hubertf's NetBSD Blog
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[20160501] Bootstrap pkgsrc under 'bash on Windows'
Much bruha was made about Windows running Linux userland recently. Leaving out the fact that emulating other operating systems is something that NetBSD does for ages, there is one real challenge that every Linux user faces when he has set up his operating system: getting software installed easily. And of course there is only one truely portable answer to that question: use pkgsrc, of course!

The process is pretty much straight forward, and Ryo ONODERA has verified the prerequired Windows versions and Linux packages, and has sent instructions on how to bootstrap pkgsrc on Windows 10. Now who's the first one to post a screenshot with output of pkgsrc/misc/cowsay running "cowsay hello pkgsrc"? :-)

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[20150225] NetBSD on IBM's SoftLayer and Microsoft's Azure and more
Xen is a common and popular virtualization platform today. NetBSD was ported to it prety early. Due to that, NetBSD cam be ran on any "cloud" infrastructure that uses Xen, with Amazon's EC2 cloud probably the most prominent and largest one.

As the whole "cloud" and "platform as a service" (PaaS) is lifting off, other virtualization platforms get popular, which need attention from NetBSD. The first one to note is IBM's SoftLayer, which uses its own virtualization technique that supports many operating systems but strange enough not NetBSD. To still get things going, Emile "iMil" Heitor has investigated the situation, and wrote how to install NetBSD (or any PV-capable system) on IBM's SoftLayer.

Another major platform to look for is Microsoft's Azure. It uses Microsoft's ohn Hyper-V technique, which there is no NetBSD support yet! There is a project description "NetBSD/azure -- Bringing NetBSD to Microsoft Azure" available that got some pretty useful links this week - any takers? As starting point, there's code for Running FreeBSD in Azure.

Last but not least, the last big virtualization platfor amiss is KVM, which is used e.g. in Google's cloud platform. While there are some mentions that NetBSD runs as guest operating system, I am not sure what the latest state is. Anyone in for a comparison? :)

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[20110126] NetBSD/emips port committed (Update #2)
I've mentioned this in the past, and it's in the official tree now - citing from Antti Kantee's posting: ``I have just committed support for the Extensible MIPS ("eMIPS") platform. The NetBSD/emips port runs on Xilinx and Beecube FPGA systems and the Giano system simulator.

eMIPS is a platform developed at Microsoft Research for researching reconfigurable computing. eMIPS allows dynamic loading and scheduling of application-specific circuits for the purpose of accelerating computations based on the current workload.

NetBSD eMIPS support for NetBSD 4.x was written at Microsoft Research by Alessandro Forin and Neil Pittman. Microsoft Corporation has donated full copyright to The NetBSD Foundation.

Platform support for eMIPS is the first part of Microsoft's contribution. The second part includes the hardware accelerator framework and will be proposed on tech-kern soon.''

Update: The NetBSD Blog has an entry with more details, including a screenshot with boot output. Oh, and there's a NetBSD/emips port page, too!

Update #2: Antti was so kind to point me at the paper published by the people behind NetBSD/emips, titled An online scheduler for hardware accelerators on general- purpose operating systems: ``This paper presents an online scheduling algorithm for hardware accelerators and its implementation on the NetBSD operating system. The scheduler uses the current performance characteristics of the accelerators to select which accelerators to load and unload. [...] The NetBSD modifications consist primarily in loadable kernel modules, with minimal changes to the operating system itself.''. Secion 7 goes into details WRT NetBSD and the (LKM based) kernel modules..

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[20101222] Microsoft offers download for NetBSD/eMIPS
NetBSD has quite a number of mirror sites, but I wasn't aware that Microsoft (yes, THE Microsoft) is also offering NetBSD for download: ``NetBSD for eMIPS - This download contains the ISO CD image for installing NetBSD 4.0.1 on an eMIPS processor system. The download works for the Xilinx XUP board and the Giano simulator.''

A bit dated, but hey! More information about the "extensible MIPS" project is also available on Microsoft's website.

Maybe it's time to update my 2005 research WRT NetBSD at Microsoft? (Thanks for the initial hint, Volkmar!)

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[20090201] Sidekick LX 2009 to use NetBSD as native operating system
There's news on Boygeniousreport, Hiptop3, and Engadget 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 T-Mobile Sidekick, 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 away. :-)

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 several places.

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.

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[20061225] NetBSD/Xbox progress
Andrew Gillham has been working on a port of NetBSD to the Microsoft Xbox games console, and he has sent a status report with request for help and dmesg output. There's also a test kernel available, with some instructions on how to boot it. Seems an Xbox with a mod chip is needed, though.

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[20060407] Article: A Look Inside Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab (Part 1)
Timo Schoeler pointed me at this article, A Look Inside Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab (Part 1), that describes the operation of a farm with 300 servers inside Microsoft for testing Open Source products:

``The lab contains more than 300 servers from vendors including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microtel, Penguin, Pogo, and Sun. The labs software is even more diverse, with some 15 versions of UNIX and 50 distributions of Linux including many lesser-known ones like Asianux, CentOS and NetBSD.''

Leaving the lapsus that NetBSD is Linux aside, I find the statement interesting, but not really surprising either. It's not as if NetBSD was THAT unknown... but hey. :)

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[20050421] How to go back
Are you tired of this communist Open Source stuff, that never works as expected, forces you to compile your own kernel and word processor and with all these people that have big egos but that you can't sue to get things the way you want? Do you want to go forward (*cough*) to a decent operating system? Help is at hands!

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[20050309] Microsoft on NetBSD
Out of pure fun, I searched for "netbsd" at www.microsoft.com. Here are a few gems from the 72 results found:

Before we get dumped into the same bin as M$, let me assure you that (as far as I know) NetBSD is not sponsored in any way by Microsoft. (Not that we couldn't need the money for a lot of things :-)

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

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