NetBSD is an Unix-like open source operating system
based on the 4.4BSDlite code and other
contributions. One goal is compatibility with the
POSIX and SUS specified interface definitions. The
complete kernel sources and big parts of libraries
and programs are BSD-style licensed, thus easily
adoptable for commercial third-party applications.
Another goal has been to use clean interfaces,
modularity and thus portability to new
hardware. NetBSD has been ported to 13 cpu families
with 53 architectures, with more to come.
NetBSD is cross-compilable (including the base X11
windowing system); everything needed for this is
controlled by a central build script, that starts
with the necessary parts of the cross-compilation
toolchain. The result has been several automated
full OS builds per week, for all of the OS, for
every architecture, for both the development branch
("-current") and the pending release branch(es). The
result is much higher release quality, even for
architectures whose native CPUs are too slow to
allow this building frequency natively.
Modern networking (IPv6, PPPoE, ISDN, WLAN) are
integrated into the base system, as are security
features like SSH, SSL, an encrypted disk layer,
non-executable stack, verified exec, systrace.
NetBSD includes RaidFrame, a software RAID package
that is auto-configuring and usable for the root
partition. Also, the volume manager VINUM has been
NetBSD makes use of symmetric multiprocessing on
i386, amd64, sparc in the new release (and already
did this on Alpha and VAX in earlier releases). An
implementation of Scheduler Activations is the core
for a native N:M phtreads implementation.
Many platforms can emulate system calls of other
OSes (on the same CPU): SunOS4 and Solaris
applicatons are executable on NetBSD/sparc and
NetBSD/sparc64, similarly Linux applications on
The lecture will focus on new features in the
2.0 release and beyond.
Ignatios Souvatzis is "System Programmer" (in reality, a
combination of system administrator, tape operator, kernel hacker, and
user advisor) at Chair V of the Computer Science Department at the
University of Bonn.
He is also a NetBSD key developer. His main tasks have been some
device drivers, a new ARP system, and maintaining the Amiga port.
Sometimes, those assignments overlap.
He studied Physics and Astronomy in Bonn. He has used nearly
everything running VMS from the 11/780 to MicroVAX, and everything
running Ultrix from the DECstation 2100 to the 5000/260 and even a
CDC Cyber 172 and a Convex to do astronomical data reduction.
Earlier at University, he (ab)used lots of different systems, from IBM
360 to 4331 to PC to solve the eight queens problem, has written test
programs for i8085-controlled vacuum pumps and UNIBUS-connected graphics
workstationsfor the new accelerator at the physics department.
In his second University year, he was introduced to Unix (on a Z8000 box) at a
small software company.
He seldom admits that he was teaching an introduction to BASIC at an
adult education center in late 1981/early 1982 (but it paid driving
home for the weekends).