Announcing NetBSD 5.0


The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that NetBSD 5.0, the thirteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system, is now available. NetBSD 5.0 features greatly improved performance and scalability on modern multiprocessor (SMP) and multi-core systems. Multi-threaded applications can now efficiently make use of more than one CPU or core, and system performance is much better under I/O and network load, benefiting, for example, server, scientific, and software development workloads.

This improved performance is the result of a rewritten threading subsystem based on a 1:1 threading model, new kernel synchronization primitives, kernel preemption, a rewritten scheduler implementation, real-time scheduling extensions, processor sets, and dynamic CPU sets for thread affinity. Almost all core kernel subsystems, like virtual memory, memory allocators, file system frameworks for major file systems, and others were audited and overhauled to make use of highly concurrent algorithms.

Your generous donations during the 2007 fund drive allowed us to sponsor much of the above development in the areas of SMP performance and scalability. This work was highly successful, and we would like to see a repeat of this success in the future. See below to find out how you can help.

In addition to scalability and performance improvements, a significant number of major features have been added. Some highlights are: a preview of metadata journaling for FFS file systems (known as WAPBL, Write Ahead Physical Block Logging), the 'jemalloc' memory allocator, the X.Org X11 distribution instead of XFree86 on a number of ports, the Power Management Framework, ACPI suspend/resume support on many laptops, write support for UDF file systems, the Automated Testing Framework, the Runnable Userspace Meta Program framework, Xen 3.3 support for both i386 and amd64, POSIX message queues and asynchronous I/O, and many new hardware device drivers. Please read below for a full list of changes in NetBSD 5.0.

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 5.0 are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other services may be found at We encourage users who wish to install via ISO images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the ISO image area. A list of hashes for the NetBSD 5.0 distribution has been signed with the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security Officer:

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 website. Commercial support is available from a variety of sources. More extensive information on NetBSD is available from our website:

2009 Fund Drive

Your donation to the NetBSD Foundation allows the project to make major improvements to the code base. With work having begun on NetBSD 6.0, we announce the 2009 Fund Drive, targeting 60,000 USD by the end of the year. We would like to continue funded development in various areas, including:

  • Improving network stack concurrency and performance.
  • Development of modern file systems and improvement of existing ones.
  • Features which are useful in embedded environments, for example, high resolution timers and execute in place (XIP) support.
  • Automatic testing and quality assurance.
We have recently made some changes to the way we accept and honor your donations. For more information about donating, visit

Major Changes Between 4.0 and 5.0

Some highlights include:

General kernel

  • Introduced new synchronization primitives and made almost all core kernel subsystems use fine-grained locking, resulting in much greater performance on MP systems. See mutex(9), rwlock(9), and condvar(9).
  • The threading system was rewritten and is now based on a 1:1 model.
  • Made the process scheduler modular, allowing for different scheduling algorithms to be selected.
  • The default scheduler implementation was rewritten, giving large performance improvements on SMP systems, and bringing support for real-time and time-sharing classes.
  • Added support for SCHED_M2, a second scheduling algorithm, as an alternative to the original SCHED_4BSD algorithm.
  • Added support for POSIX real-time scheduling extensions.
  • Added support for POSIX asynchronous I/O.
  • Added support for POSIX message queues.
  • Added support for processor sets, CPU sets, and thread affinity. See pset(3), cpuset(3), and affinity(3).
  • Added MI code to support in-kernel preemption and made i386 and amd64 use it. See kpreempt(9).
  • Added a new implementation of software interrupts in a machine-independent way to provide software interrupts with thread context. All ports were made to use it. See softint(9).
  • Added support for per-system call statistics.
  • Added support for per-CPU work-queues. See workqueue(9).
  • Added support for kernel core dumps to software RAID 1 sets.
  • Added mremap(2), to remap virtual memory addresses.
  • Added support for dynamic changing of SysV message queues and semaphore limits.
  • Improved pagedaemon behavior on memory shortage.
  • Added TFTPROOT option for TFTPing root ramdisk at root mount time.
  • Added putter(9) (Pass-to-Userspace Transporter), a generic request-response handler for kernel-attached userspace daemons.
  • Added a new power management framework, pmf(9).
  • By default, the kernel no longer enters ddb(4) if it panics. To get the old behavior, set ddb.onpanic to 1 in /etc/sysctl.conf.
  • ddb(4): Added a whatis command, inspired by Solaris.
  • All ports made to use generic todr(9).
  • All ports made to use timecounter(9).
  • Added Mersenne Twister PRNG implementation.
  • Added posix_madvise(2).
  • Numerous improvements to compat_linux(8) and compat_linux32.
  • Device attach and detach notifications are now exposed via /dev/drvctl.
  • Added sockopt(9), a new kernel API for passing socket options.
  • If no usable init(8) program can be found, set the RB_ASKNAME flag and prompt users for the init path.


  • Added ipv6 fast forward support, which increases forwarding speed by hashing/caching flows.
  • Added per-socket keepalive timer settings and the ability to change connection timeouts.
  • Added support for automatic sizing of TCP socket buffers.
  • Added a new socket option SO_NOHEADER to tell the network stack to strip the protocol header from packets received on a raw socket.
  • Added accept filters. See accept_filter(9), accf_data(9), and accf_http(9).
  • fast_ipsec(4): Added support for IPsec NAT-T.
  • pf(4): Made nat and rdr translation rules obey state policy flags. Extended pf.conf(5) syntax to express the translation-state policies.
  • Network statistics were changed to be per-CPU.
  • ALTQ: Added support for source address hashing in the WFQ scheduler.
  • Pulled in IANA-generated services and protocols files.

File systems

  • Added wapbl(4), a preview of metadata journaling for FFS. Contributed by Wasabi Systems.
  • Added read-only support for Apple HFS+ file systems. See mount_hfs(8).
  • Added read-only support for Silicon Graphics EFS file systems. See mount_efs(8).
  • Added write support for UDF file systems. See mount_udf(8).
  • Added mount_psshfs(8), to support puffs(3) sshfs.
  • Added mount_9p(8), to support 9P file services with puffs(3).
  • Added rump_nfs(8), a userspace NFS client.
  • Added mount_sysctlfs(8), to support browsing, querying, and modifying the sysctl(3) hierarchy.
  • Added refuse(3) for FUSE compatibility functionality, layered on top of puffs(3).
  • Added the user kernel file system library, ukfs(3), for standalone file system access.
  • Added p2k(3), a puffs(3) to kernel vfs adaption library.
  • puffs(4): Added support for NFS exporting puffs file servers.
  • Added 32 bit UID/GID support for ext2fs.
  • Added a newfs_ext2fs(8) utility to create Ext2 file systems.
  • /proc is now mounted by default. Extended the Linux emulation of /proc to include /proc/stat, /proc/loadavg, and /proc/<pid>/statm. Linux compatibility mode is now the default. Use -o nolinux if Linux compatibility is not desired.
  • Write speed to FAT file systems was significantly increased and the 255 head limit was removed.
  • Imported FreeBSD's unionfs.
  • fsck_ext2fs(8), fsck_ffs(8), fsck_lfs(8): Disable userid to username lookups by default and add -U flag to perform them.
  • scan_ffs(8): Added -b option to search a partition for valid alternate superblocks.
  • fsck_ffs(8): Added -x/-X options, which allow running fsck_ffs -n on a snapshot of a live filesystem.


  • Added support for per-user /tmp. See security(8).
  • Added support for ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) in the kernel and dynamic linker. See security(8).
  • Added an opencrypto(9) provider for VIA ACE (AES encryption instructions).
  • Added nsp(4), a driver for NetOctave NSP2000, contributed by NBMK Encryption Technologies, ported from vendor FreeBSD SDK and integrated with opencrypto by Coyote Point Systems.
  • opencrypto(9): Improved performance by adding asynchronous operation and batched submit/retrieve of requests/results. Contributed by Coyote Point Systems.
  • cgd(4): Changed the default IV to encblkno1, which is faster without a real loss of security.
  • openssl(1): Enabled support for Camellia.


  • Audio:

    • Added pad(4), a pseudo-audio device driver for feeding back raw PCM data to userland.
    • Added sgsmix(4), a driver for the SGS 7433 mixer found in some G3 Macs.
    • umidi(4): Added support for Roland UA25, UA4FX, and SonicCell devices.
    • dbri(4): Added support for audio input.
    • auvia(4) now works on big endian machines.
    • azalia(4): AD1984 support was greatly improved. Added support for Realtek ALC662-GR and ALC269 codecs, which are found in EeePCs. Added support for ALC268.
    • auich(4): Fixed a clock accounting problem that prevented detecting sample rates correctly.

  • Hardware Monitoring:

    • Imported envsys2, which brings, among other things, the ability to send events to powerd(8). See envsys(4) and sysmon_envsys(9).
    • Added support for hardware monitoring on Sun Ultra Enterprise 450.
    • Added aiboost(4), a driver for the ASUS AI Booster ACPI Hardware monitor.
    • Added smsc(4), a driver for the hardware monitoring portion of the SMSC LPC47B397.
    • Added aps(4), a driver for the IBM Thinkpad Active Protection System.
    • Added coretemp(4), a driver for Intel Core (and newer) on-die thermal sensors.
    • Added finsio(4), a driver for various Fintek Super I/O chips.
    • Added amdtemp(4), a driver for AMD CPU on-die thermal sensors.
    • Added dbcool(4), a driver for Analog Devices dbCool chips including ADT7460, ADT7463, ADT7467, and ADM1030.
    • Added alipm(4), a driver for the Acer Labs M7101 Power Management Controller.
    • Added admtemp(4), a driver for the Analog Devices ADM1021 temperature sensor.
    • viaenv(4): Added support for VIA VT8231.
    • nsclpcsio(4): Added support for the VLM logical device.
    • lm(4): Added an i2c attachment for the LM78 family of temp sensor and fan controllers.

  • Networking:

    • Added jme(4), a driver for the JMicron Technologies JME250 Gigabit Ethernet and JME260 Fast Ethernet controllers.
    • Added u3g(4), a driver for many multi-port 3G datacards.
    • Added iwn(4), a driver for the Intel Wireless LAN 4965AGN adapter.
    • Added zyd(4), a driver for ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B USB IEEE 802.11b/g wireless network devices.
    • Added uhmodem(4), a driver for 3G wireless modems including Huawei E220 and E620, E-mobile D01HW and D02HW, and NTT DoCoMo a2502.
    • Added lii(4), a driver for the Atheros L2 Fast Ethernet controller.
    • Added btuart(4), a driver for Bluetooth HCI UART (H4).
    • Firmware images are now shipped for ipw(4), iwi(4), wpi(4), and iwn(4). For ipw(4) and iwi(4), the Intel EULA has to be accepted via sysctl(8).
    • fxp(4): Fixed some TX timeout and RX pool corruption problems. Added a workaround for a hardware ip4csum-tx bug.
    • bge(4): Added support for BCM5786 and BCM5906(M). Fixed fiber card support.
    • nfe(4): Added support for NVIDIA MCP67/73 Ethernet controllers. Fixed wakeup issues on some newer chips. Fixed a problem with receiving jumbo frames.
    • btbc(4): Added support for AnyCom BlueCard devices.
    • rum(4): Added support for MELCO WLI-U2-SG54HP, PLANEX GW-US54Mini2, COREGA CG-WLUSB2GL and K.K. CG-WLUSB2GPX, and ABOCOM WUG2700.
    • makphy(4): Added support for Marvell 88E1116 Gigabit PHY.
    • gem(4): Added support for Sun PCI SX fiber cards and Sun SBus SX fiber cards.
    • wm(4): Added support for the Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter. Fixed a bug on receiving a jumbo frame which lead to a panic in sbcompress(). Added support for more ICH9 devices. Fixed an EEPROM-trashing bug on ICH8 and ICH9 chipsets.
    • udav(4): Added support for Shantou ADM8515.
    • brgphy(4): Added support for BCM5708C.
    • re(4): Made hardware vlan(4) insertion/extraction work properly. Added support for the Realtek 8102E/8102EL PCIe 10/100 Ethernet adapters, as well as the 8111C chips that are found on many Intel-based motherboards.
    • sk(4), msk(4): Fixed a lock panic on receiving jumbo packets.
    • msk(4): Fixed a Yukon EC Ultra cold power up issue.
    • bnx(4): Added support for SerDes controllers.
    • vge(4): Added ifconfig down and ALTQ support.

  • Storage:

    • Added arcmsr(4), a driver for Areca Technology Corporation SATA RAID controllers.
    • Added siisata(4), a driver for Silicon Image SteelVine SATA-II controllers (SiI3124, SiI3132, and SiI3531).
    • isp(4): Major update, including 4Gb (24XX) card support and new firmware sets.
    • piixide(4): Added support for ICH10.
    • ahcisata(4): Added support for ATAPI devices.
    • svwsata(4): Added support for ServerWorks HT-1000 SATA controller.
    • njata(4): Added support for Workbit CF32A CF adapter.
    • viaide(4): Added support for VIA CX700, CX700M2, NVIDIA MCP67, and MCP73/77 controllers.
    • mfi(4): Added support for LSI SAS1078 and Dell PERC 6 controllers.
    • mpt(4): Fixed performance problems for old revisions of the Symbios 53c1030.
    • cac(4): Added initial bio(4) support; only volume status is handled at this time.
    • siop(4): Added support for the non-PCI NCR 53c720/770 in big-endian mode.
    • twa(4): Added support for 3ware 9650 and 9690, based on contributions from Wasabi Systems.
    • ciss(4): Added bio(4) support.
    • ataraid(4): Added NVIDIA MediaShield, JMicron RAID, and Intel MatrixRAID support. Added support for status reports through bio(4).
    • ixpide(4): Added support for ATI SB700/SB800 controllers.
    • aac(4): Added support for raw I/O mode and >2TB.
    • umass(4): Added support for Sony GPS GPS-CS1. Fixed a panic on device removal.
    • aic(4): Worked around an rbus resource allocation problem so that aic PCMCIA cards work again.
    • Implemented DIOCACHESYNC for RAIDframe, vnd(4), and cgd(4).
    • rccide: Added support for the ServerWorks HT-1000 IDE controller.
    • wd33c93: Enabled Fast SCSI transfers for WD33C93B parts with appropriate input clocks.

  • USB:

    • Added uvideo(4), a driver for USB Video Class capture devices, from Patrick Mahoney's Google Summer of Code 2008 project.
    • Added uslsa(4), a driver for CP210x USB-RS232 devices.
    • Added uchcom(4), a driver for WinChipHead CH341/340 and HL-340 USB-Serial adapters.
    • Added uberry(4), a driver to allow RIM BlackBerries to charge from the USB port.
    • Added appropriate bus_dmamap_sync(9) calls to uhci(4), ohci(4), and ehci(4) to prevent the CPU from reordering loads and stores against DMA descriptors. This fixes host controller process error/host controller halted errors.
    • ehci(4): Added isochronous transfer support, contributed by Jeremy Morse as part of his Google Summer of Code 2008 project.
    • ukbd(4): Added support for function keys F16 through F19.
    • uplcom(4): Added support for Willcom WS002IN PHS and SMART Technologies-badged devices. Recognize Corega CG-USBRS232R as a serial device.
    • ugensa(4): Added support for Novatel Wireless Merlin CMDA and Ovation U727.
    • ubsa(4): Added support for CDMA modems sold by Eurotel/O2.
    • uftdi(4): Added support for Sealevel SeaPORT+4 USB to Serial adapter.
    • slhci(4): Replaced with Matthew Orgass's driver.

  • Graphics and Video:

    • Switched to X.Org on amd64, i386, macppc, sgimips, shark, and sparc64.
    • Added video(4), a video4linux2 compatible capture interface, part of Patrick Mahoney's Google Summer of Code 2008 project.
    • Added uvideo(4), a driver for USB Video Class capture devices, from Patrick Mahoney's Google Summer of Code 2008 project.
    • Added pseye(4), a driver for the Sony PLAYSTATION(R) Eye USB webcam.
    • Added genfb(4), a generic framebuffer console driver with PCI and SBus frontends.
    • Added AGPv3 support to VIA AGP driver.
    • Added support for Fujitsu AG-10e graphics cards.
    • Added r128fb, an accelerated console driver for ATI Rage 128 graphics controllers.
    • Added isv(4), a driver for the IDEC Supervision/16 image capture board.
    • wscons(4): Added scrollback support to vcons.
    • cgfourteen(4): Added support for wscons.
    • agp(4): Added support for ALI M1689, MB i965Q, Intel Q33/35/G33, Intel 945GME, and Intel 946GZ.
    • bktr(4) now works on amd64.

  • Miscellaneous:

    • Added pud(4), a driver that makes it possible to implement block and character devices in userspace.
    • Added spdmem(4), a Serial Presence Detect driver that decodes technical specs stored in the eeprom on common types of memory modules.
    • Added bcsp(4) to support the BlueCore Serial Protocol.
    • Added thinkpad(4), a driver to support IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad hotkeys, brightness controls, and temperature and fan monitoring.
    • Added gcscpcib(4), a driver for the AMD CS5535 and CS5536 Companion Device with support for the timecounter, watchdog timer, and GPIO.
    • Added ichsmb(4), a driver for Intel ICH SMBus controllers.
    • Added asus(4), a driver for ASUS ACPI hotkeys as found in the EeePC.
    • Added acpidalb(4), a driver for PNP0C32 ACPI hotkeys, aka the Direct Application Launch Buttons.
    • Added hpqlb(4), a driver for hotkeys on some HP notebooks.
    • adb(4): New and simplified MI ADB drivers.
    • ichlpcib(4): Added support for the TCO (watchdog) on ICH6 or newer chipsets. Now runs on EM64T systems as well.
    • itesio(4): Added support for the watchdog timer.
    • ulpt(4): Implemented non-blocking read.
    • puc(4): Added support for the I-O DATA RSA-PCI 2 port serial board, Digi International 4 and 8 port boards, and B&B Electronics MIPort serial boards.
    • piixpm(4): Added support for ATI SB600, SB700, and SB800 SMBus controllers.
    • wscons(4): Added support for the Colemak keyboard layout.
    • com(4): Added support for PCMCIA Sierra Wireless Aircard 850.
    • nfsmb(4): Added support for numerous NVIDIA chipsets.


  • x86 (i386, amd64):
    • Removed GENERIC.MP and made MULTIPROCESSOR mandatory.
    • Enabled BUFQ_PRIOCSCAN in GENERIC for better responsiveness under heavy disk I/O.
    • Added fatboot, a sub-512 byte bootloader that can be written into the first sector of a FAT16 file system.
    • Added support for enhanced speedstep on Intel Atom CPUs.
    • Added a High Precision Event Timer driver.
    • Merged amd64 and i386 pmap. Large pages are always used if available.
    • Added support for the Intel 82G965 chipset.
    • Added boot.cfg(5) to configure the bootloader.
    • The boot menu now allows disabling ACPI and/or SMP.
    • Added support for ACPI S3 (suspend-to-RAM) on MP systems.
    • Added mbr(8) variants that directly access serial ports.
    • It is now possible on some systems to get to a ddb(4) session on a VGA console if the system crashed while X11 was running.
    • Added detection of errata for AMD Family 10h steppings A and 2.
    • Added checks for erratum 261 on AMD Family 10h stepping 3 processors.
    • boot(8): Added support for the multiboot protocol. This allows booting Xen without GRUB.
    • The kernel now recognizes CD-ROMs as booted devices.
    • Added an Intel On Demand Clock Modulation driver.
  • i386:
    • Removed support for 80386 level CPUs.
    • Added support for Microsoft Xbox.
    • Added cmos(4), a driver for CMOS RAM.
    • Added support for VIA Esther.
    • i386 bootblocks are now able to boot amd64 kernels and support for a.out kernels has been removed.
    • Removed pccons.
    • Added support for sparse kernel core dumps.
    • Removed the MATH_EMULATE option.
    • Added the i386-specific COMPAT_30_PTHREAD option, which restores binary compatibility with netbsd-3 libpthread.
  • amd64:
    • Added support for PCI_BUS_FIXUP and PCI_ADDR_FIXUP kernel options.
  • acorn32:
    • Added support for Kinetic cards.
    • Fixed up boot32 to work on A7000+.
  • algor:
    • Fixed a delay(9) issue and now the P5064 kernel works in gxemul.
  • alpha:
    • Make dynamic executables work under compat_osf1(8) again.
  • amiga:
    • Added a wdc(4) frontend for the buddha and catweazle Z2 hardware.
  • arc:
    • Added support for booting from UFS2 partitions.
    • Added sysinst(8) support.
  • arm:
    • Added armv6 kernel support.
    • Added arm32 support for kernel crashdumps.
    • Added VFP support.
    • Added AT91 support.
    • Added FA526 support.
    • Added the missing kernel bits that kept eeprom(8) from actually changing firmware settings.
  • atari:
    • Fixed the sysinst miniroot image and retired the old miniroot.
    • Fixed a hang on loading md_root from floppy during installation.
    • Many pmap bugs were fixed and it was synced with amiga's pmap.
    • Fixed a lost interrupt problem on Falcon wdc(4).
    • Renamed the BOOT kernel to SMALL030 and removed BOOTX.
    • Added support for installation from GEMDOS partitions.
    • Fixed an ncr5380 SCSI freezing problem that occurred during boot.
  • bebox:
    • Converted to generic powerpc PCI and ISA frameworks.
    • Added support for genfb(4).
  • cobalt:
    • Added sysinst(8) support.
    • Added support for booting from UFS2 partitions.
    • Added support for booting from Ext2fs partitions.
    • Added netboot support for 21041 on Qube 2700.
    • Startup and shutdown messages, as well as a banner and kernel name are now printed on the LCD panel.
    • Added kernel and bootloader support for optional Z85C30 serial on Qube 2700.
    • Fixed a botched spl(9) bug which could cause a network freeze on traffic between two network interfaces.
  • evbarm:
    • Added support for the Cortina Systems SL3516 evaluation board.
    • Added support for NPE Ethernet found on IXP425 boards.
    • Added a PXA2x0 RTC driver.
  • evbmips:
    • Added support for Infineon ADM5120.
  • evbppc:
    • Added support for Xilinx Virtex II-Pro/4-FX.
    • Converted PM/PPC to generic powerpc clock, PCI, and interrupt frameworks.
    • Fixed sysinst to refer to the proper WALNUT and OPENBLOCKS266 kernels.
  • hppa:
    • Added support for booting from CD-ROM images.
    • Fixed kernel profiling.
    • Kernels are now compiled with -O2.
    • Added gdb(1) support.
    • Added bootinfo support.
    • Added support for NCR 53C720.
  • hpcmips:
    • Fixed a silent hangup problem on TX3922 machines.
  • ibmnws:
    • Converted to generic powerpc clock, PCI, and interrupt frameworks.
  • landisk:
  • mac68k:
    • Added support for more NuBus video cards, including VillageTronic MacPicasso 340.
    • Added support for Creative Systems Inc Hurdler CPI NuBus parallel printer card.
    • Switched sn(4) to use the MI SONIC driver.
  • macppc:
    • Switched to generic powerpc interrupt, clock, PCI, bus_dma(9), bus_space(9), SMP, and IPI frameworks.
    • genfb(4) is now the default framebuffer.
    • Switched to the new ADB subsystem.
    • Added support for bus speed control found in some Intrepid-based laptops like the 800MHz iBook G4.
    • Converted to shared ofw_autoconf.
    • Converted to shared powerpc major numbers.
    • Added an experimental Apple UniNorth AGP driver.
  • mvmeppc:
    • Converted to generic powerpc clock/PCI/interrupt frameworks.
  • m68k:
    • Fixed a panic in FPE code caused by 040/060 specific FDADD instructions on 020/030 machines.
    • gcc(1): Fix jump table addressing in the M68k codegen.
    • Fixed floating point handling regressions.
  • ofppc:
    • Completely rewrote the ofppc port from scratch.
    • Added support for the bplan/Genesi Pegasos II.
    • Added support for the IBM 7044-270.
    • Added support for the IBM 7046-B50.
    • Added install support and booting from RAID.
    • Fixed ofwboot to work on an IBM CHRP-based RS/6000.
    • Added support for SMP.
  • pmppc:
    • Removed pmppc as a port and moved it under evbppc.
  • powerpc:
    • Added a generic interrupt handler framework.
    • Added generic shared timecounter-based clock routines.
    • Added shared PReP memory maps.
    • Added generic powerpc OpenFirmware code.
    • Added a generic powerpc IPI framework.
    • Added new generic powerpc SMP support framework.
    • Added tuned assembler from IBM for memcpy(3), memmove(3), and memcmp(3).
    • Added booted_kernel and booted_device sysctl.
    • Added the missing kernel bits that kept eeprom(8) from actually changing firmware settings.
  • prep:
    • Switched to generic powerpc PCI, ISA, interrupt, clock, IPI, and SMP frameworks.
    • Added support for the MTX604 RAVEN based machine. Other RAVEN based machines are also likely to work now.
    • Added support for floppy controller/drive.
  • sandpoint:
    • Switched to generic powerpc interrupt, clock, PCI, and ISA frameworks.
    • Added a DHCP/NFS bootloader.
    • Converted to shared powerpc major numbers.
  • sgimips:
    • Added support for the SGI O2 PS/2 controller macekbc(4), onboard display adapter crmfb(4), and audio driver mavb(4).
    • Added support for Set Engineering's GIO Fast Ethernet board: tl(4).
    • Added support for the SGI Light/Entry/Starter LG1/LG2 framebuffers found in Indigo systems: light(4).
    • Added support for the sq(4) interface on the Challenge S's IOPLUS mezzanine.
    • Added support for booting from UFS2 partitions.
    • Many bug fixes and improvements to the MAC-110 Ethernet driver found in the O2.
  • sh3:
    • Implemented fast path TLB miss handling.
    • Fixed compilation of native sh3 gcc on 64-bit build machines.
    • Added support for single-stepping in ddb(4).
  • shark:
    • Added dhclient(8) to the install disk image.
    • The installation disk now uses wscons.
    • Removed pccons, which has been obsoleted by wscons(4).
    • X works again on revision 4 machines.
  • sparc:
    • Added support for booting from UFS2 partitions.
    • Added support for Sun PGX32 / TechSource Raptor GFX 8P to genfb(4).
  • sparc64:
    • SMP now works.
    • Fixed boot device matching on U5/U10 machines to properly distinguish cd0 from wd0.
  • vax:
    • Turned on generation of PIC code.
    • Added an accelerated driver for SPX graphics cards found in some VAXstations.
    • Fixed Unibus support on VAX11/780 and 8600 models.
  • xen:
    • Added support for amd64, both as dom0 and domU.
    • Added support for the i386 PAE extension to Xen3 domU.
    • Fixed PCI_BUS_FIXUP/PCI_ADDR_FIXUP support.
  • zaurus:
    • Added the zaurus port, with support for Sharp C3x00 PDAs.
    • Allow Zaurus screen to rotate 90 degrees to a usable state with the keyboard.
    • Added support for detecting the AC adapter and charging the battery.
    • Added sysinst(8) support.


  • 3rd party software updates:

    • ACPICA 20080321
    • am-utils 6.2a3
    • BIND 9.5.0-P2
    • file 4.26
    • GNU gcc 4.1.3-20080831
    • GNU gdb 6.5 on all ports
    • IPFilter 4.1.29
    • (n)awk 20070501
    • NTP 4.2.4p6
    • nvi 1.81
    • openpam 20071221
    • OpenSSH 5.0p1
    • OpenSSL SNAP-20080509
    • PF from OpenBSD 4.2
    • Postfix 2.5.4
    • texinfo 4.8

  • Libraries:

  • Imported bozohttpd, a small HTTP server. See httpd(8).
  • Imported dhcpcd 4.0.10.
  • Imported openldap 2.4.11.
  • Added rump(3), the Runnable Userspace Meta Program framework. Allows running kernel code in userspace applications.
  • Added cpuctl(8), a utility that allows placing CPUs online/offline.
  • Added schedctl(8), a program to control scheduling of processes and threads.
  • Added psrset(8), a utility to control processor sets.
  • Added atf(7), the Automated Testing Framework, Julio M. Merino Vidal's 2007 Google Summer of Code project.
  • Added newgrp(1), a utility to change effective group ID.
  • Added tcpdrop(8), a utility to drop tcp(4) connections.
  • Added acpitools from FreeBSD: acpidump(8) and amldb(8).
  • Added dkscan_bsdlabel(8) to scan disks for BSD disklabels.
  • Added btkey(1), a utility to manage Bluetooth link keys in OS and device storage.
  • Added svhlabel(8), a tool to update disklabel(5) from SGI Volume Header, like mbrlabel(8) for MBR labels.
  • Added pcc(1) as an alternative compiler.
  • Added btpand(8), a Bluetooth Personal Area Networking profile daemon.
  • Added c99(1) as a wrapper to run cc(1) in C99 mode.
  • Added support for Solaris $ORIGIN etc. expansions in paths.
  • Added BUILDSEED support to to yield reproducible C++ builds.
  • Added support for cc -m32 on amd64 and sparc64 to generate 32 bit binaries. 32bit libraries are now provided on these two ports.
  • ld(1) can now link 32bit objects on amd64.
  • vi(1) has been updated to nvi 1.81, which supports internationalization. It also grew a new NetBSD-specific expandtab option.
  • pkill(1): Added the -l (long format) option.
  • find(1): Added the -delete and -E (extended regex) options.
  • xargs(1): Replaced with FreeBSD's while keeping our GNU compatible exit values.
  • sdiff(1): Replaced by OpenBSD's sdiff(1).
  • pax(1): Added a -V flag for verbose summary without listing.
  • top(1): Allow a single process to be selected by pid. Added a thread mode that displays LWPs.
  • scsictl(8): Added a setspeed command.
  • split(1): Added a new option -n chunk_count that splits the input into chunk_count smaller files.
  • df(1): Fixed the -P option and added the -g (gigabytes) option.
  • wtf(6) now searches pkgsrc's help database when called inside a package directory.
  • atactl(8): Improved SATA support.
  • wlanctl(8): Added a -p flag that only prints public nodes.
  • btconfig(8): Added a new rssi option to toggle inquiry results with RSSI.
  • ifconfig(8): Added list scan to ifconfig, which lists access points in the neighborhood.
  • newsyslog.conf(5) gained a J flag to bzip2 logfiles.
  • fdisk(8) now reports the first active partition.
  • bioctl(8) was rewritten to handle new features like creating and removing hot-spares, pass-through disks and RAID volumes, start/stop consistency checks in volumes.
  • savecore(8) now uses the raw device to read crashdumps.
  • make(1): Implemented -dl (aka LOUD) to override @ at the start of script lines.
  • monop(6): The save and restore format changed, breaking compatibility with already broken previous save files.
  • iconv(1) now allows SUSv3 syntax.
  • lint(1): Added _Complex support.
  • ftp(1): Added epsv6 and epsv to disable extended passive mode.
  • getent(1): Added support for netgroup databases.
  • ypserv(8): Disabled libwrap address to hostname lookups to avoid the chance of ypserv blocking for an extended period of time due to a long DNS timeout.
  • postfix(1): Enabled LDAP support for tables.
  • amd(8): Enabled LDAP support for maps.
  • newfs(8): Added support for the t (terabytes) suffix.
  • grep(1): A warning is now printed if -r is used without specifying an argument.
  • db(1): Added support for encoding or decoding VIS_HTTPSTYLE, and for tuning the page size of the database.
  • daily.conf(5): Added run_fsck_flags to allow passing extra options to the daily fsck -n.
  • sysinst(8) now supports the Colemak and Dvorak keyboard layouts.
  • od(1) Added support for the -A addressformat flag.
  • etcupdate(8): Removed the -b binarydir and -s srcdir/etc options which were deprecated in NetBSD-4.0. Deprecate the -s tgz1:tgz2 option; please use -s tgz1 -s tgz2 instead.
  • postinstall(8): Deprecated the -s tgz1:tgz2 option; please use -s tgz1 -s tgz2 instead.
  • sed(1): Added the -r flag, which is an alias for -E, to be compatible with GNU sed.
  • patch(1): Merged improved version from DragonFly. patch -b now behaves as specified by POSIX.
  • rc.conf(5): ifconfig_xxN variables may now have multi-line values, just like /etc/ifconfig.xxN files, and semicolons may be used instead of line breaks.
  • ls(1): -n now implies -l.
  • ps(1): Added the -A option, to display information about all processes. Use O for LSONPROC like Solaris instead of bundling LSIDL, LSRUN, and LSONPROC to R.
  • ksh(1): Fixed POSIX mode interpretation of backslashes inside backquotes inside double quotes.
  • makefs(8): Made the allow-multidot option for cd9660 useful.
  • restore(8) now works on Linux dump volumes, by ignoring extended attribute records on these volumes.
  • Added an rc.d(8) script for rndctl(8).
  • MAKEDEV(8) now creates /dev rather than init(8).
  • MAKEDEV(8) now uses mtree(8) in preference to pax(1) and mknod(8), making node creation more efficient, and mount_tmpfs(8) in preference to mount_mfs(8) when creating a memory file system.
  • MAKEDEV.local(8) can now use functions defined in MAKEDEV(8).

Besides this list, there have also been innumerable bug fixes and miscellaneous enhancements.

Components removed from NetBSD

In this release of NetBSD, the following software components have been removed from the system. Some were not useful anymore, or their utility did not justify the maintenance overhead. Others were not working properly and there was a lack of interest in fixing them.

  • The pc532 port.
  • Support for systrace.
  • HP-UX binary compatibility.
  • The esl driver.
  • Support for NQNFS.
  • The TPCONS option in netiso.

Known Problems

Using block device nodes directly for I/O may cause a kernel crash when the file system containing /dev is FFS and is mounted with -o log. Workaround: use raw disk devices, or remount the file system without -o log.

Occasionally, gdb may cause a process that is being debugged to hang when "single stepped". Workaround: kill and restart the affected process.

gdb cannot debug running threaded programs correctly. Workaround: generate a core file from the program using gcore(1) and pass the core to gdb, instead of debugging the running program.

Statically linked binaries using pthreads are currently broken.

Certain early revision AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors contain a bug that may cause system instability when running with more than one CPU core active. An OS-level workaround for this issue has been prepared but was not ready in time for inclusion in NetBSD 5.0. It will be available as part of a later release in the 5.0 series.

NetBSD mirror sites

Please use a mirror site close to you.

System families supported by NetBSD 5.0

The NetBSD 5.0 release provides supported binary distributions for the following systems:

NetBSD/acorn26 Acorn Archimedes, A-series and R-series systems
NetBSD/acorn32 Acorn RiscPC/A7000, VLSI RC7500
NetBSD/algor Algorithmics, Ltd. MIPS evaluation boards
NetBSD/alpha Digital/Compaq Alpha (64-bit)
NetBSD/amd64 AMD family processors like Opteron, Athlon64, and Intel CPUs with EM64T extension
NetBSD/amiga Commodore Amiga and MacroSystem DraCo
NetBSD/arc MIPS-based machines following the Advanced RISC Computing spec
NetBSD/atari Atari TT030, Falcon, Hades
NetBSD/bebox Be Inc's BeBox
NetBSD/cats Chalice Technology's CATS and Intel's EBSA-285 evaluation boards
NetBSD/cesfic CES FIC8234 VME processor board
NetBSD/cobalt Cobalt Networks' MIPS-based Microservers
NetBSD/dreamcast Sega Dreamcast game console
NetBSD/evbarm Various ARM-based evaluation boards and appliances
NetBSD/evbmips Various MIPS-based evaluation boards and appliances
NetBSD/evbppc Various PowerPC-based evaluation boards and appliances
NetBSD/evbsh3 Various Hitachi Super-H SH3 and SH4-based evaluation boards and appliances
NetBSD/ews4800mips NEC's MIPS-based EWS4800 workstation
NetBSD/hp300 Hewlett-Packard 9000/300 and 400 series
NetBSD/hppa Hewlett-Packard 9000 Series 700 workstations
NetBSD/hpcarm StrongARM based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcmips MIPS-based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/hpcsh Hitachi Super-H based Windows CE PDA machines
NetBSD/i386 IBM PCs and PC clones with i486-family processors and up
NetBSD/ibmnws IBM Network Station 1000
NetBSD/iyonix Castle Technology's Iyonix ARM based PCs
NetBSD/landisk SH4 processor based NAS appliances
NetBSD/luna68k OMRON Tateisi Electric's LUNA series
NetBSD/mac68k Apple Macintosh with Motorola 68k CPU
NetBSD/macppc Apple PowerPC-based Macintosh and clones
NetBSD/mipsco MIPS Computer Systems Inc. family of workstations and servers
NetBSD/mmeye Brains mmEye multimedia server
NetBSD/mvme68k Motorola MVME 68k Single Board Computers
NetBSD/mvmeppc Motorola PowerPC VME Single Board Computers
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/ofppc OpenFirmware PowerPC machines
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 Microsystems Sun 2 machines with Motorola 68010 CPU
NetBSD/sun3 Motorola 68020 and 030 based Sun 3 and 3x machines
NetBSD/vax Digital VAX
NetBSD/x68k Sharp X680x0 series
NetBSD/xen The Xen virtual machine monitor
NetBSD/zaurus Sharp ARM PDAs

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

NetBSD/amigappc PowerPC-based Amiga boards
NetBSD/ia64 Itanium family of processors
NetBSD/playstation2 SONY PlayStation2
NetBSD/rs6000 IBM RS/6000 MCA-based PowerPC machines.


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 Systems Consortium Inc., the Network Security Lab at Columbia University's Computer Science Department, and Ludd (LuleŚ Academic Computer Society) computer society at LuleŚ University of Technology for current colocation services.

About NetBSD

NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system. It is available for a wide range of platforms, from large-scale servers and powerful desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent for use in both production and research environments, and the source code is freely available under a business-friendly license. NetBSD is developed and supported by a large and vivid international community. Many applications are readily available through pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection.

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.

As a non-profit organization with no commercial backing, The NetBSD Foundation depends on donations from its users, and we would like to ask you to consider making a donation to the NetBSD Foundation in support of continuing production of our fine operating system. Your generous donation would be particularly welcome assistance with ongoing upgrades and maintenance, as well as with operating expenses for The NetBSD Foundation.

Donations can be done via PayPal to and are fully tax-deductible in the US. If you would prefer not to use PayPal, or would like to make other arrangements, please contact .

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