Contributions to the NetBSD project
This page contains methods of helping the
NetBSD project, if you have any questions or comments,
please let us know at
As a non-profit organization, The NetBSD Project is an organization which relies on the valuable contributions of individuals, companies and other organizations.
Contributions to NetBSD include money, hardware to support new platforms and peripherals, rack space to support critical project services, funding developers and more.
In addition, some organizations and individuals contribute money and staff for promotional events such as trade shows. Some trade show organizers also provide free or low-cost space.
The easiest way to donate is of course monetarily. More ideas and methods to contribute are listed below.
There's also a list of projects we would like to see implemented in the operating system. If you want to contribute, this is a good place to start.
We have a gallery of companies that assist the project, and would be very much interested in hearing from you at <www@NetBSD.org>.
A list of people and companies that have donated previously to our project is available from our donations page.
How you can contribute
- Use the system and make suggestions
- Report problems and suggestions
- Submit fixes and code
- Contribute new code
- Contribute Documentation
- Track NetBSD-current
- Test Developer Patches
- Hire consultants or developers for specific support
- Port to new architectures
- Third party packages
- NetBSD Projects
Use the system and make suggestions
First of all, NetBSD is a user supported project, so your feedback is very welcome. This includes comments, patches, new code as well as documentation. Feedback can be given via the problem report system, and is also welcome on the various mailing lists.
Report problems and suggestions
If you have any problems and suggestions, please submit them to our problem report database. You can either use the send-pr(1) program installed on any NetBSD machine, or use the online form.
We cannot emphasize how important it is to use the problem report database - if you just send the bug report or suggestion to a mail list it can fall through the cracks.
Submit fixes and code
Fixes and new code are passed into the same database as bug reports. The database can be browsed at
You can pick an entry from the database to analyze and submit the
fix back in E-mail to
<gnats-bugs@NetBSD.org> with the Problem
Report Number as the subject, and your contribution will be
automatically added to the problem report.
You can also help adjusting 3rd party applications to run (better) on NetBSD, by helping out with the NetBSD Packages Collection, pkgsrc. There are more than enough open problems in the "pkg" category in Gnats (see above), and if that's not enough, more outstanding items can be found in pkgsrc/doc/TODO. If there's no PR for a package/problem yet, try talking to the maintainer before opening a PR.
Do not worry if you do not have commit access to the source tree, the responsible person(s) will review it, and if it looks good to them, will probably commit the fix. (Note that only the PR and the responsible person(s) will receive a copy of your message. Unless you explicitly send them a copy, the submitter and other interested parties will not be automatically sent a copy)
Contribute new code
NetBSD may have the most portable source tree in the world, but there is always scope for more drivers and new ports. From small utilities' enhancements to complete ports to new hardware architectures, good code is always welcomed.
There is a list of features supported by each port, and sometimes additional work in getting all ports up to the latest & greatest is greatly appreciated!
If you are working on a relatively small change the best approach is to produce a set of patches, using "diff -u -N" or "cvs diff -u -N", and to submit them in a PR. (-N will allow patch to work for added files).
For larger changes it may be easier to put up the patches for anonymous ftp, and include a URL in the PR.
If you are working on a port to new hardware it would be appreciated
if you could contact
<core@NetBSD.org>, so you can be informed of
anyone else working on the same goal.
Good documentation is crucial for the success of the NetBSD Project. That is why we try to maintain the highest standard with respect to our man-pages, example configuration files and online documentation. The documentation available on your NetBSD system is maintained under CVS control just like the code, so if you encounter typos or mistakes, you can use the same approach as for submitting code changes. Similarly, this website and all the online documentation is under CVS control - you need to checkout the htdocs module to make direct changes and submit patches.
If you are not familiar with CVS source trees,
the documentation formats, or htdocs, you can and shall still contribute:
For suggestions and changes regarding the NetBSD Guide, a man page or any
other document, just submit a description or a draft to the
<netbsd-docs@NetBSD.org> mailing list. For changes or
additions to the NetBSD website, write a note to
<www@NetBSD.org>, the internal mailing list of the www
team. Please submit changes or drafts as plain text.
NetBSD-current is a daily snapshot of the NetBSD development source tree. If you can, testing -current and submitting bug reports is a great way to help. Instructions for testing -current can be found in the Tracking NetBSD-current documentation.
Test Developer Patches
Often NetBSD developers wish to test new code before putting it into the source tree, but can't sufficiently do so by themselves. By joining the tech-kern mailing list you can find out when a developer would like people to try out a new patch, and where the patch is available from.
Since the patch is not integrated with the NetBSD source tree yet, you shouldn't use the NetBSD bug tracking system for reporting any problems you may have. Instead, if you have any problems or general comments you wish to convey, you should either e-mail the developer who has created the patch, the mailing list they announced it on, or both.
Hire consultants or developers for specific support
If you are interested in paying for specific support or features, there are a number of consultants available, from drivers for specific hardware, to security, and systems integration.
You can hire NetBSD developers to work on in-house NetBSD projects.
Port to new architectures
Third party packages
While most free software will compile on NetBSD 'out of the box', the NetBSD packages system handles installation, dependencies and easy removal for hundreds of packages. If you find something not already covered by the package system, maybe even contribute back the information to make a package yourself. To contribute a package use the supplied send-pr(1) command or online form.
A list of non-trivial projects that would benefit NetBSD is available here. If you are proposing to pick up one of the projects, esp. as part of things like the Google Summer-of-Code, you may want to have a look at our project application howto that gives some questions that are intended to help you and us get a grip on the project.
See this link for details about needed hardware or available but not yet supported hardware.
If your company produces hardware
From interface cards to complete machines, two of the greatest hurdles to supporting hardware are availability of technical documentation, and access to the hardware itself. If your organisation can provide either of these to NetBSD developers it can help NetBSD users worldwide, and benefit your company image.
Those companies that wish to assist further can contribute specific code for drivers which can reduce the NetBSD 'time to market' for the product and ensure the hardware is used to its full advantage.
A statement as to the degree of support available for NetBSD can increase NetBSD users' confidence in selecting a given product. Even if direct support is not available, information as to in-house testing with NetBSD will encourage users to choose a product over a competitor who does not perform such testing.
How to donate money to NetBSD
The NetBSD.org web site
If you find anything out of place, or any suggestions for the NetBSD.org site, please let us know!
Maintain FTP mirror servers
If you have disk and bandwidth to donate, running a mirror FTP server would be helpful. The most important resource for mirrors is storage space. See our mirroring FAQ for an estimate of required disk space and further information. Contact <mirrors@NetBSD.org> for more details.
netbsd-advocacy mail list
There is a netbsd-advocacy list specifically for discussion on promoting the NetBSD project and the use and knowledge of NetBSD in general.
Include a NetBSD logo on your site
If your web server runs on a NetBSD box, then why not include one of the NetBSD logos?
Proudly wear NetBSD merchandise
NetBSD has its own Cafepress Online Store selling various products such as shirts, sweatshirts, a mug, wall clock, mousepad, logo magnets, and tote bags. All profits from this online store will be used to directly fund NetBSD!