File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / users / jruoho / Attic / doc.mdwn
Revision 1.8: download - view: text, annotated - select for diffs
Mon Apr 5 07:34:19 2010 UTC (12 years, 2 months ago) by jruoho
Branches: MAIN
CVS tags: HEAD
Try to make the table of contents manually.

# A Test.


* All documents must be HTML ready (the eternal <, >, &, etc.).
  The ability to inline HTML can cause additional problems.
* There seems to be no easy way to define custom macros (cf. &os;, etc.).
* When using [toc], only the H1-headers are enumerated in the table of
  contents. Also: headers are not enumerated in the body text.


* Much, much clearer syntax compared to XML. The *Markdown* almost resembles
  plain text. This should be a big benefit in lowering the barriers of entry
  to documentation.

* [About NetBSD](#intro-about)
	* [What is NetBSD?](#intro-whatis)
	* [The story of NetBSD](#intro-story)
	* [NetBSD features](#intro-features)
	* [Supported platforms](#intro-platforms)
	* [NetBSD's target users](#intro-users)
	* [Applications of NetBSD](#intro-applications)
	* [How to get NetBSD](#intro-get)

<h2 id="intro-about">About NetBSD</h2>

<h3 id="intro-whatis">What is NetBSD?</h3>

NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source
operating system.  It is available for many platforms, from 64-bit x86 servers
and PC desktop systems to embedded ARM and MIPS based devices. Its clean design
and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research
environments, and it is user-supported with complete source.  Many applications
are easily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection.

<h3 id="intro-story">The story of NetBSD</h3>

The first version of NetBSD (0.8) dates back to 1993 and springs from the
4.3BSD Lite operating system, a version of Unix developed at the University
of California, Berkeley (BSD = Berkeley Software Distribution), and from the
386BSD system, the first BSD port to the Intel 386 CPU.  In the following
years, modifications from the 4.4BSD Lite release (the last release from the
Berkeley group) were integrated into the system. The BSD branch of Unix has
had a great importance and influence on the history of Unix-like operating
systems, to which it has contributed many tools, ideas and improvements
which are now standard: the vi editor, the C shell, job control, the
Berkeley fast file system, reliable signals, support for virtual memory and
TCP/IP, just to name a few.  This tradition of research and development
survives today in the BSD systems and, in particular, in NetBSD.

<h3 id="intro-features">NetBSD features</h3>

NetBSD operates on a vast range of hardware platforms and is very portable.
The full source to the NetBSD kernel and userland is available for all the
supported platforms; please see the details on the official site of the
[NetBSD Project]( "NetBSD")

* Code quality and correctness
* Portability to a wide range of hardware
* Secure defaults
* Adherence to industry standards
* Research and innovation

These characteristics bring also indirect advantages. For example, if you work
on just one platform you could think that you're not interested in portability.
But portability is tied to code quality; without a well written and well
organized code base it would be impossible to support a large number of
platforms. And code quality is the base of any good and solid software system,
though surprisingly few people seem to understand it.

One of the key characteristics of NetBSD is that its developers are not
satisfied with partial implementations. Some systems seem to have the
philosophy of *if it works, it's right*. In that light NetBSD's philosophy
could be described as *it doesn't work unless it's right*. Think about how
many overgrown programs are collapsing under their own weight and "features"
and you'll understand why NetBSD tries to avoid this situation at all costs.

<h3 id="intro-platforms">Supported platforms</h3>

NetBSD supports many platforms, including the popular PC platform (i386 and
amd64), SPARC and UltraSPARC, Alpha, Amiga, Atari, and m68k and PowerPC
based Apple Macintosh machines. Technical details for all of them can be
found on
[the NetBSD site]( "NetBSD Ports")

<h3 id="intro-users">NetBSD's target users</h3>

The NetBSD site states that: *the NetBSD Project provides a freely available
and redistributable system that professionals, hobbyists, and researchers
can use in whatever manner they wish*. It is also an ideal system if you
want to learn Unix, mainly because of its adherence to standards (one of the
project goals) and because it works equally well on the latest PC hardware
as well as on hardware which is considered obsolete by many other operating
systems. To learn and use Unix you don't need to buy expensive hardware; you
can use that old PC or Mac in your attic. It is important to note that
although NetBSD runs on old hardware, modern hardware is well supported and
care has been taken to ensure that supporting old machines does not inhibit
performance on modern hardware.  In addition, if you need a Unix system
which runs consistently on a variety of platforms, NetBSD is probably your
best choice.

<h3 id="intro-applications">Applications for NetBSD</h3>

Aside from the standard Unix productivity tools, editors, formatters, C/C++
compilers and debuggers and so on that are included with the base system,
there is a huge collection of packages (currently over 8,000) that can be
installed both from source and in pre-compiled form. All the packages that
you expect to find on a well configured system are available for NetBSD for
free.  The framework that makes this possible, pkgsrc, also includes a
number of commercial applications.  In addition, NetBSD provides binary
emulation for various other *nix operating systems, allowing you to run
non-native applications.  Linux emulation is probably the most relevant
example.  You can run the Linux versions of

* Firefox
* the Adobe Flash player plugin
* Acrobat Reader
* many other programs

<h3 id="intro-get">How to get NetBSD</h3>

NetBSD is an Open Source operating system, and as such it is freely
available for download from
[]( "")
and its
[mirrors]( "NetBSD mirrors")

There is no "official" supplier of NetBSD CD-ROMs but there are various
resellers.  You can find the most up to date list on the relevant
[page]( "CD-ROMs")
on the NetBSD site.

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