Announcing NetBSD 2.0


The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that the release 2.0 of the NetBSD operating system is now available.

NetBSD is widely known as the most portable operating system in the world. It currently supports fifty four different system architectures, all from a single source tree, and is always being ported to more.

NetBSD 2.0 continues our long tradition with major improvements in file system and memory management performance, major security enhancements, and support for many new platforms and peripherals.

The addition of a native threads implementation for all platforms and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) on i386 and other popular platforms were long-standing goals for NetBSD 2.0. Both of these goals have now been met—SMP support has been added for i386, SPARC, and PowerPC, the SMP support on Alpha and VAX has been improved, and the new port to the 64-bit AMD/Opteron also supports SMP.

Please read below for more achievements in NetBSD 2.0!

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 2.0 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:

We encourage users who wish to install via a CD-ROM ISO image to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the ISO image area. This is the first major release of NetBSD to add BitTorrent to the distribution mechanisms and its use is strongly encouraged to help keep bandwidth available.

A list of hashes for the NetBSD 2.0 distribution has been signed with the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security-Officer:

About NetBSD

The NetBSD operating system is a full-featured, open source, UNIX-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2), 4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2. NetBSD 2.0 runs on 54 different system architectures featuring 17 machine architectures across 17 distinct CPU families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 2.0 release contains complete binary releases for 48 different machine types.

NetBSD is a highly integrated system. In addition to its highly portable, high performance kernel, NetBSD features a complete set of user utilities, compilers for several languages, the X Window System, firewall software and numerous other tools, all accompanied by full source code. The NetBSD Packages Collection contains over 5000 packages and binary package releases for a number of platforms are currently in progress.

More information on the goals of the NetBSD Project can be procured from the NetBSD web site at:

NetBSD is free. All of the code is under non-restrictive licenses, and may be used without paying royalties to anyone. Free support services are available via our mailing lists and web site. Commercial support is available from a variety of sources; some are listed at:

More extensive information on NetBSD is available from the NetBSD web site:

NetBSD is the work of a diverse group of people spread around the world. The Net in our name is a tribute to the Internet, which enables us to communicate and share code, and without which the project would not exist.

System families supported by NetBSD 2.0

The NetBSD 2.0 release provides supported binary distributions for the following systems:

NetBSD/acorn26 Acorn Archimedes, A-series and R-series systems
NetBSD/acorn32 Acorn RiscPC/A7000, CATS, Digital Shark, EBSA-285, VLSI RC7500
NetBSD/algor Algorithmics, Ltd. MIPS evaluation boards
NetBSD/alpha Digital/Compaq Alpha (64-bit)
NetBSD/amd64 AMD64 family of processors
NetBSD/amiga Commodore Amiga, MacroSystem DraCo
NetBSD/arc MIPS-based machines following the Advanced RISC Computing spec
NetBSD/atari Atari TT030, Falcon, Hades
NetBSD/cats Chalice Technology's Strong Arm evaluation board
NetBSD/cesfic CES FIC8234 VME processor board
NetBSD/cobalt Cobalt Networks' MIPS-based Microservers
NetBSD/dreamcast Sega Dreamcast game console
NetBSD/evbarm ARM evaluation boards
NetBSD/evbmips MIPS-based evaluation boards
NetBSD/evbppc IBM PowerPC 405GP based Walnut evaluation board
NetBSD/evbsh3 Evaluation boards with Hitachi Super-H SH3 and SH4 CPUs
NetBSD/evbsh5 Evaluation boards with Hitachi Super-H SH5 CPUs
NetBSD/hp300 Hewlett-Packard 9000/300 and 400 series
NetBSD/hpcarm StrongARM based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcmips MIPS-based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcsh Hitachi SH3/4 based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/i386 80x86-based IBM PCs and clones
NetBSD/ibmnws IBM Network Station 1000
NetBSD/luna68k OMRON Tateisi Electric's LUNA series
NetBSD/mac68k Apple Macintosh with 68k CPU
NetBSD/macppc Apple Power Macintosh and clones
NetBSD/mipsco MIPS family of workstations and servers
NetBSD/mmeye Brains mmEye multimedia server
NetBSD/mvme68k Motorola MVME 68k SBCs
NetBSD/mvmeppc Motorola PowerPC VME SBCs
NetBSD/netwinder StrongARM based NetWinder machines
NetBSD/news68k Sony's 68k-based NET WORK STATION series
NetBSD/newsmips Sony's MIPS-based NET WORK STATION series
NetBSD/next68k NeXT 68k black hardware
NetBSD/ofppc OpenFirmware PowerPC machines
NetBSD/pmax Digital MIPS-based DECstations and DECsystems
NetBSD/pmppc Artesyn's PM/PPC board
NetBSD/prep PReP (PowerPC Reference Platform) and CHRP machines
NetBSD/sandpoint Motorola Sandpoint reference platform
NetBSD/sbmips Broadcom SiByte evaluation boards
NetBSD/sgimips Silicon Graphics' MIPS-based workstations
NetBSD/shark Digital DNARD (shark)
NetBSD/sparc Sun SPARC (32-bit) and UltraSPARC (in 32-bit mode)
NetBSD/sparc64 Sun UltraSPARC (in native 64-bit mode)
NetBSD/sun2 Sun 2
NetBSD/sun3 Sun 3 and 3x
NetBSD/vax Digital VAX
NetBSD/x68k Sharp X680x0 series

Ports available in source form only for this release include the following:

NetBSD/amigappc PowerPC-based Amiga boards
NetBSD/bebox Be Inc's BeBox
NetBSD/hppa Hewlett-Packard 9000 Series 700 workstations
NetBSD/pc532 The NS32532-based PC532 computer
NetBSD/playstation2 SONY PlayStation 2
NetBSD/xen Xen virtual machine monitor

Major Changes Between 1.6 and 2.0

The complete list of changes can be found in the CHANGES-2.0 file in the top level directory of the NetBSD 2.0 release tree. Some highlights include:


  • Ports to new platforms including: amd64, evbsh5, and xen.
  • Native thread support has been added, based on Scheduler Activations. Applications which support native threads can now take full advantage of the high-performance NetBSD POSIX threads implementation.
  • The i386 port now supports SMP and has a new ACPI and power management framework which takes advantage of Intel's ACPI implementation.
  • The amd64 port now supports SMP and hardware support has been enhanced.
  • The macppc port now supports SMP and hardware support for newer G4 models has been added.
  • SMP support has been added to the sparc port.
  • Improvements have been made to NetBSD's Linux emulation to support the latest Sun JDK/JRE for Linux. Testing has shown that it now runs as well as it does on Linux natively.
  • Kernel events notification framework - kqueue. kqueue(2) provides a stateful and efficient event notification framework. Currently supported events include socket, file, directory, fifo, pipe, tty and device changes, and monitoring of processes and signals. kqueue is supported by all writable filesystems in the NetBSD tree (with the exception of Coda) and all device drivers supporting poll(2).
  • NetBSD 2.0 enforces non-executable mappings on many platforms. This means that the process stack and heap mappings are non-executable by default, making exploitation of potential buffer overflows harder. NetBSD 2.0 supports PROT_EXEC permission via mmap(2) for all platforms where the hardware differentiates execute access from data access, though not necessarily with single-page granularity. When the hardware has a larger granularity, the rule is that if any page in the larger unit is executable, then the entire larger unit is executable, otherwise the entire larger unit is not executable.
  • New generic i2c framework, supporting bit bang mode and intelligent controllers.
  • sysctl(9) was switched from a static binding to a dynamic implementation.
  • A new driver, satalink(4), has been added, and SATA support from other drivers has been moved into this along with the addition of support for new controllers.
  • Innumerable fixes and enhancements have been made to our existing device drivers, and several new device drivers have been added.


  • ipf(8) has been upgraded to version 4.1.3.
  • tcp(4) now implements path MTU discovery blackhole detection (i.e., it will turn off path MTU discovery if the connection is losing).
  • Socket buffer insertion is now O(C). This can provide a substantial performance boost to some applications which use large socket buffers.
  • wi(4) has support for Host-AP mode, allowing Intersil Prism2/2.5/3-based boards to be used to make an 802.11 Access Point.
  • Support for ipf(8) has been added to bridge(4) and brconfig(8).
  • Port allocation has been changed from linked list to a hash table for better performance.

File system

  • FreeBSD's UFS2 has been ported to NetBSD. UFS2 is an extension to FFS, adding 64 bit block pointers and support for extended file storage. Among other enhancements, UFS2 allows for file systems larger than 1Terabyte.
  • The cryptographic disk driver (cgd(4)) can be used to encrypt disks or partitions, using some strong encryption algorithms, like AES (Rijndael) and Blowfish. cgd can also be configured to encrypt swap.


  • The systrace framework has been added to the system. systrace(4) monitors and controls an application access to the system by enforcing access policies for system calls. The systrace(1) utility might be used to trace an untrusted application's access to the system. In addition, it can be used to protect the system from software bugs (such as buffer overflows) by constraining a daemon's access to the system. The privilege elevation feature of systrace can be used to obviate the need to run large, untrusted programs as root when only one or two system calls require the elevated privilege.
  • Verified Exec support has been added in this release. Verified Exec verifies a cryptographic hash before allowing execution of binaries and scripts. This can be used to prevent a system from running binaries or scripts which have been illegally modified or installed. In addition, Verified Exec can also be used to limit the use of script interpreters to authorized scripts only and disallow interactive use.

System administration and user tools

  • The system is now fully dynamically linked (including /bin and /sbin).
  • System recovery tools are provided in /rescue. These are space-optimized statically linked versions of various tools required to repair a system (including /rescue/init and /rescue/sh).
  • Switched from the GPL versions to non-GPL versions of various tools including gzip(1) and awk(1).


  • NetBSD 2.0 supports a new toolchain based on gcc 3.3.3 and binutils 2.14. gcc 3.3.3 adds support for a number of CPU targets and greatly improved support for i386 and other targets. The support for new platforms in gcc 3.3.3 has enabled the porting of NetBSD to even more architectures.
  • NetBSD 2.0 ships with X11 binaries based on XFree86 4.4.0 on all ports that support the X Window System.
  • Updates of most third party packages that are shipped in the base system to the following stable releases:
    • bind 8.3.7
    • binutils 2.14
    • cvs 1.11.17
    • diffutils 2.8.1
    • file 4.08
    • gcc 3.3.3
    • gdb 5.3
    • grep 2.5.1
    • groff 1.19
    • less 381
    • openssl 0.9.7d
    • postfix 2.0.19
    • sendmail 8.12.11
    • tcpdump 3.7.1
    • texinfo 4.6
  • Many new packages in the pkgsrc system, including the latest GNOME, KDE and Xfce open source desktops,, Perl, Apache and many more. A number of new platforms are supported, including Darwin, FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, OpenBSD and Solaris. Support for various other platforms (among them AIX, BSD/OS and HP-UX) is currently being worked on thanks to our new, portable bootstrap kit which makes it much simpler to port pkgsrc support to new operating systems. At the time of writing, there are over 5000 third party packages available in pkgsrc.

And of course there have also been innumerable bug fixes and other miscellaneous enhancements.

Please note that at the moment, sysinst will not assist you in installing pre-built third-party binary packages or the pkgsrc system itself. See the NetBSD packages collection documentation:


The NetBSD Foundation would like to thank all those who have contributed code, hardware, documentation, funds, colocation for our servers, web pages and other documentation, release engineering, and other resources over the years. More information on the people who make NetBSD happen is available at:

We would like to especially thank the University of California at Berkeley and the GNU Project for particularly large subsets of code that we use. We would also like to thank the Internet Systems Consortium Inc and the Helsinki University of Technology for current colocation services.

About the NetBSD Foundation

The NetBSD Foundation was chartered in 1995, with the task of overseeing core NetBSD project services, promoting the project within industry and the open source community, and holding intellectual property rights on much of the NetBSD code base. Day-to-day operations of the project are handled by volunteers.

As a non-profit organisation with no commercial backing, The NetBSD Foundation depends on donations from its users, and we would like to ask you to consider making a donation to the NetBSD Foundation in support of continuing production of our fine operating system. Your generous donation would be particularly welcome at this point in time, since the release engineering process for NetBSD 2.0 was unfortunately set back by hardware failures on the build machines, necessitating the immediate replacement of the equipment.

Donations can be done via PayPal and are fully tax-deductible in the US. If you would prefer not to use PayPal, or would like to make other arrangements, please contact .

NetBSD mirror sites

Please use a mirror site close to you.

Please also note our list of CD-ROM vendors.

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