hubertf's NetBSD Blog
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[20080409] AsiaBSDCon 2008 Papers
AsiaBSDCon 2008 was held in March 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. There werea number of interesting papers and talks, and a number of them had a focus on NetBSD:
  • Christoph Badura: Gaols - Implementing Jails Under the kauth Frameworki (paper)
  • Yuji IMAI, Takahiro KUROSAWA, Koichi SUZUKI, Eiichi MURAMOTO, Katsuomi HAMAJIMA, Hajimu UMEMOTO, and Nobuo KAWAGUTI: BSD implementations of XCAST6 (paper)
  • Antti Kantee: Send and Receive of File System Protocols: Userspace Approach With puffs (paper)
  • Kristaps Džonsons: Logical Resource Isolation in the NetBSD Kernel (paper)
  • Alistair Crooks: A Portable iSCSI Initiator (paper)
  • Jörg Sonnenberger, Jared D. McNeill: Sleeping Beauty---NetBSD on Modern Laptops(slides, paper)


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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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[20080131] Article: Waving the flag: NetBSD developers speak about version 4.0
Federico Biancuzzi has collected interviews from more than twenty NetBSD developers in an multiple-page article which talks about what's new in the NetBSD 4.0 release: If you have any comments, there's also a page for comments and discussion available.

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[20060222] NetBSD iSCSI HOWTOs
Alistair Crooks is working on an iSCSI target ("server") implementation. The initiator ("client") code is still under development, but so far you can e.g. use the Microsoft iSCSI initiator to use your NetBSD machine's disks from a Windows machine, and access them like a SCSI disk!

Al has prepared and posted HOWTOs that help setting up things in a few easy steps. The HOWTOs are available directly in ASCII and PDF

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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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