hubertf's NetBSD Blog
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[20080530] Book: BSD UNIX Toolbox: 1000+ Commands for FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD
From the Business Wire press release: `` This handy, compact guide teaches you to use BSD UNIX systems as the experts do: from the command line. Try out more than 1,000 commands to find and get software, monitor system health and security, and access network resources. Apply the skills you learn from this book to use and administer servers and desktops running FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, or any other BSD flavor.

Expand your BSD UNIX expertise in these and other areas:

  • Using the shell
  • Finding online software
  • Working with files
  • Playing with music and images
  • Administering file systems
  • Backing up data
  • Checking and managing running processes
  • Accessing network resources
  • Handling remote system administration
  • Locking down security''
For more information, see the Business Wire press release and of course the publisher's information on the book.

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[20070315] Congratulations to the OpenBSD team
... for finding their second remote hole in the default install, in more than 10 years!

- from a contributer of NetBSD,
which had the least number of incidents reported for BSDs,
as confirmed by the US-Cert in the past four years


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[20061208] Driver development hints
There is a news item about OpenBSD driver development hints over at the OpenBSD Journal. I guess much of this applies to NetBSD as well, and it's nice to start with. More data is available in the NetBSD Internals Guide, Jochen Kunz's Writing Device Drivers and of course all section 9 manpages.

(If someone wants to include Jochen's text into the NetBSD Internals Guide, that'd be great... just like any other work in that area. Any takers? Send your patches to netbsd-docs@, feel free to CC: me!)

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[20060829] Catching up
There were a number of interesting items in the past week or so that I didn't manage to put here so far. Instead of putting them into seperate entries, I'll take the liberty to assemble them into one entry here:

  • The Newsforge article "Which distro should I choose?" refers us to a Comparison between NetBSD and OpenBSD, the website apparently allows other comparisons.

  • Parallels is a ``powerful, easy to use, cost effective desktop virtualization solution that empowers PC users with the ability to create completely networked, fully portable, entirely independent virtual machines on a single physical machine.'' In other words "something like VMware". In contrast to the leading(?) product in that area, Parallels supports NetBSD as guest OS officially.

  • PC-98 is a PC-like computer from NEC that has a Intel CPU and that was only sold in Japan. Due to some subtle differences from the "original" (IBMesque) PC architecture, it can't run NetBSD/i386 and was so far supported e.g. by FreeBSD/PC98. Now, Kiyohara Takashi has made patches and a floppy image available for a NetBSD/pc98 port - see Kiyohara's mail to tech-kern for more details, and also some discussion about further abstraction of the current x86 architecture to support machines with Intel CPUs that can't run NetBSD/i386.

  • Staying on the technical side, David Young has a need to tunnel packets through consumer-grade (and consumer-intelligence) devices, which are unlikely to cope with anything outside of the IP protocol. As such, he has posted patches to tunnel gre(4) over UDP.

    Now let's hope this works as a foundation for Teredo (tunneling IPv6 over UDP)... :-)

  • Verified Exec is a security subsystem inside NetBSD that verified fingerprints of binaries before loading them. This prevents binaries from being changed unnoticed, e.g. by trojan horses. Now when NetBSD runs such a system and memory becomes tight, only the process' data is paged to disk, the executables text is simply discarded with the assumption that it can be paged in from the disk again when needed. Of course this assumes that the binary won't change, which may not be true in a networked scenario with NFS or a disk on a fiber channel SAN that may be beyond control of the local system administrator. To prevent attacks of this kind, Brett Lymn has worked to generate per-page fingerprints that are kept in memory even when the executable pages are freed, for later verification when they are paged in from storage again.

    The code is currently under review and available as a patch set - see Brett's mail to tech-kern for all the details!

  • While talking about security subsystems, Elad Efrat, who also worked on veriexec previously continued his work to factor out authentication inside the kernel: After introducing the kauth(9) framework and replacing all manual checks for "am I running as root" or "does the current secure level allow this operating" with calls to it, the next step is to seperate the the place where those calls are made from a back-end implementation that will determine what is allowed and what is not, who is privileged and what is not, etc. While these questions are traditionally answered via special user ids (0, root), group membership or secure levels, other methods like capability databases could be imagined.

    Elad has been working along these lines, and he has posted the next step in his work, outlining the upcoming security model abstraction - see Elad's mail to tech-security for details & code references.

  • NetBSD 3.1 is around the corner, which will be an update to NetBSD 3.0 with lots of bugfixes and some minor feature enhancements like new drivers and also support for Xen 3 DomainU. There's a NetBSD 3.1 Release Candidate 1 available - be sure to have a look!

  • FWIW, I've also updated the overview of NetBSD release branches a few days ago, as I still see a lot of people that are confused over NetBSD's three lines of release branches (well, counting the development branch NetBSD-current as release branch :), and the differences between what a branch and what a release is. With NetBSD 3.0, 3.0.1 and 3.1 this sure makes my little head spin...

  • But there's more than NetBSD 3.x! If you've watched the above link, you will understand that the next release after the NetBSD 3.x set of releases is NetBSD 4.x. The release cycle for NetBSD 4.0 has started a few days ago, and there's also an announcement about the start of the NetBSD 4.0 release process by the NetBSD 4.0 release engineer Jef Rizzo which has information on schedule, how YOU can help and getting beta binaries and sources.

  • The working period of the Google Summer of Code is over, and while mentors are still evaluating the code submitted by students, there are some public status reports: Alwe MainD'argent about the status of the 'ipsec6' project and Sumantra Kundu about the 'congest' project

  • Sysjail 1.0 has been released! Includes some interesting overhead benchmarks.

  • As reported in the #NetBSD Community Blog, an alpha version of sBSD was released: It's a NetBSD-based system for easy installation on USB sticks and CF cards.

So much for now. Enjoy!

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[20060302] CARP Patch
``CARP is a tool to help achieve system redundancy, by having multiple computers creating a single, virtual network interface between them, so that if any machine fails, another can respond instead, and/or allowing a degree of load sharing between systems.''

Liam J. Foy worked on porting CARP to NetBSD, and has a first patch available for posting, see his mail for more information and example usage. Information on CARP is available in the OpenBSD FAQ.

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[20060222] Article: OpenBSD founder pulls no punches
I've stumbled across this interview with Theo de Raadt which is a bit dated (done 2004), but which I think is very interesting (and on-topic here!) as it gives some details on the very first days of how NetBSD (and FreeBSD) emerged from 386BSD.

Funny enough, I found a printout of slides from the conference where Chris Demetriou presented NetBSD, with his and Theo's name on them the other day.

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[20060126] OpenBGPd 3.7
OpenBGPd is an exterior routing daemon who speaks the Border Gateway Protocol. Thomas 'TGEN' Spanjaard has ported it to NetBSD, including support for TCP MD5 and signatures. See his mail to tech-net for a lot more details.

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[20060119] Article: How not to respond to a security advisory (Updated)
The best thing that can happen to you is to find out your software has no security problems. But what to do if so, and also what better not to do? The Register has an article up on "How not to respond to a security advisory".

Update: Actually the register article is re-published after it first occurred on SecurityFocus.

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[20051119] How to run OpenBGPD on FreeBSD/NetBSD
I read a comment about running openbgpd on NetBSD, and wondered if there was any chance to do it. ISTR that it relied on a number of kernel features from a previous talk I've heared, but at least according to this "How to run OpenBGPD on FreeBSD/NetBSD" page it seems pretty straight forward and userland only. Has anyone actually tried this on NetBSD? Feedback welcome!

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[20051026] Windows drives me nuts, too ...
... but I'm not sure it could me to switch to OpenBSD. ;-)

(Unless someone shows me the only reason *I* run Windows works on OpenBSD -> Counter Strike :-)

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Previous 5 entries

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'nuff. Grab the RSS-feed, index, or go back to my regular NetBSD page

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

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