Subject: Looking ahead
To: None <>
From: Allen Briggs <>
List: tech-embed
Date: 06/04/2007 21:47:46
Hi folks,

I've appointed myself to collect thoughts about future directions
for NetBSD in the embedded space.  At the moment, this is more in
terms of a list of items with no priority assigned to any of them.

I'll also add that this covers a range of systems--from a small
device that lives attached to a wall somewhere doing something
basic like logging weather data or a NAS / wireless router appliance
like the Linksys NSLU2 all the way up to a much larger router or
NAS device or something else--so it covers a wide range of systems
and some of these things will make sense for some areas, but not
for others.

All that said, here's the list I've gathered so far...

* Flash support
  - Support for NOR devices (CFI, et al.)
  - Support for NAND devices
  - Flash filesystem
    . wear leveling
    . makefs support
  - Support for RedBoot's FIS "disklabel"
  - Library support for environment variables (getenv, setenv, commit,
* Build-to-image support
  - Easy inclusion of 3rd-party, cross-compiled apps
  - Easy configuration for reduced-size builds
* Power management (conserve power when idle / semi-idle)
  - powertop-like functionality?
    (IBM/Linux PowerTOP recently mentioned on /.)
* Remote core dumps (via tftp? ssh? ESP?)
* Remote console support (via ssh? ESP?)
* Remote debugging (via firewire or ip? gdb w/ kdp?, ssh-to-ddb? esp?)
* Boot with no userland (no user context-switching)
* Remote gathering of profiling data (gprof at first?)
  - Support for gathering data for Intel VTune (x86 / XScale)
  - Revitalized support for PMCs
* More efficient TCP/networking stack on lower-power hardware
* Stable Kernel API
* Support for layered security for LKMs (LKMs have no access to
	ring 0 on x86?)

I know that there are some efforts towards flash and build-to-image,
or even some implementations out there right now, but until they're
in the tree, they're "future".  ;-)

Anyone want to chime in with some other items?


Allen Briggs  |  |