  Not just a “gerund/adjective noun” code name like “pulsating porpoise” or “cavorting crocodile” or whatever, but a complete package.  For a small project run by volunteers, the “marketing materials” for each release are usually better than industry behemoths.

To date there have been over 50 OpenBSD songs!  Here’s our list of the top 10.

It’s of course subjective – how can any list of best songs not be? – so if you disagree, please fire back in the comments below.

#10. “A 3 line diff” (OpenBSD 6.2)

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful diff…

References: The theme to Gilligan’s Island

A “3 line diff” is a programming meme for a fix that is deceptively simple.  Hey, here’s a bug, and here’s the fix.  Then as the programmer and testers consider it, they realize a change here means a change over there, and then another impact over here, and pretty soon a “3 line diff” is far longer than 3 lines.

#9. “Bug Busters!” (OpenBSD 5.1)

And you’re off by one
And it ain’t no fun
Who ya gonna install?

References: The theme song to Ghostbusters

Gotta love the production of this one, with the organ opening and jammy organ.  OpenBSD developers spend a lot of time busting bugs.  It’s one of the reasons they support so many different hardware platforms and test on now-obscure metal, just to flush out unexpected events.  P.S. If you don’t get the “cut!” gag at the end read up on the lawsuit.

#8. “Aquarela do Linux!” (OpenBSD 5.2)

References: Aquarela do Brasil.  In the English-speaking world, this was famously covered by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.

Then, tomorrow brings a new distro
It’s better than the last you know
Another million bits that changed
All the hacks and tweaks we conjure up
They just get pushed into Posix
There’s one thing that I know
The world will love it, all Linux

It’s one thing to make a decision for your OS; it’s another to then try to get it pushed into POSIX as a new standard for all.  The Linux monoculture that the Unix ecosystem is heading towards sometimes rubs non-Linux communities the wrong way.

#7. “20 years ago today” (OpenBSD 5.8)

It was twenty years ago you see
Theo opened a cvs tree
Made commits to many a file
Joined by others in a very short while

Take a moment to view
The source of all this code
The openbsd cvs repo…

References: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

5.8 featured a variety of Beatles-inspired songs including “A Year in the Life” and “So Much Better”.  This release celebrated 20 years of OpenBSD!

#6. “Source Fish” (OpenBSD 5.7)

Comin’ to ya, via CVS
All the code, that’s safe to load
Got the ProPolice, in the GCC
Boundary checks, and Canaries

I’m a Source Fish, ha ha
Yeah I’m a Source Fish

References: Sam & Dave’s Soul Man

That’s a real trumpet, not just a synth.  Even if your only familiarity with Sam & Dave’s epic soul career is the Blues Brothers soundtrack, you’ll appreciate this swinging’ tune!

#5. “Money“(OpenBSD 6.0)

Canaries have your back.
In the right place, hacks stop in your protected stack.
Puffy, he’s a hit.
Theo doesn’t suffer users’ ill-informed bullshit.
Fly to hackathons, sleep in dormatory beds
Worldwide userbase, can you fund our project?

References: Pink Floyd’s Money

6.0 included several Pink Floyd-inspired songs – “Comfortably Dumb” is another gem, as is “Another Smash of hte Stack”.  But Ulrike Jung’s sultry lyrics really make this one the standout.  Speaking of money, if you use OpenBSD, why not drop some coin to the OpenBSD Foundation?

#4.  “Goldflipper” (OpenBSD 3.2)

With golden skin
and flippers as sharp as a knife
He’s the machine
Designed to dismember your life

And the fish
Protecting us all from the cat
And the cat
Infecting the wo-orld for a laugh

Cyborg on a mission
To do some Puff fishin’
The doctor wants fugu tonight!

References: The theme from the James Bond movie Goldfinger

A song about Puffy, the OpenBSD mascot.  Puffy is a blowfish, and his spiky exterior is a perfect visual symbol for a security-focused operating system.  Wikipedia comments on this genus of fish: “Even if they are not visible when the puffer is not inflated, all puffers have pointed spines, so a hungry predator may suddenly find itself facing an unpalatable, pointy ball rather than a slow, easy meal.”  Yup, that’s OpenBSD.

#3.  “Winter of 95” (6.1)

I had a Type-4 keyboard,
Bought with my Sun workstation,
Hacked on it ’til my fingers bled.
Was the winter of ’95.

Me and the guys from core,
Had a source tree with lots of history.
Chris and Charles held a little coup,
I should have known I’d lose my history.

Oh, when I look back now,
I can see we all have nothing
When it all can be… when it can be taken away.
Everyone needs to know their history.
It was the winter of ’95

References: Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69

The “open” in OpenBSD isn’t just a marketing moniker.  It’s about unfettered access to anonymous CVS.  As noted on the music page, “Previously, open source projects would make occasional releases accompanied by tarballs of final source files and Changelogs files, but would not expose the step-by-step changes of the development process. Unwittingly all open source projects were operating with a walled garden approach.”  OpenBSD helped change that by not only putting source to its releases out in the public eye, but its full commit history.  Sure, today, this is common, but it wasn’t in ’95.

#2. “Pond-erosa Puff (live)” (OpenBSD 3.6)

He said my water’s good n’ my water’s free
So Pond-erosa, you gonna thank me!
Then he bottled it up and he labeled it “Mine”
They opened n’ poured, but they ran outta time!

So Puff made a brand and he tanned his hide
Said. “this is the mark of too much pride”
Tied him to a horse, set the tail on fire
Slapped er on the ass and the water went higher!

Pond-erosa Puff
wouldn’t take no guff
Water oughta be clean and free
So he fought the fight
and he set things right
With his OpenBSD

References: Every old school country song you’ve ever heard.

This is my favorite on the list, and I sometimes include it on “normal music” playlists just because it’s so well done.  The legend of “Pond-erosa Puff” uses water as a metaphor to tell a story about the sad fate of XFree86, ipf, and Apache: three projects that started as free software but began to curtain users’ rights over time.  The OpenBSD project wrote superior replacements.

#1.  “I’m still here” (OpenBSD 4.7)

All I ever wanted
Was to keep the world secure
And all the criticizing
Was something I’d endure

The changes that I’ve been through
And the trials along the way
The battle isn’t over
And I’m living day by day

But I’m still here

I put this at number one because it’s such an easy-going, positive song.  OpenBSD is still here.  Despite a tiny team, meagre funding, and a ton of technical challenges, the project continues to grow and thrive.  Every release brings new capabilities and the future of the project is bright.  Viva OpenBSD!










No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Some notes on commenting on LowEndBox:

    • Do not use LowEndBox for support issues. Go to your hosting provider and issue a ticket there. Coming here saying "my VPS is down, what do I do?!" will only have your comments removed.
    • Akismet is used for spam detection. Some comments may be held temporarily for manual approval.
    • Use <pre>...</pre> to quote the output from your terminal/console, or consider using a pastebin service.

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *