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Currently OpenBSD supports these architectures ( ):

alpha   Digital Alpha-based systems
amd64   AMD64-based systems
armish  ARM-based appliances (by Thecus, IO-DATA, and others)
hp300   Hewlett-Packard HP 9000 series 300 and 400 workstations
hppa    Hewlett-Packard Precision Architecture (PA-RISC) systems
i386    Standard PC and clones based on the Intel i386 architecture and compatible processors
landisk     IO-DATA Landisk systems (such as USL-5P) based on the SH4 cpu
loongson    Loongson 2E- and 2F-based systems, such as the Lemote Fuloong and Yeeloong, Gdium Liberty, etc.
luna88k     Omron LUNA-88K and LUNA-88K2 workstations
macppc  Apple New World PowerPC-based machines, from the iMac onwards
mvme68k     Motorola 680x0-based VME systems
mvme88k     Motorola 881x0-based VME systems
sgi     SGI MIPS-based workstations
socppc  Freescale PowerPC SoC-based machines
sparc   Sun sun4, sun4c, sun4e and sun4m class SPARC systems
sparc64     Sun UltraSPARC and Fujitsu SPARC64 systems
vax     Digital VAX-based systems
zaurus  Sharp Zaurus C3x00 PDAs

Currently QEMU supports these architectures ( ) - but FIXME:

IA-32 (x86)
x86-64 PCs
MIPS R4000
Sun's SPARC sun4m
Sun's SPARC sun4u
ARM development boards (Integrator/CP and Versatile/PB)
SH4 SHIX board
PowerPC (PReP and Power Macintosh)
MicroBlaze architectures.

So combined (what has boths support, but FIXME..):

i386 OR IA-32
amd64 OR x86-64
sun4m (SPARC)
macppc OR PowerPC

Searching google (search string || hits): i386 exploit vulnerability || 14600 i386 exploit vulnerability || 24700 IA-32 exploit vulnerability || 650 IA-32 exploit vulnerability || 3510 amd64 exploit vulnerability || 11000 amd64 exploit vulnerability || 29900 x86-64 exploit vulnerability || 540 x86-64 exploit vulnerability || 4970 x86_64 exploit vulnerability || 6590 x86_64 exploit vulnerability || 36800 sun4m exploit vulnerability || 17 sun4m exploit vulnerability || 0 SPARC exploit vulnerability || 7750 SPARC exploit vulnerability || 43800 macppc exploit vulnerability || 1 macppc exploit vulnerability || 3490 PowerPC exploit vulnerability || 7130 PowerPC exploit vulnerability || 32000


So I want to run an OpenBSD guest with QEMU on an OpenBSD host. But with different arch then the host OpenBSD has. (For security reasons, if an exploit works on ex.: i386 it's not 100% that it runs on ex.: sun4m).

for first look if I would use i386 or amd64 as host, the guest would need to be: sun4m (? - but SPARC has many hits.. and can QEMU really use sun4m???)

p.s.: yes, I know, searching for historically vulnerabilities isn't the best method, but there aren't any better.. or?

Q: So what would be the most safest architecture to use?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Lucas Kauffman, NULLZ, TildalWave, Adi, Gilles Jul 19 '13 at 11:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Did you run qemu -machine ? to see what kind of architecture is supported by your installation? – F. Hauri Jul 19 '13 at 10:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Exploit counting is not helpful here, because the numbers are skewed by non-targetted attacks. If a bad guy doesn't care what machines she gets control of, then she will target Windows on x86, because there's a billion more of those out there than BeOS on PDP-11.

Since you are primarily defending against targeted attacks, your focus should be on hardening the specific instance.

Indeed, there's a case to be made that you should go for x86 on your guest as well. It's probably the most popular port (citation needed), which probably means the most eyeballs are on it looking for bugs.

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