A colorful collection of NetBSD news from the past few weeks
AKA "I've been slacking again, and there's a whole pile of stuff
here now that I'm putthing into one blog posting". Here we go:
So much for now. There is more in the pipe, but that will have
to wait for now. Good night!
FriendlyArm Mini2440 board has been announced by Paul Fleischer.
In a later update,
most of the hardware is reported working, and
the patch is available for review & comments.
Furthermore, the touch screen is usable, and
Qt/Embedded was built on top of wscons.
- Force10 Networks Receives Common Criteria Security Certification for Its High-Performance Ethernet Switch/Router Products.
According to the article, ``Common Criteria evaluations entail formal rigorous analysis and testing to examine security aspects of a product or system. Extensive testing activities involve a comprehensive and formally repeatable process, confirming that the security product functions as claimed by the manufacturer. Security weaknesses and potential vulnerabilities are specifically examined during wide-ranging evaluation and testing.
FTOS is the operating system software that runs on Force10 switch/router product lines, including the E-Series, C-Series and S-Series platforms. Based on NetBSD, FTOS leverages a distributed, multiprocessor architecture that delivers highly scalable protocols and reliability. By delivering the same OS across its entire switch/router line, Force10 ensures that customers benefit from stable code, a consistent configuration environment and simpler software management. ''
- While there:
Force10 Networks Delivers Ethernet-Optimized Platform for MPLS Core Networks:
``Force10 Networks, Inc. [...]
announced the immediate availability of MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) functionality for its ExaScale E-Series core switch/routers.
The ExaScale platform combines high-density, non-blocking, line-rate 10 GbE switching and routing with robust MPLS LSR support at 1/5th of the cost of a traditional core router, enabling carriers to fully capitalize on the economic advantages of Ethernet.''
- Create Bootable Live Linux USB Drives with UNetbootin:
``UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for a variety of Linux distributions from Windows or Linux, without requiring you to burn a CD. You can either let it download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you've already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn't on the list.''
And of course we all know that NetBSD is Linux, right?
See the list of supported distributions:
mentions that NetBSD 4.0 is supported, maybe someone wants
to give them an update on what's up with NetBSD 5.0?
Would be nice to see that on the list!
- Ever wondered what happened with the BSD Certification recently?
There's a video from the talk
BSD Certification Group: A Case Study in Open Source Certification
available that talks about the goal of the project,
the two exams (BSD Associate, BSD Professional), and what's
going on behind the scenes.
- With the move from XFree to X.org, the X server for the DNARD Shark's
NetBSD/shark lost support for accelerated X.
Thanks to Michael 'macallan' Lorenz,
hardware-accelerated X for NetBSD/shark is back now:
``I finally got around to start working on an Xorg driver for the IGS CyberPro
20x0 family found in rev. 5 Sharks, Netwinder etc. - currently the driver is
built only on shark and supports only the VL variant found there. Adding
support for PCI chips is trivial though, just needs extra probing.
The driver supports autoconfiguration ( X -configure should yield something
almost usable, only DefaultDepth needs to be adjusted).''
- Staying with cool platforms, here's a
The Machine Emulator (TME)
(see pkgsrc/emulators/tme), compiled by Izumi Tsutsui.
Who's first do get a pkgsrc bulk build done? :-)
- Jed Davis has committed the
RAIDframe parity Summer-of-Code project.
for the details. The project
the time RAIDframe spends rewriting parity after an unclean shutdown by
keeping better track of outstanding writes (thus, "parity map"). The
tech-kern archives have more details [...]
This feature is enabled by default on all sets (other than RAID 0). It
can be administratively disabled with the new "raidctl -M" flag, which
is described in the changes to the raidctl(8) man page; however, the I/O
overhead for updating the parity map is expected to be unnoticeable in
[Tags: arm, bsdcg, certification, common-criteria, embedded, exascale, force10, friendlyAam, google-soc, mpls, qt, raid, raidframe, shark, sun2, tme, unetbootin, xfree, xorg]
BSD Certification Group's "BSD Associate" (BSDA) certification goes gold
After quite some time with little on the outside but lots of busy
action on the inside, the
BSD Certification Group's
BSD Associate (BSDA) certification
The BSD Associate certification marks the entry level for professional,
community-based BSD certification, and work will continue to offer a
certification for BSD Professionals (BSDP) next.
What was all the work that took so much time? First we spent time identifying
to test in the certification. Based on that, a number of questions were
selected for asserting candidates' proficiency in the named topic. To
ensure that questions are well-balanced, a beta test period was done in
which the test was given to one hundred individuals at events all over
the world. Data gathered during the beta period included results on the
questions, and also what people thought of the questions - if they were
too easy, too hard, not clearly worded, etc. This feedback helped us to
apply psychometric analysis on the beta exam, and improve it to match
At this point no official study guide is available. Subject Matter Experts
(SMEs) from the BSD Certification Group are
under an NDA
not to disclose
any information about the contents of the certification, as such it is
left to outside parties to provide such training material.
Material that is available right now includes
the list of objectives of the certification
BSDA command reference.
There's also a start of a
wiki project that aims at providing a BSDA study guide,
which may be happy about volunteer contributors.
If you're interested in taking the exam, be prepared to shell out
$75US. The exam will be offered at various events,
registration is open.
Dru Lavigne's blog posting
for further details.
[Tags: bsdcg, certification]
Report from Linuxtag Berlin 2007 (Updated)
[I'm posting this verbatim here as sent to netbsd-advocacy, just
because I can! :-]
* Report from Linuxtag Berlin 2007
I was in Berlin from May 31st to June 3rd to visit the Linuxtag, and here
are some of the impressions, facts and rumours that I came across:
*** NetBSD at the Linuxtag:
This year featured a "BSD day" workshop, that had, well, BSD related
topics. Mostly. Unfortunately this took the whole BSD group into a
distant room for one day, where very few people found us. The schedule
of the day can be found at
Besides a track of BSD-related talks, NetBSD also had a booth where
we've handed out CDs, flyers and t-shirts, and demonstrated NetBSD on an
StrongARM platform and in a virtualized environment with Xen, showing
NetBSD run both a KDE desktop setup to access two Tomcat web application
servers, which were connected to two Postgresql database server. The
booth got a lot of attention, and Joerg Sonnenberger, Stefan Schumacher,
Georg Schwarz and I (Hubert Feyrer) had a lot to do, answering questions.
Besides the BSD booths, the BSDday track had some presentations where
people could learn about BSD. A few details on my talks:
* Vom Dach bis in den Keller - Statusbericht NetBSD
Questions I got after the presentation:
+ Is there a system for binary updates for the base OS, like
available in FreeBSD?
+ What can I say about the quality of NetBSD manpages vs.
FreeBSD / OpenBSD?
+ Why are there no books on NetBSD?
* Portable Software- Installation on Linux, Solaris & NetBSD with pkgsrc
I gave this talk with Stefan Schumacher, my slides are here:
http://www.feyrer.de/NetBSD/Jul2005darcy-pkgsrc.pdf, Stefan's slides
can be found on his homepage:
This talk was a replacement for another talk where the speaker
didn't show up. It was chosen after pkgsrc received many questions
at the NetBSD booth, esp. from people who want to use it on
Other random comments on NetBSD's appearance at the show:
+ I was told that GMD, a major german research institute, did a port
of NetBSD to PowerPC platform quite some time ago for their "Manna"
project. I'm still investigating details here.
+ I was asked about the setup that I use on my notebook for both
wireless and ethernet. It's based on ifwatchd to detect what
interface is up, and wpa-supplicant for handling out WLAN
configs. I'll write something with more details into my blog the
next few days (feel free to remind me :).
+ I've never heared of the company "tarent" before, but they
supported developers of free software projects (of which there were
quite a lot at the LT) with free food for lunch. Choices were soups
with and without meat on all days of the fair. Nice! (We need a
Free Food Foundation :)
+ Hardware that people asked for WRT NetBSD on it included several
inquiries about NetBSD on the IBM NetWork Station (ibmnws),
NetBSD on the Amiga 1 (amigappc) as well as the status of NetBSD on
the Sony Playstation 3, esp. with how the interfacing towards the
Cell processors work.
+ Harald Welte offered a prototype board for the "OpenMoko" mobile
phone platform, including development kit and documentation.
+ pkgsrc needs advocacy!!! Articles targetted at non-NetBSD
audience for Solaris, Mac OS X and Linux would be good.
Any writers? Talk to me for ideas & input!
*** BSD Certification Group at the Linuxtag
The BSD Certification Group (which I'm a member of) also had a booth
at the Linuxtag. There was a talk on the status of the group by
Machtelt Garrels, all made in OpenOffice.org:
* Full text:
* Presentation with notes:
At the Linuxtag, the BSD Certification group also did two beta runs of
the upcoming BSD associate (BSDA) certification, with about 20
participants that were using some BSD for quite some time, or that had
quite some Unix/Linux background. The general opinion was that the
examn was hard, but fair - and that you WILL have to study! :)
In general, there was great interest in the BSD certification, and
Linuxtag was a success for the BSD Certification Group as well.
*** Upcoming events
The following events need NetBSD presence with booths and
* Linuxtag Essen - no idea when exactly, Essen, Germany
* CCC Summercamp - Aug 8-12, near Berlin, Germany
* FrosCon Bonn - Aug 25/26 2007 in St. Augustin, Germany,
CfP is until Jun 4th. URL: http://froscon.de/
* EuroBSDCon - Sep 14/15, Copenhagen, Denmark.
* Fosdem - ~Feb 2008, Brussels, Belgium
* GUUG Fruehjahrsrachgespraech - ~Feb/Mar 2008 in Munich, Germany
If you're interested to setup a booth or join in with other BSD
people, please let me (hubertf@NetBSD.org) know, I can help to get
t-shirts, pins and flyers.
*** Pictures etc.
Stefan's pictures are available at
Axel Gruner made pictures of both the BSDCertification booth, see
https://bilder.bsdgroup.de/galleries/LT2007/208.html, and Linuxtag in
https://bilder.bsdgroup.de/galleries/LT2007/overview.html. Make sure
to check again in a few days, there are more pictures to come.
Axel's (german language) reports can be found at http://www.grunix.de/.
I'm very happy we've survived the event, and Linuxtag 2008 will be at
the same place, i.e. Messe Berlin. I'm looking forward to have more
NetBSD people at the booth - don't be shy, join in, it's fun!
The same goes for the other events mentioned above, as well as for
writing articles and doing NetBSD advocacy in general!
NetBSD needs _you_!
Here's a link with a few
pictures of Stefan at the NEtSBD booth.
Are we CoolBSD or what? :-)
[Tags: certification, Events, linuxtag]
BSDcertification: Quality assurance process started
In light of the upcoming BSDcertification beta exams (e.g. at
BSDcan and the Linuxtag in Berlin), the process to establish
quality of the questions assembled for the certification so far
has started. Special attention is being
paid to ensure that every question is valid for all BSD flavours, and that
no over-representation of any specific flavour is made. Quality assurance is
done by a group of subject matter experts that use one or more BSD flavours
for many years, with many of them actively contributing to the development
of one or more BSD operating systems.
The questions worked on for the BSD certification exam are under an
NDA and will not be made public. The topics covered by the examn
are made public on the
website of the BSD Certification Group, though -
PDF with all the details.
NetBSD reviewers for beginning BSD admin study guide book
Jeremy Reed is working on a study guide book for the upcoming
BSD associate certification, and he's looking for reviewers
of the NetBSD part of the book. Anyone interested in contributing
see his mail
of check out
his excellent BSDwiki
Some technical details: The proposed table of contents
of the book is based on the topics for the BSDA "associate"
(begginner) certification that the
BSD Certification Group
is currently working on. The wiki helps editing the
contents of the book, and every night a PDF of the book
is created from the wiki contents.
I think in the long run I'd love to see something like
this for the NetBSD documentation (at least the guides).
[Tags: books, certification]
What to do with your extra money at the end of the year, and beyond
The end of the year's approaching rapidly, and if you have an urge
of doing something good with your leftover money, here are some
ideas how to make this planet a better place:
- I've had a look at the
the BSD Certification Group's donation meter page
tonight, and saw it's at 11% ($4.139US out of $35kUS)
of what's needed right now. Looking at the list of
who has contributed so far,
I thought I'd mention this here:
While you may think NetBSD does not need certification, think
again how this may improve NetBSD's overall recognition in the industry.
And in the end it's a *BSD* certification, and not FreeBSD and/or OpenBSD
only - so I think NetBSD and its users should actively participate in
the process to drive this.
Go for it!
- Of course your favourite Open Source project may always need money,
too, so think about it - a few bucks can make a difference. As for
NetBSD, money's needed to buy new and replace old hardware, support
public relations and handle legal fees.
Personally, I'd like to
see this expanded for having more people do work on public relations,
setting up booths at roadshows and going to conferences, but that's
not a cheap goal: Having materials like flyers, CDs, flags, posters
etc. available is one thing, and paying for travel, accommodation
and possibly conference and booth fees easily sum up to several
hundred $/EUR per conference, and there's quite a number of them,
all over the year and all over the planet.
Another goal that I think would be nice to achieve is being able
to reward people for contributing to the NetBSD project's code
base, e.g. by implementing specific subsystems, various projects
(think "Google Summer of Code") or fix critical bugs.
For all this, money is needed. As a non-profit organization,
the NetBSD Project does not sell its goods and instead gives
it away for freely for the benefit of everyone. As a return,
we're glad for every user -- private and commercial -- as well
as companies to think about what they get, and
give something back.
- Personally I'm still looking for someone to pay me
for working part-time on NetBSD documentation and public relations.
Current state of things as far as I'm concerned is
that I'm devoting a lot of my personal time to NetBSD right now
for free, while working on my PhD thesis; Once this is done, I'll have to
find a job that's paying my bills, and I'd very much appreciate
to continue working on NetBSD, but this won't be for free then any
more. Timeframe for this is Q3/2007, so if you think things should
continue as far as I'm concerned,
[Tags: certification, donations, hubertf]
BSDCertification.org fund raising campaign
As you're already reading this blog about the world's best
operating system, you're aware of this and maybe you want to reflect
this in your resume or even get your employer to use and recruit
people with the appropriate skills easily. For example via a
BSD certification from the
Setting up a certification that's internationally recognized
and made sure to be valid is quite some effort which doesn't need
only experts with a lot of BSD experience, but experts with experience
in test preparation and psychometrics. As such, the BSDCertification.org
group is currently doing a
fund rising drive
to come up with the costs of $35.000US which each of the tests
will require in order to be established.
If you (or/and your employer!) think this is a good idea, don't
- or second best, after Solaris, but that's debatable after seeing what they did with the startup system in Solaris 10 (XML, SQL).
- If you think the idea stinks but you still need to get rid of
some money before christmas, feel free to donate it to
donate it to
the blog on the world's best operating system,
the world's best open source harddisk image cloning software or
a pkgsrc build cluster for the world's best open source operating system.
BSD Certification Group releases BSD Usage Survey
``The BSD Certification Group published its Usage Survey Report today.
This report summarizes the results from the BSD Usage Survey delivered
by the Group. The survey was available in six languages and ran from
September 12 to September 30, 2005.
The survey contained 18 questions covering topics such as how many BSD
systems were in use at a company, how many administrators, were the
BSD systems used as servers or desktops, size of the organizations,
what services the BSD systems provided, and related topics.
According to the report, FreeBSD is used at 77 percent of the survey
takers' organizations. Over 87 percent of the systems are managed
internally. Near 79 percent of the BSD systems are used as production
systems. Around 72 percent of the systems are used for web services
hosting and also firewall or security services.
The report is available for download at
[Tags: certification, polls]
BSD "Associate" Certification exam objectives released
Maybe of interest to those that either want to prepare training
material for the upcoming BSD certification or to those that intend
to take the "BSD Associate" (BSDA) entry level test, the BSD certification
group has released a list of objectives that the certification will
focus on, and that questions will cover:
``The BSD Certification Group is pleased to announce the publication of the exam objectives for the BSD Associate (BSDA) certification exam. [...]
The exam objectives are detailed in a Certification Requirements document which also contains the official description for the BSDA certification exam, a description of the intended audience, and a chart of applicable commands to assist the exam candidate in his studies. ''
For more information, see the BSD Certification group's
website, or get the
exam objectives in PDF directly.
Some related activity
I did some BSD related things yesterday that may or may not show
up in public eventually. Things include reading through the BSDcertification(.org)
's proposed business plan and making a few small, uneducated
remarks, and later on read through a "NetBSD Security Guide"
someone is writing (name withheld to save the writer from inquiries).
Today started with a reviewed of a "BSD Rosetta Stone" for the
[Tags: certification, Security]
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Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here is purely my own.
No responsibility is taken for anything.