NetBSD runtime linker gains negative symbol cache


February 27, 2010 posted by Roy Marples

The NetBSD runtime linker now has a negative symbol cache. In a nutshell, this has reduced the startup time of the Evolution mail client from around 5 minutes to 3 seconds on my QuadCore amd64 machine. Not many applications have a lot of plugins with a large amount of links to external libraries and I doubt many other applications will gain such a drastic speed bump, but the GNOME desktop as a whole now loads small bit quicker. I would imagine that KDE will now load faster as well.

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terminfo has replaced termcap


February 04, 2010 posted by Roy Marples

NetBSD-6 will now sport the terminfo interface which removes a lot of the problems with the old termcap which is deprecated by The Open Group. Upgrading existing systems should be quite painless as the old termcap interface is still provided, but there are some caveats.

  • $TERMCAP is no longer supported, tset -s no longer exports it. So if you maintain your own terminal definition, you'll need to use tic(1) on a small terminfo database in $HOME.
  • NetBSD extensions to termcap are no longer supported. Only 3rd party applications that used these would be affected.

This should allow pkgsrc not to need ncurses for a fair few console applications, like say tmux.

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NetBSD LVM enabled by default


December 04, 2009 posted by Adam Hamsik

Next release of NetBSD has received major push on storage front today, because Logical Volume Manager was enabled in current NetBSD. LVM support was committed in -current for a long time now but it was disabled by default. Today I have set MKLVM variable to yes by default which means that LVM will by included in all builds from now.

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Summer of code results: NetBSD zfs port


October 26, 2009 posted by Adam Hamsik

This summer I worked on a port of ZFS file system to NetBSD and was mentored by Andrew Doran. This entry details the results of my Summer of Code project and future plans.

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Summer of Code results: GPT-aware boot loader support


October 20, 2009 posted by $entry.creator.fullName

Mike Volokhov developed initial support for booting i386 and amd64 systems from GPT-formatted disks on legacy PC BIOS-based systems for the 2009 Google Summer of Code.

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Summer of Code Results: XML command-line utilities


October 07, 2009 posted by David Young

This summer I mentored Nhat Minh Lê's project, XML Command-Line Utilities for NetBSD. Here is my summary of the project goals and results.

The main idea of the project was to bring the UNIX text-processing idiom to XML, helping users to employ pipelines, elementary filters, and shell scripts in XML processing tasks.

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Summer of Code results: Efficient Wide-Character Regular Expressions


September 28, 2009 posted by Alistair Crooks

The 2009 Summer of Code project to implement efficient wide-character regular expressions for NetBSD was carried out by Matthias-Christian Ott, mentored by myself. This blog entry gives an overview of the progress and results of the project.

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The state of accelerated graphics on NetBSD/sparc


September 03, 2009 posted by Michael Lorenz

Now that NetBSD/sparc switched to wscons in -current it can finally run the Xorg Xserver out of the box. This means we will support accelerated graphics in X and the kernel console on a lot more hardware than before with Xsun and friends, many with acceleration and in 24 bit colour if the hardware supports it.

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Google Summer of Code: Miniaturise NetBSD


July 29, 2009 posted by Lloyd Parkes

NetBSD has a reputation for being somewhat minimalist, and it is widely used in embedded systems. The high level concepts behind miniaturising an operating system are quite straight forward and well understood. This project aims to provide NetBSD with an integrated system for constructing embedded systems so that system developers can get on with the job of implementing their application specific features.

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GPIO Revisited


July 25, 2009 posted by Marc Balmer

NetBSD has had support for General Purpose Input/Output devices since the 4.0 release, when the GPIO framework from OpenBSD 3.6 was imported. GPIO devices, or gpios for short, provide an easy way to interface electronic circuits which can be as simple as a LED or that provide more complex functionality like a 1-Wire or I2C bus.

Since the import of the GPIO framework into NetBSD, I have reworked larger parts of that subsystem in OpenBSD to address some problems and drawbacks. I have now imported these changes into NetBSD and continued to improve on them. The new GPIO framework retains backwards compatibility while adding new features; integrates with the kauth(9) security framework, and has it's own config file format gpio.conf(5) and integrates with system startup scripts in /etc/rc.d.

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NetBSD gets getdelim(3) and getline(3)


July 14, 2009 posted by Roy Marples

Last night I added getdelim(3) and getline(3) to NetBSD.

A few programs in base system needed to be changed due to having their own getline function, most of which aren't anything like getline(3). Hopefully there won't be much fallout in pkgsrc as a result.

getline(3) is prefered over over functions such as fgetln(3) and fgets(3) because it's standards based and you get a dynamic buffer for really really long lines. However, POSIX did drop the ball on making it a standard from the GNU extension - it should return 0 on EOF and more importantly be called fgetline. Oh well.

I shall be rolling getline(3) support into dhcpcd later, but I'll have to do a link test in the Makefile to see if we can use it. I'm unsure if I want to have a mini configure for dhcpcd or to keep using just make extensions ....

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UDF enhancements (read-write CD/DVD file system)


July 13, 2009 posted by Reinoud Zandijk

UDF is a full read-write operating system independent file system to be used on CD and DVD media but also very usable on `flash media'. See the OSTA website and Wikipedia for a more in depth overview. A read-only version made it to NetBSD-4.0 and a full read-write version made it to NetBSD-5.0

Recent enhancements to UDF available in NetBSD-current and pulled up to netbsd-5 are

  • Accurate disc space calculation that won't allow overfilling discs that could previously panic the machine.
  • Rewritten read-modify-write backend.
  • Significant reduction of system time spend when encountering huge numbers of nodes.
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