NetBSD 1.5.3 Release Announcement

Announcing NetBSD 1.5.3

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 1.5.3 of the NetBSD operating system is now available.

NetBSD 1.5.3 is a maintenance release for users of NetBSD 1.5.2, 1.5.1, 1.5 and earlier releases, which provides the following updates relative to 1.5.2:

  • A number of security problems have been fixed.
  • Some performance fixes have been incorporated.
  • Improved device support in some existing drivers.
  • Some new device drivers have been added.

Please note that a new major release of NetBSD, version 1.6, was released on September 14th, 2002. NetBSD 1.6 is a substantial functional improvement over NetBSD 1.5.3.

A complete list of changes are available in the CHANGES-1.5.3 file in top directory of the NetBSD 1.5.3 release tree. Also, included later in this announcement, is a list of the major changes added between NetBSD 1.5.2 and 1.5.3.

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 1.5.3 are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites via FTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other methods is provided at the end of this announcement; the latest list of available download sites may also be found at:

About NetBSD

The NetBSD operating system is a full-featured, open source, UNIX-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2), 4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2. NetBSD runs on 52 different system architectures featuring 17 distinct families of CPUs, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 1.5.3 release contains complete binary releases for 20 different machine types.

NetBSD is a highly integrated system. In addition to its highly portable, high performance kernel, NetBSD features a complete set of user utilities, compilers for several languages, the X Window System, firewall software and numerous other tools, all accompanied by full source code. We also support third party software (including the KDE and GNOME desktops) through our package system.

More information on the goals of the NetBSD Project can be procured from the NetBSD web site.

NetBSD is free. All of the code is under non-restrictive licenses, and may be used without paying royalties to anyone. Free support services are available via our mailing lists and web site. Commercial support is available from a variety of sources; some are listed at:

More extensive information on NetBSD is available from our web site.

NetBSD is the work of a diverse group of people spread around the world. The `Net' in our name is a tribute to the Internet, which enables us to communicate and share code, and without which the project would not exist.

System families supported by NetBSD 1.5.3

The NetBSD 1.5.3 release provides supported binary distributions for the following systems:

NetBSD/alpha Digital/Compaq Alpha (64-bit)
NetBSD/amiga Commodore Amiga, MacroSystem DraCo
NetBSD/arc MIPS-based machines following the Advanced RISC Computing spec
NetBSD/arm32 Acorn RiscPC/A7000, CATS, Digital Shark, EBSA-285, VLSI RC7500
NetBSD/atari Atari TT030, Falcon, Hades
NetBSD/cobalt Cobalt Networks' MIPS-based Microservers
NetBSD/hp300 Hewlett-Packard 9000/300 and 400 series
NetBSD/hpcmips MIPS-based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/i386 80x86-based IBM PCs and clones
NetBSD/mac68k Apple Macintosh with 68k CPU
NetBSD/macppc Apple Power Macintosh and clones
NetBSD/mvme68k Motorola MVME 68k SBCs
NetBSD/news68k Sony's 68k-based "NET WORK STATION" series
NetBSD/next68k NeXT 68k 'black' hardware
NetBSD/pc532 The NS32532-based PC532 computer
NetBSD/pmax Digital MIPS-based DECstations and DECsystems
NetBSD/sparc Sun SPARC (32-bit) and UltraSPARC (in 32-bit mode)
NetBSD/sun3 Sun 3 and 3x
NetBSD/vax Digital VAX
NetBSD/x68k Sharp X680x0 series

Ports available in source form only for this release include the following:

NetBSD/amigappc PowerPC-based Amiga boards
NetBSD/arm26 Acorn Archimedes, A-series and R-series systems
NetBSD/bebox Be Inc's BeBox
NetBSD/evbsh3 Evaluation boards with Hitachi Super-H SH3 and SH4 CPUs
NetBSD/luna68k The LUNA product line of OMRON Tateishi Electric
NetBSD/mmeye Brains' mmEye Multi Media Server
NetBSD/newsmips Sony's MIPS-based "NET WORK STATION" series
NetBSD/prep PReP (PowerPC Reference Platform) and CHRP machines
NetBSD/sgimips Silicon Graphics' MIPS-based workstations
NetBSD/sparc64 Sun UltraSPARC (in native 64-bit mode)

Major Changes Between 1.5.2 and 1.5.3

The complete list of changes between NetBSD 1.5.2 and 1.5.3 can be found in the file CHANGES-1.5.3 in the top directory of the source tree. The following are highlights only:

  • lpd(8) has been fixed to deal with a security issue (SA2001-018).
  • Drivers for Mylex DAC960, Compaq EISA array controllers, and I2O block/SCSI devices added. This has caused ca(4) to be replaced by ld(4). Drivers for the Mylex DAC960 management interface and DPT/Adaptec I2O RAID management interface has also been added. See dpti(4) and mlxctl(8).
  • A driver for the 3ware Escalade 5000 and 6000 series RAID controllers has been added, see twe(4).
  • Various different fixes have been applied to the network device drivers ep(4), ex(4), rtk(4), sip(4), ti(4), tl(4), and wi(4).
  • Support for some more variants of rtk(4) on CardBus has been added.
  • The ne(4) driver has been extended to support some more pcmcia cards.
  • Support for more pciide(4) controllers added: HPT-370A, Acard ATP-850/860, and AMD-768. Ultra-DMA 100 support added for CMD 0649.
  • A problem with the NFS server code, exposed on NetBSD/alpha, where use of ``..'' would return info for ``.'' has been fixed.
  • Support for ``other-endian'' file systems has been improved.
  • The layout algorithm for FFS file systems has been substantially improved, resulting in better performance, both due to improved locality between files and their corresponding directory, and lessened pressure on the buffer cache.
  • The performance of soft dependencies in FFS has been significantly improved in some circumstances.
  • Handling of init/fini section support and DWARF2 exception handling has been added to the C runtime startup code.
  • OpenSSH has been upgraded to version 3.0.2. Additionally, two security problems in OpenSSH have been fixed (SA2002-004, SA2002-005) via ``point patches''.
  • A security issue arising from a race between set-uid execution and use of ptrace has been fixed (SA2002-001).
  • The package tools have been extended to provide for optional digital signatures on binary packages. Additionally, binary package version number handling has been rewritten.
  • A driver for Creative Labs SBLive! EMU10000 has been added; see emuxki(4).
  • A driver for ESS Allegro-1 / Maestro-3 has been added; see esa(4).
  • Support for the 53c1010-33 and 53c1510D has been added to the siop(4) driver.
  • IPFilter upgraded to 3.4.23.
  • The boot code on NetBSD/macppc has been improved.
  • sendmail(8) has been upgraded to version 8.11.6.
  • A long file name buffer overrun in gzip has been fixed (SA2002-002).
  • IPSEC policy check has been fixed for forwarded IPv4 packets (SA2002-003).
  • A buffer overrun in the resolver part of the C library has been fixed (SA2002-006). To fix this problem in the BIND user utilities, BIND has been upgraded to version 8.3.3.
  • Various other kernel stability and robustness fixes have been applied.

The NetBSD Packages Collection (pkgsrc), which is used to maintain NetBSD-specific fixes to third-party programs, has been updated for NetBSD 1.5.3.

Please note that at the moment, sysinst will not assist you in installing pre-built third-party binary packages or the pkgsrc system itself, so you will have to manually install packages using pkg_add(1) or fetch and extract the pkgsrc.tgz tar file to get started.

Lastly, it should be noted that the X11 binaries shipped in NetBSD 1.5.3 are still based on XFree86 version 3.3.6. Several newer graphics cards are inadequately supported by that code base, but on the other hand support for several older graphics cards is not available in newer XFree86 code. NetBSD is in the process of moving to XFree86 version 4, and is currently maintaining both the XFree86 3.3.6 and the XFree86 version 4 code in the xsrc source set, and you may at compile time pick which sources to build and install. To ease installation, testing and use of the XFree86 version 4 code, a binary snapshot based on XFree86 version 4.2.0 has been made available for NetBSD/i386 1.5.x at:


The NetBSD Foundation would like to thank all those who have contributed code, hardware, documentation, funds, colocation for our servers, web pages and other documentation, release engineering, and other resources over the years. More information on contributors

We would like to especially thank the University of California at Berkeley and the GNU Project for particularly large subsets of code that we use, and the Internet Software Consortium, Redback Networks and the Helsinki University of Technology for current colocation services.

About the NetBSD Foundation

The NetBSD Foundation was chartered in 1995, with the task of overseeing core NetBSD project services, promoting the project within industry and the open source community, and holding intellectual property rights on much of the NetBSD code base. Day-to-day operations of the project are handled by volunteers.

NetBSD mirror sites

Please use the mirror site closest to you. Please also note our list of CD-ROM vendors.

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