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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Solutions Linux 2010 - 16-18th March, Paris Porte de Versailles

April 02, 2010 posted by Guillaume Lasmayous

For the 11th year, was held the "Solutions Linux and Opensource" event in Paris Porte de Versailles, from March 16th to 18th.

NetBSD has been running a booth for the 2nd year in the "Associations' village", where visitors could find most of the active Free and Open Source Software associations: April, {Ubuntu,Mandriva,Fedora}-fr, as well as FreeBSD-fr and BSDFrance, among many others.

4 NetBSD developers were present on the event:

  • Emile "imil" Heitor
  • Antoine "tonio" Reilles
  • Jean-Yves "jym" Migeon
  • Guillaume "gls" Lasmayous
Several other active members of the french NetBSD community were also present to man the booth.

Even though this event is primarily business-oriented, the vast majority of questions were "end-users" oriented questions, the most common one being: how does NetBSD compare to Linux/Ubuntu ? However this year, we had a number of more technical questions, mainly from people willing to run embedded NetBSD.

We distributed something like 150 Jibbed live CDs, 250 NetBSD stickers, and 25 "Powered by NetBSD" case badges.

Next French events where NetBSD will be present:
  • Rencontre Bretonnes du Logiciel Libre, on May, 15-16 in Rennes.
  • Journées Méditérranéennes du Logiciel Libre on November 26-27 in Nice/Sophia-Antipolis.



Kernel modules for macppc and shark

January 19, 2010 posted by Julio Merino

As of past night, the macppc and shark ports have support for the new-style kernel modules. I've added support for these through a workaround in the build system, which makes the compiler generate long jumps for all calls in the code, avoiding unsupported ELF relocation types. This allows us to use the modules even if the kernel-level loader is not able to deal with such relocations. The kernel-level support is now enabled by default in macppc and shark GENERIC kernels.

We'll need to revisit this in the future and implement real support for dealing with those relocation types. Why? The modules built with this flag are slower than they should be... but at least they do work.



Hardware accelerated Xorg on Shark is back

November 25, 2009 posted by Michael Lorenz

Hardware accelerated X for Rev. 4 Sharks using the xf86-video-chips driver has been around for a while but Rev. 5 Sharks were stuck with a dumb framebuffer driver. This has changed, a few days ago I committed an Xorg driver for the IGS CyberPro 2010 graphics controller found in Rev. 5 Sharks.
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Interview with Christos Zoulas

November 22, 2009 posted by Sarah Cockburn

In September this year, Guillaume Lasmayous spent 5 weeks in the US where he took the opportunity to meet with some developers from the NetBSD project. On a Saturday afternoon Guillaume met Christos Zoulas to answer a few questions about NetBSD.

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OpenGrok for NetBSD

November 03, 2009 posted by Zafer Aydoğan

The opengrok code search and cross reference service has been set up and is available at:


It contains the NetBSD sources which are updated every three hours.
This service is running on NetBSD-5 using opengrok with openjdk from pkgsrc.

Happy Grokking :)



BSD Magazine: NetBSD sshfs

October 26, 2009 posted by Antti Kantee

In BSD Magazine issue 4/2009 I write about out-of-the-box support for sshfs on NetBSD 5.0. The article goes over the basic principles, use, tuning, and features in store beyond NetBSD 5.0. See the magazine website for purchase/subscription instructions.



Summer of Code Results: Improve and Extend resize_ffs

October 20, 2009 posted by David Maxwell

This is the summary of the "Improve and Extend resize_ffs" Summer of Code 2009 project.

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Summer of Code results: PXE Bulk Install

October 15, 2009 posted by Phil Nelson

This is the summary of Maxwell Winderbaum's "PXE Bulk Install" Summer of Code 2009 project.

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Summer of Code results: Miniaturize NetBSD

October 15, 2009 posted by David Young

Here is my summary of project goals and results for Lloyd Parkes' Summer of Code project, Miniaturize NetBSD.

Lloyd's project was concerned with helping developers to build small, bootable NetBSD system images by extending NetBSD's cross-compilation toolset and adding new kernel facilities.

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Summer of Code results: Improving RAIDframe parity handling

October 11, 2009 posted by Greg Oster

The work to improve the parity handling in RAIDframe was done by Jed Davis as a 2009 Google Summer of Code project in NetBSD. The mentoring on this project was done by Greg Oster. This document summarizes the project and the results.


RAIDframe (the software RAID implementation in NetBSD) suffers from long parity checking/rebuilding times in the event of an unclean shutdown. The goal of this project was to implement a solution that greatly reduces the amount of time required to ensure that the parity is correct after an unclean shutdown.


The main project goals were met. Jed's solution to the parity rebuilding problem is based on a "parity map". In this solution, the RAID set is divided into some number of "zones", where the parity status of each zone is reflected in the parity map. So while the existing RAIDframe code can be though of as having just a single zone (i.e. the entire RAID set) the new parity map code uses simple heuristics (e.g. minimum zone size of 25MiB per component, maximum of 4096 zones) to determine the number of zones and the size of the zones.

Part of the work involved exploring various zone sizes and investigating the performance implications of not only the zone sizes but the frequency of updating the parity map as well. There were also data consistency (e.g. order of write operations) and update issues (e.g. drive cache flushing) to deal with.

The code has yet to be merged into the main NetBSD tree, pending additional testing and verification of the code involved.

[1 comment]


network maintenance planned at ISC Oct 8th 14:00-15:00 UTC

October 08, 2009 posted by S.P.Zeidler

ISC has informed us of network maintenance to happen between 14:00 and 15:00 UTC today (Oct 8th). This concerns most public services directly under NetBSD.org (including this blog). Expected outage duration is 20 minutes. Please stay calm :)