Google Summer of Code: Improve and Extend resize_ffs

June 30, 2009 posted by Christopher Berardi

The utility resize_ffs is a program intended to resize Berkeley Fast File Systems (FFS) by either growing or shrinking them. This filesystem is the standard filesystem for the NetBSD operating system -- a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system.

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Postfix 2.6.2 imported into NetBSD-current

June 28, 2009 posted by Matthias Scheler

Postfix 2.6.2, the latest stable version of the popular mail transport agent, was imported into NetBSD-current recently. The following features have been added since version 2.5.4:

  • Multi-instance support introduces a new postmulti(1) command to create/add/remove/etc. additional Postfix instances. The familiar "postfix start" etc. commands now automatically start multiple Postfix instances. The good news: nothing changes when you use only one Postfix instance. See MULTI_INSTANCE_README for details.
  • Multi-instance support required that some files be moved from the non-shared $config_directory to the shared $daemon_directory. The affected files are postfix-script, postfix-files and post-install.
  • TLS (SSL) support was updated for elliptic curve encryption. This requires OpenSSL version 0.9.9 or later. The SMTP client no longer uses the SSLv2 protocol by default. See TLS_README for details.
  • The Milter client now supports all Sendmail 8.14 Milter requests, including requests for rejected recipient addresses, and requests to replace the envelope sender address. See MILTER_README for details.
  • Postfix no longer adds (Resent-) From:, Date:, Message-ID: or To: headers to email messages with "remote" origins (these are origins that don't match $local_header_rewrite_clients). Adding such headers breaks DKIM signatures that explicitly cover non-present headers. For compatibility with existing logfile processing software, Postfix will log ``message-id=<>'' for email messages that have no Message-Id header.
  • Stress-adaptive behavior is now enabled by default. This allows the Postfix SMTP server to temporarily reduce time limits and error-count limits under conditions of overload, such as a malware attack or backscatter flood. See STRESS_README for details.




wake(8), a New Wake-on-LAN Command

June 26, 2009 posted by Marc Balmer

wake is a new command to send Wake-on-LAN frames over an ethernet to Wake-on-LAN capable machines, remote powering them up. This functionality is generally enabled in a machine's BIOS and can be used to power on machines from a remote system without having physical access to them.

wake is available in NetBSD-current. See the wake(8) manual page for details.



Google Summer of Code: PXE Bulk Install Update

June 23, 2009 posted by Max Winderbaum

The PXE Bulk Install system is essentially an NFS mounted root directory that, when mounted at boot time, installs various configurations of NetBSD on client machines through its /etc/rc file. A "configuration" or "class" of machine can include essentially anything imaginable, from custom kernels to configuration files, SSH keys and packages installed. Once a class is created and a MAC address assigned to that class, a machine that NFS mounts the directory will have its chosen class applied to it.

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The recent outage of this blog

June 11, 2009 posted by Sarah Cockburn

As you may be aware, this blog has been unexpectedly down 27 hours of the past 32 hours. We suspect this outage was due to a soft failure of the power supply but analysis of this problem is difficult and still ongoing.

Currently the blog is hosted in a different location than usual and does not have the benefit of the usual remote management infrastructure (nor is it in the care of the usual admins team, so there is no timezone diversity for its system management either).

The service will be moved to a TNF system in the near future (not as a reaction to the outage; the current housing is a stopgap measure fixing performance problems the blog experienced in its earlier incarnation until the new TNF owned system is deployed).

In the meantime please be patient should you experience any further outages.



Bluetooth stack/sdp protocol update

May 15, 2009 posted by Adam Hamsik

NetBSD bluetooth stack was updated to properly support Service discovery protocol spec. SDP daemon sdpd(8) was rewritten to be much simpler, and finally updated the sdpquery(1) program to display complete service records in a meaningful manner.

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dhcpcd-5 released and imported into NetBSD -current

April 28, 2009 posted by Roy Marples

dhcpcd-5 has now been imported into -current. I've run a full distribution build and install without any issues so hopefully nothing broken :)

Here's a list of the major changes from dhcpcd-4

  • Single daemon can now run DHCP on multiple interfaces at the same time
  • Configuration profiles per interface, ssid, arping and fallback
  • Listens to 3rd party programs changing routing information
  • Supports DHCP INFORM over PPP
  • Can configure static options for destination address
  • Control socket so 3rd party program can control or listen directly to dhcpcd events
  • Is also a BOOTP client

There's now an rc.d script for it which is now recommended over ifconfig_bge0=dhcp in /etc/rc.conf

Any dhcpcd-gtk users will need to upgrade to dhcpcd-gtk-0.4.0 as there was a last minute variable rename due to a recent rc.subr change looking for the flags environment variable.




Switching between wired and wireless automatically

April 18, 2009 posted by Alistair Crooks

I was asked recently how to switch between wired and wireless automatically on NetBSD, and remembered that Hubert Feyrer has a good way of doing it.

So please feel free not to send me any chocolate if you don't find this useful.



NetBSD 5.0_RC4 available for download

April 16, 2009 posted by Soren Jacobsen

NetBSD 5.0_RC4 is available for download.

Notable changes include:

  • Added the RLIMIT_AS resource, which limits the total address space available to processes
  • Improved NFS server stability
  • FFS improvements
  • A fix for a pf(4) DoS
  • re(4) now works with the RealTek 8111C, which is found on many current motherboards with Intel chipsets
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dhcpcd-gtk now in pkgsrc

March 05, 2009 posted by Roy Marples

After slaving away with more GTK+ learning, I've finished a promising new dialog for dhcpcd-gtk.

I've also spent a lot of time polishing it with nicer icons, messages and titles. Unlike the previous version, this dialog works fully! It's looking so good, I've just released dhcpcd-gtk into pkgsrc for your pleasure - enjoy :)



Introducing dhcpcd-dbus and dhcpcd-gtk

February 23, 2009 posted by Roy Marples

So one of the highlights of NetBSD-5 is dhcpcd-4, a light weight alternative to the venerable ISC dhclient. dhcpcd-5 is nearing completion and will be rolled into NetBSD -current soon after NetBSD-5 is released. Some of the new features in dhcpcd-5 include the ability to manage more than one interface, listen and act on kernel events (such as adding a new interface or the link going up and down) and a control socket so other application can hook into dhcpcd. One such application is dhcpcd-dbus.

The goal of dhcpcd-dbus is to provide a DBus interface to dhcpcd. It also provides a DBus interface to wpa_supplicant because the base install in NetBSD does not support DBus. DBus allows other applications to trivially hook into dhcpcd. One such application is dhcpcd-gtk.

The goal of dhcpcd-gtk is to show the user the state of dhcpcd via a systray icon and to provide a GUI which allows the configuration of dhcpcd. It will also show a list of wireless access points in range and allow you to configure a WEP or WPA PSK key for each.

Linux has already had this functionality in NetworkManager for some time, but that is very Linux only, depending on libnl and hal. dhcpcd-gtk differs in that it only requires the OS to support dhcpcd (which is much simpler to port than hal). Then it's just a matter of ensuring that the base GNOME libraries work. A KDE/QT or EFL port of dhcpcd-gtk should also be possible.

Anyway, enough natter, here's some screenshots :)

The menu showing wireless networks is almost complete. The quality bar only shows if the driver reports quality. We need to show history of relative signal strength for the drivers which don't report quality.

The preferences screen is incomplete, but does read the dhcpcd-config correctly. The drop down boxes have configuration blocks for global, interface and ssid, the right hand block showing the interface or ssid in question. It will also have windows to request specific DHCP options and configure static IP, route and DHCP options.

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