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Changes and NetBSD News in 2007

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007


December 2007

19 Dec 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 released (top)

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 4.0 of the NetBSD operating system is now available.

Major achievements in NetBSD 4.0 include support for version 3 of the Xen virtual machine monitor, Bluetooth, many new device drivers and embedded platforms based on ARM, PowerPC and MIPS CPUs. New network services include iSCSI target (server) code and an implementation of the Common Address Redundancy Protocol. Also, system security was further enhanced with restrictions of mprotect(2) to enforce W^X policies, the Kernel Authorization framework, and improvements of the Veriexec file integrity subsystem, which can be used to harden the system against trojan horses and virus attacks.

NetBSD 4.0 runs on 54 different system architectures featuring 17 machine architectures across 17 distinct CPU families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 4.0 release contains complete binary releases for 51 different machine types, with the platforms amigappc, bebox and ews4800mips released in source form only. Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 4.0 are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other services is provided at the end of this announcement; the latest list of available download sites may also be found at http://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/.

NetBSD 4.0 is dedicated to the memory of Jun-Ichiro "itojun" Hagino, who died in October 2007. Itojun was a member of the KAME project, which provided IPv6 and IPsec support; he was also a member of the NetBSD core team, and one of the Security Officers.

07 Dec 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 RC5 available (top)

The NetBSD Release Engineering team has announced the availability of NetBSD 4.0 Release Candidate 5. This release candidate is intended to be the last one before the final release of NetBSD 4.0. System binaries are available for download from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-4.0_RC5. ISOs to burn install CDs are available from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-4.0_RC5/iso/.

The list of changes from the 3.0 release is available in the release notes.

01 Dec 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • David A. Holland (login: dholland), who will be working on security, IPv6 and miscellaneous tasks.
  • Marty Fouts (login: marty), who will be working on ARM processor support and NAND and other flash devices.
  • Adam Hamsik (login: haad), who will be working on kernel (file systems).
  • Ulrich Habel (login: rhaen), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection and advocacy.


November 2007

21 Nov 2007 - New NetBSD Core Team announced (top)

On behalf of the NetBSD Board of Directors, Alistair G. Crooks announced the new NetBSD Core Team.

13 Nov 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 RC4 available (top)

On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, Pavel Cahyna has announced the availability of NetBSD 4.0 Release Candidate 4. Binaries and ISOs are available for download from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-4.0_RC4.

The list of changes from the 3.0 release is available in the release notes.

12 Nov 2007 - Automated Testing Framework imported into NetBSD-current (top)

Julio M. Merino Vidal has imported his Google Summer of Code 2007 project, the Automated Testing Framework (ATF), into the NetBSD-current tree. Version 0.1 was reached when the program ended and development continued afterwards until the 0.3 release, which is the one that has been imported. This project was mentored by Martin Husemann.

ATF provides a new infrastructure to easily create and run test cases. The main goal is to provide a tool that allows end users to verify that their installation of the system works as expected and a way for developers to detect regressions as soon as they appear. In order to demonstrate this functionality, some subtrees of the regress source tree have been converted to the new framework; we expect that all of them will be migrated eventually, and we will be adding many tests for functionality that still does not have any.

For more details please see Julio's announcement to the tech-userlevel mailing list.

10 Nov 2007 - ftp.NetBSD.org downtime during relocation (top)

The master FTP site, ftp.NetBSD.org, is moving to a different location. For this reason it will be down for a few hours starting at Saturday, November 10th, 23:00 UTC. Please also note the IP address will also be changed to [previously used] 204.152.190.13.

The NetBSD Project apologises for any inconvenience caused.

02 Nov 2007 - In Memoriam of Itojun (top)

Jun-Ichiro itojun Hagino joined the NetBSD project in June of 1999. In the eight years since that time, he contributed many hours to the betterment of the project.

In addition to his work on the KAME project, which provided NetBSD's IPv6 and IPsec support, Itojun also participated as a member of the Core Group, which leads the development of NetBSD by making technical design decisions. Itojun also contributed as a member of the Security-Officer team.

Due to Itojun's efforts, NetBSD was the first open source operating system with a production ready IPv6 networking stack, which was included in the base system before many people knew what IPv6 was.

Those of us who had the pleasure of meeting him in person enjoyed his demeanor and company, and his absence will be noted by all.

01 Nov 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Tsuyoshi MOMOSE (login: momose), who will be working on IPv6.
  • Mihai Chelaru (login: kefren), who will be working on networking code, envsys and the NetBSD Packages Collection.
  • Cliff Neighbors (login: cliff), who will be working on the kernel.


October 2007

30 Oct 2007 - Hackathon focussed on pkgsrc (top)

The hackathon was scheduled for 3rd-4th of November and focussed on pkgsrc. The main goal was to make options.mk files for packages that don't already use them. Open PRs were be fixed as well. For more information, see Adam Hoka's announcement.

19 Oct 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 RC3 available (Update #2) (top)

On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, Pavel Cahyna has announced the availability of NetBSD 4.0 Release Candidate 3. Binaries and ISOs are available for download from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-4.0_RC3.

The list of changes from the 3.0 release is available in the release notes.

Update #1: A ISO with install sets plus a collection of essential packages for a basic desktop i386 system is now also available. See the README-file for more information.

Update #2: James Hartley has also made a Cobalt Restore CD based on 4.0_RC3/cobalt.

17 Oct 2007 - 10 years of pkgsrc: the interviews (top)

10 years ago - on October 3rd 1997 - the pkgsrc software management system was created by Alistair Crooks and Hubert Feyrer. pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection, was primary intended as packaging system for NetBSD. Today, pkgsrc is a cross-platform framework, running on the BSDs, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, many Unix derivatives and even on Windows.

We continue the anniversary celebrations with a series of interviews: developers and users of pkgsrc and of related systems give insights into the history, the concepts, the problems and the future directions of packaging systems.

15 Oct 2007 - pkgsrc-2007Q3 released (top)

The pkgsrc developers are very proud to announce the new pkgsrc-2007Q3 branch, which has support for more packages than previous branches. As well as updated versions of many packages, the infrastructure of pkgsrc itself has been improved for better platform and compiler support. This branch celebrates the tenth anniversary of pkgsrc.

See the release announcement for more information.

09 Oct 2007 - NetBSD and the Google "Summer of Code" 2007 Summary (top)

NetBSD has been involved in the Google Summer of Code since its conception in 2005. This year we were glad to once again have the opportunity to introduce a number of students to our operating system, to Open Source software development and get them sponsored by Google to work on projects defined by the NetBSD developers.

Thanks to the students and mentors for their great work! See the full press release for more details about the projects.

04 Oct 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 RC2 available (top)

On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering team, Pavel Cahyna has announced the availability of NetBSD 4.0 Release Candidate 2. Binaries and ISOs are available for download from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-4.0_RC2.

The list of changes from the 3.0 release is available in the release notes.

01 Oct 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Blair Sadewitz (login: bjs), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection, Documentation and X11.
  • Brook Milligan (login: brook), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection.


September 2007

13 Sep 2007 - Three new security advisories (top)

Three new security advisories were published:

You can find more information about them on the Security and NetBSD page.

04 Sep 2007 - NetBSD 4.0 RC1 available (top)

On behalf of the NetBSD Release Engineering Team, Liam J. Foy has announced that the first release candidate for NetBSD 4.0 has been released. It is available for download from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD-daily/netbsd-4-0-RC1/200709011431Z/

The list of significant source changes from NetBSD 3.0 to 4.0 is available here.


August 2007

14 Aug 2007 - NetBSD Fundraising Campaign 2007 (top)

The NetBSD Foundation would like to announce its 2007 fundraising campaign. Thanks to donations from earlier this year, we were able to fund a developer to work on NetBSD and we would like to extend that opportunity. We are aiming to raise $50,000 US by the end of the year. Every donation, both major and minor, is welcome and will be put to good use!

Please read donations page for more information.


July 2007

25 Jul 2007 - NetBSD hires Andrew Doran for full-time SMP development (top)

The NetBSD Foundation announces that it has hired Andrew Doran to work full-time on improving symmetrical multi-processing (SMP) in NetBSD. This work is made possible through a generous donation by Force10 Networks and internal funding by The NetBSD Foundation.

Andrew Doran is an independent, Dublin based Unix systems consultant with special interest in building scalable systems. He has been a NetBSD developer since 1999 and is currently working on the transition from a big-lock SMP implementation to a fine-grained model, which allows multiple CPUs to execute code in kernel context simultaneously. Hiring Andrew full-time will boost work in this area, with the final result of a SMP implementation that is ready for tomorrow's multi-core-CPUs.

See the full press release for more information on how Force10 Networks uses NetBSD, duration of the funding and how YOU can help extending it!

04 Jul 2007 - pkgsrc-2007Q2 released (top)

The pkgsrc developers are very proud to announce the new pkgsrc-2007Q2 release, which has support for more packages than previous releases. As well as updated versions of many packages, the infrastructure of pkgsrc itself has been improved for better platform and compiler support.

See the release announcement for more information.

01 Jul 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Mark Weinem (login: weinem), who will be working on website documentation.


June 2007

12 Jun 2007 - New website launched (top)

The new www.NetBSD.org website has been launched today. The main goals of the redesign were to

  1. make the site more easy to navigate in general,
  2. give it a look and feel better matching with our "new" logo,
  3. make it easier for new users to find essential information they need while still taking the needs of regular visitors into account.

The new layout was designed and implemented by Daniel Sieger , with various suggestions from other developers and users integrated.

We hope you'll enjoy the new website. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to send an email to

01 Jun 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Lubomir Kundrak (login: lkundrak), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection.


May 2007

31 May 2007 - 2007Q1 Quarterly Status Report (top)

Jan Schaumann published the latest quarterly status report of the NetBSD Foundation, covering the months January through June 2007. It is available online at http://www.NetBSD.org/foundation/reports/2007Q1.html.

01 May 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Tobias Nygren (login: tnn) will be working in the NetBSD Packages Collection, port-sparc64 and port-hp700.
  • Daniel Sieger (login: dsieger) will be working on the kernel and documentation.
  • Keiichi SHIMA (login: keiichi) will be working on IPv6.


April 2007

26 Apr 2007 - NetBSD hackathon focussed on PowerPC ports (top)

Tim Rightnour announced in a message to the port-powerpc list that the sixth NetBSD hackathon was held on May 2nd with a focus on OEA PowerPC ports. The main goals were cleaning up the various ports (eg, removing duplicated code) and platform specific bug fixing.

19 Apr 2007 - pkgsrc-2007Q1 has been branched (top)

The pkgsrc developers are proud to announce the new pkgsrc-2007Q1 branch. At the same time, the pkgsrc-2006Q4 branch has been deprecated, and continuing engineering starts on the pkgsrc-2007Q1 branch.

The source tar files for the new branch can be found at:

You can also use the pkgsrc-2007Q1 tag to check it out yourself from anoncvs.NetBSD.org or any of the mirrors.

Please see the detailed pkgsrc-2007Q1 announcement in Alistair G. Crooks's email to the pkgsrc-users mailing list for more information.

17 Apr 2007 - Google Summer of Code projects selected (top)

This year's participation of NetBSD in Google's Summer of Code consists of six projects that students will work on with the assistance of mentors from NetBSD. See the NetBSD press release for details on the selected projects and for further information.

9 Apr 2007 - Documentation hackathon - Result (top)

The fifth NetBSD Hackathon took place from Friday, 6th of April, until Sunday, 8th of April 2007. Titled "docathon", the main focus was on bringing the NetBSD WWW pages and documentation into a consistent and more up-to-date state. See Daniel Sieger's mail to the netbsd-docs list.

5 Apr 2007 - Hackathon with focus on documentation (top)

There was a hackathon from Friday April 6th to Sunday April 8th. Termed docathon, it focussed on documentation, converting old .list files into XML, and updating contents. For more information, see Daniel Sieger's announcement.


March 2007

29 Mar 2007 - One new security advisory (top)

One new security advisory was published:

You can find more information about them on the Security and NetBSD page.

28 Mar 2007 - Summer of Code: Student Applications are in (top)

The deadline for students to apply for a position in Google's Summer of Code program and to work with NetBSD developers on a number of exciting projects has expired, and the application evaluation process is now under way.

During the next couple of days, several of the NetBSD Project's developers will review the applications received before a final list is submitted to Google, who will then decide how many slots are awarded to NetBSD.

If you are a student who has submitted an application, please remember to periodically check its status, as possible mentors may have left some feedback or asked for clarification.

Many thanks to all who have applied, and good luck to everybody!

15 Mar 2007 - Summer of Code: Ready for Student Applications (top)

For the third time in a row, the NetBSD Project has been chosen as one of the mentoring organizations in Google's Summer of Code program, and we would like to encourage students worldwide to submit their application for a project within NetBSD.

Please take a look at our list of proposed SoC projects, and make sure to read through our Project Application HowTo. Any questions should be directed to the appropriate mailing list for the proposed project.

13 Mar 2007 - Filesystems in User-Space: puffs, refuse vs. FUSE, and more (top)

NetBSD now offers full support for running file systems in userspace. The core component inside the kernel that exposes a file system interface towards the userland programs is "puffs", and communicates with vnodes, the kernel's own idea of files. The "libpuffs" library is the interface between userland file systems and the kernel component. To facilitate running the huge amount of file systems already available for the FUSE interface, but not dictate the capabilities of puffs by it, it was decided that FUSE support should be provided as a compatibility layer on top of the native puffs interface. This compatibility is offered by re-fuse, a BSD-licensed re-implementation of FUSE. It is designed to be source code compatible with FUSE, and more information can be found in the refuse(3) manpage.

While puffs is stable for users, the library programming interface and the binary interfaces are still likely to change, and therefore puffs and the dependent librefuse are not built by default. For people tracking -current, the build of all relevant puffs components (librefuse, psshfs, etc.) by "make build" can be enabled by adding "MKPUFFS=yes" to /etc/mk.conf. Using puffs also requires the kernel option "file-system PUFFS", or alternatively loading the puffs.o kernel module, which is included in a puffs-enabled build.

FUSE compatibility was added within pkgsrc, and besides the required infrastructure work a number of FUSE packages were added to pkgsrc in the new "filesystem" category. Example packages that are currently available include:

puffs was originally developed during the Google Summer of Code 2005 "userfs" project by Antti Kantee. It was further polished using funding from the Ulla Tuominen Foundation and committed into the NetBSD source tree in October 2006. The work was presented at AsiaBSDCon 2007 in a paper entitled "puffs - Pass-to-Userspace Framework File System". The "refuse" library was written by Alistair Crooks and committed to NetBSD in February 2007. All components will be available in NetBSD releases starting with NetBSD 5. Work for using FUSE-enabled packages via pkgsrc was done by Juan Romero Pardines following import of the "refuse" library.

For more information, see NetBSD's webpage on file systems in userspace at http://www.NetBSD.org/docs/puffs/.

11 Mar 2007 - IPv6 Fast Forward (top)

IPv6 Fast Forward has been integrated into NetBSD. This is the counterpart to IPv4 Fast Forward, and is implemented by using flows. Each flow of packets describes a connection between two end points. The flow caches details like the route used, and it's accessed using simple hashing techniques. This technique allows IPv6 forwarding to use a lot less CPU resources, which may be scarce on legacy and/or embedded systems, and throughput is effectively limited by the bus bandwidth and the network driver's performance only.

To enable IPv6 Fast Forward, your kernel must be built with "options GATEWAY". The ip6.maxflows sysctl can be used to set the maximum number of cached flows, a value of 0 disables IPv6 Fast Forwarding. See the options(4) and sysctl(7) manpages for more information.

More information is available in the commit message.

08 Mar 2007 - Three new security advisories (top)

Three new security advisories were published:

You can find more information about them on the Security and NetBSD page.

07 Mar 2007 - Getting ready for Google Summer of Code 2007 (top)

The NetBSD Project is getting ready to participate as a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code 2007 program. We would like to pick as many students as possible — which basically depends on the amount of applications we receive —, hoping to acquire some nice contributions by the end of summer. Naturally, though, we would like to get these contributors to become really involved with the project, staying with us after the program has finished. Some of the students from previous years have been already promoted to NetBSD Developers, so you can be too!

Students will be allowed to apply from the 14th to the 24th of this month through Google's web application. In order to do so, please first check the list of proposed SoC projects to see what is of most interest to NetBSD. Keep in mind that this list is in constant extension, and will be even during the period in which candidates can apply; check it periodically. Of course, you are also allowed to present a personalized project proposal that is not listed in that page, but be aware that in such case we will need to find a mentor for you and might not be able to do so on time. At last, you might also check for other ideas in the projects list, although most of these are out of the scope of the Summer of Code and/or lack mentors.

Once you have decided on a project, take some time to read the Project Application HowTo, which will aid you in filling your proposal. When writing your application, please be as verbose as possible; short applications (with very rare exceptions) are quickly discarded because they feel incomplete. It may take you a long time to write something valuable, but your time will be well spent.

We are looking forward to seeing you in the list of candidates!

02 Mar 2007 - Daily Build Cluster at Western Washington University (top)

The Computer Science Department at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington (USA) is using part of their cluster of i386 machines to build daily releases for NetBSD.

Please see Phil Nelson's announcement email for more information.

The daily releases are available from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD-daily/.

01 Mar 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Mark Kirby (login: mkirby), who will be working on website documentation.
  • Mindaugas Rasiukevicius (login: rmind), who will be working on kernel and threading.


February 2007

27 Feb 2007 - Daylight Saving Time Changes: Nothing new for NetBSD (top)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) was extended in a number of countries starting in 2007. For example, beginning in 2007, most of the USA will begin Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and revert to standard time on the first Sunday in November. While this has caused a number of software vendors a lot of headache, NetBSD has shipped with the appropriate timezone files for years; even though changes to timezones in general and DST rules in particular happen a few times a year throughout the world, the NetBSD operating system has of course always provided accurate and up to date zone files as soon as possible.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed into USA law on August 8, 2005. The updated tzdata package (tzdata2005m) was imported into our source tree on August 29, 2005, and was pulled up into the netbsd-2 (September 5, 2005), netbsd-2-0 and netbsd-3 (both September 6, 2005) branches and is thus present in NetBSD 2.0.3, 2.1, 3.0, 3.0.1, 3.1 and the 4.x branches.

In other words, if you're running one of these systems, no action on your part is required; your system is already prepared for the updated timezones and will continue to show the correct local time.

If you are running an older system, we strongly encourage you to update to one of these releases. However, we do recognize that some organizations may have the need to continue to run older releases. You can update those systems as follows:

  # cd src
  # cvs update share/zoneinfo
  # make install

Per default, /etc/localtime is a symbolic link to the actual timezone file under /usr/share/zoneinfo. However, if on your system / and /usr are not on the same partition, you need to copy the zone file from /usr/share/zoneinfo to /etc/localtime to make sure that services starting before /usr is mounted get the correct time.

After installing the new zonefiles and making sure that /etc/localtime points to the correct file, you need to restart any and all running services that rely on the correct local time (such as crond, syslogd etc.): /etc/localtime is only read once when the application starts up, and any changes to that file are not picked up until the application is restarted.

A reboot is not required, however, it is an easy way to make sure that all services are restarted and pick up the new information.

12 Feb 2007 - Force10 Networks uses NetBSD to build Software Scalability into FTOS Operating System (top)

Force10 Networks has leveraged NetBSD as the foundation for the Force10 Operating System (FTOS). Based on the open source UNIX-like system, FTOS provides the software scalability and resiliency that powers the Force10 TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers. See our full press release for more details.

Some technical details that did not make it into the press release: Today, many of the worlds largest Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks depend on Force10 Networks. The Force10 TeraScale E-Series switches/routers support this by providing features like massive scalability, 1260 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 224 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis. The machines are battle tested and provide full function L2 switching and L3 routing.

Internally, they are equipped with PowerPC CPUs, and for communication, dedicated 100M Ethernet networks are used in each system that connect the Route Processor Module (RPM) and line cards that are for system control. There are three active CPUs on the primary RPM, and a CPU on each line card that are all active in the control plane.

While data itself is forwarded by the hardware, management overhead exists if you consider running 1.500 VRRP groups, 600 OSPF neighbors, BFD on thousands of ports, ARPs on thousands of ports, collecting statistics on thousands of ports etc. All this work is done by the Force10 Operating System, FTOS .

04 Feb 2007 - New Developers (top)

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers:

  • Arnaud Degroote (login: degroote), who will be working on fast_ipsec, ipv6 mobility and routing code.
  • Nicolas Joly (login: njoly), who will be working on port-amd64, compat_linux and miscellaneous tasks.
  • Stephen Borrill (login: sborrill), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection, multimedia and support for embedded systems.

02 Feb 2007 - pkgsrcCon 2007: Call for presentations (top)

The fourth annual pkgsrcCon will convene in Barcelona, Spain on Apr 27 - 29, 2007. pkgsrcCon is a technical conference focusing on the technology and the use of the NetBSD Packages Collection.

A call for presentations has been announced, inviting developers and users to give talks about pkgsrc-related topics at the conference. More information about pkgsrcCon 2007 is available at http://www.pkgsrccon.org/2007/.


January 2007

23 Jan 2007 - Status Report 2006/Q2 - Q4 published (top)

Jan Schaumann published the latest quarterly status report of the NetBSD Foundation. Since no status reports were released for Q2 and Q3 of 2006, this report covers the months April through December in one document. It is available online at http://www.NetBSD.org/foundation/reports/2006Q2Q3Q4.html.

04 Jan 2007 - pkgsrc-2006Q4 has been branched (top)

The pkgsrc developers are proud to announce the new pkgsrc-2006Q4 branch. At the same time, the pkgsrc-2006Q3 branch has been deprecated, and continuing engineering starts on the pkgsrc-2006Q4 branch.

The source tar files for the new branch can be found at:

You can also use the pkgsrc-2006Q4 tag to check it out yourself from anoncvs.NetBSD.org or any of the mirrors.

Please see the detailed pkgsrc-2006Q4 announcement in Alistair G. Crooks's email to the pkgsrc-users mailing list for more information.