Report from Systems 2006 @ Munich, Germany, days 2 and 3
Here's what happened yesterday and today at NetBSD's booth
at the Systems computer fair in Munich, Germany:
Tuesday, Oct 24th: 2nd Systems day
Wednesday, Oct 25th: 3rd Systems day
- NetBSD's procfs with -o linux has /emul/linux/proc/$$/exe as
hardlink, while Linux has a symlink. This breaks compatibility that
some database applications expect, see my posting to
- Some user feedback: "NetBSD documentation is outdated - it used to
be great for 2.0, but it's lacking now." -- We need a
documentation-hackathon to fix stuff: htdocs/Documentation,
- There was interest in offering NetBSD as alternative operating
system from a company working on mobile producs with AMD Alchemy (=
MIPS) and Geode (=i386). I've pointed them at our list of possible
consultants and the port-mips@, port-i386 and netbsd-jobs@ lists
- One company offered to do a funny kind of (free!) advertizement for
us: have our logo and a slogen printed on invoices they do for
their customers. The customers would be people in traditional
office environments handling invoices, so I'm not sure what message
to tell the average secretary... any ideas?
- A user asked about NetBSD on Cobalt machines, and how to install;
I've pointed at the Restore CD
We had a NetBSD/Xen showcase, consisting of a PC with a 2GHZ AMD
CPU, 2GB RAM, 19" TFT etc. showing X with KDE and a webbrowser
accessing Tomcat web application services (JPetStore) on two
seperate domains, which were in turn talking to PostgreSQL servers
running in two other domains.
The showcase attracted many people, and there were lots of
questions about Xen, mostly of general kind about Xen (what is it,
what does it do, running DOS & Windows XP, ...) . Too bad the
showcase still has Xen2 running - there are already plans to change
that for the next event, though! :-)
- A company inquired about supporting NetBSD from their hardware
- In her opening speech of Systems, the mayor of Munich thanks Limux
project and Linux New Media publishing for bringing Open Source to
Munich & Systems. Unfortunately no word about Systems and C&L who
did the real work of bringing all the projects there - and no word
on those, either. Sounds like bad communication, and I'm thinking
abour writing her a letter and thanking her for the great time
So much from me from the Systems computer fair, I'll not be there for
the remaining two days, and Daniel Ettle will help us out at the booth.
- 25 of 50 burned CDs gone after two days, with an easy monday; 30/50
gone after day three - maybe should have brought 100...
(also: have the CD surface printed, plus get some paper bags for
the CDs next time... preferably in NetBSD-orange :-) (Note: ordered
200 orange paper CD sleeves)
- There was an inquiry about the state of native Java - still
pending, I'm afraid, waiting for ALL the regression tests to pass.
- Someone had an urge to run SCO binaries for some database systems
and business applications in a production
environment. Pointed them at compat_ibcs2(8).
- XenMan is a nice GUI frontend for managing local and remote Xen
domains, allowing domain startup and shutdown, accessing the
console, etc. - see http://sourceforge.net/projects/xenman/
(someone please put this into pkgsrc!)
- A company was interested in using NetBSD on settop-boxes, using
handheld/embedded hardware - got them in contact with someone who's
working in that environment.
- We should document our build environment for custom ramdisk and
boot images for embedded devices, as this raised quite some
interest when I gave an introduction (crunchgen, src/distrib,
- I've learned that my town, Regensburger, has a Linux user group.
They didn't know about our BSD user group "HappaBSD" either.
- Several people asked about using pkgsrc on Mac OS X and Debian,
I've pointed them at my (now a bit outdated...) 21C3 paper
(http://www.feyrer.de/Texts/Own/21c3-pkgsrc-paper.pdf) and the
generic NetBSD documentation
One observation I've made during the whole event is that NetBSD needs
to do more work on building up a user community - attracting people,
handing out CDs (and assorted stuff like t-shirts and posters
won't hurt either!), and encouraging them to participate at user group
events and tradeshows like Systems.
NetBSD as an operating system has a lot to offer, and given it's
ancestry of BSD, the classic platforms we inherited and the new
embedded and server platforms we've added makes an excellent
operating system - now we just have to market it.
[Tags: Events, hubertf]