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...


  1. Hey,

    I also have dreamplug but with the more common Debian but am looking for a new OS, preferably*BSD.
    I see that you have installed NetBSD on the dreamplug, do you know if there are images out there so I can just dd the img file to a sd card and plug it in my dreamplug?
    Or do you perhaps want to share your image with me (or dd your install and set a default root passwd so I can customize it myself?)



    1. That's a good idea - NetBSD 6.1.4 is just about to be released (days, maybe hours), and when it is I can build an image that should work on the Dreamplug/Sheevaplug. (Also, NetBSD 7, when it's out later this year, should have some great stuff in the ARM world!)