Prettifying the NetBSD console


April 01, 2012 posted by Michael Lorenz

Over the last few months, many of NetBSD's graphical console drivers have gained the ability to use anti-aliased fonts. This was done mostly as a way to allow relatively easy access to a vast number of fonts, but they also look a lot better than plain monochrome fonts. With the genfb(4) driver this feature is available on almost all supported hardware which supports graphics. Some specialized drivers also support it (such as radeonfb(4), r128fb(4), voodoofb(4), ffb(4) and voyagerfb(4) ) and more are being added over time.

In order to improve overall usability and to give NetBSD a more unified look across different platforms, we are going to use a single default font and colour scheme on all platforms. Since studies prove its superiour readability we are proud to announce that Microsoft has granted permission to use the Comic Sans font in all future NetBSD releases.

Screenshots:

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posix_spawn syscall added


February 26, 2012 posted by Martin Husemann

The posix_spawn kernel implementation, mostly developed by Charles Zhang during Google Summer of Code 2011, has now been committed.

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Creating atf-based tests for NetBSD src (new tutorial)


September 05, 2010 posted by Julio Merino

Dear readers,

With this post, I would like to announce the availability of the atf tutorial published on the wiki!

This new document intends to aid NetBSD developers in writing atf-based tests for the NetBSD source tree. It does so by providing a description of the basic concepts behind the atf design and listing what the necessary steps are to write an atf-based test for the NetBSD source tree. The tutorial also includes several code snippets ready to be copy/pasted into your own code, some reference sections for common functions and a short FAQ section for common concerns raised by users of the framework.

The tutorial comes to fill an important gap in achieving wide acceptance of atf among NetBSD developers. Some of us have been trying to migrate old regress tests to the new atf framework for a while, but such efforts are futile if other developers keep submitting new tests to the obsolete regress tree. However, such developers have been doing so because the atf documentation is not yet up to the task to guide a new developer into writing a test program for NetBSD. I expect this new tutorial to cover this gap and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comments will be highly appreciated!

Lastly, I want to give special thanks to Antti Kantee for the multiple rounds of reviews and suggestions on the text.

References

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Google Summer of Code: PostScript output for mandoc


August 11, 2010 posted by Thomas Klausner

Kristaps Dzonsons successfully implemented PostScript and PDF output for mandoc for his Google Summer of Code project.

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Portable C Compiler


June 07, 2010 posted by Iain Hibbert

After reading about progress with the Portable C Compiler (PCC) last year, I was inspired to try building it on NetBSD. Gregory McGarry had done some work integrating it into the toolchain though it is not yet useable to build a full release, but the native build framework in external/bsd/pcc was incomplete.

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Kernel Modules Autoload from Host in Rump


April 27, 2010 posted by Antti Kantee

Since early 2009 NetBSD and rump has supported execution of stock kernel module binaries in userspace on x86 architectures. Starting in -current as of today, kernel modules will automatically be loaded from the host into the rump kernel. For example, when mounting a file system in a rump kernel, support will be automatically loaded before mounting is attempted.

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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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