Subject: NetBSD at the EuroBSDCon 2002
To: None <>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 11/20/2002 01:44:42
[Note: this text is also available at]


                         NetBSD at the EuroBSDCon 2002
                          - Rumours, Gossips & Facts -
               Hubert Feyrer <>, November 2002


                                   * Thursday

   Arrived, met with uwe at the airport and went to the hotel, had food and
   drinks with Martin Husemann and Frank van der Linden in various bars in
   downtown Amsterdam.

                                    * Friday

   Setup the NetBSD booth with posters, flyers (thanks to Martin and Andreas
   for helping to fold the flyers!), snow globes, slinkies, sweeties, and of
   course a bunch of self-made CDs (4-CD-all-archs-base+X and
   6-CD-i386-install+packages). Additional goods were donated by Wasabi
   Systems in the form of a big bunch of CDs and ASCII which gave us a few
   nice generic BSD t-shirts and a few copies of their magazine. Valeriy
   borrowed his HP Jornada (SH based) for public display.

   I talked to Alistair Crooks about various things related to the NetBSD
   Packages Collection, what's going on at Wasabi Systems, his election to
   join the NetBSD board, and a few other things. I'll try to catch him for a
   seperate interview the next few weeks - stay tuned and watch this space!

   Status update of amigappc port by Ignatios: he doesn't have much work
   right now, and Adam Cier(something)'s machine got damaged during a move.
   Last state from a few months ago was that the kernel started up and
   created some output, next steps would involve to catch up with
   NetBSD-current, esp. the generic PowerPC code there, and then continue
   working from that, integrating pmap changes etc.

   NetBSD dinner took place at the "Guru of India", we had dinner with about
   18 people. Participating developers & friends included krister, jdolecek,
   Randall Dow, agc, yyamano, pk, martin, fvdl, Andreas Lohrum, cjep,
   ignatios, uwe, hubertf, jdc, tron, and his girlfriend Silke. I got told we
   devoured food for a total of almost 500EUR.

   Pooka didn't have time to attend the meeting, but he mastered the "how did
   the chicken cross the road" contest crossing the highway and reached the
   gas station on the other side of the highway - his courage was rewarded
   with food and drinks. :)

                                   * Saturday

   10am keynote by Mike Karels of Wind River Systems - he talked about the
   past, present and future of BSD, outlining the history of the various BSD
   releases done at UCB then, the ending of the CSRG and emerging BSD
   projects alive today as well as a few key areas on which to focus for in
   the future including both external software like sendmail, ISC DHCP, etc.
   but also split out seperate projects for important subsystems like what
   the KAME project does for IPv6. Other ventures worth mentioning here would
   be USB, UFS and some others. Some more communication (and collaboration)
   between the various BSD projects would be important for that.

   Talks on clustering NetBSD by Hubert Feyrer, and on a shared
   write-protected NFS root file system for a cluster of diskless machines by
   Ignatios Souvatzis.

   The NetBSD booth got a few interesting questions about if the macppc pool
   was able to do dual boot, what embedded boards NetBSD would run on, etc.
   There was not much interest in CDs, which had to be expected - people
   mostly already had some kind of BSD going before going to the Con ;).

   The social event took place on a ship which drove a tour through the
   Amsterdam ports and canals. Interesting chats included some OpenBSD users
   that learned about NetBSD to get curious enough to give it a try, contacts
   with the OpenBSD people doing their new packet filter PF, meeting some of
   the people from the Hamburg BSD group and talking to them about a possible
   german BSD-event next year. I talked to Paul Kranenburg about the status
   of sparc SMP, and it seems there is still a lot of work left to do - to
   finish it, a person with a lot of skill in both the NetBSD kernel, SPARC
   assembler, a SMP-capable machine _and_ spare time has to be found. Not a
   trivial task! In addition, a few ideas were bounced back and forth about
   compiling pkgsrc packages on SMP machines, and the general concensus was
   that it was better to build one package at a time utilizing all CPUs (make
   -j) than trying to compile several pkgs in parallel as there are roo many
   potential problems with interdependencies, possible conflicts, not having
   the minimal set of requited pkgs etc.

   A few ideas for better marketing were bounced around all the day too,
   including the concensus that we actually _do_ need to do something there
   to remain (or rather, get...) visible. Of course going out to conferences
   etc. and doing NetBSD booths is the prime thing to do here, but that needs
   devoted people, which are still hard to come by - our developers still
   seem to be a bit shy about that. Ideas for t-shirts included a BSD-Daemon
   in something like spiderman-dress and a net (-> _Net_BSD), or trying to
   mutate the daemon into an ant (with some 6 arms, antennas etc.). The
   problem of doing actual distribution of things like t-shirts and CDs still
   needs to be answered though, assuming we ever get something both financed
   and realized. Some talks with the OpenBSD people (which really do a good
   job at distributing their posters and t-shirts!) showed that they ship big
   boxes of shirts etc. all over europe for each event, which of course isn't
   cheap, but that's the price one probably has to pay - less money for the
   project but increase in presence through people wearing shirts and hanging
   out posters.

                                    * Sunday

   First presentation took place at 10:30, Alistair Crooks talked about
   Package Views in the NetBSD Packages Collection as a more flexible
   infrastructure for third-party software. Al went into what pkgsrc was, how
   it was different form the other BSDs', multiplatform etc., then went into
   current problems and outlined a solution based on installing pkgs in
   seperate directories (one per package), and using a farm of symlinks.
   Sounded like a very promising system!

   The second NetBSD talk on sunday was given by Valeriy Ushakov on Porting
   NetBSD to JavaStation-NC, and he also outlined some ideas about porting to
   the Psion. Also, Alan Horn from Inktomi Corp. talked about Monitoring the
   world with NetBSD.

   After the closing session the NetBSD booth was torn down, and a few more
   drinks were taken in the lobby before everyone went home or on to their

                                   * Summary

   Summing things up, EuroBSDCon was a big win for the NetBSD project as we
   got a lot of attention and showed that we are much alive and kicking. We
   can (and need!) to do more such active marketing with CDs, posters and (in
   the future) t-shirts, but we're definitely on the right track. NetBSD
   folks are much encouraged to go out and do the evangelism to tell the
   world about our project, not only on BSD-cons but also on e.g.

     * EuroBSDCon pix:
     * Valeriy's NetBSD pix:

 - Hubert Feyrer
   The NetBSD Project

NetBSD - because Unix isn't just #include <linux.h>, i386, ILP32, ELF, ...!