Subject: Announcing the release of NetBSD 2.0
To: None <>
From: James Chacon <>
List: netbsd-announce
Date: 12/09/2004 14:30:05
The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 2.0 of the NetBSD 
operating system is now available.

About NetBSD 2.0

NetBSD is widely known as the most portable operating system in the world. It 
currently supports fifty four different system architectures, all from a 
single source tree, and is always being ported to more.

NetBSD 2.0 continues our long tradition with major improvements in file system 
and memory management performance, major security enhancements, and support 
for many new platforms and peripherals.

The addition of a native threads implementation for all platforms 
and symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) on i386 and other popular 
platforms were long-standing goals for NetBSD 2.0.  Both of these
goals have now been met -- SMP support has been added for i386,
Sparc, and PowerPC, and the SMP support on Alpha and Vax has been

Please read below for more achievements in NetBSD 2.0!

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 2.0 are available for download at 
many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, 
SUP, and other services is provided at the end of this announcement; the 
latest list of available download sites may also be found at:

We encourage users who wish to install via a CD-ROM ISO image to
download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the ISO image
area. This is the first major release of NetBSD to add BitTorrent to the  
distribution mechanisms and its use is strongly encouraged to help keep      
bandwidth available.

A list of hashes for the NetBSD 2.0 distribution has been signed with
the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security-Offficer:

About NetBSD

The NetBSD operating system is a full-featured, open source, UNIX-like 
operating system descended from the Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2), 
4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2. NetBSD runs on 54 different system 
architectures featuring 17 machine architectures across 17 distinct CPU 
families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 2.0 release contains 
complete binary releases for 48 different machine types.

NetBSD is a highly integrated system. In addition to its highly portable, 
high performance kernel, NetBSD features a complete set of user utilities, 
compilers for several languages, the X Window System, firewall software and 
numerous other tools, all accompanied by full source code. The NetBSD 
Packages Collection contains over 5000 packages and binary package releases 
for a number of platforms are currently in progress.

More information on the goals of the NetBSD Project can be procured from the 
NetBSD web site at:

NetBSD is free. All of the code is under non-restrictive licenses, and may be 
used without paying royalties to anyone. Free support services are available 
via our mailing lists and web site. Commercial support is available from a 
variety of sources; some are listed at:

More extensive information on NetBSD is available from the NetBSD web site:

NetBSD is the work of a diverse group of people spread around the world. The 
`Net' in our name is a tribute to the Internet, which enables us to 
communicate and share code, and without which the project would not exist. 

Major Changes Between 1.6 and 2.0

The complete list of changes can be found in the CHANGES and CHANGES-2.0 
files in the top level directory of the NetBSD 2.0 release tree. 

Some highlights include:


  * Ports to new platforms including: amd64, evbsh5, and xen.
  * Native thread support has been added, based on Scheduler Activations. 
    Applications which support native threads can now take full advantage of 
    the high-performance NetBSD POSIX threads implementation.
  * The i386 port now supports SMP and has a new ACPI and power management 
    framework which takes advantage of Intel's ACPI implementation.
  * The amd64 port now supports SMP and hardware support has been enhanced.
  * The macppc port now supports SMP and hardware support for newer G4 models 
    has been added.
  * SMP support has been added to the sparc port.
  * Improvements have been made to NetBSD's Linux emulation to support the 
    latest Sun JDK/JRE for Linux. Testing has shown that it now runs as well 
    as it does on Linux natively.
  * Kernel events notification framework - kqueue. kqueue(2) provides a 
    stateful and efficient event notification framework. Currently supported 
    events include socket, file, directory, fifo, pipe, tty and device changes,
    and monitoring of processes and signals. kqueue is supported by all 
    writable filesystems in the NetBSD tree (with the exception of Coda) and 
    all device drivers supporting poll(2).
  * NetBSD 2.0 enforces non-executable mappings on many platforms. This means 
    that the process stack and heap mappings are non-executable by default, 
    making exploitation of potential buffer overflows harder. NetBSD 2.0 
    supports PROT_EXEC permission via mmap(2) for all platforms where the 
    hardware differentiates execute access from data access, though not 
    necessarily with single-page granularity. When the hardware has a larger 
    granularity, the rule is that if any page in the larger unit is 
    executable, then the entire larger unit is executable, otherwise the 
    entire larger unit is not executable.
  * New generic i2c framework, supporting bit bang mode and intelligent 
  * sysctl(9) was switched from a static binding to a dynamic implementation.
  * A new driver, satalink(4), has been added, and SATA support from other 
    drivers has been moved into this along with the addition of support for 
    new controllers.
  * Innumerable fixes and enhancements have been made to our
    existing device drivers, and several new device drivers have
    been added.


  * ipf(8) has been upgraded to version 4.1.3.
  * tcp(4) now implements path MTU discovery blackhole detection (i.e., it 
    will turn off path MTU discovery if the connection is losing).
  * Socket buffer insertion is now O(C). This can provide a substantial 
    performance boost to some applications which use large socket buffers.
  * wi(4) has support for Host-AP mode, allowing Intersil Prism2/2.5/3-based 
    boards to be used to make an 802.11 Access Point.
  * Support for ipf(8) has been added to bridge(4) and brconfig(8).
  * Port allocation has been changed from linked list to a hash table for 
    better performance.

File system

  * FreeBSD's UFS2 has been ported to NetBSD. UFS2 is an extension to FFS, 
    adding 64 bit block pointers and support for extended file storage. Among 
    other enhancements, UFS2 allows for file systems larger than 1Terabyte.
  * The cryptographic disk driver (cgd(4)) can be used to encrypt disks or 
    partitions, using some strong encryption algorithms, like 
    AES (Rijndael) and Blowfish. cgd can also be configured to encrypt swap.


  * The systrace framework has been added to the system. systrace(4) monitors 
    and controls application access to the system by enforcing access 
    policies for system calls. The systrace(1) utility might be used to 
    trace an untrusted application's access to the system. In addition, it 
    can be used to protect the system from software bugs (such as buffer 
    overflows) by constraining a daemon's access to the system. The privilege 
    elevation feature of systrace can be used to obviate the need to run 
    large, untrusted programs as root when only one or two system calls 
    require the elevated privilege.
  * Verified Exec support has been added in this release. Verified Exec 
    verifies a cryptographic hash before allowing execution of binaries and 
    scripts. This can be used to prevent a system from running binaries or 
    scripts which have been illegally modified or installed. In addition, 
    Verified Exec can also be used to limit the use of script interpreters 
    to authorized scripts only and disallow interactive use.

System administration and user tools

  * The system is now fully dynamically linked (including /bin and /sbin).
  * System recovery tools are provided in /rescue. These are space-optimized 
    statically linked versions of various tools required to repair a 
    system (including /rescue/init and /rescue/sh).
  * Switched from the GPL versions to non-GPL versions of various tools 
    including gzip(1) and awk(1).


  * NetBSD 2.0 supports a new toolchain based on gcc 3.3.3 and binutils 2.14. 
    gcc 3.3.3 adds support for a number of CPU targets and greatly improved 
    support for i386 and other targets. The support for new platforms in 
    gcc 3.3.3 has enabled the porting of NetBSD to even more architectures.
  * NetBSD 2.0 ships with X11 binaries based on XFree86 4.4.0 on all ports 
    that support the X Window System.
  * Updates of most third party packages that are shipped in the base system 
    to the following stable releases:
          o bind 8.3.7
          o binutils 2.14
          o cvs 1.11.17
          o diffutils 2.8.1
          o file 4.08
          o gcc 3.3.3
          o gdb 5.3
          o grep 2.5.1
          o groff 1.19
          o less 381
          o openssl 0.9.7d
          o postfix 2.0.19
          o sendmail 8.12.11
          o tcpdump 3.7.1
          o texinfo 4.6
    * Many new packages in the pkgsrc system, including the latest GNOME, 
      KDE and Xfce open source desktops,, Perl, Apache and 
      many more. A number of new platforms are supported, including Darwin, 
      FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, OpenBSD and Solaris. Support for various other 
      platforms (among them AIX, BSD/OS and HP-UX) is currently being worked 
      on thanks to our new, portable bootstrap kit which makes it much 
      simpler to port pkgsrc support to new operating systems. At the time 
      of writing, there are over 5000 third party packages available in pkgsrc.

And of course there have also been innumerable bug fixes and other 
miscellaneous enhancements.

Please note that at the moment, sysinst will not assist you in installing 
pre-built third-party binary packages or the pkgsrc system itself. See the 
NetBSD packages collection documentation:


The NetBSD Foundation would like to thank all those who have contributed code,
hardware, documentation, funds, colocation for our servers, web pages and 
other documentation, release engineering, and other resources over the years. 
More information on the people who make NetBSD happen is available at:

We would like to especially thank the University of California at Berkeley and
the GNU Project for particularly large subsets of code that we use. We would 
also like to thank the Internet Software Consortium and the Helsinki 
University of Technology for current colocation services.

About the NetBSD Foundation

The NetBSD Foundation was chartered in 1995, with the task of overseeing core 
NetBSD project services, promoting the project within industry and the open 
source community, and holding intellectual property rights on much of the 
NetBSD code base. Day-to-day operations of the project are handled by 

As a non-profit organisation with no commercial backing, The NetBSD
Foundation depends on donations from its users, and we would like to ask
you to consider making a donation to the NetBSD Foundation in support of
continuing production of our fine operating system.  Your generous
donation would be particularly welcome at this point in time, since the
release engineering proccess for NetBSD 2.0 was unfortunately set back
by hardware failures on the build machines, necessitating the immediate
replacement of the equipment.

Donations can be done via PayPal ( and are fully
tax-deductible in the US.  If you would prefer not to use PayPal, or
would like to make other arrangements, please contact 

NetBSD mirror sites

Please use a mirror site close to you.

    * FTP           -
    * ISO images    -
    * Anonymous CVS -
    * BitTorrent    -
    * SUP           -
    * CVSup         -
    * rsync         -
    * AFS           -
    * NFS           -

Please also note our list of CD-ROM vendors.