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[20100528] NetBSD ketchup - news from my mailbox
Here's another bunch of NetBSD-related news that has been lingering in my inbox for far too long:
  • Izumi Tsutsui's NetBSD/cobalt restore CD is available based on NetBSD versions 5.0.2 5.1_RC2. See the for information on what it is and how to use it.

  • A negative symbol lookup cache was added to NetBSD's loader for shared libraries and shared objects, ld.so_elf, by Roy Marples: ``I've been researching why Evolution from GNOME takes over 5 minutes to load on my quad core amd64 beast. It boils down to dlsym looking for a symbol that does not exist directly and as such examining every needed library. However, the current implementation does not remember what libraries it as already checked. Normally this isn't a problem, but with the way Evolution is built the search chain is massive. [...]

    With this patch, Evolution (without the patches to and a glib I added to pkgsrc a few days ago) loads in under 2 seconds (5 seconds with initial disk thrashing). ''

  • The NetBSD Logo is available in many variants, but a new variant was submitted via www@ these days by "Tim" - which is actually plain HTML, no image:

    NetBSD Powered!

  • SafeNet's ProtectDrive is ``a full disk encryption solution that encrypts the entire hard drive of laptops, workstations and servers, as well as USB flash drives, to protect data in the case of the theft or loss of a hardware device.''

    How do you implement such preboot authentication and harddisk encryption software, esp. if you want to provide thinks like LDAP integration for the user/key handling and two-factor authentication? Little is known, but rumors say the 32bit version of the software is based on NetBSD, as is backed by this worker bio info: ``Duties: Working on pre-boot restricted environment with loads before operation system and implemented on NetBSD. Ported and optimized the KDrive X server to NetBSD. Developed and implemented user secure authentication interface with smart card support.

    Environment and tools : NetBSD (3.0), C/C++, FLTK''

  • A german-language introduction of pkgsrc on OpenSolaris was given by Michael 'kvedulv' Moll at the Munich OpenSolaris User Group back in march. Slides and a video are available.

  • Running NetBSD on an Oracle Sun Fire X4140 Server? Check out this posting by Ignatios Souvatzis for the full dmesg pr0n of this machine with 12 CPU cores and 32GB RAM!

  • Are you still looking for a nice small ARM-based board to start hacking on NetBSD/arm? The http://www.friendlyarm.net/products/mini2440 may be a good start, esp. after Paul Fleischer is reaching completion of NetBSD support for the board. Citing from his mail to port-arm:

    ``I have now fairly good (i.e., it works for me) support for the MINI2440 on NetBSD with support for the following:
    - S3C2440 UART
    - DM9000 (MAC+PHY)
    - S3C2440 SD Controller
    - S3C2440 DMA Controller
    - S3C2440 IIS Controller
    - FriendlyArm 3,5" LCD Display
    - S3C2440 USB Host Controller (OHCI)
    - S3C2440 Touch Screen
    - UDA1341TS audio codec

    Currently, support for three things on the S3C2440 are missing:
    - S3C2440 NAND Controller
    - S3C2440 USB Device Controller
    - S3C2440 RTC

    I've also created a stage2 bootloader for use with u-boot, which ensures that the value of bootargs is passed to the NetBSD kernel. At this point I have only tested the code with the 64Mb version of the FriendlyArm MINI2440.

    All the code is available in a Git repository[1] and is based on the netbsd-5 code base. Progress can be followed on my webpage[2]. ''

  • While talking about NetBSD on cool hardware: How about NetBSD/hpcarm on WILLCOM | W-ZERO3 (WS004SH) mobile devices? Here is a screenshot of Ebihara-san's WS011SH with CCW screen, and there is also a video "booting NetBSD/hpcarm on WILLCOM | W-ZERO3(WS004SH)" posted on YouTube:

    For more details, see Izumi Tsutsui's posting on port-hpcarm.



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[20060705] NetBSD ported to Sun JavaStation Espresso
Julian Coleman wrote to the port-sparc mailing list that ``[w]ith help from uwe@, port-sparc now boots single user on the JavaStation Espresso. Minor modifications were needed to the PCI and interrupt mapping code, as the Espresso is very similar to the (already supported) Krups.'' See Julian's mail for more information including a dmesg output.

More information on the hardware is available in the Linux on the Sun JavaStation NC HOWTO, which tells us that an Espresso is ``extremely rare to find. It was never available for sale in quantities to either the general public or the initial JavaStation deployments, limiting the model's production quantity. To call this "Generation Three" of the JavaStation may be improper, as Espresso is nothing like the generation three JavaStation written about in early Sun marketing literature. The Espresso was designed as an extension of the Krups. It was geared to sites that wanted a little bit more functionality and expansion capability from their JavaStations: a cross between an NC and a workstation. Espresso is powered by the same 110Mhz MicroSPARC IIep chip as Krups . It's mainboard is similar to Krups, with the addition of PCI slots and an IDE channel for local hard disks. The IDE on Espresso was not enabled in the demo units. Those who have tried to make it work have concluded the wiring is incorrect, and it requires a hardware rework to get going. Espresso continues with the PS2 keyboard and PS2 mouse ports from Mr. Coffee and Krups. Espresso uses the same 168-pin, 3.3V unbuffered EDO DIMMs as Krups. The maximum amount of memory for Espresso is reported to be 96MB. As with the Mr. Coffee and Krups , the number "xx" in the Sun option number refers to the amount of memory shipped with the unit. For video display, the Espresso uses the PCI-based IGS C2000 framebuffer, along with the same standard VGA port connector as Krups and Mr. Coffee. The on-board audio remains a Crystal CS4231 chip like Krups, and the network interface remains a Sun HappyMeal 10/100 Mbps interface like Krups as well. Espresso came with the 9-pin serial port and 1/8" audio out and 1/8" audio in jacks of Krups, and a new addition of a parallel port, and a second 9-pin serial port. Espresso also comes with the flash memory to load your OS on and bypass the network boot cycle. One new addition to the Espresso is a smart card slot. '' They also have a picture of the machine.

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[20051116] Sun's ZFS has been released
Sun has apparently (finally) released their much-hyped ZFS, which is supposed to be the next big invention after sliced bread. To learn more about it, check out the "Getting Started", FAQ, documentation and ZFS Source Tour. Maybe someone wants to port it to NetBSD? :)

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[20051115] NetBSD on SunFire X2100 dmesg
Ed Gould got a SunFire X2100 1U server, and reports that NetBSD works fine. Of course without the nVidia network driver, but that's why all these fine machines have a second, non-nVidia NIC. Check his mail for more information, including dmesg.

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[20051031] NetBSD on Intel(!) Cobalt/Sun Raqs
Apparently it *is* possible to run NetBSD on the Intel-equipped Cobalt/Sun Raq machines, running of course NetBSD/i386 as opposed to NetBSD/cobalt, which is for the Cobalt cube and raq machines with MIPS CPUs. See this posting on the Cobalt ROM list for a partial dmesg.

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[20051030] 7-CPU SunFire V40Z dmesg (Update #1)
I must have missed this dmesg-excerpt of a SunFire V40z with a bunch (4?) Dual-Core Opterons running the world's most portable operating system.

Update #1: Silly me, I've read some subjects about Sun V40Z this week but couldn't remember or research them when I found and wrote the above. Thanks to Brett Lymn for pointing me at his mail with the complete dmesg of that machine.

Seeing that it takes eight 2GHz CPUs to chew for a full hour before spitting out a NetBSD release seems pretty tough though... Time to de-bloat this OS. :)

(In another mail, Greg Oster posted about a machine with four slightly faster CPUs, which apparently took about 35 minutes to build a release without X... am I the only one missing some things here?).

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[20050509] Sun Hardware Donation
Sun has donated a SunBlade 1000 with 2x600mhz SPARCIII processors and a Dell Precision 2650 with 2 x 3GHz Xeon Processors to the NetBSD Project, in order to support development of pkgsrc on the world's best operating system, Sun's Solaris (sparc and x86). See Jan Schaumann's posting for the full announce.

(1. no, the machines won't be used to run NetBSD or act as development machines other than for pkgsrc bulk builds; and 2. yes, I think Solaris is superior to NetBSD in many ways :)

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[20050206] Sun points people at pkgsrc on Solaris 10 Software Companion CD
Apparently the top level README file on the Solaris 10 Software Companion CD, which has "extra" software that is not considered part of the fine Solaris 10 core operating system, contains the following lines:
 	OTHER DISTRIBUTIONS:
 	In addition to this distribution (of open-source packages built for
 	the Solaris OS) other distributions are also available. They are
 	provided by projects that are independent and separate from the
 	Solaris Software Companion CD project. They include the following:
 
 	Sunfreeware.com
 	  http://www.sunfreeware.com
 
 	Blastwave.org
 	  http://www.blastwave.org
 
 	pkgsrc -- The NetBSD Packages Collection (Solaris builds):
 	  http://www.netbsd.org/Documentation/software/packages.html
 
 	OpenPKG (Solaris builds):
 	  http://www.openpkg.org/
      


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[20050126] Looking at Sun's new "Open Source" license
I was wondering if the much-rumored new Open Source license from Sun -- called CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) -- was compatible with the BSD license used in NetBSD. After there was some discussion about the start of OpenSolaris.org on slashdot, I had a look. As to my understanding (IANAL!), the CDDL is similar in spirit to the GPL:

  1. All source (changed and unchanged) must remain available under the original license (GPL#2, CDDL#3.1)
  2. Any modification must happen under the original license (GPL#2b, CDDL #3.2).
And as such, the CDDL doesn't seem to be compatible with the BSD license as it enforces releasing of the source code (CDDL#3.1). Presence of a viral component (CDDL#3.2) won't help to this either. See also my posting on Slashdot about this.

Digging deeper in the OpenSolaris.org Licensing FAQ, there's apparently a way to release binaries under a different license, plus the CDDL is file-based, so for mere integration of CDDL-source into Larger Works, the modifications to the CDDL to interface with the other code need to be published. Of course that only helps as long as the CDDL doesn't need to get modified for that. Relevant parts of the CDDL seem to be #1.9A-C for the "licensing on a per-file" base. For the "release binaries under differenc license" statement, #3.5 says that but also states that the new license must not take away any rights that the CDDL grants, so I don't think one can make a binary-only distribution without releasing (modified) sources.

Comments welcome!

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[20040727] NetBSD/amd64 2.0_BETA runs fine on a Sun Fire V20z (updated)
Hauke Fath has confirmed that NetBSD 2.0_BETA/amd64 works fine on a Sun Fire V20z in SMP mode. Yow!

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

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