=?iso-8859-8-i?Q? Handling non-UTF-8 Hebrew email

June 10, 2018 posted by Maya Rashish

I like to use CLI email clients (mutt). This by itself is not unusual, but I happen to do this while speaking a language written right-to-left, Hebrew.
Decent bidi support in CLI tools is rare, so my impression is that very few people do this.[Read More] [1 comment]


Getting my new laptop to work

May 03, 2018 posted by Maya Rashish

I've recently been gifted a fancy laptop - a Dell XPS 15 9550.
I want to run NetBSD on it and have it run well, and I've set aside time to achieve this.
These are some of the lessons I learned from porting code to support my SD card reader and wireless card.

[Read More] [0 comments]


Mercurial mirror on Bitbucket

September 01, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

Joerg Sonnenberger has announced a new set of mirrored repositories.

You can find Mercurial versions of src, pkgsrc and xsrc under


The same rules as for the fossil and github repositories apply, i.e. there may be occasional glitches and if it becomes too bad, they might be recreated from scratch.

See more information in the posted thread to tech-repository. [0 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]


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]


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]


First reproducible builds conference in Athens

December 14, 2015 posted by Thomas Klausner

Last week I met with about 40 other developers from various projects (mostly Debian, but also Arch Linux, FreeBSD, Guix, Homebrew, MacPorts, Tor and some others) in Athens for a three day conference about reproducible builds, i.e. the task of getting the same binaries from the same source on a particular platform.

The advantages are better verifyability that the source code matches the binaries, thus addressing one of the many steps one has to check before trusting the software one runs.

We discussed various topics during the conference in small groups:

  • technical aspects (how to achieve this, how to cooperate over distributions, ...)
  • social aspects (how to argue for it with programmers, managers, lay people) financial aspects (how to get funding for such work)
  • lots of other stuff :)
For NetBSD, there are two parts:

Making the base system reproducible: a big part of the work for this has already been done, but there a number of open issues, visible e.g. in Debian's regularly scheduled test builds, up to the fact that this is not the default yet.

Making pkgsrc reproducible: This will be a huge task, since pkgsrc targets so many and diverse platforms. On the other hand, we have a very good framework below that that should help.

For giggles, I've compared the binary packages for png built on 7.99.22 and 7.99.23 (in my chrooted pbulk only though) and found that most differences were indeed only timestamps. So there's probably a lot of low-hanging fruit in this area as well.

If you want to help, here are some ideas:

  • fix the MKREPRO bugs (like PRs 48355, 48637, 48638, 50119, 50120, 50122)
  • check https://reproducible.debian.net/netbsd/netbsd.html for more issues, or do your own tests
  • discuss turning on MKREPRO by default
  • starting working on reproducibility in pkgsrc:
    • remove gzip time stamps from binary packages
    • use a fixed time stamp for files inside binary packages (perhaps depending on newest file in sources, or latest change in pkgsrc files for the pkg)
    • identify more of the issues, like how to get symbols ordered reproducible in binaries (look at shells/bash)
Thanks to the NetBSD developers who already worked on this before, and to TNF for funding the travel and the Linux Foundation for funding the accomodation for my participation in the conference, and Holger Levsen for inviting me. [0 comments]


Unbloating the VAX install CD

June 08, 2014 posted by Martin Husemann

We all know that NetBSD-current is bloated compared to VMS of the early 80s. But we still can boot on some VAXes, so why not make it as easy as possible to install?[Read More] [2 comments]


First ports switched to gcc 4.8

March 06, 2014 posted by Martin Husemann

NetBSD starts deploying gcc 4.8[Read More] [1 comment]


Google Summer of Code 2013 report: Defragmentation for FFS

October 11, 2013 posted by Thomas Klausner

The following report is by Manuel Wiesinger:

First of all, I like to thank the NetBSD Foundation for enabling me to successfully complete this Google Summer of Code. It has been a very valuable experience for me.

My project is a defragmentation tool for FFS. I want to point out at the beginning that it is not ready for use yet.

What has been done:

Fragment analysis + reordering. When a file is smaller or equal than the file system's fragment size, it is stored as a fragment. One can think of a fragment as a block. It can happen that there are many small files that occupy a fragment. When the file systems changes over time it can happen that there are many blocks containing fewer fragments than they can hold. The optimization my tool does is to pack all these fragments into fewer blocks. This way the system may get a little more free space.

Directory optimization. When a directory gets deleted, the space for that directory and its name are appended to the previous directory. This can be imagined like a linked list. My tool reads that list and writes all entries sequentially.

Non-contiguous files analysis + reordering strategy. This is what most other operating systems call defragmentation - a reordering of blocks, so that blocks belonging to the same file or directory can be read sequentially.

[Read More] [1 comment]


Firefox on sparc64 update

September 23, 2013 posted by Martin Husemann

Just a small update on the previous post about firefox on sparc64: after a bit more work, the brand new version 24 ESR builds straight from pkgsrc (so should be included in the next set of binary pkgs).

All open issues (wrong colours on scaled images, failing https, ...) have been resolved.

Here is a new screeenshot:



Firefox on sparc64

May 26, 2013 posted by Martin Husemann

New firefox will be available for NetBSD/sparc64 again starting with the import of the official version 22 release into pkgsrc.[Read More] [4 comments]