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[20110608] NetBSD and the World IPv6 Day
June 8th 2001 was announced as World IPv6 Day, where some major websites would increase adoption of the "new" internet protocol by actually using it.

Interested NetBSD users have a variety of options to get NetBSD to talk IPv6, and Eric Haszlakiewicz has posted about his experience: ``If anyone else has been putting off setting this up because it seemed like it would be hard to do, I urge you to give it a shot.''

To test ones IPv6 connectivity, there are several websites available.

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[20081028] More security advisories: IPv6, ftpd, bind
Three new security advisories have been released: Also, there's an update to an old SA: Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Secure. Stay NetBSD!

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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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[20071211] The last interview with Itojun: The Man in the Machine
Recently passed-away Jun-ichiro "Itojun" Hagino did a lot of work on IPv6, BSD in general and NetBSD in particular, and SecurityFocus is running an inverview that Federico 'Ed' Biancuzzi made a few weeks before Itojun passed away.

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[20071102] RIP Jun-ichiro 'itojun' Itoh Hagino (Updated)
Rumours passed around early yesterday, and now there's an official note on undeadly.org: It is my sad duty to note that Jun-ichiro "itojun" Itoh Hagino has passed away on October 29, 2007, at the age of 37.

Itojun used to work hard on the KAME IPv6 project and its integration into various BSD projects, among them NetBSD, into which he put a vast amount of time and energy.

This is a sad day for the community.

For Those who want to participate in the official ceremonies:

Update: An official note of condolence is now also on the NetBSD webpage, and was sent to the netbsd-announce list.

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[20070919] On the state of IPv6 in computer science education
I've learned today that even though there's IPv6 infrastructure available, IPv6 is disabled on all client workstations due to the lack of firewall protection, which is due to a global lack of interest^Wresources here. So much for our future Bachelors of computer science getting a chance to get literate in IPv6. :(

Makes me wonder what for I'm running the infrastructure here...

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[20070424] 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:

Enjoy!

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[20070111] Book Review: IPv6 Network Programming, by Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino
Thanks to a kind donor of the g4u project, I found Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino's book "IPv6 Network Programming" in the mail today.

The book consists of two parts: the first one talks about IPv6 programming, and the second one lists a number of relevant RFCs. The Programming part includes an overview of the IPv6 APIs, puts emphasis on writing address-independent programming and gives a fair number of guidelines in that area. It then describes details for porting applications to support IPv6, with details on what to look for in client and server code, followed by a number of tips for IPv6 programming. A practical example that shows how existing client and server applications (nail and popa3d) can be changed to support IPv6.

The second part of the book consists of 270 (of ~360!) pages of printed RFCs, which is a bit over the top IMHO - if I'd wanted to read them I would know where to find them. On the other hand I have them all in one place, so I guess that can be excused.

Overall the book is rather technical and very much on the spot, written for people with programming and Unix background to learn on how to get the job done without much fluff. Minor nits are the long appendix and that images appear a bit blurry, but that shouldn't stop anyone from reading the book - go for it!

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[20061124] TCPv6 Transmit Segment Offload (TSO) support in hardware
Work performed by TCP/IP networking stacks include many tasks, among them are calculation of packet checksums and splitting of "big" packets that exceed the hardware's maximum transport unit (MTU) into smaller, MTU-sized packets. The latter process is called fragmentation, and re-assembly of the fragmented packet on the receiving side has to be done as well, before the original 'big' packet can be processed.

Modern network cards can do a lot of things in hardware today, and -- depending on the card! -- some do support calculating checksums for IP, TCP and UDP for both IPv4 and IPv6, and some even support packet fragmentation. The latter is known as TCP segmentation offloading (TSO), as it reduces the load on the hosts's CPU by moving the job to the network card.

NetBSD supports calculating of various checksums in hardware for quite some time now (see the {ip,tcp,udp}{4,6}sum options in ifconfig(8)), and support for TSO is available for TCP/IPv4 for some time, too, see the 'tso4' option of ifconfig(8). In the past weeks, Matthias Scheler and Yamamoto Takashi have worked on adding support for TCP/IPv6 TSO and the wm(4) driver, and the code is now available in NetBSD-current, it can be enabled via the 'tso6' option of ifconfig(8).

According to measurements by Matthias, load on the host CPU was reduced from ~16% to ~12%, while throughput went up at the same time from ~710MBit/s to ~806MBit/s. For comparison: TSO for IPv4 bumps the throughput from ~624MBit/s to ~713MBit/s.

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[20061115] Ready for testing: Hardware accelerated IPsec with IPv6 (and IPv4)
As reported previously, Degroote Arnaud has worked on adding IPv6 support for the fast_ipsec(4) IPsec implementation in NetBSD as part of the ipsec6 Google SoC project, see his previous status report. Before the project, the situation in NetBSD was that there were two IPsec implementations: the KAME implementation which worked for both IPv4 and IPv6 but didn't support crypto hardware, and the fast_ipsec(4) implementation from FreeBSD that did support crypto hardware but only IPv4, no IPv6.

With the success of the ipsec6 Google SoC project, the code for hardware-accelerated IPsec with IPv6 (and IPv4) is now ripe for testing, and the author has sent a second mail asking for code review and testing: ``It would be nice too if some people can test the code in more real cases and report success and failure.'' The pointer to the latest patch is in his second mail.

Happy testing!

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Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here is purely my own. No responsibility is taken for anything.

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