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Operating Systems Unix BSD

NetBSD 6.0 Has Shipped 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
New submitter Madwand sends this quote from the NetBSD Project's announcement that NetBSD 6.0 has been released: "Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter. Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers, an experimental CHFS file system designed for flash devices, support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol, and more. This release also introduces NPF — a new packet filter, designed with multi-core systems in mind, which can do TCP/IP traffic filtering, stateful inspection, and network address translation (NAT)."
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NetBSD 6.0 Has Shipped

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  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:12PM (#41686317)

    Did Netcraft confirm it?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Both of them!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why does a STABLE release version highlight as a feature an EXPERIMENTAL filesystem?

    • by hawicz (449905)
      Because you don't need to enable every feature that an OS has? If you want to play around with something experimental, temporarily load it as a module, or use Rump or Puffs to isolate the filesystem code to a userland process and hack away.
    • Re:Contradiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by spauldo (118058) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @03:29AM (#41690265)

      STABLE is just the branch release. It means if you track the STABLE tree, you'll only get bugfixes. If you track CURRENT, you get stuff that'll go into the next version of NetBSD, but stuff will change on you (requiring you to update scripts and such). See the release map [netbsd.org] for a better explaination.

      It has nothing to do with the stability of the OS itself. I can't comment on that, since I haven't used it much, but from what I hear it's pretty good.

      • I have only used stable, but (On Sparc64) I get 2 year up times (after which machines tend to get rebuilt). Only down time has been due to hardware issues (and a HD filling up to 110%) I have been using it since version 2.8 - and intermittently before that on Sparc and PC architecture. (Headless - historically, graphics dirvers were very limited)
    • by blade8086 (183911)

      This is a common way of getting advanced features out in 'beta' without slowing down a whole release -
      it allows users to experiment with the feature without expecting full support or without having to manually install
      the new feature itself - if you don't want to risk stability, don't use it.

      Similary - there are at least 2x similar 'experimental' technologies in RHEL6, which is used by many thousands of companies
      on mission critical systems:

      - Linux Containers are a Technology Preview.
      - Btrfs is not a producti

  • The one I know most about is FreeBSD. I have this vague notion that NetBSD has historically been used for routers/traffic shaping?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by afidel (530433)

      Darwin (the Unix heart of OSX) is a NetBSD derivative. Parts of QNX (a popular commercial embedded OS) are also based on NetBSD.

      • Darwin is based on the *FreeBSD* userland stack, but it has a Mach-based kernel. I don't believe there is really ,inch NetBSD stuff in there at all...

        • by afidel (530433)

          Check it out, from the horses mouth [netbsd.org].

          NetBSD is used by Apple for a large portion of the user-space commands and tools in their Darwin project, and Darwin is the UNIX-based core used by Mac OS X. NetBSD source tends to pay attention to issues of portability and correctness, and is virtually all BSD licenced, which avoids commercial problems with the GNU General Public Licence. At least one of the Apple developers has access to the NetBSD source tree and has fed back some useful changes

          • I think Android uses NetBSD-derived userland stuff also? I've had the impression that they wanted BSD stuff for licensing reasons but I wonder if there's something specific to NetBSD that makes everybody particularly like their userland utilities!

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            http://opensource.apple.com/source/file_cmds/file_cmds-220.7/ls/ls.h

            ...
              *
              * from: @(#)ls.h 8.1 (Berkeley) 5/31/93
              * $FreeBSD: src/bin/ls/ls.h,v 1.18 2002/05/19 02:51:36 tjr Exp $
              */

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Check it out, from the horses mouth [netbsd.org].

            You are looking at the wrong horse. [apple.com]

            The BSD portion of the OS X kernel is derived primarily from FreeBSD, a version of 4.4BSD that offers advanced networking, performance, security, and compatibility features.

        • Re:of the BSDs (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lemming Mark (849014) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:55PM (#41686825) Homepage

          The Darwin kernel (which is called XNU) is a bit weird - I spent some time looking into it when it was still a relatively new thing (2003-4 kind of era). XNU is Mach + FreeBSD + DeviceKit/Apple-y bits, all sharing the same protection domain. The latter point is interesting, since despite the fact Mach is considered a microkernel they've actually shoved all of the other kernel-level services in with it, rather than separating them into different processes. This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

          The Apple-y bits in the kernel that I mentioned definitely includes DeviceKit, their driver interface. Maybe some other stuff as well. The drivers are not normal FreeBSD-like device drivers - I think they're even C++, unlike FreeBSD itself.

          I found it all a bit unexpected really, things didn't fit together as I'd imagined.

          There's probably more in here; I'm not sure if it's the original one I read through!
          https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Conceptual/KernelProgramming/About/About.html [apple.com]

          • by Guy Harris (3803)

            The latter point is interesting, since despite the fact Mach is considered a microkernel they've actually shoved all of the other kernel-level services in with it, rather than separating them into different processes. This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

            I.e., it's as much a "microkernel" as Windows NT is. :-)

            The Apple-y bits in the kernel that I mentioned definitely includes DeviceKit, their driver interface. Maybe some other stuff as well. The drivers are not normal FreeBSD-like device drivers - I think they're even C++, unlike FreeBSD itself.

            Yes, DeviceKit drivers are written in (a subset of) C++. Drivers that just plug into the standard UN*Xy cdevsw are likely to be just Boring Old C.

            The VFS (file system) and network protocol layers should look somewhat familiar to people used to the *BSDs. Other than sitting atop Mach tasks, the process layer should also look familiar to them.

            • by unixisc (2429386)
              Minix 3.2 now has NetBSD userland on top of it, and has a BSD license, so if anyone wanted a microkernel based BSD OS, they'd already have it in Minix.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

            Well, we knew that was the case before OSX even shipped, but OK. It's not a microkernel-based operating system because the microkernel isn't doing process management, or much of anything at all. It's just playing HAL.

          • by JonJ (907502)

            This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

            It's not unexpected for anyone who has been paying even remotely attention to operating system development. Let me quote Linus from a G+ post on Greg Kroah-Hartmans feed:

            yes, it's based on Mach, but it's based on the older Mach 2 architecture which really wasn't a microkernel. It's parts of FreeBSD bolted on top of a research kernel that was meant to become a microkernel, but never really did.

            And the result really is nasty. Page fault and VM latencies are horrible (why do I know? We hit huge performance problems while doing the MacOS port of git), the filesystem choices they've done show a level of incompetence that is stunning, yadda yadda.

            But hey, it's pretty on top. If the Apple engineers actually knew what they were doing, they could use a known superior open-source kernel and put their pretty on top of that instead. Then they wouldn't have to do kernel programming, and could leave it to the people who actually like doing it and know what they are doing.

            • Creator of an OS kernel thinks a competitor's OS kernel is inferior. More news at 11...
            • Of course, at least Apple can come up with a stable ABI and driver model. Linus is too interested in playing around with little fiddly bits to worry about important stuff, like making sure software written a few months ago still works.

    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      LMWTFY

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetBSD#Examples_of_use

    • Re:of the BSDs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['aho' in gap> on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:21PM (#41687685) Homepage Journal

      NetBSD is the "runs on any/everything" variant. It's absurdly portable. If you've heard stories / jokes about "BSD on a toaster", it was probably NetBSD.

      It's not necessarily a great desktop system; "runs on everything" doesn't mean all internal or peripheral software support is going to be great (desktop-oriented BSD distros are usually FreeBSD based). However, it's a great choice if you have a very old or obscure computer that you want to run it on. I know a guy who runs NetBSD on one of the later-model VAXes.

    • NetBSD used to be known as an easily portable UNIX like operating system. Quite often whenever you heard of a new hardware architecture it was usually the first operating system ported to it. For example when X86-64 came out it was the first. AFAIK their device drivers are written in a way to be easier to port across machine architectures so that eases porting efforts. I heard the FreeBSD folks were integrating something similar to the NetBSD driver model but that is about it.
  • Sweet! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:26PM (#41686461)

    Is the 68K port up to date?
    I've got to dig up my SE/30 and see if I can get it going again.

    Nothing like an old BW compact mac with a bash prompt to make a geek do a double take.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      Actually, does it officially support Itanium, as yet? For something that claims to be the most ported, one would imagine it would.

      But honestly, I don't see the point to this - OpenBSD I can understand, and FreeBSD too. But NetBSD? I think they'd be better off just merging w/ Minix, which already uses NetBSD userland since 3.2

      • by zaft (597194)
        From what I can tell the Itanium port is pretty immature. I actually have 3 Itania but haven't had a chance to work on bringing NetBSD up on real hardware. OpenBSD forked from NetBSD.
        • Oh, I know that OpenBSD forked from NetBSD, but it has far outgrown it. NetBSD's only selling point was being most ported - at least amongst the BSDs, but even there, FreeBSD has a version for ia64, but NetBSD doesn't. Which is why I was wondering.

          Currently, amongst the OSs still active for Itanium, aside from HP/UX, on the Linux side, only Debian remains, and on the BSD side, only FreeBSD. Any inputs on which of these is a better choice for this platform?

  • Great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I even run this on an old Amgia, 20 years old. Amazing stuff, netbsd that is. I wonder how they manage to support all these different hardware. Cool.

    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LizardKing (5245) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:47PM (#41686725)

      I wonder how they manage to support all these different hardware.

      One way is automated cross-compiling to ensure that the source at least builds for as many architectures as possible. Think of it as a large scale continuous integration environment.

  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @05:40PM (#41686637) Homepage Journal

    Apparently, I'll never understand Slashdot. The latest junk from Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Oracle, et al. make the front page, but one of the highest quality open source releases gets buried. (It's almost like people self-medicate their marketing these days, but separate issue.)

    I got 6 years of uptime once off of NetBSD on sparc. This stuff is gold. It's platinum. It's so stable, you have to worry about making sure you get around to patching your apps because the OS just never dies... stick this on solid state storage with the new NAND support, and you don't even have to worry about spinning disk fails. As a network device OS, this will be an awesome high-uptime packet sensor or embedded packet router.

    Bravo NetBSD! Keep up the good work. This is top headline stuff.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. NetBSD is exceedingly stable and more people need to take advantage of it. I'm very surprised Google didn't choose to use *BSD instead of Linux, because as servers go, nothing beats BSD. I once administered several BSD server and never once had a failure. Ever. Once they are up and running and configured correctly, they are there to stay short of hardware failure.

      NetBSD makes a great embedded OS and I'm surprised there are not smartphones running BSD. Maybe soon...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm surprised there are not smartphones running BSD. Maybe soon...

        There are. [apple.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's far easier to get random drivers and niche optimizations into Linux mainline. That's why BSDs tend to be more stable---less code churn. (Other times, it means persistent problems that go unaddressed for years.) Code churn means more bugs. It's inevitable. And it's why it's so easy to root a Linux machine, even though on-the-whole the code quality is really good. Also, Google started using Linux 15 years ago, before NetBSD was actually tolerable.

        In real world terms I guess the difference is small, but w

    • I got 6 years of uptime once off of NetBSD on sparc.

      Congrats but you should never do it in something connected to internet. You would be using a 6-year old kernel that's ridicously vulnerable to 6-year old exploits.

    • Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Oracle all have a whole lot more users than NetBSD. To most people, NetBSD brings absolutely nothing that Linux doesn't bring. NetBSD may run in some routers, but Linux probably runs in a *lot* more routers. Even FreeBSD may run in more routers than NetBSD (JunOS is FreeBSD based..).

      So, to most of us, NetBSD is "meh, don't care". Sorry.

  • I'm curious about the new packet filter. First, I'd like to see benchmarks on performance due to multi-core use (it certainly seems like a good idea). And second, because I've hated every packet filter I ever used (tried to use) - ipfwadm, iptables, ipchains, ipfw, tc, lartc. Hate 'em.
  • I thought you were dead!

  • the features list are things most kernels have had for a decade or two, but NetBSD acts like they are brand new features? Talking about these features that have been around forever as being the latest and greatest is absurd. The BSDs long ago lost relevance. Pretty much there is not a thing that they do better than Linux and there is a lot that they do not do that Linux can do. It is painfuil to install and the hardware support is worse than Windows. I cant see a a strength to it.

    • I cant see a a strength to it.

      Support for VAX & toaster ovens. Also, lack of new code. Protip: New code = opportunity for instability / exploits. Linux is great for bleeding edge, but I run BSD on my NAS & Routers because stability is more important there.

    • The BSDs long ago lost relevance.

      Precisely. And netcraft comfirms it.

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