File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / users / jruoho / Attic / doc.mdwn
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Mon Apr 5 07:36:38 2010 UTC (12 years, 7 months ago) by jruoho
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Rever previous (will not work).

    1: # A Test.
    2: 
    3: Problems:
    4: 
    5: * All documents must be HTML ready (the eternal <, >, &, etc.).
    6:   The ability to inline HTML can cause additional problems.
    7: * There seems to be no easy way to define custom macros (cf. &os;, etc.).
    8: * When using [toc], only the H1-headers are enumerated in the table of
    9:   contents. Also: headers are not enumerated in the body text.
   10: 
   11: Benefits:
   12: 
   13: * Much, much clearer syntax compared to XML. The *Markdown* almost resembles
   14:   plain text. This should be a big benefit in lowering the barriers of entry
   15:   to documentation.
   16: 
   17: ## About NetBSD
   18: 
   19: [[!toc]]
   20: 
   21: ### What is NetBSD?
   22: 
   23: NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source
   24: operating system.  It is available for many platforms, from 64-bit x86 servers
   25: and PC desktop systems to embedded ARM and MIPS based devices. Its clean design
   26: and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research
   27: environments, and it is user-supported with complete source.  Many applications
   28: are easily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection.
   29: 
   30: ### The story of NetBSD
   31: 
   32: The first version of NetBSD (0.8) dates back to 1993 and springs from the
   33: 4.3BSD Lite operating system, a version of Unix developed at the University
   34: of California, Berkeley (BSD = Berkeley Software Distribution), and from the
   35: 386BSD system, the first BSD port to the Intel 386 CPU.  In the following
   36: years, modifications from the 4.4BSD Lite release (the last release from the
   37: Berkeley group) were integrated into the system. The BSD branch of Unix has
   38: had a great importance and influence on the history of Unix-like operating
   39: systems, to which it has contributed many tools, ideas and improvements
   40: which are now standard: the vi editor, the C shell, job control, the
   41: Berkeley fast file system, reliable signals, support for virtual memory and
   42: TCP/IP, just to name a few.  This tradition of research and development
   43: survives today in the BSD systems and, in particular, in NetBSD.
   44: 
   45: ### NetBSD features
   46: 
   47: NetBSD operates on a vast range of hardware platforms and is very portable.
   48: The full source to the NetBSD kernel and userland is available for all the
   49: supported platforms; please see the details on the official site of the
   50: [NetBSD Project](http://www.NetBSD.org/ "NetBSD")
   51: .
   52: 
   53: * Code quality and correctness
   54: * Portability to a wide range of hardware
   55: * Secure defaults
   56: * Adherence to industry standards
   57: * Research and innovation
   58: 
   59: These characteristics bring also indirect advantages. For example, if you work
   60: on just one platform you could think that you're not interested in portability.
   61: But portability is tied to code quality; without a well written and well
   62: organized code base it would be impossible to support a large number of
   63: platforms. And code quality is the base of any good and solid software system,
   64: though surprisingly few people seem to understand it.
   65: 
   66: One of the key characteristics of NetBSD is that its developers are not
   67: satisfied with partial implementations. Some systems seem to have the
   68: philosophy of *if it works, it's right*. In that light NetBSD's philosophy
   69: could be described as *it doesn't work unless it's right*. Think about how
   70: many overgrown programs are collapsing under their own weight and "features"
   71: and you'll understand why NetBSD tries to avoid this situation at all costs.
   72: 
   73: ### Supported platforms
   74: 
   75: NetBSD supports many platforms, including the popular PC platform (i386 and
   76: amd64), SPARC and UltraSPARC, Alpha, Amiga, Atari, and m68k and PowerPC
   77: based Apple Macintosh machines. Technical details for all of them can be
   78: found on
   79: [the NetBSD site](http://www.NetBSD.org/ports "NetBSD Ports")
   80: .
   81: 
   82: ### NetBSD's target users
   83: 
   84: The NetBSD site states that: *the NetBSD Project provides a freely available
   85: and redistributable system that professionals, hobbyists, and researchers
   86: can use in whatever manner they wish*. It is also an ideal system if you
   87: want to learn Unix, mainly because of its adherence to standards (one of the
   88: project goals) and because it works equally well on the latest PC hardware
   89: as well as on hardware which is considered obsolete by many other operating
   90: systems. To learn and use Unix you don't need to buy expensive hardware; you
   91: can use that old PC or Mac in your attic. It is important to note that
   92: although NetBSD runs on old hardware, modern hardware is well supported and
   93: care has been taken to ensure that supporting old machines does not inhibit
   94: performance on modern hardware.  In addition, if you need a Unix system
   95: which runs consistently on a variety of platforms, NetBSD is probably your
   96: best choice.
   97: 
   98: ### Applications for NetBSD
   99: 
  100: Aside from the standard Unix productivity tools, editors, formatters, C/C++
  101: compilers and debuggers and so on that are included with the base system,
  102: there is a huge collection of packages (currently over 8,000) that can be
  103: installed both from source and in pre-compiled form. All the packages that
  104: you expect to find on a well configured system are available for NetBSD for
  105: free.  The framework that makes this possible, pkgsrc, also includes a
  106: number of commercial applications.  In addition, NetBSD provides binary
  107: emulation for various other *nix operating systems, allowing you to run
  108: non-native applications.  Linux emulation is probably the most relevant
  109: example.  You can run the Linux versions of
  110: 
  111: * Firefox
  112: * the Adobe Flash player plugin
  113: * Acrobat Reader
  114: * many other programs
  115: 
  116: ### How to get NetBSD
  117: 
  118: NetBSD is an Open Source operating system, and as such it is freely
  119: available for download from
  120: [ftp.NetBSD.org](ftp://ftp.NetBSD.org "ftp.NetBSD.org")
  121: and its
  122: [mirrors](http://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/ "NetBSD mirrors")
  123: .
  124: 
  125: There is no "official" supplier of NetBSD CD-ROMs but there are various
  126: resellers.  You can find the most up to date list on the relevant
  127: [page](http://www.NetBSD.org/sites/cdroms.html "CD-ROMs")
  128: on the NetBSD site.
  129: 

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