NetBSD Archive

Porting NetBSD to Allwinner H3 SoCs

A new SUNXI evbarm kernel has appeared recently in NetBSD -current with support for boards based on the Allwinner H3 system on a chip (SoC). The H3 SoC is a quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC designed primarily for set-top boxes, but has managed to find its way into many single-board computers (SBC). This is one of the first evbarm ports built from the ground up with device tree support, which helps us to use a single kernel config to support many different boards.

NetBSD 7.1 released

NetBSD 7.1 has been released.

Some highlights of the 7.1 release are:

  • Support for Raspberry Pi Zero.
  • Initial DRM/KMS support for NVIDIA graphics cards via nouveau (Disabled by default. Uncomment nouveau and nouveaufb in your kernel config to test).
  • The addition of vioscsi, a driver for the Google Compute Engine disk.
  • Linux compatibility improvements, allowing, e.g., the use of Adobe Flash Player 24.
  • wm(4):
    • C2000 KX and 2.5G support.
    • Wake On Lan support.
    • 82575 and newer SERDES based systems now work.
  • ODROID-C1 Ethernet now works.
  • Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements.

A reimplementation of NetBSD using a microkernel

Based on the MINIX 3 microkernel, we have constructed a system that to the user looks a great deal like NetBSD. It uses pkgsrc, NetBSD headers and libraries, and passes over 80% of the KYUA tests). However, inside, the system is completely different. At the bottom is a small (about 13,000 lines of code) microkernel that handles interrupts, message passing, low-level scheduling, and hardware related details. Nearly all of the actual operating system, including memory management, the file system(s), paging, and all the device drivers run as user-mode processes protected by the MMU. As a consequence, failures or security issues in one component cannot spread to other ones. In some cases a failed component can be replaced automatically and on the fly, while the system is running, and without user processes noticing it. The talk will discuss the history, goals, technology, and status of the project.

NetBSD launches stability updates

The NetBSD project has announced two important stability updates for its highly portable operating system.

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 5.1.5, the fifth security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.1 release branch, and NetBSD 5.2.3, the third security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.2 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, and if you are running a prior release of either branch, we strongly suggest that you update to one of these releases.

Details on the two updated branches of NetBSD can be found in the release notes for NetBSD 5.1.5 and NetBSD 5.2.3.

NetBSD 6.1 released

"The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1, the first feature update of the NetBSD 6 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Please note that all fixes in the prior security/bugfix updates (NetBSD 6.0.1 and 6.0.2) are also in 6.1."

NetBSD 6.0 released

"The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.0, the fourteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system. Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter. Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers, an experimental CHFS file system designed for flash devices, support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol, and more. This release also introduces NetBSD Packet Filter (NPF) - a new packet filter, designed with multi-core systems in mind, which can do TCP/IP traffic filtering, stateful inspection, and network address translation (NAT)."

Microsoft’s eMIPS Port Now Part of NetBSD

A month ago Microsoft released a NetBSD port for their eMIPS ("Extensible MIPS") platform. Now the port found its way into the NetBSD source tree. "The 'extensible MIPS' is a dynamically extensible processor for general-purpose, multi-user systems. The reconfigurable logic (Extensions) dynamically load/unload application-specific circuits. Extensions add specialized instructions to the processor, security monitors, debuggers, new on-chip peripherals. Extended Instructions dramatically speedup application programs, just by patching their binaries." Besides the eMIPS port, Microsoft also contributed a machine independent framework for hardware accelerator scheduling, a scheduling policy for it, and a secure executable format.

NetBSD 5.1 Released

Another version of the extremely portable unix-like operating system NetBSD was released today. This release fixes many security issues and bugs. It also includes a good amount of new features. Please read the announcement here.

Interview: Alistair Crooks, President of the NetBSD Foundation

For a couple of months, the french speaking NetBSD advocacy group, NetBSDfr has started a series of interviews called "Discussing with a NetBSD developer". The first developer that has been interviewed was Soren Jacobsen, NetBSD 5.0 release engineer, shortly after NetBSD 5.0 was released. In July, we had the opportunity to talk to Adam Hamsik, known for porting LVM and ZFS to the NetBSD OS. S.P. Zeidler was our third victim, one of the Project's admins and member of the pkgsrc-releng team. This month, we had the chance to interview Alistair G. Crooks, actual president of The NetBSD Foundation. Alistair gave us a unique historical point of view as one of NetBSD's early hackers. He also shared with us his thought about the future of NetBSD and explained what makes this operating system so special. The interviews can be read in english at blog.NetBSD.org by clicking on the links above, and in french at www.NetBSDfr.org.

NetBSD Starts Desktop Project

Andrew Doran and Jared D. McNeill have announced in a mailing list post that they are starting a NetBSD Desktop Project with the goal of: "Given a NetBSD CD and a reasonably modern x86 computer, make it possible to install a useful desktop system in under 15 minutes, responding to only a few prompts in the process." Initial plans are being formulated on the project wiki page.