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The NetBSD Foundation Quarterly Report: April - June 2004

Quarterly Status Reports

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 allow our users to follow the most important changes over the last few months, we provide a brief summary in these official status reports on a regular basis. These status reports are suitable for reproduction and publication in part or in whole as long as the source is clearly indicated.

-Jan Schaumann

April - June 2004

This is the second edition of the quarterly NetBSD Status Report, covering the months April through June of 2004. The two most frequently asked questions we have received since the last status report have all been related to either the Logo Contest or the release of NetBSD 2.0. We do not yet have precise dates for the next release, and nor have we finalized a winner of the Logo Contest, but this report addresses both these issues. In addition, many other exciting things have happened in the last three months.

The second quarter of 2004 within NetBSD in details:

Administrative

NetBSD Logo Design Contest update

Earlier this year, the NetBSD Project announced an international competition for the creation of a new logo. After several hundred entries have carefully been reviewed, the logo design competition has now entered the final stage of judging. Once a decision has been made, the winner will be announced on our website -- we expect this to happen by the end of the month.

At this time we would already like to thank the many submitters for their time, creativity, and generosity for participating as well as our users for their patience.

New Developers [20040701]

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers during the second quarter of 2004:

  • Adrian Portelli , who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection.
  • Ben Elliston , who will be working on the toolchain.
  • Brian Ginsbach , who will be working on libc_r.
  • John R. Shannon , who will be working on the NetBSD Packages Collection.

NetBSD Trademark application completed [20040426]

The NetBSD Foundation is proud to announce that it has registered the ``NetBSD'' trademark. The foundation would like to thank Jay Michaelson (Wasabi Systems) for filing the application and providing answers to the US Patent Office, and Carl Oppedahl (Oppedahl & Larson) for giving advice and keeping the Foundation informed about the process. An official policy on the use of the NetBSD trademark is currently being drafted and will be made public soon.

The official information from the US Patent and Trademark Office can be found at http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78-025507.

Miscellaneous

NetBSD 2.0 in Beta stage

The release engineering process for the much anticipated upcoming 2.0 release of NetBSD was begun at the end of March. The tentative schedule has been revised several times since then and NetBSD 2.0 has now reached Beta stage. Currently there are still a handful of bugs that need to be resolved before a first Release Candidate (ie NetBSD-2.0_RC1) can be tagged.

If you would like to help us test the beta release, please follow the instructions to checkout a specific branch of the source tree in the chapter ``Fetching system and userland source'' of the NetBSD Guide.

A more detailed status update of the release engineering process is expected to be made by the Release Engineering team within the next two weeks.

Lehmanns BSD Collection DVD

German bookshop JF Lehmanns is producing a Lehmanns BSD Collection DVD containing install sets and precompiled binary packages of FreeBSD 5.2.1, NetBSD 1.6.2 and 2.0_BETA as well as OpenBSD 3.5 on a single DVD. For NetBSD, the DVD contains 1.6.2 for all platforms (install sets), 1.6.2/i386 binary packages as well as 2.0_BETA/i386 install sets. See http://www.lob.de/bsdcollection for details.

New products based on NetBSD

Seclarity's SiNic Wireless card looks like other wireless LAN cards but is actually a fully-contained, standalone Unix computer running NetBSD. It can do 802.11 wavelan as well as many other fine things. Refer to this link for details.

SGI has announced their new NetBSD-based webcam "View Ranger". See this and this link for details.

Hubert Feyrer has released version 1.16 of g4u (``ghost for unix''), a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of PCs using FTP. See http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/ for details.

Sun Grid Engine ported to NetBSD [20040503]

SGE (Sun Grid Engine) 5.3p6 now includes patches to run on NetBSD, and Dan McMahill created a package, which can be found in the parallel/sge directory in pkgsrc.

``The Grid Engine project is an open source community effort to facilitate the adoption of distributed computing solutions. Sponsored by Sun Microsystems and hosted by CollabNet, the Grid Engine project provides enabling distributed resource management software for wide ranging requirements from compute farms to grid computing.''

More information about SGE can be found at http://gridengine.sunsource.net/.

If you are interested in using SGE under NetBSD, please join the tech-cluster mailing list and report your experience.

X11 config files moved to /etc [20040516]

Luke Mewburn has modified the x11 build from src/x11 so that end-user configuration files are installed into /etc/X11 (instead of /usr/X11R6/lib/X11). This configuration is installed with the 'distribution' target to be consistent with other src/ builds.

See http://mail-index.NetBSD.org/current-users/2004/05/16/0003.html for details.

pkgsrc

xpkgwedge is now the default [20040404]

As of April 4th 2004, ``xpkgwedge'' is now the default for pkgsrc.

Xpkgwedge, not a ``real'' program in the traditional sense, is a hack that allows users to compile X11 pkgs from pkgsrc and install them outside of the X11 tree - even if they use imake - by using pkgxmkmf.

Pkgxmkmf is a slightly modified xmkmf from the X11R6.3 release and supports finding config files in ${LOCALBASE}/lib/X11/config, if it exists, and in ${X11BASE}/lib/X11/config. In all other respects, it is identical to xmkmf. Please refer to xmkmf(1) for more information.

Quoting Alistair Crooks's announcement on the tech-pkg mailing list: ``This means that, by default, all new packages will install into ${LOCALBASE}, leaving ${X11BASE} untouched by package files. The prefix for existing packages should still be found automatically by the pkgsrc software when it is being built.''

pkgsrcCon '04 [20040502]

pkgsrcCon '04, the first technical conference for people working on the NetBSD Packages Collection (pkgsrc), focusing on existing technologies, research projects, and works-in-progress in pkgsrc infrastructure, was held from April 30 to May 2, 2004 in Vienna, Austria.

All participants agreed that the conference was a full success and should be repeated next year. Conference details, including most of the papers and presentations given in Vienna are available at http://www.pkgsrcCon.org/. A full report written by Hubert Feyrer was published in the DaemonNews Ezine.

New pkgsrc-bulk mailing list [20040503]

A new public mailing list entitled ``pkgsrc-bulk'' has been created. As the name suggests, this list receives reports and build logs of pkgsrc bulk builds under NetBSD's various architectures as well as under other operating systems. Subscription is via Majordomo; please see http://www.NetBSD.org/mailinglists/ for details.

Pkgsrc bulk builds are described in more detail at http://www.NetBSD.org/docs/pkgsrc/binary.html and in section 3.2 of Packages.txt, located in the root of the pkgsrc hierarchy. They are used to automatically build all binary packages for the entire pkgsrc tree and allow the NetBSD developers to pinpoint problematic packages and shake out bugs in the pkgsrc infrastructure.

Pkgsrc bulk builds are now also possible under non-NetBSD platforms and have been done for IRIX, IRIX64, Linux and SunOS. Currently, the majority of the other bulk builds are done under NetBSD/i386 and NetBSD/x86_64.

New pkgsrc-2004Q2 branch [20040618]

In June of 2004, the pkgsrc repository was frozen in order to prepare the release of a new stable pkgsrc branch, bearing the tag ``pkgsrc-2004Q2'', which was created after this two-week freeze. This means that old pkgsrc branch, pkgsrc-2004Q1, is no longer supported. The new branch shall be supported until the release of the next branch, planned for September 2004.

The pkgsrc-2004Q2 branch includes a total of 4724 packages in 40 categories and major features include KDE 3.2.3, GNOME 2.6.1, Mozilla 1.6, Apache 1.3.31 and 2.0.49, MySQL 4.0.18, PostgreSQL 7.4.2, Perl 5.8.4, PHP 4.3.6, Python 2.3.4, OpenOffice 1.1.1 as well as countless buildlink3 conversions. This branch will be part of the upcoming NetBSD 2.0 release.

Ports

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 and http://www.NetBSD.org/changes/changes-3.0.html#port_specific.

hp300: framebuffer attachment and APCI com problems fixed [20040410]

A longstanding bug in console attachment functions is fixed, so that now DIO based framebuffers (mostly used on HP4xx machines) can be used as console again. In addition, Izumi Tsutsui has committed fixes for APCI, and ITE console/HIL keyboard (not HP4xx specific). Please see his message to the port-hp300 mailing list for details.

hp700: current snapshots available [20040611]

After Jochen Kunz's post to the port-hp700 mailing list on May 22nd, in which he reports success of building NetBSD-current based snapshots again, preliminary snapshots are now available for download and testing from ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/arch/hp700/snapshot/20040521-2.0E/.

Furthermore, Chuck Silvers has made some patches available that get the hp700 port booting to multiuser and in a state stable enough to compile tcsh, see his posting to the port-hp700 list for more information. Please see his post to the port-hp700 mailing list for details.

sgimips: IP12 support in-tree [20040411]

Antti Kantee has committed Steve Rumble's IP12 code, meaning that 4D/30, 4D/35, and Indigo R3k machines should be able to boot to multiuser at least using a NFS root. Please see his post to the port-sgimips mailing list for details.

sparc: SMP support for hyperSPARC [20040422]

Paul Kranenburg has enabled support for multiple hyperSPARC CPUs in models which support this CPU type.

sparc64: gdb fixed

A recent security fix broke gdb for (potentiall all) 64 bit archs. Under sparc64 it has been completely unable to extract user stack variables. This has been fixed.

sparc64: UltraSPARC III Hardware Donations Solicited [20040618]

In order to make further improvements to the sparc64 port, we would like to solicit donations for UltraSPARC III and III+ hardware. If your company or an educational or research institute wants to buy or has a spare system like a Sun Fire V210 dual 1GHz, fully equipped Sun Fire 15000 or similar UltraSPARC III or III+ equipped desktop or server machine, donating it to The NetBSD Foundation to support operating system research would be very welcome. Please see this news item and http://www.NetBSD.org/donations/ for details.

sparc64: Booting from root on RAID 1 fixed [20040622]

A simple bug in the bootblock forth code has been fixed so now booting from a root file system on a Raid Frame RAID 1 device is possible. The setup is very easy: just follow the instructions outlined in the NetBSD Guide), ignoring everything i386 specific like MBRs.

Security

Four Security Advisories released

The NetBSD Security-Officer team released four security advisories in the second quarter of 2004:

More information on previous Security Advisories is available at http://www.NetBSD.org/support/security/.

PF imported into NetBSD [20040622]

Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino has imported OpenBSD's PF into NetBSD in the last week of June. This widely discussed import means that the NetBSD base system now includes two powerful packet filters, giving our users more choice when it comes to securing their systems.

Detailed documentation of both ipfilter and pf can be found at http://www.obfuscation.org/ipf/.

Technical

statvfs implementation [20040421]

Christos Zoulas has implemented statvfs(2), which replaces the BSD4.4 statfs() family of calls with the POSIX/XOpen statvfs() flavors. According to his posting to the tech-kern mailing list, advantages are:

  • make the fields 64 bit so that we are not limited by 2 TB
  • add read statistics
  • increase the size of the mounted paths
  • resolve the confusion between bsize meaning fragment size on statfs() and block size on statvfs()
  • eliminate the need for bavail to be negative, by adding bresvd.
  • add favail and fresvd for filesystems that implement reserved inode space
  • use clamping instead of overflow on the old compat statfs() calls.

The statfs() calls are still available at link time for dynamic binaries, and at runtime for statically linked binaries (with COMPAT_20), but they are not available at compile time. This is a design choice, to force people to move to the more portable statvfs() call, without needing to provide an expanded statfs() call that would handle > 2TB or limiting old programs to 2TB.

NetBSD sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record [20040503]

Researchers at the Swedish University Network SUNET (http://www.sunet.se/) have broken the Internet2 Land Speed Record using two Dell 2650 machines with single 2GHz CPUs running NetBSD 2.0 BETA. SUNET transferred around 840 Gigabytes of data in less than 30 minutes, using a single IPv4 TCP stream, between a host at the LuleŚ University of Technology (http://www.luth.se/eng/) and host connected to a Sprint (http://www.sprintlink.net/) PoP in San Jose, CA, USA. The achieved speed was 69.073 Petabit-meters/second. According to the research team, NetBSD was chosen ``due to the scalability of the TCP code''.

More information about this record including the NetBSD configuration can be found at http://proj.sunet.se/LSR2/. The website of the Internet2 Land Speed Record (I2-LSR) competition is located at http://lsr.internet2.edu/. The announcement from SUNET can be found at http://basun.sunet.se/aktuellt/rekord.html.

/dev/ptm and /dev/ptmx added [20040618]

At the end of May, Christos Zoulas proposed the implementation of /dev/ptm (following OpenBSD's approach) and /dev/ptmx for increased POSIX compatibility with respect to allocation of pseudo-terminals. His proposal can be found at http://mail-index.NetBSD.org/tech-kern/2004/05/23/0016.html. Christos has since committed the code in question and as of June 18th, ptm(4) is the default. This allows us, among other things, to remove the setuid bit from certain programs such as xterm(1).


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