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Re: Froscon-Bericht


> ich habe jetzt mal eine "fertigere" Version erstellt. Ich habe dafür einfach
> die Latex-Klasse leaflet benutzt, irgendwie kam ich mit der Positionierung
> sonst nicht so richtig klar.
> Zum Konvertieren braucht ihr noch dieses Bild hier und müsst pdflatex
> benutzen oder anderweitig pngs einbinden:
> Bitte verbessert noch den Text oder was auch immer, aber so ist der imho
> noch etwas unfertig (und enthält noch XXXe).
ich habe jetzt auch eine englische Version davon, siehe Anhang. Ich kann die
nur grad nicht kompilieren, sonst würd ich sie an netbsd-advocacy schicken.

Gruß, Julian


% Title page - contains logo and short description

{\huge \bfseries The NetBSD project}

{\large \scshape ``Of course it runs NetBSD''}

\includegraphics[width=\textwidth ]{NetBSD}

\subsection{What is NetBSD?}

NetBSD is one of the oldest, still active free Unixes. Different to Linux, 
NetBSD has its roots in the original Unix from Bell Labs, and its origin in an 
academic environment, which it left 1993 for an open environment; but this 
professional direction has been preserved till today.

``Of course it runs NetBSD'' -- NetBSD is very vigilant about the cleanness and 
portability of its code. It is running on many platforms other operating 
systems abandoned years ago, no matter if it's a small HP Jornada palmtop or a 
40kg DEC Alpha server -- on all these machines you can run an actual NetBSD 
with actual software.

But especially for modern platforms NetBSD is well suited, being a modern, but 
classical universal Unix, being useful as a desktop or server operating system.

% First inner side - together with the second one being the first page the 
reader sees when unfolding the flyer.
\subsection{NetBSD is continuity}

Compared to Linux, but also in comparison with other BSDs NetBSD is a very 
\emph{conservative} operating system, not in the sense of being underdeveloped, 
but in choosing its developments thoughtfully. NetBSD is like no other free 
Unix following classical unix traditions and principles, resulting in a very 
uniform handling.

Where other operating systems often try to implement as many features as 
possible into every program they use, NetBSD is suspicious of these features 
being reasonable and non-redundant, and not breaking the system's stability by 
adopting unfinished software.
But even implemented features won't rot around without further maintenance, but 
can also be abandoned after a while when they did not prove their usefulness, 
open up security holes or their implementation is faulty or redundant.

NetBSD claims the entitlement of running on every hardware platform, but even 
when only using a recent x86 system, you profit from that. Because of that, the 
code is written with a great stress on its cleanness and potability and always 
well documented.

But this does not slow development down, it just makes it possible to use 
modern features on old computers, or even implement them without being forced 
to handle code that would be hardware-specific on other OSs. Just recently a 
new firewall -- {\ttfamily npf} -- was developed, to overcome the disadvantages 
of existing firewalls, unique userland virtualisation technics like {\ttfamily 
rump}, and Lua being imported into the kernel make not only the most recent 
computers, but even old forgotten machines competetive against the market 
leaders with modern servers.

Especially the uniformity of kernel and userland demarcate NetBSD from Linux. 
Where GNU/Linux is a combination of many small parts (e.g. GNU), a kernel, and 
several companies delivering third party modules, NetBSD's parts all come from 
the same team, ensuring the components work together and are all handled the 
same way.

% Third inner page - together with fourth side used for digging more into the 
\subsection{For all platforms}

NetBSD's Slogan is ``Of course it runs NetBSD'', and that points out the 
greatest dogma of NetBSD. Even when Linux supports many different platforms, 
there's no uniform distribution for them. For many platforms you need a 
specific distribution, each of them being different.
% 11 - 57
NetBSD provides a uniform operating system with uniform userland (it's the 
same), uniform package management and actual development on more than 10 
architectures and more than 55 platforms. You won't get a stripped-down version 
of NetBSD on an older platform, but always the whole complete system without 

Especially for this reason NetBSD is often used in embedded computers: Porting 
NetBSD to a new platform is in many cases only the adjustment of a few drivers, 
or the platform is even there already. And if there is a new platform, NetBSD's 
separation makes it as easy as possible to only have to implement the 
hardware-specific code and no other subsystems.

Additionally, NetBSD provides paravirtualisation with Xen, being host, but also 
client system, bringing you the possibility of running other operating systems 
as clients or being a client system on another host machine, too.

\subsection{Simple possibility for crosscompiling}

NetBSD runs on many very old platforms, which are too weak to compile greater 
amounts of code in finite time. That's why NetBSD developed a very mature and 
comfortable system to crosscompile the whole operating system, or just the 
crosscompiling toolchain itself.

Generally, you can compile on nearly every Unix (including MacOSX) and and 
every platform NetBSD and toolschains for every supported platform, even as 
unprivileged user. The script {\ttfamily} would e.g. build the 
toolchain for sparc simply with {\ttfamily -m sparc tools}, and just 
with choosing another target (so {\ttfamily -m sparc distribution}) 
you can just switch to compiling the whole operating systems, without being 
required to spend any more work on it.

% Fourth inner page, equal to the third inner page.
\subsection{Active community}

NetBSD has a very active, but relatively centrally organised community.
The NetBSD Foundation does not only provide the websites and infrastructure for 
the development and distribution of NetBSD, but also the mailing lists for 
communication of the NetBSD users. Most of the communication of the community 
is done over these lists, so you reach most of the users with a mail to these 
lists, getting fast help.

Furthermore, NetBSD has channels (#netbsd) in the great IRC networks (the most 
active ones being IRCNet and Freenode) where you can get in touch directly and 
more private with other NetBSD users, and get help 24 hours around the clock.

On the mailing lists, but also in IRC you will often meet developers, so you 
sometimes have the person responsible for your problem directly reading your 

NetBSD users are very widespread, that's why there are few user groups, but 
many regional mailing lists ( provide help 
in your mother tongue. Alternatively, you will find NetBSD booths on every 
great Open Source Event (like Froscon) to ask for help or to get informations 
about the current status of NetBSD developments.

\subsection{Simple participation}

The NetBSD community is a very tight one, where beginners will get in touch 
with developers very fast. Code proposals will be discussed and worked on (i.e. 
being imported to NetBSD or the problems will be fixed otherwise) very fast.

If you want to help developing NetBSD, you will get in touch with developers 
via mailing lists or IRC very fast, which have an overview of the current 
development and can give proposals what could be worked on, or even offer their 
help themselves, if you get stuck with development.

Of course you do not have to write code to participate. There is much very 
important work you can help on without having great technical knowledge, mostly 
documentation, but you need the will to work into a topic. Here again just ask 
what can be done, there's much to do.

% Second inner page, being the first thing to be seen together with the first 
inner page.
\subsection{A complete operating system}

NetBSD uses the package manager {\ttfamily pkgsrc}, which does not only work on 
nearly every Unix/Linux platform, but also serving NetBSD always with the most 
recent packages. DragonflyBSD and MirOS did even adopted pkgsrc as their main 
source for third party packages, thus enlargening the user and developer base 
of pkgsrc.

You can configure NetBSD to be as minimal as possible, eating only a few 
megabytes, but you can install as much software as you want. Especially on 
firewall solutions, NetBSD provides more than all the other free Unixes. Other 
security features like {\ttfamily veriexec}, allowing only execution of 
registered binaries, make NetBSD not only for severs, but also for embedded 
environments optimal.

No matter if you want a KDE, Gnome or Xfce desktop, you will find them all in 
an actual version for NetBSD. Nearly every Open Source software is available 
for NetBSD, and even if it is not provided, you can still use the interal 
emulation for FreeBSD or Linux or many other systems. There is no significant 
speed impact, as you do not have virtualisation, but only translations of 
syscalls and maybe some special libraries in between.

Of course you don't have to compile all packages yourself, on old computers 
that would take a large amount of time, anyway. You can simply use on of the 
numerous repositories and install binary packages easily with the command 
{\ttfamily pkg\_add} within seconds (or minutes, depending on the package 
size). All dependencies and conflicts will be solved automatically or be shown 
to the user, respectively, and are solvable with a few operations.

NetBSD gives you control ove rall the licences of your used packages. While the 
base system contains only BSD licenced code, you can configure in your 
configuration file for additional software / compiling {\ttfamily mk.conf} 
precisely which licences you want to use and which ones you want to deny.

% Back matter, useful for some finishing informations or addresses
\subsection{Complete documentation}

NetBSD has, as many other BSDs too, a very good and complete documentation.

On the one hand, there is the central (free) NetBSD guide. The guide contains 
detailed instructions on how to install and configure NetBSD to run on your 
system, how to install additional software, and all the generic administration 
stuff. But there's also deeper information about all important subsystems, e.g. 
on how to use software RAIDs, bluetooth, or hard disk encryption.

On the other hand, NetBSD is nearly completely covered with manpages. For every 
program, for every kernel driver, there is a manpage that describes its usage, 
sense and functionality. With all this documentation, NetBSD fits well 
specially for developers, which want to find information fast and locally, but 
not have to search endlessly online for documentation. Just recently, there was 
the new tool XXX programmed in a GSoC project that improves manpage searching 
even further.
But also in comparison with Linux manpages, the BSD manpages are often more 
complete and more detailed.

But also for beginners, NetBSD is usable. The system gives you all 
possibilities of solving problems yourself by learning about the system, not by 
having to search the web because there's no documentation delivered with the 

Also for non-NetBSD users the documentation is often very useful. The basic 
mechanisms of Unix (e.g. of a vfs) are detailed very precisely, and the NetBSD 
installation notes for older platforms are often used by vintage computing 
people as references, too.

\subsection{Entry points for documentation}

Website: \url{}\\
Guide: \url{}\\
Articles: \url{}\\
Mailing lists: \url{}\\
Manpages: \url{}


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