17 October 2012

NetBSD 6 is out!

I pulled the trigger on the release of NetBSD 6.0 this morning, and a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders.    Here's a quick rundown on what I like about NetBSD 6:

  • Multiprocessor support for Xen DomU ("guests").  This one is huge!  It puts NetBSD in a great position on various Xen hosting platforms, such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Panix and others.
  • NPF, the new NetBSD Packet Filter.  It's still a little rough around the edges, but it's solid and it promises to have great performance, as it's written from scratch with multi-core CPUs in mind.
  • Great support on low-power embedded platforms, such as lots of new ARM platforms and PowerPC  MPC85xx.  I just built myself a router for home out of a DreamPlug running NetBSD 6.0, with NPF as a packet filter.  It's working great, and only draws between 9 and 10 watts of power!
  • NetBSD's phenomenal build infrastructure.  This isn't new, but it bears repeating:  if you're developing for NetBSD, you can build it on almost any POSIX platform!  I personally have built on NetBSD, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, Centos, and MacOS X (recently).  It's one feature I wish all other systems would adopt.
Now to catch my breath and prepare for 6.1, in which we hope to have full support for Raspberry PI and some other new platforms...