Information about NetBSD 1.4

Information about NetBSD 1.4.x (END OF LIFE)

NetBSD 1.4 is the seventh release of the NetBSD operating system, and was initially released on May 12, 1999.

The latest patch release, NetBSD 1.4.3, was released on November 25th, 2000.

This fixed bugs and added new hardware support. It is recommended that users upgrade where possible. A list of the changes for 1.4.3 is available. There is also a list of important last minute changes that didn't make it into the main documentation.

NetBSD 1.4.x includes binaries for the following architectures:

Binaries and sources can be obtained from:

The NetBSD 1.4 release engineering team would like to thank the literally hundreds of contributors who made this release a reality. We would also like to thank our users, who have supported NetBSD with their enthusiasm, evangelism, and contributions.

Major Changes Between 1.4.2 and 1.4.3

  • A driver for the Lucent Wavelan (Orinoco) 802.11B wireless Ethernet PCMCIA card has been added, see wi(4).
  • The PCI Cyclom-4Y and -8Y multiport serial cards are now supported.
  • The Macintosh LC Ethernet Adapter is now supported.
  • The on-board video on Macintosh Quadra 605 is now supported.
  • Bugfixes to the Alteon Gigabit Ethernet driver, ti(4).
  • Support for several new PCI IDE controllers have been added, see pciide(4).
  • The i386 port may now be installed on wd2 or wd3.
  • A possible CPU hog problem related to large I/Os has been fixed. Fixes SA#2000-005.
  • A denial-of-service problem related to handling of IP options has been fixed. Fixes SA#2000-002.
  • A problem with /etc/ftpchroot has been fixed. Fixes SA#2000-006.
  • A minor problem related to locking of semaphore resources has been fixed. Fixes SA#2000-004.
  • The DHCP software has been updated to ISC 2.0pl3. This also fixes SA#2000-008 -- a security problem in the dhcp client code.
  • A problem with use of user-supplied data as a format string in ftpd has been fixed. Fixes SA#2000-009.
  • The sparc c++rt0.o code is now compiled with -fPIC. This means that libraries with global constructors (which must link in c++rt0.o on sparc/a.out) must also be compiled -fPIC.
  • Most countries can now import the full release without restriction, including the previously restricted domestic portion. The only "problem spots" are US-embargoed countries.
  • An extensive audit of the code (and corresponding fixes) has been done to eliminate possible buffer overruns caused by possible user-specified format strings.

The CHANGES-1.4.3 file contains the complete list of changes applied in NetBSD 1.4.3.

Major changes between 1.4.1 and 1.4.2

  • A driver for the Alteon Gigabit Ethernet cards has been added, see ti(4).
  • A driver for the Realtek 8129/8239 Fast Ethernet PCI cards have been added, see rl(4).
  • A driver for the DPT SmartCache and SmartRAID III or IV SCSI adapters has been added, see dpt(4).
  • A driver for the BOCA IOAT66 6-port ISA serial adapter has been added, see ioat(4).
  • Support for the X-surf Amiga board has been added.
  • Support for ext2fs revision 1, with read-only support for the ``sparse super'' and the ``filetype'' options has been added. See Hubert Feyrer's page on these extensions for more information.
  • BIND has been upgraded to version 8.2.2-P5.
  • The IPF packet filtering software has been upgraded to version 3.3.5.
  • Tcpdump now can do hex/ascii dumps of packet contents. See tcpdump(8).
  • An implementation of the System V user management utilities has been added.
  • The name ``errno'' is now always a macro which expands to a function call. This is done to ease the integration of thread libraries with the code in both system and third-party libraries. Please include <errno.h> to access the correct definition of ``errno''.
  • A utility for making temporary files for shell scripts has been added, see mktemp(1).
  • The automounter utility amd(8) has been updated to fix a security problem.
  • A security problem in procfs has been fixed. Procfs is not used by default in NetBSD.
  • The floating point emulation on the ports using the m68k CPU has been reverted to the version in NetBSD 1.4, because the version in NetBSD 1.4.1 had problems.
  • Several subsystems has received substantial work, such as RAIDframe, LFS and the package tools.

The CHANGES-1.4.2 file contains the complete list of changes applied in NetBSD 1.4.2.

Major changes between 1.4 and 1.4.1

  • The NetBSD/alpha port's compatibility for Digital UNIX / Tru64 has been greatly improved.
  • Many bug fixes and improvements of the installation tools and utilities.
  • Support for more PCI serial/parallel cards has been added.
  • The floating point emulation on the ports using the m68k CPU has been upgraded.
  • A fatal problem with /dev/random has been found and fixed.
  • Support for Alpha 21264 ev6 based systems has been added to NetBSD/alpha.

The CHANGES-1.4.1 file contains the complete list of changes applied in NetBSD 1.4.1.

Major changes between 1.3 and 1.4

It is impossible to completely summarize the nearly two years of development that went into the NetBSD 1.4 release. Some highlights include:

  • Substantial improvements in the TCP/IP implementation, including numerous performance enhancements and bug fixes by Jason Thorpe and others.
  • A new, high efficiency kernel memory pool allocator by Paul Kranenburg. This has been integrated into most kernel subsystems.
  • A new, totally rewritten virtual memory subsystem, UVM, created by Chuck Cranor, which is substantially cleaner and better performing than the old Mach derived VM subsystem.
  • Improved POSIX and XPG standards compliance.
  • Completion of the integration of all remaining 4.4BSD Lite-2 kernel improvements and bug fixes that had not been previously integrated. (Integration of all userland components was completed before NetBSD 1.3)
  • Several new ports, including macppc, bebox, sparc64, next68k, and others, have been integrated into the source tree.
  • The system compilers have been upgraded to egcs 1.1.1, and the system compiler toolchain now (mostly) uses the latest versions of GNU binutils instead of the obsolete versions left over from 4.4BSD Lite.
  • Everyone's favorite ftp(1) client has been improved even further. See the man page for details.
  • A new architecture independent console driver, wscons(4), has been integrated into many ports.
  • Numerous improvements have been made to the audio subsystem support, including support for MIDI device drivers.
  • Linux compatibility support has been improved.
  • A number of scheduler enhancements have yielded dramatic improvements in interactive performance and better control of background tasks.
  • Several network tunneling protocols, including GRE and IP in IP, have been implemented.
  • Kernel support for the CODA distributed file system has been added.
  • Manuel Bouyer completed major changes to the IDE support. It is now architecture independent. Major changes have been made to the IDE code for better error handling, improved ATAPI support, 32 bit data I/O support and bus-master DMA support on PCI IDE controllers.
  • Lennart Augustsson has added full USB support, permitting the use of a wide variety of Universal Serial Bus peripherals. The drivers should easily port to any future platforms that support the PCI bus. See usb(4) for an overview.
  • RAIDframe, version 1.1, from the Parallel Data Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, has been integrated. Supports RAID levels 0, 1, 4, 5, and more.
  • Luke Mewburn added nsswitch.conf(5) functionality to the system to specify the search order for system databases.
  • syslogd(8) now supports listening on multiple sockets, to make the chrooting of servers easier.
  • Most third party packages have been updated to the latest stable release.

As has been noted, there have also been innumerable bug fixes. Kernel interfaces have continued to be refined, and more subsystems and device drivers are shared among the different ports. You can look for this trend to continue.


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