On behalf of NetBSD developers, I'm happy to announce the availability of a public beta of NetBSD 6.0, for your testing pleasure.

This beta is substantially feature-complete; there may be some additional changes to the installer and possibly some additional hardware support if some is found missing and is easily added, but the major changes are done. What we need now is for you, the end users, to test it in your preferred configuration.

Please DO keep in mind, however, that this is a beta release; we fully expect there are some lurking bugs, so use with caution.

Binaries of NetBSD 6.0_BETA are available for download at:

http://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-6.0_BETA/

Bootable (for many arches) ISO images are also available for download via HTTP, FTP, and BitTorrent.

Here are some highlighted changes since NetBSD 5.0. As always, full details can be found in doc/CHANGES and doc/CHANGES-6.0:

  • time_t is now 64 bits.
  • syslog improvements: Reliable TCP connections, encryption, syslog protocol API.
  • LKMs removed; superseded by the new module(7) framework.
  • Boot loaders on some arches (i386, amd64) support loading modules at boot.
  • Added crash(8) a new utility based on ddb(4) to diagnose kernel crashes.
  • Added netpgp(1), a BSD-licensed implementation of PGP.
  • Added LVM (Logical Volume Manager) functionality.
  • Multiprocessor support for Xen PV DomUs.
  • Xen2 support has been dropped.
  • Better Xen PV support on Linux dom0, including Citrix XenServer and Xen Cloud Platform.
  • Much improved copmpat_linux support for running Linux binaries.
  • x.org was updated with new versions of most utilities, and the X server.
  • Some arches now default to UFS2 in sysinst.
  • FFS: softdep is no longer available, use WAPBL logging instead.
  • gpio(4) has been completely reworked to integrate with kauth(9)
  • evbarm now have support for Gumstix Verdex and Verdex Pro, Marvell Sheevaplug and other Marvell SoC NAS boxes, i.MX51 SoC.
  • arm platforms has support for Cortex-A8 CPUs.
  • pfsync(4) from OpenBSD 4.2
  • mDNSResponder is now in base.
  • raid(4) now has parity maps, greatly improving parity rewrite times after unclean shutdown.
  • Added support for 64-bit MIPS processors (O32, N32, N64 ABIs are supported)
  • Added mkubootimage(1) tool for generating u-boot kernel images.
  • Added NPF - the NetBSD Packet Filter - a work in progress.
  • xz(1) - imported XZ compression tool.
  • resize_ffs(8) - support for growing FFSv1 and FFSv2 file systems, and shrinking FFSv1.
  • amd64,i386: booting from a disk with GUID Partition Table (gpt) is now possible.
  • iSCSI: added an in-kernel iSCSI initiator, from Wasabi Systems.
  • New port: eMIPS
  • Added flash(9) and nand(9) subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers.
  • Added CHFS, a file system for flash(9) devices.
  • Reworked quota subsystem for FFS
  • Added TLS (Thread Local Storage) support for most platforms.
  • Added dtv(4), a Digital TV framework.
  • MIPS: add support for RALink RT3883 SoC
  • sparc64: add support for Enterprise (Ex[45]00) systems, most ultrasparc III and IIIi systems.
  • gcc 4.5.3 is the default compiler
  • gdb 7.3.1 in-tree
  • Support for building most of the tree with clang.
  • devpubd(8) added, a device publishing daemon
  • Xen: support for suspend/resume
  • SQLite 3 is now in the base system.
  • audio(9): audio drivers are now MP-safe.
  • tprof(8): a sampling-based profiler
  • x86, Xen: added CPU microcode loading support via cpuctl(8).
  • Trusted Platform support added: TrouSerS, tpm-tools, and tpm(4).
  • Added posix_spawn() functions.
  • New apropos(1) implementation using SQLite Full Text Index.

New drivers added to NetBSD 6.0: bwi(4), age(4), atphy(4), ale(4), sdmmc(4), smsh(4), voyagerfb(4), gpioiic(4), tcx(4), zx(4), hdaudio(4), wb(4), lom(4), acpiwmi(4), udl(4), gfb(4), cas(4), acpismbus(4), uthum(4), cgtwelve(4), upgt(4), omapfb(4), otus(4), fujbp(4), fujhk(4), auvitek(4), acpiwdrt(4), vte(4), alc(4), rdcide(4), rdcpcib(4), s390rtc(4), cxdtv(4), hpacel(4), emdtv(4), urndis(4), p5pb(4), pwdog(4), mppb(4), vmt(4), efa(4), gpiopwm(4), powsw(4), tpm(4), valkyriefb(4), videopll(4).

...and LOTS more hardware support added to existing drivers! Please help us out by testing these changes and reporting problems either to an appropriate mailing list, via send-pr, or via the web form.

Please remember that this is a BETA release. Don't use it anywhere where the quirks of a beta might cause problems from which it would be hard to recover!

Thanks again for your help in making NetBSD 6.0 the best release yet!

Posted Tuesday evening, March 13th, 2012 Tags:

For informing our peers about NetBSD, for distributing at a conference or meet-up, or simply as a concise introduction – new NetBSD flyers are now available at http://www.NetBSD.org/gallery/advocacy/. They are made to be printed on A4 paper and folded twice. English and German versions are provided.

At the moment, there are three flyers: "What is NetBSD?" gives an overview about the project and the OS, while "Tips and Tricks for NetBSD newcomers" and "NetBSD for Newcomers – Switching from GNU/Linux" are more aimed at people who already know similar operating systems, particularly GNU/Linux, and want to know more about the differences between these systems and NetBSD.

We are very grateful to Julian Fagir, who provided these flyers to the project.

Posted Sunday evening, March 18th, 2012 Tags:
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