Announcing NetBSD 1.6.2

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 1.6.2 of the NetBSD operating system is now available.

About NetBSD 1.6.2

NetBSD 1.6.2 is a maintenance release for users of NetBSD 1.6.1 and earlier releases, and it provides the following updates relative to 1.6.1:

  • A number of security issues have been fixed.
  • Some performance fixes have been incorporated.
  • Improved device support in some existing drivers.
  • Some new device drivers have been added.
  • Some minor userland fixes have been applied.
  • The stability of the sparc64 port has been greatly enhanced.

The NetBSD 1.6.2 distribution consists of the full NetBSD source, binary releases for 40 ports including the X Window System, and the NetBSD Packages Collection 1.6.2 release.

A complete list of changes are available in the CHANGES-1.6.2 file in top level directory of the NetBSD 1.6.2 release tree. Also, included later in this announcement is a list of the major changes in NetBSD 1.6.2.

Complete source and binaries are available at many sites around the world. You can download NetBSD via FTP, AnonCVS, SUP and other methods from a mirror site near you.


The NetBSD Foundation would like to dedicate the NetBSD 1.6.2 release to the memory of Erik Reid, who went missing and is presumed dead in a sailing accident on 18 February 2004. Erik's contributions to NetBSD included work on support for SGI MIPS R4000, integrating XFree86 Direct Rendering Interface (DRI), and managing the build lab. His death came as a shock, and he will be greatly missed by all of us. May he rest in peace.

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 machine architectures across 11 distinct CPU families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 1.6.2 release contains complete binary releases for 40 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. The NetBSD Packages Collection contains over 4400 packages and binary package releases for a number of platforms are currently in progress.

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

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 the NetBSD 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 1.6.2

The NetBSD 1.6.2 release provides supported binary distributions for the following systems:

NetBSD/acorn26 Acorn Archimedes, A-series and R-series systems
NetBSD/acorn32 Acorn RiscPC/A7000, CATS, Digital Shark, EBSA-285, VLSI RC7500
NetBSD/algor Algorithmics, Ltd. MIPS evaluation boards
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/atari Atari TT030, Falcon, Hades
NetBSD/cats Chalice Technology's Strong Arm evaluation board
NetBSD/cobalt Cobalt Networks' MIPS-based Microservers
NetBSD/dreamcast Sega Dreamcast game console
NetBSD/evbarm ARM evaluation boards
NetBSD/evbmips MIPS-based evaluation boards
NetBSD/evbsh3 Evaluation boards with Hitachi Super-H SH3 and SH4 CPUs
NetBSD/hp300 Hewlett-Packard 9000/300 and 400 series
NetBSD/hpcarm StrongARM based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcmips MIPS-based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcsh Hitachi SH3/4 based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/i386 80x86-based IBM PCs and clones
NetBSD/luna68k OMRON Tateisi Electric's LUNA series
NetBSD/mac68k Apple Macintosh with 68k CPU
NetBSD/macppc Apple Power Macintosh and clones
NetBSD/mipsco Mips family of workstations and servers
NetBSD/mvme68k Motorola MVME 68k SBCs
NetBSD/netwinder StrongARM based NetWinder machines
NetBSD/news68k Sony's 68k-based "NET WORK STATION" series
NetBSD/newsmips Sony's MIPS-based "NET WORK STATION" series
NetBSD/next68k NeXT 68k 'black' hardware
NetBSD/pmax Digital MIPS-based DECstations and DECsystems
NetBSD/prep PReP (PowerPC Reference Platform) and CHRP machines
NetBSD/sandpoint Motorola Sandpoint reference platform
NetBSD/sbmips Broadcom SiByte evaluation boards
NetBSD/sgimips Silicon Graphics' MIPS-based workstations
NetBSD/shark Digital DNARD ("shark")
NetBSD/sparc Sun SPARC (32-bit) and UltraSPARC (in 32-bit mode)
NetBSD/sparc64 Sun UltraSPARC (in native 64-bit mode)
NetBSD/sun2 Sun 2
NetBSD/sun3 Sun 3 and 3x
NetBSD/vax Digital VAX
NetBSD/walnut IBM 405GP PowerPC "walnut" evaluation board
NetBSD/x68k Sharp X680x0 series

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

NetBSD/amigappc PowerPC-based Amiga boards
NetBSD/bebox Be Inc's BeBox
NetBSD/cesfic CES's FIC8234 VME processor board
NetBSD/mmeye Brains' mmEye Multi Media Server
NetBSD/mvmeppc Motorola MVME PowerPC SBCs
NetBSD/ofppc Generic OpenFirmware compliant PowerPC machines
NetBSD/pc532 The NS32532-based PC532 computer
NetBSD/playstation2 SONY PlayStation 2

Major Changes Between 1.6.1 and 1.6.2

The complete list of changes can be found in the CHANGES-1.6.2 file in the top level directory of the NetBSD 1.6.2 release tree. Some highlights include:


  • With pciide(4), make Promise controllers do DMA with large disks requiring 48-bit LBA drives.
  • Add error detection when running low on swap, to improve stability in low-memory situations.
  • Support for more SiS and Intel controllers were added to pciide(4).
  • Support for the new PowerBook G4 12-inch added.
  • mlx(4) stability improved.
  • A long-standing stability problem with the original Sun4c sparc systems (SS1, SS1+, and IPC) has been found and fixed. Some optimizations done for these systems as well.
  • Sun3, Sun3x, and Sun2 may now boot from tape files, through addition of seek support for tape files.
  • The USERCONF option has been added to the i386 kernels; see userconf(4) for more information.
  • Hardware random number generator support for Intel 865 and 875P chipsets added.
  • Fix wdc(4) to work with pre-ATA drives.
  • General support for multi-function pcmcia(4) cards has been fixed.
  • Various fixes to Linux emulation have been added.


  • rtk(4) multicast problem fixed.
  • fxp(4) support yet a few more chip variants.
  • tlp(4) driver fixed so that the DEC Alpha PWS no longer panics.
  • Path MTU discovery black-hole detection has been added.
  • bce(4) driver added for Broadcom BCM4401 chipset, as seen in recent Dell laptops.
  • A workaround has been added for a race condition in the networking code which could corrupt the callout data structure.
  • Various networking stack fixes for IPv4, IPv6 and IPsec.


The following security issues have been fixed:

System administration and user tools

  • Possible crash in vi(1) triggered by an error was fixed.
  • XFree86 upgraded to version 4.3.0 for those architectures which use XFree86 version 4.
  • scsictl(8) now supports a few new commands.
  • BIND has been upgraded to version 8.3.7.
  • DHCP has been upgraded to version 3.0.1rc11 with various fixes.
  • CVS has been upgraded to version 1.11.10.

And of course there have also been innumerable bug fixes and other miscellaneous enhancements.

Please note that at the moment, sysinst will not assist you in installing pre-built third-party binary packages or the pkgsrc system itself. See the NetBSD packages collection documentation:

Lastly, it should be noted that the X11 binaries shipped in NetBSD 1.6.2 for i386 and macppc are based on XFree86 4.3.0, cats is based on XFree86 4.2, and other ports on XFree86 3.3.6. You may at compile time pick which sources to build and install.


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 the people who make NetBSD happen is available at:

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. We would also like to thank the Internet Software Consortium 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 a mirror site close to you.

Please also note our list of CD-ROM vendors.

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