December 13, 2012 posted by Antti Kantee
Some years ago I wrote about the possibility to load and use
standard NetBSD kernel modules in rump kernels on i386 and amd64.
With the recent developments in buildrump.sh and the improved
ability to host rump kernels on non-NetBSD platforms, I decided to try
loading a binary NetBSD kernel module into a rump kernel compiled for
and running on Linux. The hypothesis was that the NetBSD kernel modules
should just work since both the NetBSD kernel and Linux processes use
the ELF calling convention, and all platform details are abstracted by
the rump kernel hypercall layer. Sure enough, after two small fixes to
the hypervisor I could mount and access a FFS file system on Linux by
using ffs.kmod as the driver.
December 06, 2012 posted by S.P.Zeidler
The machine normally running www.NetBSD.org and also gnats and mail-index.NetBSD.org had a hardware problem.
It is now working again on a new chassis.
December 03, 2012 posted by Jeff Rizzo
The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.2 of the NetBSD
operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.2 is the second feature update
of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of
fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new
features and enhancements. Users running NetBSD 5.0.3 or earlier are
encouraged to upgrade to either NetBSD 5.2 or NetBSD 6.0,
their specific requirements.
For full details of the 5.2 release, please see the NetBSD 5.2 release notes.
Please note that all fixes in security/critical updates (i.e., NetBSD 5.0.2,
5.1.2, etc.) are cumulative, so the latest update contains all such fixes
since the corresponding minor release. These fixes will also appear in
future minor releases (i.e., NetBSD 5.3, etc.), together with other
less-critical fixes and feature enhancements.
Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 5.2 are available for download
at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP,
HTTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other services may be found at
We encourage users who wish to install via ISO images to
download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in
the ISO image area.
A list of hashes for the NetBSD 5.2 distribution has been signed with
the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security Officer:
November 26, 2012 posted by Blog Import
The new z3rambd(4)
driver allows using Zorro III RAM boards (like ZorRAM and BigRamPlus) as swap space. If the kernel is built without this driver, it is also possible to use these boards as normal RAM memory in some configurations (which was the usual behaviour). However, it might have performance consequences, it is advised to use Zorro III RAM as swap space where possible.
November 19, 2012 posted by Blog Import
driver was extended to support IDE controller present on Individual Computers X-Surf cards.
November 14, 2012 posted by Jeff Rizzo
The first release candidate of NetBSD 5.2 is now available for download at:
NetBSD 5.2 is intended for those who have an application using NetBSD 5.0.x or 5.1.x who don't want the churn of upgrading to NetBSD 6.0, but would like bug fixes and some stable new features. There have been a number of changes since 5.1. See src/doc/CHANGES-5.2 for the full list.
Those of you who prefer to build from source can continue to follow the netbsd-5 branch, but the netbsd-5-2-RC1 tag is available as well.
Please help us test this and any upcoming release candidates as much as possible. Remember, any feedback is good feedback. We'd love to hear from you, whether you've got a complaint or a compliment.
November 14, 2012 posted by Blog Import
The driver for A2000-style Real Time Clock modules (popular also on A1200 CPU cards) had bit-rotted so far as to be useless. It was rewritten as machine-independent msm6242b(4)
driver, with amiga-specific frontend under old a2kbbc(4) name.
November 07, 2012 posted by Antti Kantee
The unique anykernel capability of NetBSD allows the creation of
rump kernels, which are
partially paravirtualized kernels running on top of a high-level
hypervisor. This technology e.g. enables running the
same file system driver in the monolithic kernel or as a
microkernel style server in userspace. POSIX-compatible
systems have been more or less supported as rump kernel hypervisors for
the past 5 years. A long-time goal has been to extend hypervisor
support further, for example to embedded systems. This would bring the
solid driverbase of NetBSD available to such systems with only the cost of
implementing the hypervisor.
To see how far things can go, last week I started toying with the
manually implement the hypervisor. After some
emscripten, which translates C into
mature, but there is also extensive support for the POSIX API. This meant that
could also compile the existing POSIX hypervisor and have it work.
tree. This contrasts the approach taken by
another similar experiment,
where an x86 Linux is run inside a x86 machine emulator running
I have thrown together a small proof-of-concept demo of how to build a
web service with the capability to access file system images using
kernel with support for the FFS, tmpfs and kernfs file systems. This
rump kernel backend is tied to a lightweight web page which passes
requests from forms to the rump kernel and displays results. When the
bootstraps a rump kernel, and mounts the FFS image r/o at /ffs.
The status can be further manipulated with interactive commands.
The demo is available
I've tested it to work with Firefox and tested it to not work
with Internet Explorer. YMMV with other browsers. Note,
size, so the page may load for a few moments over a slow link --
whitespace removal was the only size reduction technique I used.
sources, you can also look at the
unoptimized version (14MB).
October 30, 2012 posted by Blog Import
The ed(4) driver
, supporting Hydra AmigaNet and ASDG LAN Rover cards was rewritten by Frank Wille. The new incarnation solved compatibility problems of old ed(4) driver (especially with 68040 and 68060)
October 27, 2012 posted by Jeff Rizzo
With the release of NetBSD 6.0, we bid a fond farewell to older releases, the NetBSD 4.x series. While we have many plans for active support of the most recent (6.x) and next most recent (5.x) release branches, 4.x is coming to the end of its supported life.
As of November 17, one month after the 6.0 release, the following branches will no longer be maintained:
- There will be no more pullups to the branches (even for security issues)
- There will be no security advisories made for any of the 4.x releases
- The existing 4.x releases on ftp.NetBSD.org will be moved into /pub/NetBSD-archive/
We are giving these remaining few weeks of support to give people time to migrate their machines to the newer release. We may choose to issue security advisories and/or release patches if a security issue should arise before November 17.
Here's hoping NetBSD 6 serves you as well as, or preferably better than, NetBSD 4 did!
October 20, 2012 posted by Blog Import
running NetBSD/x68k were
exhibited on NetBSD booth
at Open Source
Conference 2012 Hiroshima
See pictures on Togetter
October 17, 2012 posted by Jeff Rizzo
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.
NetBSD 6.0 is dedicated to the memory of Allen Briggs, who passed away in March 2012.