File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / users / jruoho / Attic / doc.mdwn
Revision 1.7: download - view: text, annotated - select for diffs
Mon Apr 5 07:07:44 2010 UTC (12 years, 2 months ago) by jruoho
Branches: MAIN
CVS tags: HEAD
Fix links.

    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
   11: Problems:
   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.
   18: Benefits:
   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
   26: [[!toc]]
   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]( "NetBSD")
   58: .
   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]( "NetBSD Ports")
   87: .
   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: []( "")
  128: and its
  129: [mirrors]( "NetBSD mirrors")
  130: .
  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]( "CD-ROMs")
  135: on the NetBSD site.

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