1: [[!meta title="markup test"]]
3: # This is a test page.
5: The conventions used for markup transitions:
7: * <chap> -> ##
8: * <para> -> #
9: * &os; -> NetBSD
13: * All documents must be HTML ready (the eternal <, >, &, etc.).
14: * There seems to be no easy way to define custom macros (cf. &os;, etc.).
15: * Only the H1-headers are enumerated in the table of conents.
16: * Headers are not enumerated in the body text.
20: * Much, much clearer syntax compared to XML. The *Markdown* almost resembles
21: plain text. This should be a big benefit in lowering the barriers of entry
22: to documentation.
24: # About NetBSD
28: ## What is NetBSD?
30: NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source
31: operating system. It is available for many platforms, from 64-bit x86 servers
32: and PC desktop systems to embedded ARM and MIPS based devices. Its clean design
33: and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research
34: environments, and it is user-supported with complete source. Many applications
35: are easily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection.
37: ### The story of NetBSD
39: The first version of NetBSD (0.8) dates back to 1993 and springs from the
40: 4.3BSD Lite operating system, a version of Unix developed at the University
41: of California, Berkeley (BSD = Berkeley Software Distribution), and from the
42: 386BSD system, the first BSD port to the Intel 386 CPU. In the following
43: years, modifications from the 4.4BSD Lite release (the last release from the
44: Berkeley group) were integrated into the system. The BSD branch of Unix has
45: had a great importance and influence on the history of Unix-like operating
46: systems, to which it has contributed many tools, ideas and improvements
47: which are now standard: the vi editor, the C shell, job control, the
48: Berkeley fast file system, reliable signals, support for virtual memory and
49: TCP/IP, just to name a few. This tradition of research and development
50: survives today in the BSD systems and, in particular, in NetBSD.
52: ### NetBSD features
54: NetBSD operates on a vast range of hardware platforms and is very portable.
55: The full source to the NetBSD kernel and userland is available for all the
56: supported platforms; please see the details on the official site of the
57: [NetBSD Project](http://www.NetBSD.org/ "NetBSD")
60: * Code quality and correctness
61: * Portability to a wide range of hardware
62: * Secure defaults
63: * Adherence to industry standards
64: * Research and innovation
66: These characteristics bring also indirect advantages. For example, if you work
67: on just one platform you could think that you're not interested in portability.
68: But portability is tied to code quality; without a well written and well
69: organized code base it would be impossible to support a large number of
70: platforms. And code quality is the base of any good and solid software system,
71: though surprisingly few people seem to understand it.
73: One of the key characteristics of NetBSD is that its developers are not
74: satisfied with partial implementations. Some systems seem to have the
75: philosophy of *if it works, it's right*. In that light NetBSD's philosophy
76: could be described as *it doesn't work unless it's right*. Think about how
77: many overgrown programs are collapsing under their own weight and "features"
78: and you'll understand why NetBSD tries to avoid this situation at all costs.
80: ### Supported platforms
82: NetBSD supports many platforms, including the popular PC platform (i386 and
83: amd64), SPARC and UltraSPARC, Alpha, Amiga, Atari, and m68k and PowerPC
84: based Apple Macintosh machines. Technical details for all of them can be
85: found on
86: [the NetBSD site](http://www.NetBSD.org/ports "NetBSD Ports")
89: ### NetBSD's target users
91: The NetBSD site states that: *the NetBSD Project provides a freely available
92: and redistributable system that professionals, hobbyists, and researchers
93: can use in whatever manner they wish*. It is also an ideal system if you
94: want to learn Unix, mainly because of its adherence to standards (one of the
95: project goals) and because it works equally well on the latest PC hardware
96: as well as on hardware which is considered obsolete by many other operating
97: systems. To learn and use Unix you don't need to buy expensive hardware; you
98: can use that old PC or Mac in your attic. It is important to note that
99: although NetBSD runs on old hardware, modern hardware is well supported and
100: care has been taken to ensure that supporting old machines does not inhibit
101: performance on modern hardware. In addition, if you need a Unix system
102: which runs consistently on a variety of platforms, NetBSD is probably your
103: best choice.
105: ### Applications for NetBSD
107: Aside from the standard Unix productivity tools, editors, formatters, C/C++
108: compilers and debuggers and so on that are included with the base system,
109: there is a huge collection of packages (currently over 8,000) that can be
110: installed both from source and in pre-compiled form. All the packages that
111: you expect to find on a well configured system are available for NetBSD for
112: free. The framework that makes this possible, pkgsrc, also includes a
113: number of commercial applications. In addition, NetBSD provides binary
114: emulation for various other *nix operating systems, allowing you to run
115: non-native applications. Linux emulation is probably the most relevant
116: example. You can run the Linux versions of
118: * Firefox
119: * the Adobe Flash player plugin
120: * Acrobat Reader
121: * many other programs
123: ### How to get NetBSD
125: NetBSD is an Open Source operating system, and as such it is freely
126: available for download from
127: [ftp.NetBSD.org](ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org "ftp.NetBSD.org")
128: and its
129: [mirrors](http://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/ "NetBSD mirrors")
132: There is no "official" supplier of NetBSD CD-ROMs but there are various
133: resellers. You can find the most up to date list on the relevant
134: [page](http://www.NetBSD.org/sites/cdroms.html "CD-ROMs")
135: on the NetBSD site.
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