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30 April 2009, 10:37

Improved multi-processor support in NetBSD 5.0

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The NetBSD developers have announced the thirteenth major release of the BSD based operating system, NetBSD 5.0. NetBSD 5.0 focusses on improving the performance of NetBSD on multi-processor and multi-core systems. The enhancements result from a rewriting of the threading subsystem with new kernel synchronisation, a rewritten scheduler, real time scheduling extensions and support for thread affinity to sets of processors or CPUs. The developers have also audited and overhauled the other subsystems in NetBSD to make better use of the new threading capabilities.

NetBSD 5.0 now provides a preview of metadata journalling for FFS file systems, uses the 'jemalloc' memory allocator, has switched to's X11 server instead of the XFree86 X server, supports Xen 3.3 on i386 and amd64 and supports ACPI suspend/resume on many laptops. ISO images of the new release can be downloaded from NetBSD mirrors but the developers recommend that users wanting to download the ISO images use BitTorrent and the tracker files they have made available.

NetBSD is a free UNIX derivative, based on the 4.4.BSDLite2 UNIX. Among the best known representatives of the BSD systems are FreeBSD and NetBSD, who's descendants include DragonFly BSD and OpenBSD. NetBSD is known as the variant with the broadest hardware support, with version 5.0 running on 15 different processor families and 54 hardware platforms.


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