The NetBSD Foundation Quarterly Report: January - March 2004
NetBSD is an actively developed operating system. With binary support of over 40 architectures in our last official release (NetBSD 1.6.2), our widely portable Packages Collection and large userbase there is a lot going on within the project. In order to provide a summary of the most important changes over the last few months, we have decided to follow the example of other projects of releasing official status reports on a regular basis.
These status reports will be released on a quarterly basis, providing an overview over the last three months within the NetBSD Project. They are suitable for reproduction and publication in part or in whole as long as the source is clearly indicated.
The NetBSD Project has had some very active months in this year's first quarter. The year started off with the introduction of the “pkgviews” framework into pkgsrc and the start of our new Logo contest, followed by the annual meeting of the NetBSD developers, the release of NetBSD 1.6.2 and finally the start of the release engineering process of NetBSD 2.0.
The first quarter of 2004 within NetBSD in details:
The NetBSD Project announced that it has launched an international competition for the creation of a new logo. The rules of the competition, submission information and the design brief can be found in the official announcement, which caused a lot of discussion on various mailing lists and web forums. The logo competition was closed on February 29th -- many hundred submissions were received and are currently being evaluated.
The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers during the first quarter of 2004:
DaniŽl de Kok
<daniel@NetBSD.org>, who will be working on the NetBSD Guide and web site documentation.
<jkunz@NetBSD.org>, who will be working on device drivers, hppa and rs/6000.
Min Sik Kim
<minskim@NetBSD.org>, who will be working the NetBSD Packages Collection as well as the Korean translation of the web site.
<snj@NetBSD.org>, who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection.
The NetBSD Foundation held its annual meeting, during which the developers discussed (amongst other things), how NetBSD progressed over the last year and what is planned for the coming year. The full report is available online at http://www.NetBSD.org/foundation/reports/2003.html.
The NetBSD Foundation Inc. finally became classified as an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) publicly-funded non-profit organization. This means that donations to the Foundation by US taxable entities are now fully tax-deductible.
Johnny C. Lam integrated support for the experimental “pkgviews” framework into pkgsrc. This framework, finally allowing multiple versions of one package to co-exist without conflicts (among other great features), was first proposed by Alistair G. Crooks at EuroBSDCon 2002. See http://www.NetBSD.org/docs/software/pkgviews.pdf as well as Johnny's initial User's Guide.
The NetBSD Packages Collection has grown significantly and various exciting technologies are emerging. Therefore, the NetBSD pkgsrc developers have decided to organize the first PkgsrcCon, a technical conference for people working on the NetBSD Packages Collection, focusing on existing technologies, research projects, and works-in-progress in pkgsrc infrastructure. Developers, contributors, and users are all welcome to attend. The conference will be held on April 30 to May 2, 2004 in Vienna, Austria.
For more information, including how to register and how to submit a presentation proposal, please visit http://www.pkgsrcCon.org/.
Preliminary support for Interix, a UNIX-like environment for Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, and 2003, has been added to pkgsrc. The support is still new and incomplete, but it is now possible to bootstrap pkgsrc and install simple packages. Interix is part of Microsoft's Windows Services for UNIX package. More details can be found in Todd Vierling's email to the tech-pkg mailing list at http://mail-index.NetBSD.org/tech-pkg/2004/03/11/0048.html.
Bootstrap-pkgsrc has been moved from othersrc to pkgsrc proper. Pkgsrc is now self-hosting. In order to bootstrap pkgsrc, see the instructions at http://www.NetBSD.org/docs/software/packages.html#getting-started.
In March of 2004, the pkgsrc repository was frozen in order to prepare the release of a new stable pkgsrc branch. This branch was created on March 29th, ending the pkgsrc freeze. Alistair G. Crooks' announcement highlights the benefits of this new branch.
Due to the large number of supported platforms, this status report will only point out the very significant changes to some of the ports. For a full list of port-specific changes, please refer to http://www.NetBSD.org/changes/changes-2.0.html#port_specific.
The new year started off with the addition of IP20 (Indigo) support for NetBSD/sgimips by Christopher SEKIYA on New Year's Eve. On March 9th he further announced that, following the import of XFree86 4.4.0 into the NetBSD source tree, he was able to merge in the final bits for newport X support on Indigo2/Indy platforms. A full native build of X should successfully compile.
Valeriy E. Ushakov announced that sh3 ports have been switched to gcc3. This means that all sh3 ports (such as dreamcast, hpcsh and evbsh3) have shared libs. Thanks to Nick Hudson who did the work on libgcc.
NetBSD-current now includes everything needed to run the sparc port on the Sun JavaStation network computer, aka. Mr. Coffee. Daily builds are available from ftp://releng.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD-daily/ and the installation notes include JavaStation-specific information.
Christian Limpach has committed support for NetBSD/xen. NetBSD/xen is a port of NetBSD to the Xen virtual machine monitor. Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. Xen is Open Source software.
See http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/ for more details on Xen.
The NetBSD Security-Officer team released four security advisories in the first quarter of 2004:
Martti Kuparinen updated IPFilter to the latest version (4.1.1). More details can be found in his post to the current-users mailing list.
Users upgrading systems that were running NetBSD-current sources installed last year may encounter filesystem related warnings when upgrading to newer sources.
In January, compatibility was improved in NetBSD-current for the on disk ffs filesystem layout used by NetBSD prior to April of 2003 as well as the netbsd-1-6 branch. At that time, support was removed for the interim compatibility which was in use in NetBSD-current between April 2003 and January of 2004. Users who are now upgrading systems which used -current sources from that time period may find that their kernel prints out a warning message and fsck will require manual intervention to repair their filesystems. The usual fix for this problem is to upgrade their fsck_ffs utility and manually invoke the command 'fsck_ffs -b 16 -c 4' on the raw device containing the filesystem. However, filesystems fixed in this manner may not work with older NetBSD systems.
A separate but related problem was fixed in October of 2003 which only affects users who installed in September of 2003. Those users may find that their kernel prints out a message recommending that they download, compile and run the repair utility fixufsflags.c, which may be found online in the tech-kern archives at http://mail-index.NetBSD.org/tech-kern/2003/10/07/0005.html.
As usual, up to date directions for upgrading NetBSD-current systems can be found in the file src/UPDATING.
Luke Mewburn announced that it has now become possible to cross build XFree86 4.x on NetBSD-current using the advanced build.sh framework. This offers, among other benefits, the possibility to cross-build sources for one platform from another, use of a read-only source tree and unprivileged builds. Thanks to Tyler R. Retzlaff for his assistance with this project.
Documentation on build.sh is available online at http://www.NetBSD.org/docs/guide/en/chap-build.html. Luke Mewburn's announcement at http://mail-index.NetBSD.org/current-users/2004/01/08/0004.html contains some more details.
On March 1st, NetBSD 1.6.2, a maintenance release for users of NetBSD 1.6.1 and earlier versions, was released, with binary distributions for 40 architectures. A complete list of changes is available at ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-1.6.2/CHANGES-1.6.2, a detailed summary can be found in the original release announcement.
Matthew Green updated the in-tree compiler toolchain to gcc version 3.3.3. Also see [sh3 ports switch to gcc3].
After careful analysis, the NetBSD Project decided that it could not find any problems with the license for XFree86 4.4.0 and subsequently imported it into the source tree. A summary of the changes in version 4.4.0 can be found from the XFree86 web site at http://www.xfree86.org/4.4.0/RELNOTES2.html#2.
Jaromir Dolecek committed the change of GNU awk to The One True New AWK by B. W. Kernighan in early March.
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