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 (including this blog). Expected outage duration is 20 minutes. Please stay calm :)

[0 comments] will take a vacation from 2009-09-25 around 00:00 UTC

September 24, 2009 posted by S.P.Zeidler

Around 00:00 UTC on 2009-09-25, will be offline for an unknown interval of time due to the emergency replacement of a chiller and other air conditioning equipment at the location where it is hosted. The current expected date for the return of services is ~2009-09-28. [0 comments]


Outage of today

September 24, 2009 posted by S.P.Zeidler was not very available between ~13:00 and ~20:00 UTC today. One of its disks semi-failed and led to really exhaustive retries that left the httpds so exhausted they timed nearly everybody out instead. The faulty disk has been taken offline, and lo, we have a blog again. [0 comments]


Summer of Code results: Display Control and Acceleration

September 23, 2009 posted by Jared McNeill

For a second consecutive year I mentored Jeremy Morse for NetBSD's Google Summer of Code project entitled Display Control and Acceleration.

This post will review the goals of the project and present the results.

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Summer of Code results: Generic file system mounting

September 21, 2009 posted by Antti Kantee

This year I mentored Arnaud Ysmal's Summer of Code project entitled "Generic file system mounting". This post contains a recap of the goals and presents the results.

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Interview with Alistair G. Crooks

September 18, 2009 posted by Emile Heitor

Our fourth edition of the "discussions with a NetBSD developer" series is a very special one, as we had the chance to talk to Alistair G. Crooks, president of The NetBSD Foundation.

Alistair gave us a historical point of view some of you might be unaware of, explaining "The NetBSD way" while telling us what is his analysis of NetBSD's status today and what he thinks about its future. A must read.

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FOSSLC's debate with David Maxwell

August 29, 2009 posted by Sarah Cockburn

On 31 August 2009 our very own David Maxwell is taking part in the Free and Open Source Software Learning Centre's debate 'Which open source license is best?'. Obviously, David is advocating for the BSD License. His opponents are Mike Milinkovich (for EPL License) and Matt Asay (for GPL License).

FOSSLC are allowing the public to participate in the event by either posing their own questions or voting on those already listed. For more information see

You can show your support by registering to either attend on the day or view the webcast stream.

For more information see the FOSSLC website.

Good luck David!



Support for Keylocks, an Experimental Feature

August 21, 2009 posted by Marc Balmer

Recently, generic support for electro-mechanical multi-position keylocks in the kernel has been added to NetBSD. Such locks can be turned into various positions, usually up to three or four position. They come with a set of keys that are different in so far as not all positions can be reached will all keys (which key can go up to which position is called the "locking program"). With the new keylock support, such locks can be used to tinker with the kernel security, much like the traditional securelevel variable...

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