Porting NetBSD to Allwinner H3 SoCs


July 09, 2017 posted by Jared McNeill

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.

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pkgsrcCon 2017 report


July 08, 2017 posted by Sevan Janiyan

This years pkgsrcCon returned to London once again. It was last held in London back in 2014. The 2014 con was the first pkgsrcCon I attended, I had been working on Darwin/PowerPC fixes for some months and presented on the progress I'd made with a 12" G4 PowerBook. I took away a G4 Mac Mini that day to help spare the PowerBook for use and dedicate a machine for build and testing. The offer of PowerPC hardware donations was repeated at this years con, thanks to jperkin@ who showed up with a backpack full of Mac Minis (more on that later).

Since 2014 we have held cons in Berlin (2015) & Krakow (2016). In Krakow we had talks about a wide range of projects over 2 days, from Haiku Ports to Common Lisp to midipix (building native PE binaries for Windows) and back to the BSDs. I was very pleased to continue the theme of a diverse program this year.

Aside from pkgsrc and NetBSD, we had talks about FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Slackware Linux, and Plan 9.
Things began with a pub gathering on the Friday for the pre-con social, we hung out and chatted till almost midnight on a wide range of topics, such as supporting a system using NFS on MS-DOS, the origins of pdksh, corporate IT, culture and many other topics.

On parting I was asked about the starting time on Saturday as there was some conflicting information. I learnt that the registration email had stated a later start than I had scheduled for & advertised on the website, by 30 minutes.
Lesson learnt: register for your own event!
Not a problem, I still needed to setup a webpage for the live video stream, I could do both when I got back. With some trimming here and there I had a new schedule, I posted that to the pkgsrcCon website and moved to trying to setup a basic web page which contained a snippet of javascript to play a live video stream from Scale Engine.
2+ hours later, it was pointed out that the XSS protection headers on pkgsrc.org breaks the functionality. Thanks to jmcneill@ for debugging and providing a working page.

Saturday started off with Giovanni Bechis speaking about pledge in OpenBSD and adding support to various packages in their ports tree, alnsn@ then spoke about installing packages from a repo hosted on the Tor network.

After a quick coffee break we were back to hear Charles Forsyth speak about how Plan 9 and Inferno dealt with portability, building software and the problem which are avoided by the environment there. This was followed by a very energetic rant by David Spencer from the Slackbuilds project on packaging 3rd party software. Slackbuilds is a packaging system for Slackware Linux, which was inspired by FreeBSD ports.

For the first slot after lunch, agc@ gave a talk on the early history of pkgsrc followed by Thomas Merkel on using vagrant to test pkgsrc changes with ease, locally, using vagrant. khorben@ covered his work on adding security to pkgsrc and bsiegert@ covered the benefits of performing our bulk builds in the cloud and the challenges we currently face.
My talk was about some topics and ideas which had inspired me or caught my attention, and how it could maybe apply to my work.The title of the talk was taken from the name of Andrew Weatherall's Saint Etienne remix, possibly referring to two different styles of track (dub & vocal) merged into one or something else. I meant it in terms of applicability of thoughts and ideas. After me, agc@ gave a second talk on the evolution of the Netflix Open Connect appliance which runs FreeBSD and Vsevolod Stakhov wrapped up the day with a talk about the technical implementation details of the successor to pkg_tools in FreeBSD, called pkg, and how it could be of benefit for pkgsrc.

For day 2 we gathered for a hack day at the London Hack Space.
I had burn't some some CD of the most recent macppc builds of NetBSD 8.0_BETA and -current to install and upgrade Mac Minis. I setup the donated G4 minis for everyone in a dual-boot configuration and moved on to taking apart my MacBook Air to inspect the wifi adapter as I wanted to replace it with something which works on FreeBSD. It was not clear from the ifixit teardown photos of cards size, it seemed like a normal mini-PCIe card but it turned out to be far smaller. Thomas had also had the same card in his and we are not alone. Thomas has started putting together a driver for the Broadcom card, the project is still in its early days and lacks support for encrypted networks but hopefully it will appear on review.freebsd.org in the future.
weidi@ worked on fixing SunOS bugs in various packages and later in the night we setup a NetBSD/macppc bulk build environment together on his Mac Mini.
Thomas setup an OpenGrock instance to index the source code of all the software available for packaging in pkgsrc. This helps make the evaluation of changes easier and the scope of impact a little quicker without having to run through a potentially lengthy bulk build with a change in mind to realise the impact.
bsiegert@ cleared his ticket and email backlog for pkgsrc and alnsn@ got NetBSD/evbmips64-eb booting on his EdgeRouter Lite.

On Monday we reconvened at the Hack Space again and worked some more. I started putting together the talks page with the details from Saturday and the the slides which I had received, in preperation for the videos which would come later in the week. By 3pm pkgsrcCon was over. I was pretty exhausted but really pleased to have had a few days of techie fun.

Many thanks to The NetBSD Foundation for purchasing a camera to use for streaming the event and a speedy response all round by the board. The Open Source Specialist Group at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the London Hack Space for hosting us. Scale Engine for providing streaming facility. weidi@ for hosting the recorded videos.
Allan Jude for pointers, Jared McNeill for debugging, NYCBUG and Patrick McEvoy for tips on streaming, the attendees and speakers. This year we had speakers from USA, Italy, Germany and London E2.
Looking forward to pkgsrcCon 2018!

The videos and slides are available here and the Internet Archive.

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LLVM asan and ubsan on NetBSD


July 03, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

Over the last 30 days I was focusing on getting the environment to enable LLVM sanitizers and the Clang compiler on NetBSD. Meanwhile I pushed forward generic parts that were needing enhancements around pkgsrc and LLVM in general to ease the future LLDB work.[Read More] [0 comments]

 

pkgsrcCon 2016 report


July 01, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

pkgsrcCon is the annual technical conference for people working on pkgsrc, a framework for building over 17,000 open source software packages. pkgsrc is the native package manager on NetBSD, SmartOS and Minix, and is portable across many different operating systems including Linux and Mac OS X. [Read More] [0 comments]

 

In Memoriam Nicolas Joly


June 20, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

Nicolas Joly passed away on 2017-06-07.[Read More] [2 comments]

 

New home for the repository conversion


June 10, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

Hello all,

the repository conversion setup for NetBSD CVS -> Fossil -> Git has found a new home. Ironically, on former cvs.NetBSD.org hardware. This provides a somewhat faster conversion cycle as well as removing anoncvs.NetBSD.org from the process. This should avoid occasional problems with incomplete syncs. Two other changes have been applied at the same time:[Read More] [0 comments]

 

LLDB: Sanitizing the debugger's runtime


June 06, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

This month I started to work on correcting of the ptrace(2) layer, as test suites used to trigger failures on the kernel side. This finally ended up sanitizing the LLDB runtime as well, addressing LLDB and NetBSD userland bugs.[Read More] [1 comment]

 

NetBSD 8.0 release process underway


June 06, 2017 posted by Soren Jacobsen

If you've been reading source-changes@, you likely noticed the recent creation of the netbsd-8 branch. If you haven't been reading source-changes@, here's some news: the netbsd-8 branch has been created, signaling the beginning of the release process for NetBSD 8.0.

We don't have a strict timeline for the 8.0 release, but things are looking pretty good at the moment, and we expect this release to happen in a shorter amount of time than the last couple major releases did.

At this point, we would love for folks to test out netbsd-8 and let us know how it goes. A couple of major improvements since 7.0 are the addition of USB 3 support and an overhaul of the audio subsystem, including an in-kernel mixer. Feedback about these areas is particularly desired.

To download the latest binaries built from the netbsd-8 branch, head to http://daily-builds.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD-daily/netbsd-8/

Thanks in advance for helping make NetBSD 8.0 a stellar release!

[6 comments]

 

NetBSD maintainer in the QEMU project


May 17, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

QEMU - the FAST! processor emulator - is a generic, Open Source, machine emulator and virtualizer. It defines state of the art in modern virtualization.

This software has been developed for multiplatform environments with support for NetBSD since virtually forever. It's the primary tool used by the NetBSD developers and release engineering team. It is run with continuous integration tests for daily commits and execute regression tests through the Automatic Test Framework (ATF).[Read More] [2 comments]

 

Announcing NetBSD and the Google Summer of Code Projects 2017


May 05, 2017 posted by Hubert Feyrer

We are very happy to announce that the selection process in this year's Summer of Code with its bargaining of slots and what student gets assigned to which project is over. As a result, the following students will take on their projects:

  • Leonardo Taccari will work add multi-packages support to pkgsrc.
  • Maya Rashish will work on the LFS cleanup.
  • Utkarsh Anand will make Anita support multiple virtual machine systems and more architectures within them to improve testing coverage.
What follows now is a community bonding period until May 30th, followed by a coding period over the summer (it's Summer of Code, after all :-)) until August 21st, evaluations, code submission and an announcement of the results on September 6th 2017.

Good luck to all our students and their mentors - we look forward to your work results, and welcome you to The NetBSD Project!

[0 comments]

 

New synchronization mechanism - localcount(9)


May 03, 2017 posted by Paul Goyette

A new localcount(9) reference-counting mechanism will soon be available to provide improved protection against having a device or driver "disappear" while it is being used. [Read More] [0 comments]

 

LLDB: NetBSD Process Plugin enhancements


May 02, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

Last month I have worked on features of the Process Plugin on NetBSD and support for threads in core(5) files.[Read More] [0 comments]