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]
Sidekick LX 2009 to use NetBSD as native operating system
There's news on
that the Sidekick LX 2009 will use NetBSD as native operating system.
What's a Sidekick? Wikipedia knows that
``The Danger Hiptop, also re-branded as the
is a luxury GPRS/EDGE smartphone manufactured by Danger Incorporated. ''
See the image on the right for more details and features.
After Danger was bought by Microsoft in 2008, one would expect that
their upcoming models will run Microsoft's embedded operating system
Windows CE as operating system. Apparrently that's not the case, and
the new Sidekick will rather run NetBSD as operating system.
It seems Danger did too much work that they didn't want to throw
So where's the actual news from on those websites?
Besides some "internal sources", there were some job posts
by Microsoft seeking a NetBSD programmer in
I guess we'll have to wait for the final product to hit the store to
confirm this, unless we get hold of someone at Danger^WMicrosoft to
tell us what's going on. Nevertheless, NetBSD and its BSD license can
be used fine in a commercial product like the Sidekick, it gives
the company full protection of investment.
I guess when time comes by, we (NetBSD) will see how we can
cooperate to support development and code maintenance, and also
get the word out about another major company using NetBSD.
[Tags: danger, embedded, microsoft, Products, sidekick]
New hardware support: Gumstix Verde, Lenovo ThinkPad ethernet
After NetBSD supports the
for quite some time now, support for the
models is on its way:
Kiyohara Takashi has
that he has realized support for a number of hardware devices, including
USB host mode, LCD, ethernet, and a MicroSD card driver.
While talking about hardware support, an ever changing area is
the devices put into consumer hardware like laptops. So far,
the Intel 82567LM Gigabit card found in machines like the
Dell Optiplex 760 and Lenovo's ThinkPad T400 was not supported.
Support for that is now ported from OpenBSD to NetBSD by
Kouichirou Hiratsuka. See
for diffs and dmesg output.
[Tags: arm, dmesg, embedded, gumstix, lenovo]
Reducing libc size
In embedded environments, space is always scarce - be it physically,
for storage (disk/flash space), or for for computer memory.
Mikko Rapeli has made that experience with NetBSD, and
posted his solution,
which is to reduce NetBSD's libc in size -- see
that another possible approach to save both diskspace and also (to some extent)
RAM when running executables is not to use shared libs, but to use
NetBSD's "crunchgen". Crunchgen statically links multiple binaries and their
libs into a single executable, saving diskspace and RAM -- exactly
what "busybox" does in the Linux world,
just highly configurable and working
with any sources. This is a
very cool feature of NetBSD, which is used to prepare the
install media from src/distrib, but it's also a very undocumented area
of NetBSD. Any takers for a "beastybox" article? :-)
[Tags: crunchgen, embedded, libc]
Catching up: portability, mult, Freescale i.mx31, fortunes, growfs, SMP, IIJ SEIL/X
I've had a bunch of things sit here, some a bit dated, some brand
new. I'll put them all into one item here due to lazyness:
That's all for today. To get your very latest copy of NetBSD,
- Following Wikipedia, Portability is
``the general characteristic of being readily transportable from one location to another'', and it's also
a major goal of NetBSD.
Things start to get interesting when looking into details, e.g.
states that ``Software is portable when the cost of porting it to a new platform is less than the cost of writing it from scratch. The lower the cost of porting software, relative to its implementation cost, the more portable it is said to be.''
So there's some room for interpretation when defining what is
portable and what is not, and to what extent.
Besides my essay on
What makes an operating system portable,
there was a
to the netbsd-advocacy mailing-list that goes into a few
details on NetBSD's current state of portability.
The posting lists a number of reasons why the author considers
NetBSD to be portable, including the low effort to start new
projects, central maintenance in one source tree, and the efforts
from machine-independent changes to all ports.
After reading about people doing research on how to
assess "security" of operating systems by counting number
of exploits and how quick they are patched, I wonder if
there are some metrics out there to also put "portability"
- I've mentioned
the mult project
some time ago. In one of their latest recordings, there's also
a interview with its creator,
Kristaps Dzonsons, on it on
BSDtalk, available in
ogg formats. Thanks to Mark Weinem for the hint!
- Following some
discussion on NetBSD on the
Freescale i.mx31 board,
Matt Thomas has posted a dmesg output.
Mentioned here for all the fans of dmesg pr0n. :-)
- To give new users hints on how to use NetBSD, Jeremy C. Reed has
a netbsd-tips fortune database. It's part of NetBSD-current
and can be run from .login/.profile by running "fortune netbsd-tips".
There's also a
wiki page that allows easy submitting of
new entries. Feel free to contribute your special NetBSD gems!
- NetBSD's handling of harddisks and file systems is pretty static
right now - while one can add additional disks to a system,
and even span them using RAIDframe and ccd(4), extending the
filesystem on top of it is a problem. This is being mitigated
by Juan Romero Pardines' port of growfs(8): ``I've just adapted growfs(8) from OpenBSD (they adapted the FreeBSD code),
which is able to grow FFSv1 and FFSv2 filesystems.
I tested growing a partition in FFSv1 and FFSv2 from 1GB to 4GB and the
process was smooth (and fast); after this I ran 'fsck_ffs -yf /fs' and it
found one error that was fixed correctly.''
For more information, including where to get the code and what
to test, see Juan's posting.
There were a few attempts to get logical volume management (LVM)
onto NetBSD, which were not successful so far. This may change
in the future, and when flexible handling of storage volumes,
with growfs(8) will be useful to manage FFS/UFS file system
sitting on top of them.
- Andrew Doran has continued his hacking to improve NetBSD on
SMP machines, and he has posted about
making the socket code and the Unix domain communication
running fine-grained, and about
speeding up device detection during booting by running
device configuration in a number of concurrent kernel threads.
If someone has actual numbers on boot time before/after
that patch, please post them to the list!
- When needing sources for some Open Source package, I've used
"make extract NO_DEPENDS=1" with pkgsrc in the past. It
seems that was removed without further notice, and
Obata Akio was kind enough to
that this can be done now by using SKIP_DEPENDS=yes.
Mmm, interface stability...
- Last but not least a note from the "products based on NetBSD"
Saitoh Masanobu from
IIJ, Japan, has
notified us that
the SEIL/X series that IIJ unveils at AsiaBSDCon 2008 is based on NetBSD.
brochure on SEIL/X that mentions a long
list of features supported by the machine, including all
state of chw art in routing, bridging, VPN, firewalling,
quality of service and more.
This is made possible by the "SEIL Engine", a software
architecture that's based on NetBSD that allows porting
the application stack to a number of hardware platforms
easily, while offering flexibility to add support for
custom hardware and software modules:
For more information on the SEIL Engine, see IIJ/SEIL's
PDF brochude (English).
Also, for some impression of the SEIL/X machine on the geek
dmesg output of the machine available.
[Tags: arm, dmesg, embedded, fortunes, freescale, growfs, iij, mult, portability, Products, seil, smp]
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:
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
[Tags: acpi, arm, cvs-digest, embedded, ipv6, powerpc]
Force 10 unifies NetBSD-based FTOS operating system across entire product portfolio
Citing from the
``Force10 Networks®, the pioneer in building and securing reliable networks, today announced that its modular operating system FTOS is now available across its Reliable Networking portfolio of switch/routers, bringing consistency, stability and flexibility to the enterprise network. With support for a common interface across the TeraScale E-Series, C-Series and S-Series, Force10 is enabling customers to reduce their total cost of ownership by simplifying management, reducing unplanned downtime and optimizing application availability.
To build reliability into its operating system, Force10 leveraged the Unix-like NetBSD kernel, which provides inherent process modularity and fault isolation. Additionally, Unified FTOS is based on a single source code and release train, simplifying software maintenance and upgrades. To guarantee the integrity of FTOS, Force10 has implemented a rigorous QA process that ensures the code is stable prior to being made available to customers. The advances in operating system design and rigorous schedule and QA policies combine to provide optimal application availability to the enterprise.
FTOS support is now available on the
Force10 TeraScale E-Series family of chassis-based switch/routers (E1200, E600, E300),
C-Series family of distribution switches (C300, C150) and
S-Series access switches (S50, S50V and S25).''
| Force10 E-Series
|| Force10 C-Series
|| Force10 S-Series
There's also an official Force10 press release for this.
And as a reminder: Force10 uses a modified version of the NetBSD
operating system on their routers and switches, see our
joint press release
from some time ago.
[Tags: embedded, force10]
Instructions for installing NetBSD on the NSLU2
NetBSD/arm supports installing on the Linksys NSLU2 (also known as "slug")
for some time now. Installation's a bit bumpy though, and after some
experimenting Donald T. Hayford has
for building and installing NetBSD on the NSLU2
(and a minor update), including dmesg pr0n.
[Tags: arm, dmesg, embedded, linksys, nslu2]
Neo1973 (=OpenMoko) phone booting NetBSD/(evb)arm kernel
Noud de Brouwer has
about his success running NetBSD on qemu-neo1973,
which emulates the hardware that the
The post includes links to
a package for 'mkimage',
which, according to the packages'
``adds a header to a kernel image with information and checksums for
the u-boot bootloader used in embedded systems'',
instructions on how to derive a NEO1973/OpenMoko port for NetBSD
from the existing evbarm/SMDK2410 port,
and discussion about
running OpenMoko under Qemu.
[Tags: embedded, neo1973, openmoko, uboot]
A few more links: embedded, mobile IPv6, filesystems, appliances, packages
I've learned a few interesting NetBSD links from
Edwin Groothuis's NetBSD specific Multimedia Resources List
that I haven't heared about, and maybe they should be mentioned here:
- AsiaBSDCon paper: SHISA: The Mobile IPv6/NEMO BS Stack Implementation Current Status, Keiichi Shima (Internet Initiative Japan Inc., Japan), Koshiro Mitsuya, Ryuji Wakikawa (Keio University, Japan), Tsuyoshi Momose (NEC Corporation, Japan), Keisuke Uehara (Keio University, Japan)
- AsiaBSDCon paper: A NetBSD-based IPv6 NEMO Mobile Router, Jean Lorchat, Koshiro Mitsuya, Romain Kuntz (Keio University, Japan)
- AsiaBSDCon paper: Implementation and Evaluation of the Dual Stack Mobile IPv6, Koshiro Mitsuya, Ryuji Wakikawa, Jun Murai (Keio University, Japan)
- AsiaBSDCon paper: puffs - Pass to Userspace Framework File System, Antti Kantee (Helsinki University of Technology, Finland) (OK, i already had that somewhere... :)
- NYCBSDCon 2006 mp3: Brian A. Seklecki: A Framework for NetBSD Network Appliances
- NYCBSDCon 2006 mp3: Johnny C. Lam: The "hidden dependency" problem
[Tags: asiabsdcon, embedded, Events, ipv6, nemo, nycbsdcon, shisa]
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Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here is purely my own.
No responsibility is taken for anything.