Information about NetBSD 1.3
NetBSD 1.3 was the sixth release of the NetBSD operating system, and was
released on January 4, 1998.
The latest patch release, NetBSD 1.3.3, was released on December
23, 1998. It fixed bugs and added some new hardware support. It is
recommended that users upgrade where possible. A list of the changes
for 1.3.3 is available.
On January 23rd, 1999, the
NetBSD/current scheduler was modified to significantly improve the
interactive performance under X while compiling or performing other
tasks. A patch
for the NetBSD 1.3 series is available.
NetBSD 1.3 included binaries for the following architectures:
Building upon the successful NetBSD 1.2 release, we have provided
numerous and significant functional enhancements, including support
for many new devices, integration of many bug fixes, new and updated
kernel subsystems, and many userland enhancements. The results of
these improvements is a stable operating system fit for production use
that rivals most commercially available systems.
It is impossible to summarize the 18 months of development that went
into the NetBSD 1.3 release. Some of the significant changes include:
- Support for machine independent device drivers has been
radically improved with the addition of the "bus.h" interface,
providing a high quality abstraction for machine and
architecture independent device access.
- The bus_dma interface has also been integrated, providing a
machine-independent abstraction for DMA mapping. This permits many
good things, including (among many) clean multi-platform
bounce buffer support.
- Framework support for ISA "Plug and Play" has been added, as
well as support for numerous "Plug and Play" devices.
- APM support has been added to NetBSD/i386.
- An initial cut of multi-platform PCMCIA support has been added.
- Support for ATAPI devices (initially just ATAPI CD-ROM drives)
has been added.
- Support for Sun 3/80s (sun3x architecture) has been added.
- Support for R4000 DECstations has been added.
- Integration/merger of 4.4BSD Lite-2 sources into userland
programs has nearly been completed.
- Most of userland now compiles with high levels of gcc warnings
turned on, which has lead to the discovery and elimination of
- The i386 boot blocks have been completely replaced with a new,
libsa based two stage boot system. This has permitted
integration of compressed boot support (see below).
- Many ports now support booting of compressed kernels, and
feature new "Single Floppy" install systems that boot
compressed install kernels and ramdisks. We intend to do
substantial work on improving ease of installation in the
- "ypserv" has been added, thus completing our support for the
"yp" network information system suite.
- Support for the Linux "ext2fs" filesystem and for FAT32 "msdosfs"
filesystems has been added.
- TCP now has a SYN "compressed state engine" which provides
increased robustness under high levels of received SYNs (as in
the case of "SYN flood" attacks.) (Much of this code was
derived from sources provided by BSDI.)
- An initial implementation of Path MTU discovery has been
integrated (though it is not turned on by default).
- An initial kernel based random number generator pseudodevice has
- Several major fixes have been integrated for the VM subsystem,
including the fix of a notorious VM leak, improved
synchronization between mmap()ed and open()ed files, and
massively improved performance in low real memory conditions.
- A new swap subsystem has radically improved configuration and
management of swap devices and adds swapping to files.
- Userland ntp support, including xntpd, has been integrated.
- The audio subsystems have been substantially debugged and
improved, and now offer substantial emulation of the OSS audio
interface, thus providing the ability to cleanly run emulated
Linux and FreeBSD versions of sound intensive programs.
- A "packages" system has been adapted from FreeBSD and will
provide binary package installations for third party
- The XFree86 X source tree has been made a supported part of
the NetBSD distribution, and X servers (if built for this
port), libraries and utilities are now shipped with our releases.
- The ftp(1) program has been made astoundingly overfunctional.
It supports command line editing, tab completion, status bars,
automatic download of URLs specified on the command line,
firewall support and many other features.
- All ports now use "new" config. Old config has been laid to rest.
- The ARP subsystem and API has been rewritten to make it less
- A new if_media subsystem has been added which allows network
interfaces to be configured using media type names rather than
device-specific mode bits.
- Many kernel interface manual pages have been added to manual
- Several ports support much more hardware.
- Many updates to bring NetBSD closer to standards compliance.
- Most third party packages have been updated to the latest stable
As has been noted, there have also been innumerable bug fixes.
Kernel interfaces have continued to be refined, and more subsystems
and device drivers are shared among the different ports. You can look
for this trend to continue.
NetBSD 1.3 also includes some refinement to the NetBSD binary emulation
system (which includes FreeBSD, HP-UX, iBCS2, Linux, OSF/1, SunOS, SVR4,
Solaris and Ultrix compatibility), bringing NetBSD closer to the goal of
making the emulation as accurate as possible.
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