NetBSD 5.0 is out

NetBSD 5.0 is the thirteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system. It 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.

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.

Security changes

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

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 5.0 are available for download here.

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