NetBSD: Changes and News in 1998

December 1998

November 1998

October 1998

September 1998

August 1998

July 1998

June 1998

May 1998

December 1998

23 Dec 1998 - First isdn4bsd-00.70.00 beta publicly available

The first isdn4bsd beta version (i4b-00.70.00-beta-231298.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/i386-1.3.2 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!

23 Dec 1998 - NetBSD 1.3.3 Released

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce the release of NetBSD 1.3.3.

This release fixes a substantial number of bugs found in the 1.3.x family of releases, including security issues. We urge users on the Internet to upgrade their systems.

It includes significant new or updated features, such as an updated FTP client and updated package tools, and updates our version of the X Window System from XFree86 release 3.3.2 to XFree86 3.3.3.

Finally, it also includes a somewhat improved installation procedure for multiple ports.

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 to the main system sources since 1.3.2 (just 'src'; not including X or package source changes).

14 Dec 1998 - Motif 2.1.10 for NetBSD/i386

Software2Go, LLC is proud to announce the availability of Motif 2.1.10 for NetBSD/i386 version 1.3

Motif 2.1.10, Development Edition, is available for immediate purchase and download from Native ports to other Free UNIX's are also available.

02 Dec 1998 - New VAX snapshot

  • Dynamic linked libraries
  • EGCS as native C compiler
  • UVM as new memory management system
  • Improved support for VS3100's
  • X client programs precompiled

and a bunch of other stuff.

The install files is in pub/NetBSD/arch/vax/snapshot/19981201/binary/sets/ on I will also provide a new improved install system (using sysinst) in the nearest weeks, but it isn't working OK on all systems yet. This will supersede the old install system with copy and edlabel; and extract everything from the disk instead.

Many thanks to Matt Thomas, who wrote the shared libraries and EGCS support for NetBSD/VAX.

The long-time-wanted support for SCSI on VS3100 is also closing up: Jens A Nilsson got tired of not having this so he wrote PIO support for it. He will probably in the near future also finish DMA support, anyway, some SCSI will be in the install kernels when I upload them.

Note: A complete installation _will_ fit on a RD54 (I tried :-)

02 Dec 1998 - Power Management for Laptops page

This page describes some of the power management facilities available in NetBSD, currently more or less i386 specific.

November 1998

11 Nov 1998 - RAIDframe integrated

Greg Oster has just added RAIDframe version 1.1 to the NetBSD kernel. RAIDframe, from the Parallel Data Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, is a framework for rapid prototyping of RAID structures, and includes both a RAID simulator and a device driver for a limited number of architectures. The RAIDframe device driver in NetBSD-current is a full RAID implementation, including levels 0, 1, 4, 5, hot spares, and more, and is available for all NetBSD platforms. The base code for RAID level 6, parity logging, and a number of other features is present in the driver, but requires additional testing and debugging. For more details, see Greg's RAIDframe and NetBSD pages.

10 Nov 1998 - install gnats category added

This category should be used for reporting problems and suggestions related to the install software and procedures.

06 Nov 1998 - Improved NetBSD-current source changes page

The NetBSD-current changes page is now split by port, as well as by date, and by area. Each port's homepage has been updated to link to the appropriate section.

03 Nov 1998 - pkg-CHANGES web listing

A page listing changes to the packages-system is now automatically generated from the pkgsrc/doc/CHANGES log, sorted both by date, and by package.

October 1998

31 Oct 1998 - EGCS enabled on mips

Jonathan Stone has fixed the remaining mips code generation problems, allowing all NetBSD/mips ports to switch across to EGCS:

31 Oct 1998 - VAX port now has shared libraries

Matt Thomas has committed the final changes to enable shared libraries on the VAX port. He has successfully rebuilt NetBSD/vax using a system which is running shared libraries.

To support shared libraries, the VAX port now uses EGCS and

Almost 2 decades since BSD starting running on VAXes, it now has shared libraries.

30 Oct 1998 - More NE2000 driver changes

Jason Thorpe has just added code to detect RealTek 8019 chips on ISA, ISAPnP, and PCMCIA NE2000-compatible Ethernet cards. If present, you will get media selection support, including 10base2, 10baseT, 10baset-FDX, and auto select.

29 Oct 1998 - Israeli BSD user group formed

This group aims to bring a useful source of information to the *BSD community, and to promote the use of the BSD Operating Systems in General. They have a mailing list, hosted at To subscribe, send mail to, with the text "subscribe bsd-il" as the message body.

09 Oct 1998 - Added NetBSD-current source changes page

A page listing changes to NetBSD-current is now automatically generated from the basesrc/doc/CHANGES log, sorted both by date, and by area.

29 Oct 1998 - Amiga port switches to UVM

The Amiga UVM integration was done by Michael Hitch a couple of weeks ago. This change was done to NetBSD-current, the public developer version of NetBSD. The first formal release of NetBSD/Amiga to have UVM will be 1.4.

September 1998

29 Sep 1998 - Netbooting Diskless NetBSD HOWTO

Michael Wolfson has created a very useful set of documents on netbooting diskless machines using NetBSD. Currently it deals with all the machine independent information plus hp300 specific details. Hopefully others will contribute the missing parts to help it cover all machines.

22 Sep 1998 - Cheap*Bytes makes i386 NetBSD 1.3.2 CD-Rom for $4.99

Cheap*Bytes, a company that specializes in low cost technical products, announces the Cheap*Bytes CD-ROM with NetBSD 1.3.2 (Intel) for $4.99 each ($9.99 inc shipping). More details.

14 Sep 1998 - S.u.S.E commercial X servers for NetBSD/i386

A binary versions of the XFCom_3DLabs server is now available for NetBSD/i386 from their website.

14 Sep 1998 - Conversion to EGCS based toolchain continues

  • Version in-tree: egcs 1.1b release with NetBSD bug-fixes and kprintf attribute additions
  • Now the default compiler on alpha, sparc, and i386.
  • Confirmed working on ns32k and powerpc.

13 Sep 1998 - Generic Route Encapsulation (GRE) implementation

This is a very alpha implementation of GRE packet encapsulation. Generic Route Encapsulation (GRE) is described in RFC 1701 and 1702. The interface also supports IPIP (protocol 4) encapsulation, as described in RFC 2003 but default is GRE mode.

Basically GRE allows to tunnel not only IP over IP, but also provides for other protocols like Appletalk etc. Cisco routers do their multicast tunnels over gre(4). The hope is, that with GRE encapsulation, a method is found to encapsulate all other protocols with one mechanism and reduce the need for own tunneling in ip_mroute etc.

12 Sep 1998 - New netbsd-advocacy mailing list

netbsd-advocacy - For those interested in trying to help spread the word about NetBSD

10 Sep 1998 - Digital 'shark' killed by Microsoft

The Network computer prototype designed by Digital and shipped with full NetBSD-1.3 source code was allegedly quashed by Microsoft to avoid a threat to their monopoly in personal computer operating systems.

10 Sep 1998 - Support for NeoMagic chipsets in xfree86

Support for Neomagic chipsets has been added to NetBSD version of xfree86. This code comes from, and you can find out more about it (including sample config files) at:

03 Sep 1998 - New arm32 homepage

Neil Carson has reworked the arm32 port homepage into the new standard style pioneered by the alpha, and also adopted by the vax ports.

02 Sep 1998 - bebox, macppc, ofppc, and pc532 switch to UVM

The three powerpc based NetBSD ports, and the pc532 have switched over to UVM virtual memory system.

  • BeBox (bebox).
  • NS32532 based pc532 (pc532).
  • Power Macintosh (macppc).
  • OpenFirmware based powerpc (ofppc).

With these additions we now have fourteen ports using UVM, and all but one of the remaining ports can run with UVM as an option. The next major release of NetBSD should feature UVM across the board.

01 Sep 1998 - First issue of Daemon News

Daemon News, an ezine based on all of the free BSDs; FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.

This first issue contains articles over a broad range of topics; from a newbie's guide to using chmod and umask to network driver programming in NetBSD and everything in between.

August 1998

31 Aug 1998 - switches to new machine has been switched from a '486 to a Pentium II machine, and also moved to UPS power, thus providing faster and (hopefully) more reliable service.

31 Aug 1998 - UVM improvements, plus i386 and arm32 switch

NetBSD/i386 and NetBSD/arm32 have switched over to the new UVM virtual memory system.

Over the last few days, Jason Thorpe has been making some improvements to the way UVM allocates some of its data structures. On the Alpha and MIPS platforms, many UVM data structures are now mapped via the KSEG, which will avoid TLB thrashing on these platforms. On others, many structures are now mapped via the kernel_map, instead of the kmem_map, which means that the kmem_map is a lot less likely to suffer a resource shortage.

These changes now make it possible for UVM to run on large memory x86 systems without additional tweaks to default parameters (a similar problem existed to a lesser extent on mac68k systems, as well). Because this problem is now fixed, I have switched the x86 port to use UVM+PMAP_NEW by default.

27 Aug 1998 - Searchable and browsable mail archives

All the NetBSD mail lists are now searchable at, and browsable at, thanks to Tim Rightnour <> and Michael Graff <>, and to the ISC for the network access and rack space.

26 Aug 1998 - AdvanSys PCI SCSI controller support

At this time only the ABP-9xxUA controllers are supported. This driver has been tested only on i386 architecture, but should work on other PCI architectures.


21 Aug 1998 - NetBSD partner in Open Source Developer Day

The NetBSD Project was proud to be a partner with O'Reilly and Associates for its Open Source Developer Day, held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA. The Open Source Developer Day was designed to give practical information about how open source software works in the real world, focusing on how successful open source software communities have developed, and the business models and licenses which people have created to support them.

14 Aug 1998 - Filecorefs is here

Andrew McMurray's filecore filesystem is now in the NetBSD tree. The filecore filesystem is used in Acorn computers' ARM based RiscOS machines, in a similar fashion to ADOS on Amiga machines.

15 Aug 1998 - NetBSD in the news, plus new gallery entries

Added a NetBSD in the news page to the gallery. Reworked the Sites using NetBSD page, now removed.

07 Aug 1998 - New format of source-changes

A long standing bugbear has been the somewhat unhelpful format of the source-changes list (which records all changes to the NetBSD source trees). The format has now been changed to compact multiple-directory commits into one message. A hypothetical example of the new output would look like:

  From: Charles M. Hannum <>
  Subject: CVS commit: src

  Module Name:    src
  Committed By:   mycroft
  Date:           Sat Aug  8 02:32:05 UTC 1998

  Modified Files:
          src/bin/bar: Makefile bar.c
  Added Files:
          src/usr.bin/foo: Makefile
          src/usr.bin/foo [tag1]: foo.c yow.c
          src/usr.bin/foo/include: foo.h
          src/usr.sbin/qux: qux.c
  Removed Files:
          src/sbin/baz [tag2]: baz.c
  Log Message:
  This is a test.  This is only a test.

July 1998

12 Jul 1998 - 4Front releases Open Sound System

OSS provides sound card drivers for most popular sound cards under NetBSD. These drivers support digital audio, MIDI, Synthesizers and mixers found on sound cards. These sound drivers comply with the Open Sound System API specification.

More details at

13 Jul 1998 - NetBSD is first to support USB

NetBSD-current is now the first free operating system to support the Universal Serial Bus.

Supported Now

  • A UHCI (the Intel standard) host controller driver.
  • A OHCI (everyone else's standard) host controller driver.
  • A host controller independent framework for handling the devices. This framework presents a mostly USBDI compliant interface to the drivers.
  • Power budgeting.
  • A hub driver.
  • A mouse driver.
  • A keyboard driver for keyboards supporting the boot protocol.
  • A generic HID (Human Interface Device) driver for those devices that do not have a special driver.
  • A printer driver.

Work in Progress

  • Support for all kinds of transfers (control, interrupt, bulk, and isochronous).
  • Bandwidth budgeting.
  • A totally generic driver to handle leftover devices.
  • An audio driver.

Contact: Lennart Augustsson <>.

06 Jul 1998 - New alpha support and snapshot

There is a new snapshot available on and on the mirror sites. This is a complete snapshot, with X, an updated toolchain source module, and instructions. The toolchain binaries are merged into the standard sets as with 1.3.2.

Complete snapshot

Many new platforms

  • AlphaServer 4100 (Rawhide)
  • AlphaServer 1000 (Mikasa, Mikasa+Pinnacle)
  • AlphaServer 1000A (Noritake, Noritake+Pinnacle, Corelle)
  • ALPHABook 1 (AlphaBook 1)
  • Digital Personal Workstation (550) (Miata)
  • EB66

In some cases this support is at a rather experimental stage. We would really appreciate it if people with access to any of these systems would try the new snapshot, or at least boot the floppy and see what happens. Other systems with systypes in the above list--like the Alphaserver 800--should also be working now.

Support for the 4100 is not on the install floppy, but if you have one we will be happy to make a floppy for you.

Other -current features

  • UVM. This is the first release with the userland compiled for UVM and with a UVM INSTALL and GENERIC kernel, featuring clustered pageout, faster image startup, and other performance improvements.

Things to look out for

The X server hasn't been tested, and is probably temporarily broken due to currently active framebuffer console development. I expect this will be fixed shortly. The bootfloppy still doesn't support the turbochannel systems.

As usual, don't try to update userland and expect to boot an old kernel.

TURBOchannel-based Alphas

A boot floppy for TURBOchannel Alphas with keyboard support is available. This would be usable for maintenance. A kernel image with keyboard and mouse support is also available. With these, you can install the latest snapshot without serial console. See:

June 1998

22 Jun 1998 - New tech-pkg mailing list

  • tech-pkg - Technical discussion related to the NetBSD package system

06 Jun 1998 - Updated NetBSD/sparc boot floppy

A new NetBSD/sparc boot floppy, based on 1.3F, image in:

15 Jun 1998 - Improved IDE support for NetBSD/i386

Manuel Bouyer has ported the work done to the ide system for NetBSD-current in the bouyer-ide branch back to 1.3.2. This adds support for isapnp, pcmcia and pci IDE controllers (with DMA and ultra-DMA/33 support, and also supports the 2 channels on the CMD 0640), and ATAPI floppy drives (such as Iomega ZIP or LS120). It's available from: Please see the README file for details.

11 Jun 1998 - atari switches to UVM

NetBSD/atari has switched over to the new UVM virtual memory system.

09 Jun 1998 - Several new mailing lists

09 Jun 1998 - next68k port added

It's still very "experimental," but it does now netboot and run with a serial port console well enough to compile itself. There is no support for the scsi disk, keyboard, display or other NeXT "extras" yet. NetBSD/next68k homepage

There is a current binary snapshot in:

Not for the faint of heart, but potentially interesting to at least a few brave souls. Have fun.

Contact: Darrin Jewell <>.

09 Jun 1998 - sun3 and sun3x add UVM and cg4 support

  • UVM added - not yet enabled by default. UVM is NetBSD's new Virtual Memory system.
  • CG4 graphics driver now supported on sun3x.

NetBSD/sun3 homepage,

08 Jun 1998 - mac68k floppy driver available

Current 800K disks only. Available from:

07 Jun 1998 - Alpha PCMCIA support

PCMCIA support added (confirmed on Multia).

06 Jun 1998 - Software powerdown added

A -p option has been added to both halt(8) and shutdown(8) to specify that software powerdown is to be performed. Affected platforms:

  • alpha: Digital Personal Workstation (Miata).
  • i386: Systems with APM (mostly laptops) will no longer powerdown on halt unless -p is specified to halt(8) or shutdown(8).
  • sparc: Sun4m systems which support software powerdown can now do so.
  • newsmips: Sony NEWS 3400.

06 Jun 1998 - VAX changes, including UVM and graphics console

  • Now using UVM by default.
  • New ethernet driver using modified 'ln' device (VS2000/3100).
  • Support for the VS3100 graphics console. (except for m76, yet).
  • Primary and secondary caches now enabled on VS3100 (doubles CPU speed).
  • Virtual console support added for VS3100 graphic console.
  • DDB support on glass tty on VS3100.

06 Jun 1998 - sparc boot floppy available

Based on 1.3E, image in:

05 Jun 1998 - UVM added to PowerPC ports

Not yet enabled by default.

05 Jun 1998 - Miata alpha support added

  • Digital Personal Workstation (Miata) support added. (A boot floppy and a GENERIC kernel are available.)
  • Support for using BWX (Byte/Word eXtentions) for PCI busses added.

02 Jun 1998 - UVM added to arm32 port

Not yet enabled by default. UVM is NetBSD's new Virtual Memory system.

01 Jun 1998 - SMC EtherPower II driver added

Driver for the SMC 83c170 EPIC/100 Ethernet chip (epic0). Tested in AlphaStation 500, though still a few problems to address.

May 1998

30 May 1998 - IP Filter upgraded to 3.2.7

Details of IPfilter at:

29 May 1998 - m68k packages updated

262 packages built from pkgsrc (some days before the 1.3.2 tag) with minor bug fixes on NetBSD/amiga 1.3.1. Available at:

29 May 1998 - NetBSD 1.3.2 released

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce the release of NetBSD 1.3.2.

This release fixes bugs found in the 1.3 and 1.3.1 releases -- including recently discovered security holes in BIND and other software. We urge users on the Internet to upgrade their systems.

This release also updates our version of The X Window System from XFree86 release 3.3.1 to XFree86 3.3.2, with security patches.

The release binaries and source are in the usual location, at:

For a list of changes since 1.3.1 (not including X and purely installation-related changes), see:

For a patch containing all of the changes since 1.3.1 (not including X), see:

29 May 1998 - More progress on the new IDE system

Manuel Bouyer's rewrite of the IDE system continues, with DMA support. Details and patches at:

26 May 1998 - alpha news, IPNAT and floppy support


The 64-bit bugs with ipnat have been fixed and patches and instructions can be found in:

An example ipnat startup might look like this. For de0 and de1, say, and if both are already ifconfig'ed:

	sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1
	ipf -E
	ipnat -f /etc/ipnat.conf
	dhcpd de1

The contents of ipnat.conf:

	map de0 -> 0/32 portmap tcp/udp 1024:65535
	map de0 -> 0/32


A floppy that boots up a fairly recent 1.3E GENERIC kernel is now available in:

Note that this is the first floppy that supports the TURBOchannel alphas. I hope to also have a ramdisk INSTALL floppy for the 3000/xxx systems soon, but this one should make installs possible given a DHCP or BOOTP server and an NFS root with the base set installed.

Contact: Ross Harvey .

18 May 1998 - PowerMacintosh port committed to NetBSD-current

It runs on (at least) PowerMac 7300, 8600, 9500, and 9600.

Supported devices

  • on-board 53c9x SCSI
  • MACE ethernet
  • serial ports
  • ADB keyboard and mouse
  • NE2000 compatible ethernet
  • 3c905 ethernet

Devices not supported
  • on-board MESH SCSI
  • floppy disk
  • audio
Additional considerations

Currently NetBSD/macppc uses linuxppc's milo for primary boot, but it is not included in source tree because of GPL. Tsubai Masanari is planning on rewriting it shortly.

More information available at:

15 May 1998 - Changes to network code, timestamps and HIPPI

  • Monotonically increasing "current time" timestamps have been added to the fast and slow timeout dispatch routines. These can be used to implement network timers which compare "current time" against "when timer will expire", which can reduce read/modify/write/compare/branch cycles to read/compare/branch, or used for time-ordered timeout queues. TCP timers and the SYN cache timers now use this PRT timer facility, which has resulted in much less expensive timer expiration loops.

    Contact: Jason R. Thorpe .

  • Support for HIPPI, an 800Mbit/sec network technology, as been added, along with a driver for the Essential Communications RoadRunner HIPPI interface.

    Contact: Kevin M. Lahey .

Technical discussions about NetBSD's networking code take place on the tech-net mailing list.

07 May 1998 - Covalent Technologies add SSL to Apache

Covalent Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce a way to add secure SSL transaction services to your Apache web server.

The Raven SSL module is now available for the NetBSD operating system. Raven provides SSLv2 and SSLv3 secure communication services using RSA licensed cryptography algorithms. Raven is easily added to an Apache web server via the highly flexible Apache module API.

More details are available on the Raven web site.

03 May 1998 - alpha, hp300, mac68k, mvme68k, and sparc switch to UVM

NetBSD/hp300, NetBSD/mac68k, and NetBSD/mvme68k have switched over to the new UVM virtual memory system.

Hats off to all the folks who worked on UVM to make it happen: first and foremost, Chuck Cranor, who designed and implemented UVM, Matthew Green, who handled integration issues and wrote the swap subsystem, and Chuck Silvers, who wrote the anonymous memory pager (which added support for shared memory).

Please direct any questions about UVM to If you have questions specific to UVM on any of the platforms listed above, please send them to:

If you have questions about UVM on Motorola 68k platforms in general, please send them to