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[20080301] Catching up on source-changes (Feb 21st - Mar 1st)
Mark Kirby's CVS digest is still down. I'd love for someone to continue this service - please contact Mark and/or me for details! (I don't really have time to do this, but will try to do so. Help is definitely appreciated!!!)

Catching up on NetBSD's source-changes mailing list from Feb 21st 2008 to Mar 1st 2008, here's what people not following things closely may find interesting:

  • Chris Gilbert made process on the chris-arm-intr-rework branch, which aims at reworking the ARM interrupt code to provide a shared set of interrupt routines that can be used across all ARM based machines.

  • The PowerPC routines for bcopy, memcmp, memcpy and memmove were updated to use tuned versions that were written by IBM and released under a 3-clause BSD license as part of the perflib project, see http://sourceforge.net/projects/ppcperflib/.

  • Keiichi Shima has imported the Mobile IPv6 code developed by the SHISA project. The work can be found on the "keiichi-mipv6" branch.

  • Matt fleming has started work on a device file system that supports dynamic device nodes, which is of relevance when loading kernel modules for device drivers, so you don't have to run /dev/MAKEDEV manually. The work is on the "mjf-devfs2" branch.

  • Nick Hudson is currently working on syncing NetBSD's WiFi (net80211) code with FreeBSD, so that these two operating systems (and possibly others) can share a common codebase. The work currently affects only the kernel, but this may extend to the userland eventually.

  • The glob(3) wildcard extension routines got a new options GLOB_NO_DOTDIRS added, which hides . and .. even if the pattern would otherwise include them.

  • Juan Romero Pardines has ported the mfi(4) driver from OpenBSD. The driver supports disk controllers with PowerPC IOSs such as the LSI SAS1078 and the Dell PERC6.

  • The boot-only ISOs built for releases included several kernels (with ACPI, without ACPI) for some time now. Stephen Borrill has added a menu to make kernel selection easier. Mmm, user friendliness!

  • The machine-independent versions of strcspn(3), strpbrk(3) and strpspn(3) were improved from O(mn) to O(n+m) based on ideas from DragonFlyBSD.

  • Power management hooks for suspend, shutdown and resume were added to many device drivers, to support the new power management framework by Jared McNeill.

  • A whole lot of changes were pulled up from NetBSD's development branch into the release branches for NetBSD 3.x and 4.x.

So much for this round of updates. A lot of work was not done on the main trunk but on some branches. People interested to learn what branches exist in NetBSD's source tree can check out src/doc/BRANCHES to do so. Enjoy!

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[20080225] Mondo catch-up on source-changes (~Aug '07 'till Feb '08)
In the context of Mark Kirby stopping his NetBSD CVS Digest, I've felt an urge to catch up on source-changes, and put up some of the items here that I haven't found mentioned or announced elsewhere (or that I've plainly missed) after digging through some 7,000 mails. All those changes are available in NetBSD-current today and that will be in NetBSD 5.0:

  • Support C99 complex arithmetic was added by importing the "cephes" math library
  • POSIX Message queues were added
  • bozohttpd was added as httpd.
  • the x86 bootloader now reads /boot.cfg to configure banner text, console device, timeout etc. - see boot.cfg(5)
  • ifconfig(8) now has a "list scan" command to scan for access points
  • SMP (multiprocessor) support is now enabled in i386 and amd64 GENERIC kernels
  • Processor-sets, affinity and POSIX real-time extensions were added, along with the schedctl(8) program to control scheduling of processes and threads.
  • systrace was removed, due to security concerns
  • the refuse-based Internet Access Node file system was committed, which provides a filesystem interface to FTP and HTTP, similar to the old alex file system, see http://mail-index.netbsd.org/source-changes/2007/08/28/0081.html
  • LKMs don't care for options MULTIPROCESSOR and LOCKDEBUG, i.e. it's easier to reuse LKMs between debugging/SMP and non-debugging/SMP kernels now.
  • PCC, the Portable C Compiler that originates in the very beginnings of Unix, was added to NetBSD. The idea is that it is used as alternative to the GNU C Compiler in the long run.
  • In addition to the iSCSI target (server) code that is already in NetBSD 4.0, there'a also a refuse-based iSCSI initiator (client) now, see http://mail-index.netbsd.org/source-changes/2007/11/08/0038.html
Plus:
  • Many driver updates and new drivers, see your nearest GENERIC kernel config file
  • Many security updates, see list of security advisories
  • Many 3rd software packages that NetBSD ships with were updated: ipsec-tools (racoon), GCC 4.1, Automated Testing Framework 0.4, OpenSSH 4.7, wpa_supplicant and hostapd 0.6.2, OpenPAM Hydrangea
The above list is a mixed list of items. There are a number of areas where there is very active development going on in NetBSD. Andrew Doran is further working on SMP, fine-grained locking inside the kernel and interrupt priority handling. Antti Kantee has has done more work on his filesystems work (rump, puffs, refuse/fuse), and Jared McNeill and Jörg Sonnenberger have continued their work on NetBSD's power management framework. Those changes are large and far-reaching, and I've yet to look at them before I can report more here.

So much on this subject for now. If someone's willing to help out with continuing Mark Kirby's NetBSD CVS Digest either using his software-setup or by simply reading the list and writing a monthly/weekly digest of the "interesting" changes, I'd appreciate this very much. Put me on CC: for your postings! :)

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[20060126] Issue 41 of the NetBSD CVS Digest
... is out

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[20060118] Issue 40 of the NetBSD CVS Digest
... is out!

And did you know there also an RSS feed for those that prefer not to subscribe to current-users or to dig this information from my drivel here?

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[20060110] Issue 39 of the NetBSD CVS Digest
... is out

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[20060101] Big 2005 catch-up
OK, due to moving back to Germany (I'll stay here, btw, the time in the US was just a temporary, 1-time thing, FYI) and some other action at the end of the year, I haven't had time to put stuff in here, but I still have quite a backlog of stuff from late 2005 that I think should be mentioned here. Instead of trying to make individual entries for them, I've decided to be lazy and lump them all into one entry. Here we go!
  1. There was a discussion recently that (old, pre-ANSI) style C function definitions are harmful and thus deprecated. After some attempts to come up with an example that shows the problem, Greg Troxel came up with a working one. Key here is that on 64bit platforms, parameters that can't be passed in registers (due to not enough registers), i.e. for functions with a lot of parameters, the K&R style prototypes may wrongly assume a type is "int" (==32bit, even on LP64 platforms), and thus be wrong.

    See Greg's mail including example output and some analysis.

  2. There's a nice article Inside NetBSD's CGD on O'Reilly's OnLAMP where CGD-author Roland Dowdeswell talks about CGD, its use, implementation details and a comparison against other, similar projects.

  3. I usually don't link to articles that claim that software XXX (e.g. the GNU Telephony Stack) also runs on NetBSD, but saying that ``Currently Boost comes bundled with Fedora, Debian, and NetBSD'' seems wrong enough to state here that Boost is not part of the NetBSD base system. Boost is available via pkgsrc, though.

  4. Yeah, NetBSD 3.0 was released, mentioned at least on Slashdot, ZDNet UK, Heise and TechSpot. Old news by now, but still good to waste some time reading the troll postings on a slow new-year's day. :)

  5. I found a bunch of nice Daemon pix (which I've just synced with my own collection yet)

  6. While there is no (publically available...) iSCSI implementation available for NetBSD natively, Al Crooks writes that people can try ``pkgsrc/devel/intel-iscsi, which is Intel's reference iSCSI target ported to NetBSD, and there's a userlevel iSCSI initiator in there too, for testing purposes. The package also has the other half of the equation, an OSD target.''.

    Who's first to write some iSCSI instructions for NetBSD? Reports of success or failure? :)

  7. pkgsrc was branched for the pkgsrc-2005Q4 branch, see the announcement

  8. Issue 38 of the NetBSD CVS Digest is out

  9. The NetBSD kernel is usually loaded by a bootloader. In that process, the bootloader passes a few bits of information (boot to singleuser mode, where the kernel was loaded from to find the root filesystem, ...) on to the kernel. That interface is very NetBSD specific and different from those used by other systems (which are mostly specific to those systems). GRUB has set some standard that's used by (surprise) Linux and more recently OpenSolaris, and now Julio Merino Vidal has been working on making a NetBSD kernel understand the "Multiboot" protocol as an alternative to NetBSD's own bootloader. While GRUB always worked to boot NetBSD, some parameters (e.g. the root filesystem) were not passed on properly.

    See Julio's mail for a lot more details!

  10. Status of NDIS integration for NetBSD: Alan Ritter has worked on an interface to use Microsoft Windows network drivers following the NDIS specification in NetBSD as part of the Google Summer of Code project. He has posted a status update on the integration of his work into NetBSD.

  11. Jan Schauman has uploaded pkgsrc-2005Q4 3.0/amd64 binary packages. I'm still waiting for Manuel's 3.0/i386 pkgs... :)

  12. Work is underway to get a NetBSD 3.0 cobalt restore CD

So much for now. In the mean time I've also done some work on updating qemu 0.8.0 and collecting what communication-exec did in 2005 for an internal status report, but that's something for future updates.

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[20051223] Issue 37 of the NetBSD CVS Digest
is out

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[20051213] Issue 36 of the NetBSD CVS Digest
is out

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[20051208] Issue 34(.2) of the NetBSD CVS Digest
is out!

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[20051201] Issue 34 of the NetBSD CVS Digest is out
Mark Kirby did it again!

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