Port tier system introduced

March 30, 2011 posted by Antti Kantee

The NetBSD core team has announced a tier system for the hardware architectures supported by NetBSD. The tier system classifies ports into three tiers. Summarizing, the tiers consist of ports that NetBSD will support, ports that NetBSD does its best to support, and ports which may be desupported soon. The purpose of this classification is to clarify the development roles between old and new architectures. By making modern architectures an official development priority, the tier system ensures that NetBSD will continue to be the top choice for a fast, secure and portable free OS on the hardware of today and tomorrow.



Rump: Distributed Kernel Services For NetBSD

March 15, 2011 posted by Antti Kantee

Rump is a componentization of the NetBSD kernel. It lends itself to multiple uses, such as running kernel code as services in userspace and for example makes the high-quality NetBSD kernel code base available for use in multiserver microkernel operating systems.

Running unmodified NetBSD kernel code in standalone userspace applications has been possible for years. Recently, it also became possible to use unmodified userland binaries as remote clients for these lightweight and modular kernel server instances. Things work straight out of the default NetBSD installation. For example, it is possible to run an unmodified web browser against a rump TCP/IP server and restart the TCP/IP server with minimal impact to the browser. Furthermore, it is possible to run a dedicated TCP/IP server for every networking application on the system. The combined flexibility of using proven kernel drivers in lightweight virtual servers is completely unique to NetBSD.

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NetBSD now runs under Amazon EC2

March 13, 2011 posted by Jean-Yves Migeon

It is with great pleasure that we officially announce the release of the first NetBSD Amazon Images for the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (better known as Amazon EC2) for all currently available regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo).

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Support for Microsoft eMIPS ("Extensible MIPS") platform committed

January 26, 2011 posted by Antti Kantee

Support for Microsoft Research's extensible MIPS architecture has been committed to the NetBSD source tree. eMIPS allows dynamic loading and scheduling of application-specific circuits for the purpose of accelerating computations based on the current workload. NetBSD/emips runs on FPGA-based hardware and the Giano system simulator.

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nxr update

December 15, 2010 posted by Zafer Aydoğan

Dear Readers,

The NetBSD Cross Reference service has recently
been updated to use the latest version of OpenGrok from pkgsrc.

In addition to the main NetBSD-current sources, the
following development branches have now been indexed:


Have fun searching and grokking !

[1 comment]


The Lua Scripting Language

November 06, 2010 posted by Marc Balmer

About a week ago, I imported the Lua programming language, version 5.1.2, into NetBSD-current as a component of the base system.

Lua is a scripting language with a very small memory footprint that has been designed as an embedded (or hosted) language from the ground up. As such, it's integration into software written in e.g. C or C++ is straightforward. Lua is very fast, it is recognized as one of the fastest scripting languages. The language has a clear and simple syntax with some very powerful concepts; the libraries (called packages) that come with it are themselves reasonable small. Lua compiles programs to a bytecode which is executed by a very small virtual machine. Lua scripts can be precompiled to bytecode for faster load times (but not faster execution). The first versions of Lua date back in 1993, so the language is stable and mature.

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Announcing NetBSD Hackathon in Paris - 6 and 7th of November, 2010.

September 29, 2010 posted by Guillaume Lasmayous

On the 6 and 7th November 2010 will be run the first NetBSD Hackathon in Paris, France. The event will be held at ESPCI Paris.

Everybody that has an interest in NetBSD, from developers, documentation writers, translators, to advanced users, are invited to attend.
If you just want to come and discuss NetBSD with some NetBSD enthusiasts, you are also welcome.

The idea is to take this opportunity to meet with the French and French-speaking NetBSD community, for a hacking week-end: contributions to src, pkgsrc, xsrc, wiki, documentation in French on NetBSDfr wiki, submitting or closing PRs, etc.. Let's meet on Saturday, November 6th, starting at 9 am in ESPCI Paris Tech (thanks manu@ for hosting us).

If you wish to join us, please send a mail to guigui _AT_ netbsdfr _DOT_ org (as we need to provide a list of attendees in order to get access to the ESPCI premises).

NB: Accommodation and food will be the responsibility of the attendee. However the organisers are currently looking into a meal at a local restaurant on Saturday night.



The BSD Show featuring Adam Hamsik

August 29, 2010 posted by Sarah Cockburn

Adam Hamsik talks about NetBSD with Guillermo Amaral from Webbaverse on this week's episode of The BSD show.



Revolutionizing Kernel Development: Testing With Rump

August 19, 2010 posted by Antti Kantee

There are numerous good tools which do an excellent job of testing kernel features and help to catch bugs. The more frequently they are run as part of the regular development cycle, the more bugs they expose before the bugs are shipped to be discovered by end users. However, prior to being able to execute kernel tests configuration is required. Examples of configuration steps include mounting the file system under test, setting up an NFS server, selecting a network interface and configuring an IP address or setting up a test network. This makes taking a kernel test suite into use unnecessarily complicated and reduces the likelihood of all tests being run by any single kernel developer as part of the development process, thereby reducing the number of bugs which are caught early on.

This article explains how rump is the enabling technology for a safe, fast and run-anywhere kernel test suite which requires absolutely no configuration from the person running the tests. We will look at various kernel tests, such as those related to file systems, IP routing and kernel data structures, and point out the advantages of using rump as compared to conventional testing approaches.

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PAE support for native i386

July 26, 2010 posted by Jean-Yves Migeon

With kernel revision 5.99.37, the options(4) PAE was added to native i386. It is currently disabled by default.

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Google Summer of Code project Implementing HTTP support for libsa

July 18, 2010 posted by Brett Lymn

Zoltan Arnold NAGY has been busy coding away on his project to add support for booting over HTTP to libsa. Early on in his work he found that the current libsa PXE support used the UDP support functions in the PXE ROM which is unsuitable for HTTP as this requires a TCP transport. Zoltan has written a net_if driver for libsa that uses the PXE UNDI functions to allows both UDP and TCP network packets to be sent. Using the new net_if he was able to boot a kernel using tftp which proved that the basic networking functions were working correctly.

Once the underlying network layer was available Zoltan moved on to the primary aim of the project, booting over HTTP. He has made good progress on this and reports that he can boot a kernel three out of four times via HTTP, clearly one of the goals for the remainder of the Summer of Code is to get this to a 100% hit rate for booting.

There is still a fair bit of work to be done but I believe that Zoltan is on track to providing a useful factility to libsa. Zoltan posted a link to his patches in a posting to the tech-net mailing list

[1 comment]


Testing NetBSD: Easy Does It

June 24, 2010 posted by Antti Kantee

It requires only one command to run the NetBSD test suite on a fresh installation or to check if code changes have caused regressions. This article explains why and how, and looks into the ATF and Anita tools which make testing so easy everyone should be doing it.

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