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[20131019] Raspberry Pi USB HC driver change - DMA support added
Nick Hudson reports that he has ``recently switched the Raspberry Pi kernel to dwctwo(4) a new USB drvier based on the Synopsys code. It's a more complete driver than the previous dotg(4) and has DMA support''. Jun Ebihara confirms that the driver works fine with a dmesg extract, and also lets us know that the driver will be in his next RPI image.

This change does not only affect the Raspberry Pi, but also other machines that have a Synopsis USB like the OpenBlocks 600, as KIYOHARA Takashi lets us know.

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[20131008] Google Summer of Code 2014
Yes, 2014 - Google today announced the 10th anniversary of its Summer of Code. NetBSD participation is still being sorted out, but can be expected. See the blog post and the timeline for more information.

First and foremost, use this early news to think about possible projects, get familiar with NetBSD (which you probably are if you read this), and sort out your summer occupation 2014.

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[20131008] Embedded NetBSD on iMX233/OLinuXino
Petri Laakso has worked to get NetBSD going on the iMX233/OLinuXino ARM board, specifically the MAXI and MICRO boards. The port is stable enough to run multiuser and build software from pkgsrc. Supported hardware include SD card, GPIO, USB host, and a boot loader.

The hardware is ways below 50 EUR, so this is a good start to get a nice and easy machine. More information on how to get things running are available in Petri's blog.

Last, the impatient souls that can't wait to start playing can find the code in NetBSD-current already, thanks to Matt Thomas.

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[20130930] Bugfix releases NetBSD 6.1.2, 6.0.2 and others released
Jeff Rizzo announces that the NetBSD 6.1.2 and NetBSD 6.0.3 patch releases as well as the NetBSD 5.2.1 and NetBSD 5.1.3 patch releases are out. The releases contain security-only changes to the two stable releases maintained by NetBSD in 6.0.3 and 5.1.3 as well as feature updates plus security fixes in 6.1.2 and 5.2.1.

Read the NetBSD 6.1.2 and NetBSD 6.0.3 patch releases">6.x and 5.x release notes for more information.

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[20130813] is fully back was started as an experiment to bring alternative, community-provided NetBSD content. Technology-wise it does this through RSS feed aggregation ran by Kimmo Suominen on his machines, the domain is registered and DNS provided by David Brownlee, and contents come from a variety of NetBSD-related blogs' RSS feeds, e.g. mine.

A couple of weeks ago, the DNS service was moved to a different DNS provider, which led to some problems: The IP adresses for the authoritative DNS servers of the zone were only IPv6 addresses, no IPv4 addresses. Those (IPv6 enabled) DNS servers did provide proper IPv4 (A) and IPv6 (AAAA) address records, but only to the clients speaking v6 in the first place. This led to funny effects that worked when on IPv6-enabled networks (which also had v4 enabled), but not on IPv4-only networks. This was further aggravated by the holiday season with not everyone reachable, a longer-than-neccessary communication chain and no direct access to all systems directly.

In the end things are changed back to working now for both IPv4-only and IPv6-enabled networks again, so be sure to keep watching

(And for those wondering where the domain name comes from: it's from the kernel that doesn't lie :)

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[20130723] NetBSD on BeagleBone Black HOW-TO
NetBSD runs on a number of ARM platforms, and the BeagleBone Black is one of many such platforms. It comes with Linux by default, and as such there are a few adventures to make if you want NetBSD on it.

John Klos was brave, and has collected his experiences in a "NetBSD on BeagleBone Black HOW-TO". Please note that there's an important update that's needed to not nuke your MBR.

So, anyone got some cool toys they make with a BeagleBone Black and NetBSD? Let me know!

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[20130712] Spanish translation of my "Managing NetBSD with Ansible" article
Maria Ramos from offered to translate my "Managing NetBSD with Ansible" blog post for the spanish-speaking WebHostingHub community.

Due to this, a spanish translation of my article is available now. Thanks Maria!

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[20130528] NetBSD's projects for Google's Summer of Code 2013 have been chosen
In this year's round of Google Summer of Code, we have again received a number of project proposals by interested students. After going into details and finding out what projects have a chance to give both the NetBSD project and the student the most benefit (besides the money), this is settled now, and I'm pleased to announce that the following students and their projects are our prospects for 2013:
  • Julian Fagir: System upgrade (system_upgrade)
  • Haomai Wang: Make NetBSD a supported guest OS under VirtualBox (Virtualbox)
  • Manuel Wiesinger: Defragmentation for FFS in NetBSD (defrag_ffs)
  • Myron Aub: Port Linux's drm/kms/gem/i915 (DRM2)
  • Przemyslaw Sierocinski: Implement file system flags to scrub data blocks before deletion (fs_scrub_flags)
Of course all other students who have submitted proposals can feel free to participate in NetBSD outside of the Summer of Code. For those participating, this is the time for the timeline.

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[20130520] NetBSD 6.1 and 6.0.2 released
Following NetBSD's release scheme, two new releases are available now. NetBSD 6.1 is the next release from the netbsd-6 release, and it contains security fixes, bug fixes and some new feature. NetBSD 6.0.2 is the second stability update for NetBSD 6.0, and it also contains bugfixes and security fixes, but no new features. See the release map graph on the NetBSD website for a visual representation of the relationship between releases. Major news in 6.1 include:
  • Security: prevent kernel panics via userland requests from kqueue, a random number generator update to prevent weak cryptographic keys and a vulnerability in grep.
  • Networking: many updates to NetBSD's new packet filter npf, and improved SMP operations.
  • Embedded: Raspberry Pi now has working USB and ethernet, support for the watchdog timer in some Marvell SoCs, fixes to the Kirkwood IRQ code
  • Platforms: device driver for Hydra and ASDG Zorro2 bus network cards on Amiga, x68k's bootloader can now boot from CD and network, and dtrace support on amd64.
  • Drivers: add LSI Thunderbolt (SAS2208) controllers, Apple's Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter, and improve stability with multiple concurrent file system snapshots.
... plus numerous bugfixes. For more details see the release notes of NetBSD 6.1 and NetBSD 6.0.2. NetBSD is a volunteer project ran by a non-profit organization and with no commercial backing. As such, your donations are very important to the project, and can fund developing in various areas, including:
  • Improving network stack concurrency and performance.
  • Development of modern file systems and improvement of existing ones.
  • Features which are useful in embedded environments, such as high resolution timers and execute in place (XIP) support.
  • Automatic testing and quality assurance.
For more information about donating, visit The NetBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization in the US, and donations may be tax deductible.

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[20130409] NetBSD is part of Google's Summer of Code 2013
News is out that NetBSD is part of Google's Summer of Code 2013 (GSoC) again. GSoC is about students doing work for Open Source projects over the summer, and getting paid while doing so. By Google. For projects proposed by both students and the Open Source projects.

Click on the above link for more information on GSoC in general, there is also a list of proposed projects for this year in NetBSD.

Next steps are:

  • April 9 - 21: Would-be student participants discuss application ideas with mentoring organizations.
  • April 22, 19:00 UTC: Student application period opens.
  • May 3, 19:00 UTC: Student application deadline.
  • Interim Period: Mentoring organizations review and rank student proposals; where necessary, mentoring organizations may request further proposal detail from the student applicant.
  • May 6: Mentoring organizations should have requested slots via their profile in Melange by this point.
  • May 8: Slot allocations published to mentoring organizations From there, students work on their projects with the help of their mentors. There's a "midterm" report due with a first part of the money paid, the rest is paid if the project is finished successfully.

    During the project, students are encouraged to publish news about their process to the world in blogs and other ways found appropriate by their mentoring organizations.

    Past NetBSD projects can be found on SourceForce.

    Interested? Act now!

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