Subject: NetBSD Quarterly Status Report - 2005Q1
To: None <>
From: Jan Schaumann <>
List: netbsd-announce
Date: 04/08/2005 12:45:20
Hash: SHA1

NetBSD Quarterly Status Report - 2005Q1

NetBSD is an actively developed operating system.  With fifty four
different system architectures in total and binary support of over 48
architectures in our last official release (NetBSD 2.0), our widely
portable packages collection ``pkgsrc'' and large userbase there is a
lot going on within the project.  In order to allow our users to
follow the most important changes over the last few months, we provide
a brief summary in these official status reports on a regular basis.
These status reports are suitable for reproduction and publication in
part or in whole as long as the source is clearly indicated.

- -Jan Schaumann <>

January - March 2004:

	- Intel donates hardware to the NetBSD Project [20050111]
	- NetBSD 1.5 EOL'd [20050126]
	- Annual NetBSD Status Report published [20050204]
	- New Developers [20050401]

	- First commits in 2005 [20050101]
	- The NetBSD Foundation opens online store [20050128]
	- NetBSD 2.0 Interviews [20050227]
	- NetBSD turns 12 [20050321]
	- NetBSD on the road

	- Changes to the Packages Collection in January [20050209]
	- Alternative framework added [20050125]
	- Changes to the Packages Collection in February [20050307]
	- New pkgsrc-2005Q1 branch [20050324]
	- GNOME 2.10.0 / KDE 3.4.0 available [20050331]
	- pkg_select
	- pkgsrcCon '05

	- amd64: running on Intel EM64T [20050220]
	- cobalt: restore-cd mini howto available [20050311]
	- evbarm: ported to TS-7200 [20050104]
	- macppc: Mac mini supported
	- sparc64: Sleep sleeps forever no more [20050217]
	- xen: NetBSD and Xen [20050304]
	- xen: support for Xen 2.0 added [20050310]

	- ipf 4.1.5 imported [20050208]
	- pkgsrc adds support for multiple digests [20050216]
	- ipsec-tools integrated [20050219]

	- XFree86 3.3.6 EOL'd [20050107]
	- JDK 1.5.0 patches available [20050119]
	- PAM enabled [20050227]
	- TCP/SACK support added [20050228]
	- MySQL benchmark results


Intel donates hardware to the NetBSD Project [20050111]
- -------------------------------------------------------

The department of application engineering at Intel has donated two
Xscale boards (IOP321, IOP315) to a NetBSD developer.  The boards will
be used for maintenance and development of the NetBSD/ARM port, as
well as enhancing and completing the support for Thumb code on NetBSD.
Furthermore, the boards will also serve for testing and developing the
GCC compiler used by the NetBSD operating system.

The NetBSD Project is grateful for the donation and would like to
encourage similar donations.  Information on supporting the NetBSD
project via money or hardware can be found at

NetBSD 1.5 EOL'd [20050126]
- ---------------------------

James Chacon of the NetBSD Release Engineering team announced that, in
keeping with NetBSD's policy of maintaining only the current (2.0) and
most recent (1.6) release branches, the release of NetBSD 2.0 marks
the end-of-life for NetBSD 1.5. This means that the netbsd-1-5 branch
will no longer be actively maintained.

There will be no more pullups to the branch (even for security
issues).  There will be no security advisories made for 1.5. And the
1.5 releases on have been moved to

Annual NetBSD Status Report published [20050204]
- ------------------------------------------------

The NetBSD Foundation held its annual meeting, during which the
developers discussed, among other things, how NetBSD progressed over
the last year and what is planned for the coming year.  The full
report is available online at

New Developers [20050401]
- -------------------------

The NetBSD project is pleased to welcome the following new developers
during the first quarter of 2005:

- - KIYOHARA Takashi (login: kiyohara), who will be working on IEEE 1394
  and OpenBlockS266 (evbppc).
- - Roland Illig (login: rillig), who will be working on the NetBSD
  Packages Collection.
- - Georg Schwarz (login: schwarz), who will be working on the NetBSD
  Packages Collection.
- - Michael van Elst (login: mlelstv), who will be working on IEEE 1394
  and miscellaneous tasks.
- - Jeff Rizzo (login: riz), who will be working on the NetBSD Packages
  Collection, port-i386, networking and Asterisk.
- - Kentaro A. Kurahone (login: kurahone), who will be working on TCP/IP
  stack, scalability and performance and ACPI.


First commits of 2005 [20050101]
- --------------------------------

The first commits to the source and pkgsrc repositories in 2005 were, an update to
the copyright for 2005 by Charles M. Hannum <>, and, a fix for
C99-isms in the sysutils/xfce4-cpugraph-plugin package by Krister Walfridsson

The NetBSD Foundation opens online store [20050128]
- ---------------------------------------------------

At the end of January, the NetBSD Project opened an online store
selling various products, including shirts, sweatshirts, a mug, wall
clock, mousepad, logo magnets, and tote bags.  The items currently
available have a higher than usual price tag as 100% of the benefits
go to the NetBSD Foundation and the store was initially conceptualized
to maximize profits.

Realizing that the advocacy these items represent are valuable in and
of itself, and not wanting to deprive our users of the possibility to
purchase more affordable items, the NetBSD Project is currently
evaluating the possibility of allowing for a dual pricing scheme --
the basic ``Fan'' category and the ``Sponsor'' category, which allows
users to maximize their dollar/product donation.  More items will be
added as designs are created.

The online store is available from

NetBSD 2.0 Interviews [20050227]
- --------------------------------

Shortly after NetBSD 2.0 with its extensive list of new features was
released, Newsforge ran an article entitled "Understanding NetBSD
2.0's new technology", which included an interview with a number of
NetBSD developers.  Several weeks after this article, the author
Federico Biancuzzi has published his follow-up interview.

Almost a dozen NetBSD developers participated in these interviews,
which are available online at and

NetBSD turns 12 [20050321]
- --------------------------

As noted by Richard Rauch, March 21st 2005 marked the 12th birthday of
the NetBSD Operating System, one of the oldest actively maintained,
freely-available operating systems.  The first commits were made to
the NetBSD source code repository on March 21, 1993, and the first
release of the NetBSD Operating System, NetBSD 0.8, was announced on
USENET shortly thereafter.

Happy Birthday, NetBSD!

NetBSD on the road
- ------------------

The NetBSD Project was represented by developers and other volunteers
at a number of conferences and tradeshows during the first quarter of
2005.  Patiently the following people invested a lot of their personal
time, money and resources to tell attendants about NetBSD, to explain
(again and again) the difference between NetBSD and Linux or NetBSD
and the other BSDs, sold CDs and other merchandise and in general
deserve thanks for helping the NetBSD Project:

- - Quentin Garnier represented NetBSD at Solutions Linux 2005, in
  Paris, France
- - Kevin Lahey organized a booth at the Southern California Linux Expo
  in Los Angeles, California.  Reports from this event are available
  online at
- - Jan Schaumann gave a presentation on pkgsrc at the New York City BSD
  User Group.  See
- - Hubert Feyrer, Petra Zeidler, Sebastian Schuetz, Daniel Ettle and
  others attended the Spring Talks of the German Unix User
  Group, with detailed reports available online at, and
- - Hubert Feyrer, Stefan Schumacher and Karl-Uwe Lockhoff represented
  NetBSD at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2005.  See and as well as
- - A NetBSD booth was organized by Dennis Wecker with help from
  Georg Schwarz at the CeBIT 2005; Bernd Sieker provided some pictures 
- - Members from the Japan NetBSD Users' Group staffed a booth at the
  Open Source Conference 2005 in Japan.


Changes to the Packages Collection in January [20050209]
- --------------------------------------------------------

At the end of January 2005, there were 5331 packages in the NetBSD
Packages Collection, up from 5266 the previous month, a rise of 65
with many notable updates as well.  The Package of the Month award
went to pkgsrc/devel/monotone as well as pkgsrc/net/ntop.  monotone
is a distributed version control system, that provides the ability to
work completely offline and the use of cryptography to mark concrete
versions as trusted or not.  ntop is an excellent utility for showing
network traffic via a network browser (not included) to show network
traffic information and get a dump of the network status.

Alternative framework added [20050125]
- --------------------------------------

Julio M. Merino Vidal committed a new ``alternatives framework'' after
much discussion in January.  The alternatives system is a framework
that allows multiple packages providing similar functionality to be
installed concurrently (by removing files with common names), and then
using a utility to set up those common names with symlinks to the
preferred program.

See and for

Changes to the Packages Collection in February [20050307]
- ---------------------------------------------------------

At the end of February 2005, there were 5377 packages in the NetBSD
Packages Collection, up from 5331 the previous month, a rise of 47
with many notable updates as well.  The Package of the Month award
went to pkgsrc/math/R and pkgsrc/mail/mhonarc, nominated by Hubert
Feyrer and Matthias Scheler respectively.

New pkgsrc-2005Q1 branch [20050324]
- -----------------------------------

After a two week long freeze on the pkgsrc repository, the NetBSD
Packages Team cut the pkgsrc-2005Q1 branch, obsoleting pkgsrc-2004Q4
as the currently maintained and stable pkgsrc branch.  Among many
other things, this new branch includes support for multiple digest
algorithms and the alternatives framework.  Many thanks go to the
pkgsrc release engineering team, who have done a great jobs performing
security pullups and maintaining the stable branches.

Bulk builds for the many supported operating systems and architectures
are currently running, and binary packages will be uploaded to the ftp
sites as soon as they complete.  Hubert Feyrer already made available
the binary packages for NetBSD/i386 at; other, slower
architectures will follow.

GNOME 2.10.0 / KDE 3.4.0 available [20050331]
- ---------------------------------------------

After the branch for pkgsrc-2005Q1, Julio M. Merino Vidal updates
almost 80 packages to bring the version of GNOME in pkgsrc to 2.10.0.
See his message to the tech-pkg mailing list for more details:

Another major update that was performed after the pkgsrc-2005Q1 branch
was to upgrade the K Desktop Environment (KDE) packages to version

- ----------

Over the last few months, the pkg_select tool, which is currently
maintained by a non-developer has undergone a significant number of
continuous improvements, incorporating the feedback provided on the
tech-pkg mailing list.  pkg_select is a curses based interface to the
pkgsrc framework and allows you to browse pkgsrc and gather various
informations about packages, like available version, installed
version, comment and homepage. A simple paging system lets you read
information files.  You can browse both installed and uninstalled
packages, as well as dependencies list and perform various
administrative tasks to them.   pkg_select can handle either source or
binary installations when pkgsrc is installed on the local system, or
binary only when using the pkgsrc-over-ftp feature.

Since February, it has been available in pkgsrc-wip/pkg_select and was
imported into pkgsrc as pkgtools/pkg_select just before the release of
this report.

pkgsrcCon '05
- -------------

After last year's great success with pkgsrcCon '04, the second round
was quickly planned.  pkgsrcCon '05 is the second instantiation of the
technical conference for people working on the NetBSD Packages
Collection (pkgsrc), focusing on existing technologies, research
projects, and works-in-progress in pkgsrc infrastructure.

pkgsrcCon '05 will take place from May 6 - May 8, 2005 in Prague,
Czech Republic.  A tentative list of presentations
( and a tentative schedule
( have been posted.

See for more details.


Due to the large number of supported platforms, this status report
will only point out the very significant changes to some of the ports.
For a full list of port-specific changes, please refer to

amd64: running on Intel EM64T [20050220]
- ----------------------------------------

NetBSD 2.0 has been confirmed to run successfully on Intel x86 CPUs
with 64-bit extension EM64T.  Please see Havard Eidnes' message to the
port-amd64 mailing list
( and
Intel's website
( for details.

cobalt: restore-cd mini howto available [20050311]
- --------------------------------------------------

Alex Pelts has written a detailed Restore-CD Mini Howto for the
NetBSD/cobalt port.  This document explains how to create a NetBSD
Restore CD for Cobalt Qube/Raq devices and has been imported into the
NetBSD website at

evbarm: ported to TS-7200 [20050104]
- ------------------------------------

Jesse Off has announced that he has integrated support for the TS-7200 into
the NetBSD/evbarm port over the Christmas holidays. The TS-7200 is a low-cost
mass-produced PC/104 embedded single board computer intended as a general
purpose core for real embedded applications. More information can be found at

macppc: Mac mini supported [20050120]
- -------------------------------------

Only days after Apple announced the new Mac Mini, people had NetBSD
already running on it.  Matt Thomas was the first to post the dmesg
output, and Bill Squier recently provided some more detailed steps on
getting NetBSD onto the Mac Mini.  See for

sparc64: Sleep sleeps forever no more [20050217]
- ------------------------------------------------

Chuck Silvers recently fixed the famous sleep-sleeps-forever bug in
- -current. A pullup to the 2.x branch will be requested after some
additional testing. See the commit message
and corresponding problem report
( for

xen: NetBSD and Xen [20050304]
- ------------------------------

A lot of people have been talking about Xen recently, and true to its
multi-platform nature, NetBSD was of course ported to Xen early on.
In March, the NetBSD Foundation published a press release reporting on
the benefits of the NetBSD/xen port, initially committed by Christian
Limpach as previously reported. Since then, much progress has been
made, and the NetBSD Project is now using NetBSD/xen internally.  The
press release with further details is available at

xen: support for Xen 2.0 added [20050310]
- -----------------------------------------

Manuel Bouyer has merged the "bouyer-xen2" branch into NetBSD-current. This
means that support for Xen 2.0 (both in privileged and unprivileged mode) will
be part of NetBSD 3.0.  See Manuel's email to the port-xen mailing list for
details (

Shortly after this work was imported, Manuel also provided some step
by step instructions on getting started with NetBSD/xen, which are now
also available at

Finally, Martti Kuparinen performed some comparison tests between
NetBSD/Xen and VMware and found that with very little overhead (10%),
Xen is about 25% faster than VMWare.  See and for


ipf 4.1.5 imported [20050208]
- -----------------------------

Martti Kuparinen announced in February that he upgraded IPFilter to
the latest version (4.1.5) on NetBSD-current. You must recompile
kernel and the ipf tools to use the new version. See Martti's email to
the current-users mailing list for more details:

pkgsrc adds support for multiple digests [20050216]
- ---------------------------------------------------

Following the discovery of weaknesses in the SHA1 algorithm
Alistair Crooks demonstrated once more the proactive approach NetBSD
takes towards security and committed modifications to pkgsrc to allow
multiple digests to check the distfiles as downloaded from the
internet for integrity.  See for

ipsec-tools integrated [20050219]
- ---------------------------------

Emmanuel Dreyfus has been working on integrating NAT Traversal and
replaced the KAME based racoon with the feature-enhanced "ipsec-tools"
version in NetBSD. Thanks to this, NetBSD can now be setup to replace
Cisco 3000 VPN concentrators, while Cisco VPN clients can still be
used, talking to NetBSD instead.

There are many more changes that come with the ipsec-tools, including
dead peer detection, privilege separation, IKE mode config, IKE and
ESP fragmentation, configurable path to certificate authority, and
hook scripts. See Emmanuel's mail for a more complete list:


xfree86 3.3.6 EOL'd [20050107]
- ------------------------------

XFree86 3.3.6 has been officially EOLed in NetBSD-current as of
January 7th, 2005:

- - Its sources have been removed from "xsrc". They are of course still
  available via CVS.
- - Support for creating XFree86 3.3.6 distribution sets has been
  removed from "src".
- - now sets USE_XF86_4 to yes unconditionally.

All NetBSD ports will use XFree86 4.x based X11 bits in future as they
already do in the NetBSD 2.0 release.

JDK 1.5.0 patches available [20050119]
- --------------------------------------

The BSD Java Porting project has released patchset 1 "Sabretooth" for
JDK 1.5, based on the JDK 1.5.0 SCSL source code.  This allows NetBSD
users to build a native JDK under NetBSD-2.0/i386.  See for details.

PAM enabled [20050227]
- ----------------------

NetBSD has adopted Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM).  The PAM
framework is a system of libraries that perform authentication tasks
for services and applications.  Applications that use the PAM API may
have their authentication behavior configured by the system
administrator through the use of the service's PAM configuration file.
These applications can therefore leverage new authentication schemes
without requiring modification of the application.  PAM also allows
system applications such as passwd(1) to interact with new
authentication schemes transparently.

PAM is widely used in the Unix world and supported by other operating
systems such as Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X.  NetBSD uses
the OpenPAM implementation of PAM, which is also used by FreeBSD.

NetBSD 3.0 will be the first release of NetBSD to ship with PAM

Please see Christos Zoulas' message to the current-users mailing list
( for

TCP/SACK support added [20050228]
- ---------------------------------

Jonathan Stone committed patches from Kentaro A. Kurahone to add
support for TCP Selective Acknowledgement Options (SACK), meaning that
NetBSD 3.0 will ship with TCP/SACK enabled.  More information about
TCP/SACK can be found at and in
RFCs 2018/2883.

MySQL benchmark results
- -----------------------

In February, the results of a MySQL benchmark
started lots of discussion among the different tested operating
systems.  As usual, the NetBSD developer community did not just engage
in chest-thumping, but actually sat down and thought about the results
and how to improve performance, moving the discussion from the
netbsd-advocacy to the tech-kern mailing list.

Some of the more interesting threads on this topic are and, in which
Chuck Silvers includes posting also includes ways to increase
performance from about 3 transactions per second to about 12 TPS.

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