NetBSD: Changes and News in 1999

December 1999

November 1999

October 1999

September 1999

August 1999

July 1999

June 1999

May 1999

April 1999

March 1999

February 1999

January 1999

December 1999

29 Dec 1999 - HP-PA port-hp700 mailing list

The list has been opened. This list is for discussion of matters related to the port of NetBSD to HP-PA machines.

26 Dec 1999 - Italian NetBSD guide

Federico Lupi has produced a complete Italian guide to NetBSD, available at

26 Dec 1999 - New developers

We would like to welcome three new developers who have joined our team:

14 Dec 1999 - RSAREF2 library buffer overruns fixed

Recently, there have been several buffer overruns discovered in the RSAREF library. Shortly after the bugtraq post reporting this problem was released, the fix supplied in that post was added to pkgsrc.

However, as the CERT advisory CA-99-15 states:

We believe the patch originally provided by Core SDI in their advisory may not be a complete fix to this particular problem.

Correspondingly, the revised fix referenced by the advisory has been applied to NetBSD's pkgsrc distribution and is present in security/rsaref version 2.0p3 and later. NetBSD users who use packages depending on rsaref should fetch the most recent pkgsrc bits as soon as practical and rebuild packages, including security/ssh, which depend on rsaref.

If 'pkg_info rsaref' returns no output, 'rsaref-2.0p3', or later, then you do not have the affected pkgsrc version installed. If you do have the affected version, 'pkg_info -R rsaref' will list potentially impacted packages that should be reinstalled.

14 Dec 1999 - Searchable mailing lists back up!

The searchable mailing list index is running again, thanks to Michael Graff.

12 Dec 1999 - RAIDframe with softdeps

We are happy to announce that with a little bit of rototilling in the RAIDframe code, RAIDframe and softdeps now play very nicely together. The IO throttling code in RAIDframe has been given a good overhaul, with the result being that RAID IO is once again very stable (the old code had some problems under very high load) and that the softdeps code can now be used with RAID-based partitions.

12 Dec 1999 - NetBSD/news68k port committed

Izumi Tsutsui has committed the NetBSD/news68k port to the NetBSD-current source tree. NetBSD/news68k is a port for Sony's m68k based "NET WORK STATION" machines. Currently, only single m68030 based models (NWS-14x0/15x0/16x0/17x0) are supported. The first binary snapshot and bootable floppy image are also available. Please see the news68k port homepage for details.

10 Dec 1999 - Changes to the NetBSD Packages Collection in November 1999

Alistair G. Crooks has sent out his monthly summary of changes to the NetBSD Packages Collection. The write up for changes in November 1999 is available in the netbsd-announce mail archive.

There is also an automated list of pkgsrc changes, generated daily from pkgsrc/doc/CHANGES, available on the Recent packages changes page.

06 Dec 1999 - New user administration tools

SVR4/Solaris-compatible functionality for user administration has been added to NetBSD-current. This includes useradd(8), usermod(8), userdel(8), groupadd(8), groupmod(8), and groupdel(8). Also, two "front-end" commands have been added, user(8) and group(8), which group the related functionality together. Numerous extensions have been added to the user and group administration commands, including the ability to create a user having the same uid and gid.

November 1999

25 Nov 1999 - Daemon badges from Scotgold

Scotgold sell 1"x1" BSD Daemon badges suitable for PC cases. Available in white, silver and gold and with optional NetBSD text.

23 Nov 1999 - Libmenu added to the tree.

This library provides a terminal independent menu facility based on curses. This version was written from scratch by Brett Lymn based on man pages from both Sun and ncurses.

23 Nov 1999 - Growth of the pkgsrc system

Hubert Feyrer has compiled a set of graphs showing the growth of the pkgsrc system over its first two years.

21 Nov 1999 - IPv6 enabled in GENERIC kernel configuration

IPv6 support is now integrated and enabled in GENERIC kernel configuration. GENERIC has IPsec related definitions as well, commented out by default.

18 Nov 1999 - NetBSD/hpcmips and NetBSD/pmax binary compatibility

Kernel softfloat emulation code by Shuichiro URATA merged. NetBSD/pmax userland & packages works on NetBSD/hpcmips.

17 Nov 1999 - Cryptosrc-intl available for anoncvs

Cryptosrc-intl access is now available at and respectively. See also:

The following modules have been added:

  • cryptosrc-intl => the crypto-intl sources
  • src-crypto-intl => source tree with crypto-intl

15 Nov 1999 - Soft update code integrated into the main tree

Frank van der Linden ( has brought Kirk McKusick's trickle sync + FFS soft update code into the main tree. It has had some moderate to heavy testing over the last month. He's currently using it on his /usr filesystem and the filesystem containing all his sources on his main NetBSD development machine, and did not have a problem since fixing the last known bug (2.5 weeks ago).

To use it, do the following:

  1. Update your sources.
  2. Compile a new kernel with "options SOFTDEP" in your kernel config file.
  3. Run the new kernel.
  4. Install the new include files from sys/sys (i.e. at least do cd /usr/src/sys ; make includes). To be safe, just install them all (cd /usr/src ; make includes)
  5. At least recompile libc, sbin/mount, sbin/fsck_ffs, sbin/tunefs, and install them.
  6. Run "tunefs -n enable /dev/rXd0x" to enable soft updates on the filesystem(s) of your choice.
  7. Remove "update=YES" from your /etc/rc.conf file. update(8) is no longer needed. Its work is now done in a more sophisticated way by a kernel thread.
  8. Reboot
  9. Have fun testing.

If you have any problems, please send PRs, or mail Frank, with as much detail as you can gather.

15 Nov 1999 - NetBSD booth at Comdex

The NetBSD Project is hosting a booth at Comdex Fall 1999. See the world's most portable operating system running on several hardware platforms, including the Brains, Inc. mmEye multimedia server.

Also see live video from the show floor via the mmEye.

14 Nov 1999 - Plug-and-Play BIOS support

There is now code in NetBSD-current to make use of the Plug-and-Play BIOS present in practically all PC compatibles manufactured in the last couple of years.

The PnP BIOS provides device types and resource usage for hardware on the mainboard. (For reference, see This allows ISA devices with unusual wiring to be accessed properly, and (potentially harmful) device probing can be avoided. The PnP BIOS support has been found most useful on laptops, where it seems common that interrupts are wired in strange ways. It shouldn't do any harm on other machines—you know there is that other operating system which depends heavily on Plug-and-Pray.

It is young code however, the PnP BIOSes are of varying quality, and the specification is not clear in all details (and only partly obeyed by BIOS vendors). So keep a working kernel around if you play with this...

The NetBSD PnP BIOS support is implemented as a logical bus named "pnpbios", it will be enabled by a line:

  pnpbios0 at mainbus0

in the kernel configuration file. For now, only a few device attachments are implemented - see the comments in /sys/arch/i386/conf/GENERIC or the contents of /sys/arch/i386/pnpbios/ for details. The kernel option


causes all devices nodes to be reported in the boot log, and their resource usage. To interpret the PnP IDs, might be of some help. Have a look at devices with unusual resource usage - these might be worth writing some attachment code.

As usual, please report any problems you find. Matthias Drochner

09 Nov 1999 - NetBSD cryptosrc-intl CVS repository available.

Alan Barrett is pleased to announce that the NetBSD cryptosrc-intl CVS repository is available for anonymous FTP from Access methods other than anonymous FTP may be added some time.

04 Nov 1999 - NetBSD driver for BayStack 650 802.11 FH card now available

Bill Sommerfeld has written a driver for NetBSD-current which adds support for some Am79C930-based 802.11 frequency hopping wireless LAN cards including the BayStack 650. The driver also works in 1.4.x-based kernels. More details are available in the port-i386 mail archive.

03 Nov 1999 - NetBSD 1.4.1 CD-ROM available in Europe

Lehmanns Bookshop now offers a NetBSD 1.4.1 CD-ROM set for DM 39.90 (20,40 EUR / $ 20US). More details are available at the CD-ROMs page.

01 Nov 1999 - Brooktree video-capture driver

Bernd Wulf has created a patch file for NetBSD-1.4.1 that adds support for the bktr video-capture devices such as miroPCTV, Hauppauge WIN/TV and similar cards.

The patches and related files are available at Please note that these patches are experimental and not supported.

October 1999

28 Oct 1999 - AudioPCI 97 and AC97 code in -current

Ensoniq AudioPCI 97 (ES1371) support written by Ezra Story has been committed to NetBSD-current. This chip is commonly used in new Soundblaster PCI audio cards.

26 Oct 1999 - pkgsrc now available via cvsweb

The pkgsrc and xsrc repositories are now among the source trees available from the cvsweb service. They have also been added to the net/rsync service at

19 Oct 1999 - FFS soft dependencies code available

Kirk McKusick's FFS soft updates/dependency code has been around for quite a bit, and has been in an "almost ready" state for NetBSD for close to 2 years now. Which is a big shame, we really need to get this integrated.

So, Frank van der Linden has put it on a branch in our CVS tree, for the adventurous to use and debug.

Simple usage:

  1. Get the code. For example, using anoncvs and ssh, set CVS_RSH to 'ssh', and do:

    cvs -d co -r fvdl-softdep src-nocrypto

    This will create a directory called "src" with all that you need in it. This includes all of src/sys, and a few bits living in sbin/. Frank did not tag the rest of the sources, so they will not be checked out; they are not needed for testing (you can just use the rest of -current for that).

    If you want a complete tree, checking out the whole "src-nocrypto" without "-r fvdl-softdep", and then doing a cvs update using the -r flag of that tree should work.

  2. Compile a kernel as you always would, in the checked out tree.
  3. Compile the userland utilities (fsck_ffs, tunefs, mount) Note that these will grab the wrong <sys/foo.h> include files if you compile them, it's easiest to add a line
    CPPFLAGS+=-I../../sys the Makefiles.
  4. You can remove "update" from /etc/rc.conf if you want to do some more permanent testing, since it's no longer needed with the "trickle sync" code that comes with the softdep code.
  5. Boot the new kernel.
  6. Find a crash & burn filesystem. Run the new tunefs binary on it as:
    tunefs -n enable /dev/rXdXX
  7. Mess around with the filesystem.

Note that there is a known bug currently, which makes unmounting filesystems with soft dependencies, that have been used moderately, hang.

Frank advises against using this yet if you're not willing to deal with hanging unmounts and possible other problems. However, he would really appreciate it if people could test it. Even if it's just a new kernel without any filesystems that use soft dependencies (this should be a lot more stable).

17 Oct 1999 - Cardbus code integrated

Hayakawa Koichi has integrated his Cardbus code into -current. This provides support for various Yenta-based Cardbus bridges and associated device drivers.

So far, device drivers are available for the following Cardbus devices:

  • ex - 3Com fast ethernet interfaces
  • fxp - Intel fast ethernet interfaces
  • ohci - OHCI USB controllers
  • com - Modems and other serial ports

Many thanks to Hayakawa-san for doing this work!

10 Oct 1999 - NetBSD/hpcmips

NetBSD/hpcmips Binary snapshot is available. NetBSD/hpcmips brings the NetBSD operating system to MIPS based Windows CE PDA machines. The hpcmips code finally got merged into NetBSD-current repository. Visit NetBSD/hpcmips page for details.

September 1999

28 Sep 1999 - Driver for Megahertz ethernet/modem cards

Jason Thorpe and Chuck Cranor have committed a driver for the Megahertz XJEM3336 Ethernet/Modem card. It attaches both a com and an sm instance. See the -current GENERIC config file for more info.

28 Sep 1999 - Core dump filename configuration

Manuel Bouyer has made core dump filenames configurable on a per-process basis. The kern.defcorename sysctl variable and options DEFCORENAME kernel option control the default core name, which defaults to "%n.core". For more information, see sysctl(3), sysctl(8), and core(5) from a recent version of -current.

28 Sep 1999 - DPT SCSI RAID controller driver

Andrew Doran has written a driver for the SmartCache III/IV and SmartRAID III/IV. The driver currently supports only the PCI versions of these cards, but ISA and EISA versions will follow. Support will be available soon for the 1.4 branch, as well.

21 Sep 1999 - Plathome NetBSD 1.4.1 CDs available

Platform Co. Ltd. in Japan now offers a 5-CD set containing the NetBSD 1.4.1 distribution as well as a large number of packages. Learn more about the Release & Write CD Vol. 13 in the NetBSD CD-ROMs list.

13 Sep 1999 - NetBSD/sh3

As previously noted, Brains Inc. have ported NetBSD onto Hitachi Super-H (SH3 and SH4) chips, and made the code available. The code finally got merged into NetBSD-current repository after cleanups. Visit NetBSD/sh3 page for details.

05 Sep 1999 - Much-improved stability of NTFS

Jaromir Dolecek has committed changes to NTFS that make it much more stable, so that it is now usable. People are still advised to be very careful about mounting NTFS read/write, however.

06 Sep 1999 - XFree86 3.3.5 integrated in NetBSD-current

A new release of XFree86 has been integrated in NetBSD-current. See the 3.3.5 release notes for information on fixes and new features, including support for new hardware, in this new release.

02 Sep 1999 - Scott Reynolds resigns from core

Due to reduced available free time, Scott Reynolds has resigned from his position with core. He will continue as the mac68k port maintainer.

August 1999

27 Aug 1999 - Full list of all packages available

By popular request, we have merged the packages available in each of the categories of the NetBSD Packages Collection into a single long list with links to all packages which is available besides the usual per-category lists.

If anyone wants to generate the same list, it can be done by running "make readme-all" after a "make readme" run in pkgsrc.

26 Aug 1999 - NetBSD 1.4.1 Released

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce the release of NetBSD 1.4.1.

This release fixes problems found in the 1.4.x family of releases, including some security issues. We urge users to upgrade their systems. NetBSD 1.4.1 includes some important changes on many architectures.

The release binaries and source are available now, and can be found on mirror sites across the world. Please use a mirror close to you. A gzipped patch is available, containing all of the changes to the main system sources since 1.4 (just 'src'; not including X or package source changes).

25 Aug 1999 - New core members

The NetBSD Project is delighted to announce the addition of four new members to the 'core' group:

agc - Alistair G. Crooks

Formal education was completed at Glasgow University, (B.Sc. (Hons) Computing Science) in 1981. Since then, has worked for a consultancy in London (1981 - 1984), did various contracting jobs in UK, the Netherlands (3 years) and Germany (3 years), worked for a mainframe manufacturer from 1992 to 1998, endured a short stint at a consultancy in city of London, and now work for an investment bank in London. Married with two small children, and lives just outside Reading in the UK.

First booted a Unix V6 kernel in 1978, and has worked with many different commercial Unix versions since 1985. One of the moderators of comp.lang.tcl.announce, and used to be on the Postgres95 core team. As far as NetBSD is concerned, first used version 0.8 in 1993, and has used it ever since on various machines. Has been a NetBSD developer for two and a half years, and set up the NetBSD packages collection.

More information is available at

fvdl - Frank van der Linden

Graduated in CS from the University of Amsterdam in 1994. Has worked there since as a research programmer in the areas of parallel programming environments and computer architecture

386bsd user 1992-1993, NetBSD user since September 1993. NetBSD developer since February 1995, has worked on: Linux compat code, NFSv3 code, 4.4BSDLite2 merge and other stuff. i386 portmaster since 1998.

itojun - Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino (used to be Jun-ichiro Itoh)

Born 1970. Obtained PhD in 1998 from Computer Science department, Keio University (Japan). Involved in WIDE/KAME project which does Internet protocol related researches, such as IPv6, IPsec and others. Bunch of free and non-free software products in multilingualization, digital photography, operating system, and networking.

More information is available at

lukem - Luke Mewburn

Started a B. App. Sci. (Computer Science) at RMIT in 1990 (put on hold). Began working at RMIT Computer Science as a Systems Administrator (1993-1994), moved to Telstra's CPR Project (1994-1996), worked at an ISP for a few months and then moved back to RMIT as a Senior Systems Administrator (mid 1997 - ). Lives in Melbourne with his wife.

Has only been using UNIX since 1990. First installed 386BSD 0.1 in early 1992, migrated to NetBSD 0.8 when it became available. Has been a developer for almost three years, and is responsible for various userland improvements including nsswitch, excessive featuritus in ftp, ftpd, dump, etc... also does a lot of janitor work such as writing doco, cleaning up Makefiles, ...

More information is available at

25 Aug 1999 - tech-crypto mailing list created

For discussion of NetBSD-related cryptography issues, the tech-crypto mailing list has been created.

21 Aug 1999 - Source tree now available via cvsweb

The NetBSD CVS source tree can now be accessed using the cvsweb interface, which provides a convenient web browser interface for browsing the tree and comparing revisions.

12 Aug 1999 - NetBSD/i386 1.4 CDrom from Cheap*Bytes

Cheap*Bytes, a company that specializes in low cost technical products, announces the Cheap*Bytes CD-ROM with NetBSD 1.4 (Intel) for $4.99 each ($9.99 inc shipping).
More details.

July 1999

30 Jul 1999 - isdn4bsd 0.83 beta released

A new isdn4bsd beta version (i4b-00.83.00-beta-300799.tar.gz) has been made available on the isdn4bsd distribution site.

Isdn4bsd (or in short i4b) is a package for interfacing a computer running FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD or BSD/OS to the ISDN. Supported NetBSD architectures are NetBSD/Alpha, NetBSD/Amiga, NetBSD/Atari and NetBSD/i386.

The only ISDN protocol currently supported is the BRI protocol specified in I.430, Q.921 and Q.931; better known as DSS1 or Euro-ISDN.

Isdn4bsd allows you to make IP network connections by using either IP packets sent in raw HDLC frames on the B channel or by using built-in synchronous PPP.

For telephony, isdn4bsd can answer incoming phone calls like an answering machine and now has preliminary dialout capabilities for voice and data calls.

Bugfixes, enhancements, erratas and addons (if any) will be made available at this site.

26 Jul 1999 - IPv6 networking FAQ

IPv6 networking FAQ, which describes NetBSD-current (and future 1.5) configurations for IPv6, is added.

24 Jul 1999 - Wireless networking using the Lucent WaveLAN

Jeff Rizzo <> has contributed documentation on using the Lucent WaveLAN IEEE wireless network care under NetBSD.

22 Jul 1999 - AnonCVS access available

The NetBSD source tree is now available via AnonCVS, in addition to our other distribution methods. The server supports CVS in "pserver" mode, as well as CVS via SSH.

To use the server, set your CVSROOT environment variable to "" and your CVS_RSH environment variable to "ssh" to access the repository via ssh; or, to use the unencrypted 'pserver' protocol, use no CVS_RSH setting and a CVSROOT setting of "". Password for 'pserver' mode is 'anoncvs'.

21 Jul 1999 - XFree86 3.3.4 Source Integrated

XFree86 3.3.4 has been imported into the NetBSD xsrc tree. The main changes for 3.3.4 include new drivers for:

  • Matrox MGA 400
  • Riva TNT 2
  • Voodoo 3
  • Banshee
  • Trio3D
  • i740

08 Jul 1999 - New

Erik Fair has completely taken over as the NetBSD Security Officer, effective from 1st July, 1999. Erik began helping Matthew Green at the start of the year, and now his "training" :-) is complete.

07 Jul 1999 - NetBSD/news68k booting diskless

Izumi Tsutsui has an experimental port to SONY's m68k based "NET WORK STATION" machines. Currently it will boot to multi user using serial console and diskless NFS root.

06 Jul 1999 - New newsmips homepage

Many thanks to Izumi Tsutsui, we now have a new style homepage for NetBSD/newsmips.

05 Jul 1999 - i386 port switches to ELF

The i386 port has switched to using ELF as its default loader format.

01 Jul 1999 - Integration of IPv6 support from KAME

NetBSD now supports the emerging standard for IP version 6, AKA IPng. Code for this was imported from the KAME Project. To enable IPv6, compile a kernel from the GENERIC.v6 config file, or include "options INET6" for the bare minimum IPv6 support. For a listing of new programs available with this code integration, see the KAME web site.

June 1999

29 Jun 1999 - New generation of EV6 systems now supported by NetBSD/alpha

NetBSD/alpha now supports the new generation of systems based on the 21264 CPU. Supported systems now include the 264DP, XP1000, DS20, and others. This work was supported by Alpha Processor, Inc.

28 Jun 1999 - NetBSD release branch available via FTP and SUP.

We are glad to announce that The NetBSD Project now offers a daily updated snapshot of the current NetBSD release sources. This is currently the netbsd-1-4 branch.

The directory contains the extracted sources plus weekly updated tar files. these files are created in a similar manner to those in the /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-current directory.

A new sup collection called release has been created. inside this new collection are the same SUP releases you can find in the current collection, excluding the doc, pkgsrc and xsrc SUP releases, as these source have not in the past been branched for a NetBSD release.

The src/doc/README.sup file has been updated accordingly.

Please report any problems you see with the FTP or SUP server. (note that for a short time after the normal overnight update the SUP server was using the release files for the current collection, but this has been rectified).

23 Jun 1999 - CVS changes in HTML format

The last nine months of CVS change mail-archives are now automatically indexed by month and module/tag and processed into a set of html pages.

23 Jun 1999 - New sun3 portmaster

Nathan Williams takes over from Gordon Ross, who was the sun3 port maintainer for several years. We would like to thank Gordon for all the work he has contributed to the project through his very long and productive tenure.

Jeremy Cooper will remain in his current position as maintainer of code related to the sun3x architecture.

Let's all welcome the new port maintainer and wish him good luck, and a lot of patience! :-)

06 Jun 1999 - Usenix '99

There is a full report of the NetBSD feedback received during the 1999 USENIX Annual Technical Conference.

May 1999

21 May 1999 - 1.3* ARP table DOS Security Advisory

The implementation of ARP packet reception in NetBSD 1.3* is vulnerable two attacks:

  1. On multihomed hosts, ARP packets from cable A can overwrite ARP entries for cable B.
  2. For all hosts, ARP packets can overwrite ARP entries marked as static.

For more details, please see the security advisory.

21 May 1999 - User groups listing added

We've only just started compiling this list, so bear with us. The intention is to make this a valuable resource for any NetBSD user looking for other local NetBSD people.

20 May 1999 - Hypersparc support in NetBSD/sparc

Paul Kranenburg has made some changes today that should allow Hypersparc machines to operate correctly in -current NetBSD/sparc.

Hypersparcs have a VIPT cache, which means that to flush a page from the cache a virtual-to-physical translation is done to do the cache tag comparison. This will cause an entry to appear in the MMU's TLB. So, when removing or changing mappings, doing a cache flush after clearing entries from the TLB may cause spurious TLB entries causing funny effects in your programs. Some pmap functions had the cache and TLB flush operation in the wrong order.

He is looking into providing the necessary patches to enable hypersparc support in NetBSD 1.4.1.

20 May 1999 - MI allocsys() and BUFCACHE on all ports

Luke Mewburn has made allocsys() machine independent. Additional benefits include:

  • Printing out system memory sizes consistently uses a new kernel function - format_bytes() (which uses another new function; humanize_number()) to display the info.
  • all ports should now support the BUFCACHE option (see options(4)).

17 May 1999 - KAME experimental snapshot supports NetBSD-1.4

KAME is a project doing IPv6 and IPsec work on *BSDs. From now on, NetBSD-1.4 is supported in the KAME kits.

Their packages are free of charge but have absolutely no warranty. Experimental snapshots are available at, every Monday. Please visit the KAME web pages for details.

12 May 1999 - NetBSD 1.4 released

We are pleased to announce release 1.4 of the NetBSD Operating System, a complete and fully functional Open Source Unix-like OS.

NetBSD runs on twenty different system architectures featuring eight distinct families of CPUs, and is being ported to more.

For more details please see the formal release page

10 May 1999 - HyperCom 3+/4+ parallel port support

The lpt-clone parallel ports on the HyperCom 3+/4+ boards are supported in NetBSD/Amiga - current. People using NetBSD/Amiga 1.4 can add support for this by applying a hypercom-parallel-patch patch file to their kernel sources, and rebuilding. [This patch has been merged into the 1.4.1 release.]

10 May 1999 - Pool allocator diagnostic helpers

I've made some changes to the pool allocator which will aid in tracking down problems with memory allocation...

I've added a "show pool" command to DDB, which dumps fairly complete information about a pool. Two modifiers are available: /p (show page headers) and /l (show log).

Logging is now enabled on a per-pool basis, so if you only need to track allocations and frees on the mclpool, you can do that by making a change to the pool_init() call that passes PR_LOGGING. You can enable logging on all pools by using the kernel option POOL_DIAGNOSTIC.

Pool logging now also works on pools that are not pool_create()'d, but rather just pool_init()'d. If the pool_init() call is made too early to use malloc(), logging is disabled automatically.

I've also changed the ABI somewhat; file and line indicators are now ALWAYS passed to pool_get(), pool_put(), and pool_reclaim(). These are used to perform reentrancy checking and logging. Logging and reentrancy checking are available if DIAGNOSTIC is defined. The file and line info are always passed for the benefit of LKMs, etc.

Jason R. Thorpe

08 May 1999 - isdn4bsd-00.80.00-beta publicly available

A new isdn4bsd beta version (i4b-00.80.00-beta-070599.tar.gz) has been made available on the isdn4bsd distribution sites.

Many bugs - especially some fat ones causing occasional reboots without panic messages - have been fixed.

Some enhancements were made and some features were added.

Support for NetBSD/i386-1.4, NetBSD/Amiga-1.4, NetBSD/Atari-1.4 and limited support for NetBSD/i386-1.3.3 is available. Drivers for several PCI, ISA, ISAPNP, PCMCIA and ZBUS boards are included. Only the European protocol suite is supported in this test release.

For more information on isdn4bsd, please read the file README in the isdn4bsd base directory.

For NetBSD installation instructions, please read the file INSTALLATION in the NetBSD directory.

The ISDN4BSD package is available from You have to log in as user isdn4bsd and give your email address as the password. Then change to the pub directory. Anonymous ftp as user ftp or anonymous will NOT(!) work!

06 May 1999 - macppc USB keyboard works without kludge

I have committed all of the changes necessary for the iMac and new G3 to attach the USB keyboard properly, without the need for a source modification in a local tree. It all happens based on what the OpenFirmware says the console input device is.

This also fixes ADB keyboard support on the new G3. ADB keyboard support should work just fine on older PowerMacs, too, but we're going to test an 8500 and a 7300 RSN.

I've asked that these all be pulled into the release branch, so that 1.4 (i.e. the CD being given away at USENIX!) will support these systems.

I think Charles Hannum is hoping to demo an iMac running NetBSD in the NetBSD vendor booth at USENIX! So this was the source of some of the development push :-)

Thanks lots to Bill Studenmund for testing the spew of patches that came flying into his mailbox, and thanks Tsubai for catching some of the glitches in my Bandit changes :-)

FWIW, the test system has been a new G3. PCI IDE works great, and there's also a BusLogic BT-958 SCSI in it, which also works fine :-)

Jason R. Thorpe

05 May 1999 - COMPAT_OSF1 enhancements

In post-NetBSD 1.4-branch NetBSD-current, NetBSD/alpha has much improved OSF/1 (a.k.a. Digital UNIX, a.k.a. Tru64 UNIX) emulation, including support for dynamically linked binaries.

Of note, the following applications are known to work to the extent that they have been tested:

Application and Version Digital UNIX Env. Version
Navigator 4.08 4.0
Navigator 4.51 4.0
Navigator 4.51 4.0E
General Mesh Viewer (decMesa variant) 4.0

(Java and Javascript even appear to work, in Navigator!)

I expect that earlier versions of those applications, for earlier versions of the Digital UNIX (or DEC OSF/1) environment, will function with little or no effort but (not having them 8-) I couldn't verify that.

Once NetBSD-current reverts back to the 'trunk' of the development sources (after 1.4 is released), this will be available to you all as part of NetBSD-current.

If you're not interested in running NetBSD-current, and instead want to run the upcoming NetBSD 1.4 release, I have prepared a set of patches to the 1.4 sources which integrate the functionality into NetBSD 1.4. If you're interested in getting the patches and are willing to provide me feedback about what you're testing with them and how well it works, please send me e-mail.

Chris Demetriou

April 1999

26 Apr 1999 - Updated source changes pages

The changes2html script now generates one page per release, all the way from 386bsd 0.1 + patchkit 0.2.2 to 0.8 to what will become 1.5

23 Apr 1999 - Adcomtec PCI WAN adapters

ADCOMTEC specializes in providing high-performance, advanced communications and networking solutions for CompactPCI, PCI, and PMC based applications. NetBSD driver support is provided for a range of high-performance adapters providing connectivity Synchronous Serial, T1/E1, DS3/T3, and HSSI. For more details, see the entry in the Hardware gallery.

18 Apr 1999 - NetBSD certified mom-ready

NetBSD has been certified mom-ready by Linda Seebach.

18 Apr 1999 - NetBSD/Amiga supports HyperCom 3+/4+

The serial ports of the HyperCom 3+ and 4+ Zorro-bus boards are officially supported now up to 460800 baud. The drivers have been available for a few months in NetBSD/Amiga-current, but had not been tested yet.

13 Apr 1999 - vfs_lookup locking security advisory

Unprivileged users can trigger a file-system locking error, causing the system to panic or hang. The following command sequence will trigger the vulnerability:

	% ln -s ./ test
	% ln -s ./ test

A patch is available, along with more details

12 Apr 1999 - New NetBSD/x68k portmaster

Minoura Makoto is the new portmaster for NetBSD/x68k, taking over from Oki Masaru, who originally started the port in 1993.

02 Apr 1999 - NetBSD 1.4 Release Schedule

April 1st NetBSD 1.4_ALPHA build starts. ALPHA releases should be available in within 1-5 days, depending on the platform. Also, the NetBSD-current tree and tarfiles on start tracking the 1.4 release, rather than NetBSD-current.
April 16th NetBSD 1.4_BETA period starts. BETA releases should be available in within 1-5 days, depending on the platform.
April 30th Final code freeze: no changes but utterly critical ones get made after this date.
May 12th 1.4 Release date: 1.4 is available for all platforms in
May 16th NetBSD-current source tree and tarballs revert from following NetBSD-1.4 release branch to following NetBSD-current.

We encourage everyone to start using the ALPHA and BETA releases as soon as they come out. They are quite stable at this point, and the more people that use them, the more stable our final release will be.

March 1999

28 Mar 1999 - Wide and FAST20 on CyberStorm Mk.3/PPC

SCSI in NetBSD/Amiga The driver for the Symbios 53c770 SCSI host adapters on the CyberStorm Mark 3 / CyberStorm PPC boards has been upgraded to perform wide and FAST20 transfers.

16 Mar 1999 - NetBSD sessions at GUUG Meeting

Among the technical sessions at the spring talks of the German Unix User Group there were two talks with NetBSD-related topics. See the events page.

22 Mar 1999 - New NetBSD/amiga portmaster

Ignatios Souvatzis is the new portmaster for NetBSD/amiga, taking over from Christian E. Hopps.

14 Mar 1999 - NetBSD/sh3 on mmEye

Brains Inc. have ported NetBSD 1.3.1 to their product called "mmEye". mmEye has 100MHz SH3 CPU, video capturing device, two PCMCIA slots (one for ATA flash memory and one for network - usually Ethernet) and works as web-camera device. The company has kindly decided to donate the code to The NetBSD Project, and several volunteers are working locally on cleanups and to catch up to NetBSD-current. After that they hope to merge the code into the NetBSD repository. There is also a NetBSD/sh3 mailing list.

01 Mar 1999 - isdn4bsd-00.71.00-beta publicly available

The second isdn4bsd beta version (i4b-00.71.00-beta-010399.tgz) has been made available for download on the isdn4bsd ftp site.

Support for NetBSD/i386-current, NetBSD/Amiga-current, NetBSD/Atari-current and limited support for NetBSD/i386-1.3.3 is available. Drivers for several PCI, ISA, ISAPNP, PCMCIA and ZBUS boards are included. Only the European protocol suite is supported in this test release.

For more information on isdn4bsd, please read the file README in the isdn4bsd base directory.

For NetBSD installation instructions, please read the file INSTALLATION in the NetBSD directory.

The ISDN4BSD package is available from You have to log in as user isdn4bsd and give your email address as the password. Then change to the pub directory. Anonymous ftp as user ftp or anonymous will NOT(!) give the desired result!

February 1999

22 Feb 1999 - New current projects listing

Tim Rightnour has converted the previous projects listing into a form that can be more easily queried, and more importantly updated, via the web. This is currently hosted on

15 Feb 1999 - New mvme68k portmaster

Steve Woodford is taking over as the port-master for the mvme68k port. Steve has built the past few releases and is working on adding support for new equipment, and I'm sure he'll continue to do a great job in that area. The previous portmaster, Chuck Cranor, will be focusing his efforts on UVM, but will still be around to help out with the mvme68k port as needed.

10 Feb 1999 - Danish *BSD user group formed

The Danish *BSD user group (BSD/DK) aims to bring *BSD users in Denmark together for informal discussion, mutual assistance and to provide information about *BSD on a national level.

For more information about the new group, please see

05 Feb 1999 - 5th KAME stable release

As usual, KAME Project has released "stable" packages of IPv6/IPsec network code for FreeBSD 2.2.8, NetBSD 1.3.3, and BSD/OS 3.1. NetBSD specific changes since 19981130 include:

  • ATM PVC pseudo device support
  • altq package support
  • pkgsrc support

These packages are free of charge but have absolutely no warranty. They are available from:

03 Feb 1999 - NRL IPv6+IPsec alpha 7.1

After a year of development, the latest release of the NRL IPv6+IPsec software is now available to the public. As the name suggests, this software is an implementation of IP Version 6 and IP Security (separately and together).

This version supports:

  • BSD/OS 4.0 on x86 (supplements our code previously merged into 4.0)
  • OpenBSD 2.3 and 2.4 on x86 and sparc (a more integrated version of this release is now in OpenBSD's CVS tree; you need userland from this kit)
  • NetBSD 1.3.2 and 1.3.3 on x86 and sparc
  • FreeBSD 3.0 on x86
  • Linux 2.1 on x86 (for PF_KEY only)

This release adds a lot of ports, updates the code to conform to newer versions of many specs (which effectively meant rewriting portions of the code), and includes a lot of general cleanups and improvements.

More information and code can be found through:

January 1999

23 Jan 1999 - NetBSD/sparc64 on Sun UltraSPARC

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce the availability of a port to Sun UltraSPARC hardware. NetBSD/sparc64 is the product of a 2-year volunteer effort by Eduardo Horvath, along with assistance from the following people (in no particular order):

  • Matthew Green (32-bit emulation, other miscellaneous help)
  • Paul Kranenburg (machine-independent SBUS drivers)
  • Chuck Cranor (VM-related issues)
  • Chris Demetriou (miscellaneous good suggestions)
  • Jason Thorpe (driver interface issues)

Currently supported hardware:

  • UltraSPARC I and II CPUs
  • esp SCSI controllers
  • le ethernet controllers
  • zs serial ports
  • cgsix graphics controllers

Any of the other drivers from the NetBSD/sparc port might also work.

Presently, NetBSD/sparc64 supports certain Ultra platforms with the devices listed above. The 32-bit kernel runs most NetBSD/sparc binaries. A 64-bit version of the system currently exists and runs on some hardware, but requires further development to be fully functional.

Many thanks go to Eduardo for his hard work and perseverance. We look forward to continued development of this exciting new port!

23 Jan 1999 - Scheduler fixes

Compiling a program while trying to use X resulted in the mouse repeatedly freezing for a moment, then coming back to life.

This was due to the problem discussed on tech-kern using the highly technical designation sucky performance. :-); for more details see the mail from Ross Harvey and Bill Sommerfeld.

The problem was solved by scheduler mods in -current on 1/23/99, and the patch at should apply to NetBSD 1.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, and 1.3.3.

16 Jan 1999 - nsswitch.conf functionality integrated

Luke Mewburn added the nsswitch.conf(5) functionality to libc. Current subsystems that use it are: group, hosts, netgroup, networks, passwd, and shells. In the absence of /etc/nsswitch.conf, functionality of the system prior to nsswitch code should remain unchanged.

14 Jan 1999 - Japanese NetBSD 1.3.3 CD-Rom

Plathome has released a two CD set of NetBSD 1.3.3 for Japanese users.

10 Jan 1999 - New CDRoms for mac68k and other m68k ports

Bob Nestor has been making CDRoms available for the mac68k port for some time, now he is expanding that for all m68k ports. More details.