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[20080818] Bluetooth documentation update for Personal Area Networking
The daemon for handing bluetooth PAN that was proposed last week is imported in NetBSD-current now, and will be part of the upcoming NetBSD 5.0 release. Ian Hibbert has also updated the Bluetooth chapter in the NetBSD Guide with examples of a PANU (Personal Area Networking User) client. Ian will also continue to work on NAP (Network Access Protocol) and/or GN (Group ad-hoc Network), but that's some work todo. If anyone wants to help Ian out, feel free to contact him - see his posting for more details on the basic setup.

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[20080613] Printing NetBSD documentation (wholesome, and how to make your own)
I've had a discussion about printed sets of Unix manuals the other day. As a reminder, one can make those for NetBSD easily:
  • grab NetBSD-current sources
  • cd src/share/man/man0
  • make
The result is a bit more than 8000 pages! FWIW, I've uploaded the results for NetBSD-current as of 20080613. Anyone in for printing and publishing this?

P.S.: For those wondering how to get single pages formatted, here's a little excursion in *roff, the formatting language that Unix manual pages are written in. Take src/bin/ls/ls.1 as an example. To get a formatted page in ASCII output, use:

        nroff -man ls.1 
For a printer-ready PostScript file, use:

        groff -man -Tps ls.1 > 
NetBSD also has a macro-set to produce HTML output:

        groff -man -Thtml ls.1 >ls.html 

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[20080610] Yet another NetBSD/Xen guide
I've been slacking on this one, but here it is: Michael Dexter has posted about his NetBSD Xen Guide. It describes setup of NetBSD/Xen, including the required packages and kernels, how to setup the GRUB bootloader, and how to configure the privileged Dom0 as well as an unprivileged domU. Further topics coviered include how a domU can be given special privileges, and a section for the adventuresome among us tells how FreeBSD and OpenBSD can be setup as domUs.

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[20080302] About localization (l10n), and translations
A question was asked about what's needed to add localization for a new language in NetBSD, and Takehiko Nozaki answered, giving hints at the various places in NetBSD's source tree that are related to internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n), including the libc message catalog and sysinst.

Maybe that's of interest for parties who want to help out in translating those parts of the NetBSD operating system. BTW, while here: at www@, we receive regular inquiries about help with translating NetBSD's website and the NetBSD Guide into other languages. Unfortunately doing one-shot translations is one thing, maintaining them is quite a different beast. Experiences from the past have shown that those translations are usually not maintained after an initial translation effort, and stay outdated. As a consequence, the NetBSD project has decided that we will not put efforts into maintaining translations in the future. People who want to translate parts of NetBSD's website or any of the guides (NetBSD Guide, pkgsrc guide) are welcome to do so when they are also hosting them at their site. Please talk to for linking to those external translations then. Thanks!

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[20080208] Creating an unprivileged Solaris domain (DomU) with NetBSD/Xen as Dom0
NetBSD/Xen works fine for both NetBSD as guest domain (domU) and as privileged domain (dom0). Those interested to run NetBSD as dom0 and Solaris as domU may be happy about Tobias Nygren's posting, which hints at his update to the NetBSD/Xen HowTo, which now also describes creating an unprivileged Solaris domain (DomU).

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[20070914] Composing characters in screen(1)
Here's another gem from the "learn something new every day" that scrolled by on #NetBSD. Those of us who live in a non-7bit-ASCII world occasionally need to type some funky characters like Ä, ü, ß or some even more esoteric things that are mostly composed of two parts. Did you know that you can compose those inside screen(1)?

Here's how to get an "ä" (assuming standard screen key bindings): ^A^V:a

^A^V will get you into "digraph" (character composing) mode, and :a will get you the resides character.

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[20070605] IPFilter + UPnP on NetBSD HOWTO
Jared McNeill writes me that Xbox Live now requires a UPnP-IGD (Internet Gateway Device) compliant router to function properly. Since the static ruleset s had in ipnat.conf (based on details from a Microsoft Knowledgebase article) no longer work, a UPnP-IGD solution is now required.

See Jared's documentation on how to setup UPnP-IGD with NetBSD and IPfilter.

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[20070413] Installing *BSD on PX-EH40L (AKA "landisk")
Joel Carnat has written some detailed instructions on how to get NetBSD/landisk going on Plextor PX-EH40L, which is the European hardware for NetBSD/landisk, i.e. a SH4-based machine.

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[20070405] Setting up Linux/Xen with a NetBSD Dom0
Harold Gutch dropped me a note that he wrote some documentation on how to setup a Debian/Linux DomU with a NetBSD Dom0 setup.

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[20070203] Embedded NetBSD HowTo: Porting NetBSD To A New ARM SoC
J. Sevy has sent mail about his efforts to port NetBSD to an ARM926EJ-S based SoC, and esp. his experiences that document this project.

The article starts easy with an overview of poossible approaches, but then goes quickly into details of the autoconfiguration system, kernel startup, bus operations, interrupts and drivers for the system clock and the serial chip. He concludes with his Observations and Comparison with Linux Porting Efforts: ``I've done a few Linux ports before, and the adaptation of NetBSD went at least as smoothly as any of the Linux efforts. In fact, I found NetBSD to have several advantages that made it substantially easier to port to a new platform than Linux, especially for a "newbie" like myself with no previous NetBSD porting experience.''

What else to say? (Nothing, right! :)

While at the topic of porting NetBSD and adding device drivers: One thing that needs doing in that process is choosing major/minor device numbers and sort them into tables for block/character devices. The article mentions an interesting webpage that's relevant here: The Auto-Generation Block/Character Device Switch Tables by config(8) by MAEKAWA Masahide. Yai!

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