NetBSD 1.5.1 Release Announcement

Announcing NetBSD 1.5.1

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 1.5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 1.5.1 is a patch release improving stability, fixing bugs in, and adding new features to NetBSD 1.5.

Since the release of NetBSD 1.5, nine security related problems were discovered and fixed. In addition to fixes for some problems not formally reported, more than 110 problems reported through our problem tracking system have been resolved for NetBSD 1.5.1.

In addition to bug fixes, a number of feature enhancements are available in NetBSD 1.5.1. These include support for new hardware, and updates of e.g. software packages shipped with the NetBSD base operating system.

A complete list of changes are available in the CHANGES-1.5.1 file in top directory of the NetBSD 1.5.1 release tree. Also, included later in this announcement, is a list of the major changes between NetBSD 1.5 and 1.5.1.

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 1.5.1 are available for download at the NetBSD FTP server and many of our mirror sites. A list of mirror sites is provided at the end of this announcement. NetBSD/pc532 and NetBSD/mac68k binaries are still in the process being built and will be available shortly.

ISO images will be available shortly. These will be located under and will include one image per architecture supported under NetBSD 1.5.1. Additionally, there will be images for a 3-CD set of pre-built binary packages for use with NetBSD/i386. For these files, you'll want to use the NetBSD mirror closest to you.

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 forty-four different system architectures featuring sixteen distinct families of CPUs, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD 1.5.1 release contains complete binary releases for twenty-one 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 at:

Goals: 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 1.5.1

The NetBSD 1.5.1 release provides supported binary distributions for the following systems:

NetBSD/alpha Digital Alpha (64-bit)
NetBSD/amiga Commodore Amiga, MacroSystem DraCo
NetBSD/arc 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' Microservers
NetBSD/hp300 Hewlett-Packard 9000/300 and 400 series
NetBSD/hpcmips MIPS based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/i386 i386 family IBM PCs and clones
NetBSD/mac68k Apple Macintosh
NetBSD/macppc Apple Power Macintosh and clones (including the G4 cube)
NetBSD/mvme68k Motorola MVME 68k SBCs
NetBSD/news68k Sony's m68k based "NET WORK STATION" series
NetBSD/next68k NeXT 68k 'black' hardware
NetBSD/pc532 The PC532 Computer
NetBSD/pmax Digital MIPS-based DECstations and DECsystems
NetBSD/sparc Sun SPARC (32-bit)
NetBSD/sparc64 Sun UltraSPARC (64-bit)
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

Major Changes Between 1.5 and 1.5.1

The complete list of changes between NetBSD 1.5 and 1.5.1 can be found in the file CHANGES-1.5.1 in the top directory of the source tree. The following are highlights only:

  • A driver for the Aironet/Cisco wireless PCMCIA cards has been added; see an(4).
  • NFS client performance has been improved, typically by 40% for writes but possibly up to 100% in certain setups.
  • The siop(4) driver has improved in performance and robustness.
  • Support for cloning pseudo-interfaces has been added. See ifconfig(8).
  • Support for 802.1Q virtual LANs has been added. See vlan(4).
  • The isp(4) driver has been upgraded to (among other things) work on MacPPC.
  • BIND has been upgraded to version 8.2.3 (SA2001-001).
  • Support for booting from RAIDframe RAID1 mirrors on i386 added.
  • The lfs(4) file system has again been substantially updated, but is still experimental.
  • Ultra/66 support has been added for capable VIA chipsets, and Ultra/100 support has been added for the HPT370, Promise and Intel ICH2 controllers in the pciide(4) driver. Support for Intel 82801BAM controllers has also been added, and handling of Ali controllers has been improved.
  • OpenSSH has been updated to deal with a security issue (SA2001-003).
  • Sendmail has been upgraded to version 8.11.3.
  • The ex(4) driver has added support for 3Com 3c555, 3c556 and 3c556B MiniPCI Ethernet cards.
  • A driver for the on-board audio hardware found on many Apple PowerMacs has been added; see awacs(4).
  • The sip(4) driver has been fixed to properly support the dp83815, as found in current Netgear FA311 10/100 cards.
  • ftpd(8) has been updated to deal with two security issues (SA2000-018 and SA2001-005).
  • ntpd(8) has been updated to deal with a security issue (SA2001-004).
  • telnetd(8) has been updated to deal with a security issue (SA2000-017).
  • A vulnerability on i386 related to USER_LDT has been fixed (SA2001-002).
  • The Linux emulation has been enhanced to prepare for the support of using the Linux version of VMware.
  • IP checksumming speed has been improved on i386 compared to NetBSD 1.5 by about 10%.
  • Support for the Socket Communications LP-E Type II PCMCIA NE2000 clone card has been added to ne(4).
  • The DHCP software has been upgraded to ISC version 3, Beta 2, patch-level 23, to fix core dumps in dhclient(8), among other things. Please note that the new dhcpd(8) forces you to configure a "ddns-update-style" of either "ad-hoc", "interim" or "none".
  • Various fixes and enhancements to INET6 and IPSEC code; among them improved interaction between IPF/Nat and IPSEC.
  • The Heimdal kerberos(8) implementation has been upgraded to version 0.3e.
  • Support for Accton EN2242 and other AmdTek AN985 cards added to the tlp(4) driver.
  • Several country-specific keyboard mappings have been added for USB keyboards.
  • A driver for Yamaha YMF724/740/744/745-based sound cards has been added, see yds(4).
  • The maximum number of BSD disklabel partitions on the i386 port has been increased from 8 to 16.
  • Drivers for the AC97 based audio sound chips ESS Technology Maestro 1, 2, and 2E (see esm(4)), NeoMagic 256 (see neo(4)), and Cirrus Logic CrystalClear PCI Audio CS4281 (see clct(4)) have been added.

In addition, many bugs have been fixed -- more than 110 problems reported through our problem tracking system have been resolved, and some other non-reported problems have also been found and fixed. See the CHANGES-1.5.1 file for the complete list.

The NetBSD Packages Collection (pkgsrc), which is used to maintain, build, track dependencies, and maintain NetBSD-specific fixes to third-party programs, has received a major overhaul for NetBSD 1.5.1. Some high- lights are:

  • Many new packages were added to the collection, which now includes about 2100 packages. Many of them are also available as pre-compiled binaries on and its mirrors. All packages have been verified on a release candidate of 1.5.1/i386, and have been found to compile, install and de-install cleanly. Many packages have been modified and enhanced to compile and function properly on big-endian (m68k, sparc), and LP64 architectures (alpha, sparc64).
  • KDE2 and KOffice together consitutes a fully integrated office environment with no license problems, available for i386, alpha and many other architectures.
  • Mozilla 0.9, KDE2's Konqueror, and Links 0.95 are just a few examples of the web browsers available.
  • A support package for running VMware on NetBSD/i386 was added, it's called emulators/suse_vmware. The official VMware code, a valid license, and Wasabi Systems' compatibility package are all needed to run VMware.
  • Internal changes of the pkgsrc system include strong checksums to prevent malicious distribution files, as well as restructuring of the package structure in pkgsrc for faster extraction of pkgsrc tar files and upgrades via SUP and CVS.

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_install or fetch and extract the pkgsrc.tgz tar file to get started.

Lastly, it should be noted that the X11 binaries shipped in NetBSD 1.5.1 is still based on XFree86 version 3.3.6. Several newer graphics cards are inadequately supported by that code base, but on the other hand sup port 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 4.0.3 has been made available for NetBSD/i386 1.5.1. (Update: A binary snapshot based on XFree86 version 4.1.0 is available for NetBSD/i386 1.5.1)


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.

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