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Re: Roadblocks to further widespread adoption of NetBSD in embedded systems (at least in my neck of the woods)

On 3/26/2010 1:58 PM, Herb Peyerl wrote:

Having done a couple of years of QNX, a number of years of Linux and a bunch of years of NetBSD, all embedded; I predict that you will quickly come to hate QNX and regret your decision. But that's not what we're here for ...
Interesting, I would like to hear more:-)

3. Better remote debugging over ethernet (kernel included). I may be wrong on this, but I haven't seen a lot of info on how to do this for NetBSD.

There's not a lot of info either. I use a BDI2k on MPC5200 and PPC405 with NetBSD. I run GDB on my build host, connected to my bdi which is plugged into my virtex2 board and I can debug the kernel. Sure, it's hardware debugging, but it's relatively painless..

Yeah, I don't have a problem with good ole hardware debugging, but being able to remote debug something in the field at the customer site from your system in your office across country has become a critical requirement for this company!

4. Ability to build a small kernel with small subset of userland utilities much like BusyBox on Linux, but not GPL.

We used to have a thing called 'crunchgen' but it's been a bunch of years since I touched that. My current NetBSD embedded platform boots off compact flash and we just use normal userland binaries but we hand-pick the ones we want.

Obviously you know that NetBSD is not a commercial product... So things like PowerQuicc support would be added only if someone wrote it who needed it... That would be you. Unless someone needs it, it's not going to suddenly appear...

I know and understand that, but I'm not going to be able to convince them to pay me to do it when the other two have the existing device support ready to go. There's the rub. It doesn't help that development boards and debuggers for PowerQuicc family (each separate in their own right) are so expensive for someone like me pondering of doing it on my own time. Double rub! I've already spent some money on a ARM board to get familiar with the NetBSD code for embedded development.

At my current gig, there's another platform that is Linux on MPC5200 and Linux on Virtex5... The biggest angst they have currently is the increasing number of packages that are switching to GPLv3. That license has become 'verboten' in that organization so there is consideration to moving to a BSD licensed OS.

Yeah, GPLv3 concerns me as well more than GPLv2 does.

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