NetBSD 8.0 Release Candidate 2


July 02, 2018 posted by Martin Husemann

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 8.0 RC 2, the second (and hopefully final) release candidate for the upcoming NetBSD 8.0 release.

Unfortunately the first release candidate did not hold up in our extensive testing (also know as eating our own dog food): many NetBSD.org servers/machines were updated to it and worked fine, but the auto build cluster, where we produce our binaries, did not work well. The issue was tracked down to a driver bug (Intel 10 GBit ethernet), only showing up in certain configurations, and it has been fixed now.

Other security events, like the new FPU related exploit on some Intel CPUs, caused further kernel changes, so we are not going to release NetBSD 8.0 directly, but instead provide this new release candidate for additional testing.

The official RC2 announcement list these major changes compared to older releases:

  • USB stack rework, USB3 support added
  • In-kernel audio mixer
  • Reproducible builds
  • Full userland debug information (MKDEBUG) available. While most install media do not come with them (for size reasons), the debug and xdebug sets can be downloaded and extracted as needed later. They provide full symbol information for all base system and X binaries and libraries and allow better error reporting and (userland) crash analyzis.
  • PaX MPROTECT (W^X) memory protection enforced by default on some architectures with fine-grained memory protection and suitable ELF formats: i386, amd64, evbarm, landisk, pmax
  • PaX ASLR enabled by default on:
    i386, amd64, evbarm, landisk, pmax, sparc64
  • MKPIE (position independent executables) by default for userland on: i386, amd64, arm, m68k, mips, sh3, sparc64
  • added can(4), a socket layer for CAN busses
  • added ipsecif(4) for route-based VPNs
  • made part of the network stack MP-safe
  • NET_MPSAFE kernel option is required to try
  • WAPBL stability and performance improvements

Specific to i386 and amd64 CPUs:
  • Meltdown mitigation: SVS (separate virtual address spaces)
  • Spectre mitigation (support in gcc, used by default for kernels)
  • Lazy cpu saving disabled on some Intel CPUs ("eagerfpu")
  • SMAP support
  • (U)EFI bootloader

Various new drivers:
  • nvme(4) for modern solid state disks
  • iwm(4), a driver for Intel Wireless devices (AC7260, AC7265, AC3160...)
  • ixg(4): X540, X550 and newer device support.
  • ixv(4): Intel 10G Ethernet virtual function driver.
  • bta2dpd - new Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile daemon

Many evbarm kernels now use FDT (flat device tree) information (loadable at boot time from an external file) for device configuration, the number of kernels has decreased but the numer of boards has vastly increased.

Lots of updates to 3rd party software included:
  • GCC 5.5 with support for Address Sanitizer and Undefined Behavior Sanitizer
  • GDB 7.12
  • GNU binutils 2.27
  • Clang/LLVM 3.8.1
  • OpenSSH 7.6
  • OpenSSL 1.0.2k
  • mdocml 1.14.1
  • acpica 20170303
  • ntp 4.2.8p11-o
  • dhcpcd 7.0.6
  • Lua 5.3.4

The NetBSD developers and the release engineering team have spent a lot of effort to make sure NetBSD 8.0 will be a superb release, but we have not yet fixed most of the accompanying documentation. So the included release notes and install documents will be updated before the final release, and also the above list of major items may lack important things.

Get NetBSD 8.0 RC2 from our CDN (provided by fastly) or one of the ftp mirrors.

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, and other services may be found at http://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/.

Please test RC2, so we can make the final release the best one ever so far. We are looking forward to your feedback. Please send-pr any bugs or mail us at releng at NetBSD.org for more general comments.

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