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Re: netbsd on vax 11/730; booting in sim

Yes, it's nice to see activity, plus it's nice to have NetBSD 5 working as well as it does.

??? What do you mean "well"? I thing I've said it a number of times by now. It don't. Atleast not on VAXen. And it hasn't been for a year and a half. Except nobody tries to test it, so nobody sees it.

What I mean is that NetBSD 5 is working VERY well compared with NetBSD 4. Shared libraries work, paging works, many more things compile properly, and, perhaps more importantly run properly, than with NetBSD 4.

The 86x0 support was broken a while back (I think it was a rototill of the code by Matt Thomas), but the hanging system thing was introduced with the yamt-idlewp import already at 4.99.20 about 18 months ago. NetBSD/vax haven't worked right since.

I don't have an 86x0, and I'm not sure I've run into the yamt-idlewp problem. I've use my VAXstation 4000/60 with NetBSD-current to do bulk package builds for months at a time throughout 2008 without any crashes. I'm about to start one with NetBSD 5, and if it took a day with your 4000/90, then I expect I'd probably see something in the first week or so.

And then we have the ever present crashes during build.sh when building groff (pic crashes).

Is that the NaN issue? Or something completely different?

So NetBSD 5 is not something I'd try to use on a VAX. :-(

...unless you're moving from NetBSD 4, I'd qualify. If people try it, report broken things, and try to help where they can, it might be releasable. At the moment, I'm running BIND 9.6, Apache 2.2.11, the latest sendmail, pine, imap-uw, and all sorts of other things. It's not perfect, but it's definitely usable and definitely better than NetBSD 4.

I have hope because things are (perhaps slowly, but nonetheless) getting better, even though they're certainly not perfect. Big problems, such as keeping up with gcc, are inevitable. If it weren't for the work of people on the VAX NetBSD port, my guess is that VAX support in gcc would've been depricated already.

On the other hand, if someone integrates a lightweight compiler suite, embedded and low memory systems might make very good use of it. I vaguely remember some discussion about getting NetBSD to compile with one of those lightweight compilers... pcc?

All in all, I think NetBSD/VAX keeps many of the other ports more honest. We're not just an i386/amd64 OS with some interesting side projects, and I hope it stays that way.

John Klos

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