NetBSD Planet

December 02, 2023

UnitedBSD no colour in youtube videos when using firefox and my user session

Hi all,
Love using NetBSD as my daily os at home - also in some servers at work. I have a strange problem when watching youtube videos with firefox 117.0.1 (64-bit) running NetBSD 10 RC1. I can only see them in black and white, no color at all... sound works fine, quality is also fine but no color. Videos works normal - colorful - when using seamonkey and also with firefox in other users session. Any Idea where's the probleme ? .
Thanks for your help !

/r/NetBSD /usr/lib/, needed by gcc7-7.5.0nb6 is not present in this system.

Using NetBSD 9.3 for AMD64, if I try to do: ```sh

pkgin install libreoffice-


I get that error and the package is not installed. Why?

submitted by /u/asarch
[link] [comments]

December 01, 2023

NetBSD Package System (pkgsrc) on DaemonForums no colour in youtube videos when using firefox and my user session
Hi all,
Love using NetBSD as my daily os at home - also in some servers at work. I have a strange problem when watching you tube videos with firefox 117.0.1 (64-bit) and NetBSD 10 RC1. I can only see them in black and white, no color at all... sound works fine, quality is also fine but no color. Videos works normal - colorful - when using seamonkey and also with firefox in other users session. Any Idea where's the probleme ? .
Thanks for your help !
UnitedBSD Trying to build exiv2-0.82.0nb3 on aarch64

/usr/bin/ld: ../bin/exiv2: hidden symbol__aarch64_ldadd4_acq_rel' in /usr/pkg/gcc10/lib/gcc/aarch64--netbsd/10.5.0/libgcc.a(ldadd_4_4.o) is referenced by DSO
/usr/bin/ld: final link failed: bad value
How do I find out where the problem is, and what can I do about it?

OS News First bits of a Haiku compatibility layer for NetBSD

Does anyone here remember Cosmoe? Cosmoe was an attempt to combine Haiku’s API with the Linux kernel and related tools, started in the early 2000s. The project eventually fizzled out, now only an obscure footnote for BeOS diehards such as myself. It seems, though, that the idea of combining the Haiku API with a mature UNIX-like operating system refuses to die, and a few days ago, on the NetBSD Users’s Discussion List, a developer by the name of Stephan picked up the baton.

Some years ago I already started to work on a compatibility layer for NetBSD and resumed working on it recently.


I think a compatibility layer would mostly consist of kernel components and a custom I have created a libroot that provides functionality missing in libc and it should behave like the original one. It makes use of libc and libpthread at the moment as well as syscalls of the kernel components. The source can be found on Github.

This is clearly an experimental project, but Stephan does note he has had success running the Haiku IPC test programs, so it’s definitely more than scribbles on a napkin. The attraction of this idea is clear, too – Haiku API, but on a stable kernel with vastly superior hardware and device support. I’m not entirely sure if it’s got life in it, but even if it doesn’t – it’s amazing work, and that in an of itself makes it a success.

November 30, 2023

UnitedBSD trying to set up bluetooth

Just thought I'd try to finally connect to my bluetoth speaker after many years of listening to music on my crappy ThinkPad x230 sppeakers....

Following the guide here:

This is how far I got:

~ λ btconfig ubt0 inquiry
Device Discovery from device: ubt0 ... 1 response
  1: bdaddr c0:28:8d:4b:19:25
   : name "UE BOOM 2"
   : class [0x240418] Headphones <Rendering> <Audio>
   : page scan rep mode 0x01
   : clock offset 1041
   : rssi 0

~ # echo "c0:28:8d:4b:19:25 UEBOOM" >>/etc/bluetooth/hosts

~ λ btpin -d ubt0 -a UEBOOM -p 0000

~ # btdevctl -d ubt0 -a UEBOOM -s HSET -A -v
local bdaddr: f4:b7:e2:e9:4b:6f
remote bdaddr: c0:28:8d:4b:19:25
device type: btsco
mode: connect
channel: 11

After this I opened another terminal and ran:

~ λ hcidump
HCI sniffer - Bluetooth packet analyzer ver 5.66-netbt
system: snap_len: 1500 filter: 0xffffffffffffffff
> HCI Event: Number of Completed Packets (0x13) plen 5
    handle 12 packets 1
> HCI Event: Number of Completed Packets (0x13) plen 5
    handle 12 packets 1

While running:

~ # bthset -m /dev/mixer1 -v
Headset Info:
        mixer: /dev/mixer1
        laddr: f4:b7:e2:e9:4b:6f
        raddr: c0:28:8d:4b:19:25
        channel: 11 0, 1
> AT+VGS=13
< OK
> AT+XAPL=0000-0000-0100,10

So it seems to recognise the speaker but I'm not sure why I'm getting this error.

Any help is appreeciated. Cheers

November 29, 2023

Pullup 10 [pullup-10 #483] CVS commit: src/sys/dev/pci (fwd)
Pullup 10 [pullup-10 #482] CVS commit: src/sys/arch/arm/acpi (fwd)
UnitedBSD Value in using old hardware for NetBSD collaboration?

Is there any value in using old hardware for testing and development to collaborate with the NetBSD community?
I have a lot of old hardware, and as limited as they are, I think maybe something good can come out of them. What do you think?

November 28, 2023

Pullup 9 [pullup-9 #1772] CVS commit: src/sys/dev/wscons (PR 56223)
Pullup 10 [pullup-10 #481] [[email protected]: CVS import: src/external/nvidia-firmware/nouveau/dist]
Pullup 8 [pullup-8 #1922] pullup-request: src/etc/namedb
Pullup 9 [pullup-9 #1771] pullup-request: src/etc/namedb
Pullup 10 [pullup-10 #480] pullup-request: src/etc/namedb
Pullup 10 [pullup-10 #479] Fix PKG_PATH for official builds
Pullup 8 [pullup-8 #1921] ffs: Fix minor locking error: PR kern/57606.
Pullup 9 [pullup-9 #1770] ffs: Fix minor locking error: PR kern/57606.
Pullup 8 [pullup-8 #1920] exec: Fix setrlimit(RLIMIT_STACK) in current process
Pullup 9 [pullup-9 #1769] exec: Fix setrlimit(RLIMIT_STACK) in current process

November 27, 2023

/r/NetBSD Modem support for NetBSD

Hi there,

I’m trying to figure out whether Netbsd has support for the 56k modem on my thinkpad t61, but I can’t figure out what driver it would be called in dmesg. I’ve tried searching for modem in the buffer and nothing seems to come up.

submitted by /u/Cam64
[link] [comments]
OS News Building a NetBSD ramdisk kernel

When I used OpenBSD, I was a big fan of bsd.rd: a kernel that includes a root file system with an installer and a few tools. When I invariably did something bad to my root file system, I could use that to repair things. bsd.rd is also helpful for OS updates. And there is only a single file involved.

On NetBSD however, there is usually no netbsd.rd kernel installed, or even available by default. The facility is there, it’s just not standard. To be fair, there are a number of architectures that use kernels with a ramdisk for installation.

Recently, I have been toying with NetBSD on an Orange Pi 5. This is a 64-bit ARM board, using the evbarm-aarch64 architecture. I am booting from an SD card (details in a followup post) but once booted, the kernel does not see the card any more, only the NVMe SSD. So my thoughts went back to bsd.rd and I decided that I want one!

Such a kernel seems like a very useful tool to have, so if you’re running NetBSD – this guide will help you add it to your toolbox.

NetBSD General on DaemonForums system frozen
Why my system dead after a few minutes? Where to check the log? 10.0 RC1
UnitedBSD Binary package url

Trying NetBSD again for an old Pentium 75 but I forgot this:
What is a working PKG_PATH string for NetBSD 9.3, and why isn't it set as standard in recent releases or documentation?
Just my opinion, but I have the idea the absence of this is a serious problem if they want to appeal new users... At least 50% of people trying will give up, just for a not working URL in main documentation, on a newly installed system.

Pullup 9 [pullup-9 #1768] mbuf: avoid assertion failure when splitting mbuf cluster

November 26, 2023

/r/NetBSD Building a NetBSD ramdisk kernel
submitted by /u/jaypatelani
[link] [comments]
Benny Siegert Building a NetBSD ramdisk kernel
When I used OpenBSD, I was a big fan of bsd.rd: a kernel that includes a root file system with an installer and a few tools. When I invariably did something bad to my root file system, I could use that to repair things. bsd.rd is also helpful for OS updates. And there is only a single file involved. On NetBSD however, there is usually no netbsd.rd kernel installed, or even available by default.

November 25, 2023

/r/NetBSD NetBSD Linux compatibility Layer running Python?

So I'm no very familiar with netbsd's Linux emulation, the docs make it seem I just compile a binary on opensuse and just run it in netbsd with the generic kernel?, do I understand that correctly or are there some other considerations?

submitted by /u/hwa_dot_re
[link] [comments]

November 23, 2023

Pullup pkgsrc [pullup-pkgsrc #6824] Fw: Fwd: CVS commit: pkgsrc/editors/vim-share

November 22, 2023

Unix Stack Exchange NetBSD: podman mount volume: Error: statfs : no such file or directory

I'm experimenting with podman under NetBSD and want to mount a host directory into the container.

There is a MAC related thread here, and I also tried this idea but always get the same error.

Any ideas what went wrong?

P.S.: I also checked the output of --log-level=debug of the above commands, but got nothing useful for this case.

November 20, 2023

Pullup pkgsrc [pullup-pkgsrc #6823] Xen 4.15 security fixes [[email protected]: CVS commit: pkgsrc/sysutils]
Pullup 8 [pullup-8 #1919] fix gas that doesn't handle MIPS1 FPR load hazard correctly
Stack Overflow NetBSD: podman mount volume: Error: statfs : no such file or directory

I'm experimenting with podman under NetBSD and want to mount a host directory into the container. According to this answer I did:

podman machine init -v ~/podman/volumes/:/mnt/podman tpvm

podman machine start tpvm

Now I would expect that

podman machine ssh tpvm 'ls /mnt'

shows me the podman directory, but it did not. I continue with:

podman run -ti --rm -v ~/podman/volumes/:/mnt/podman busybox

and I get:

Error: statfs /home/thomas/podman/volumes: no such file or directory


ll  /home/thomas/podman/volumes
total 1.5K
drwxr-xr-x  3 thomas  users  512B Nov 16 16:20 .
drwxr-xr-x  4 thomas  users  512B Nov 16 16:20 ..
drwxr-xr-x  2 thomas  users  512B Nov 17 15:56 posgres

There is a MAC related thread here, and I also tried this idea but always the same error.

Any ideas what went wrong?

November 19, 2023

Ruben Schade Inkscape turns 20

Speaking of feeling old, I just saw the news over at the Inkscape blog that the world’s best open source vector graphics editor is now in its third decade. Wow!

I’ve been using Inkscape since at least 2007. Every SVG in the history of this site was either drawn, modified, optimised, or exported from Inkscape. I owe them a great deal. Thank you to all the contributers, a donation will be on its way shortly :).

Creative Growth: 20 Years of Inkscape!

By Ruben Schade in Sydney, 2023-11-20.

Ruben Schade The omake namespace

Introducing omake, my simple Zettlekasten format written in XML! It’s is designed to be readable by humans, and easy to present with a simple XSL transform. Yes, I know it’s 2023.

It’s named for Japanese omake, describing bonus or extra content. The silly bacronym is Outline Markup and (Zettle)Kasten Enumerator. My partner Clara is unconvinced.


Omake consists of a root omake, element one or more card elements that can be nested, and text note elements.


This is the simplest omake, with a single note:

<omake xmlns="">
    <note>Hello, world</note>

Here’s an omake with a couple of cards, notes, and a bit of metadata:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<omake xmlns=""
    <dc:title>Ruben’s Favourites</dc:title>
    <dc:description>A collection of nice things</dc:description>
    <card dc:title="Favourite OSs">
    <card dc:title="Favourite things">
        <note dc:description="City">Singapore</note>
    <note dc:type="application/rss+xml" 
	xlink:href="rss.xml">Favourite posts, lah</note>


By default, omake uses standard XML attributes, Dublin Core, and XLinks to provide metadata, because they’ve done the work for us. The recommended attributes are xml:lang, dc:date, dc:description, dc:title, dc:type, and xlink:href.

All attributes and data should be UTF-8.

Other infrequently-asked questions


My omake.xml file is now live, if you’d like a real example.

I doubt anyone else will use this, but it was a fun afternoon exercise.

By Ruben Schade in Sydney, 2023-11-20.

November 17, 2023

/r/NetBSD Cannot install NetBSD on my laptop via USB

In my 18 years of using Linux and other OS, I have never came across this issue. This one goes as follows:

I want to install NetBSD on my laptop (T470) and wrote in .iso image file to my USB stick. Upon the next boot, I am greated with an error message:

CD0a no such file or directory

When I follow the instructions on the official Wiki (dd an .img file to my USB) my laptop just ignores it. I also tried out other USB sticks, just to make sure.

So, what did I do wrong here?

submitted by /u/domzen
[link] [comments]

November 16, 2023

The NetBSD Foundation New Security Advisory: NetBSD-SA2023-007

November 13, 2023

NetBSD Installation and Upgrading on DaemonForums NPF UEFI boot on USB

Have mostly run vanilla NetBSD in the past, on hard drives, bios, etc. Not really very experienced with NetBSD in general, however.

Have a usb UEFI boot stick that wants to dump me to the command line with rootfs in read-only mode, no matter how I select the boot option (1,2, or 3). I can then remount the root filesystem in read-write mode with the command "mount -uw /", exit from the shell, and soon the normal login appears, and all is fine ... except for the npf and anything else in rc.conf that wants to write. The OS runs OK otherwise even with the late r/w status change.

Message log shows /dev/sd1 and /dev/dk1 devices. I end up with /dev/dk1 as the root file system. (Why not dk1a - maybe partition issue?) Note I have /dev/dk1 in fstab as read-write. Any suggestions?

November 11, 2023

NetBSD Blog NetBSD 10.0 RC1 available!

The NetBSD project is pleased to announce the first release candidate of the upcoming 10.0 release, please help testing!
See the release anouncement for details.

The netbsd-10 release branch is more than a year old now, so it is high time the 10.0 release makes it to the front stage. This matches the long time it took for the developement branch to get ready for branching, a lot of developement went into this new release.

This also caused the release anouncement to be one of the longest we ever did.

Especially on amd64 machines please notes that we got a new DRM/KMS subsystem version, and this may lead to fallout on some hardware. Unfortunately not all known bugs from the release engineering pre-release task list could be fixed in time for this release - we will continue to improve the current state and hope to have more of them solved for the next (10.1) release.

If you want to test 10.0 RC1 please check the installation notes for your architecture and download the prefered install image from the CDN or if you are using an ARM based device from the netbsd-10 builds from the bootable ARM images page.

If you have any issues with installation or run into issues with the system during use, please contact us on one of the mailing lists or file a problem report.

Pullup pkgsrc [pullup-pkgsrc #6822] Fwd: CVS commit: pkgsrc/lang

November 10, 2023

NetBSD General on DaemonForums NetBSD 10 RC1
Now available.. :)

Edit: Unfortunately, the radeon driver still doesn't like my HP T520 graphics card; everything else works on it though - Haiku, Linux, & OpenBSD. :D

November 09, 2023

Pullup pkgsrc [pullup-pkgsrc #6821] [[email protected]: CVS commit: pkgsrc/devel/poco]

November 08, 2023

Ruben Schade My default applications, via proycon

Proycon did a post about his default applications, prompted by some others doing the same. I didn’t listen to the podcast that started it, and I technically my Omake enumarates these already, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to post a list!

Aside from a sneay “retro emulation” item below, I’ve resisted the temptation to include retrocomputer tools. Maybe that warrants its own separate list.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but those are the essentials.

By Ruben Schade in Sydney, 2023-11-09.

November 07, 2023

Pullup pkgsrc [pullup-pkgsrc #6820] arcticfox 43.0 pullup

November 05, 2023

The NetBSD Foundation NetBSD 10.0 RC1 is available!

November 01, 2023

The NetBSD Foundation New Developers in October 2023

October 28, 2023

Pullup 8 [pullup-8 #1918] please pullup xorg-server fixes for CVE-2023-5367 and CVE-2023-5380

October 23, 2023

Emile Heitor NetBSD as a Kubernetes Pod
I had to do it. So here’s how to run a NetBSD micro-vm as… a Kubernetes pod. First thing is to modify the start script from the previous article in order to add Docker-style networking, i.e. port forwarding from the host to the micro-vm. This is done using the hostfwd flag in qemu’s -netdev parameter #!/bin/sh kernel=$1 img=${2:-"root.img"} [ -n "$3" ] && drive2="-drive file=${3},if=virtio" qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -m 256 \ -kernel $kernel -append "console=com root=ld0a" \ -serial mon:stdio -display none \ -drive file=${img},if=virtio $drive2 \ -netdev user,id=net0,hostfwd=tcp::8080-:80 -device virtio-net,netdev=net0 In the previous experience we mapped the kernel and the root image from the host using Docker’s -v parameter, and while it’s possible to map files from the host using a Kubernetes volume, we will bundle NetBSD these files into the Docker image to make things easier.

October 20, 2023

Emile Heitor NetBSD as a Docker Container
I have this little toy project for quite a while now, and I have this idea of handling a fleet of NetBSD micro-vms with Kubernetes since I started my new job in which I am caring a k8s cluster. I came to realize that starting a smolBSD micro-vm with Docker was not so difficult after all. Using mksmolnb’s I came up with this very simple Dockerfile: FROM alpine:latest RUN apk add --quiet --no-cache qemu-system-x86_64 iproute2 bridge-utils COPY startnb.

October 06, 2023

Server Fault NetBSD 9.3 - NFS Permissions

I have installed NFS on a server in my lab, the server exports two disks, /disk1 and /disk2, i can successfully see the exported drives using:

showmount -e

I can also mount the drives:

mount /disk1

This gives me a mounted drive on my local machine (also NetBSD 9.3) /disk1

However, I am not able to add, delete or modify files, i get:

touch: notes.txt: Permission denied

The local folder used for the mount point is owned by the user user (non-root) the mount point on the server for /disk1 and /disk2 is also owned by a user called user (non-root), same group and uid, 1000 and 100.

This is my /etc/exports file:

/data1 -alldirs -mapall=1000:100 -network -mask
/data2 -alldirs -mapall=1000:100 -network -mask

I have tried mounting as root, both locally and on the server, I have also tried the same thing as user, nothing seems to help, any help is greatly appreciated!

Update I do not know what fixed it, but everything is working now, I have tried unmounting the drives and mounting again, restarting the server etc. everything still works, same /etc/exports file, no changes, same users and rights.

Ruben Schade Nico Cartron’s BSD journey, and a coffee

I’m writing this post at a coffee shop—no wait, really!?—having one of the many brews Nico has graciously bought me on Ko-fi. This is a graphical representation! ☕️

In response to my BSD history post , Nico has written his own again. He included a cheeky reference to Linux as well, given distros also depend on BSD-licenced code to operate. He also started on NetBSD like I did!

Nico is good civ. You should definitely read his blog, subscribe to his feed, and shout him a coffee too. Merci!

By Ruben Schade in Sydney, 2023-10-06.

October 05, 2023

OS News DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 file-system seeing new improvements

DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has recently been working on further refinements to HAMMER2 for the next DragonFlyBSD operating system release.

The latest HAMMER2 activity in the past few days has included improving its CPU performance and adding a new “hammer2 recover” directive. The HAMMER2 recover support allows for recovering/undoing single files as well as preliminary support to recover entire directory structures.

DragonFlyBSD always feels like the one nobody talks about or uses, with FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD taking the spotlight instead. Are any of you folks using it? How has it been?

October 02, 2023

Server Fault NetBSD 9.3 - NFS Setup /etc/exports

I am trying to setup NFS, i have run into some problems with regards to /etc/exports

When the content of my /etc/exports file is this:


I get this from showmount -e

client$ showmount -e
Exports list on

But when i have this in my /etc/exports file:

/data1 -alldirs -network -mask
/data2 -alldirs -network -mask

from here:

I get this from showmount -e

client$ showmount -e
Exports list on

I can mount data1 and data2 on my client machine (also NetBSD 9.3) but I get permission denied when I try to copy files, mkdir etc

Reading this: i understand that this is the general format of /etc/exports:

export host(options)

What i would like to achieve is the following: every machine on the network (192.168.1.*) regardless of what user connects can mount whatever mount point NFS on my server ( offers with read and write privileges

Reading the RedHat documentation I understand that it´s something like:

/data1 host(rw,all_squash,anonuid=1000,anongid=100)

gid and uid is set to match my user named user (non-root)

But I am not sure what to do from here.

Update The accepted answer solved the problem, I am now facing permission issues: NetBSD 9.3 - NFS Permissions

October 01, 2023

OS News Introduction to the OpenBSD operating system

I often see a lot of confusion with regard to OpenBSD, either assimilate as a Linux distribution or mixed up with FreeBSD.

Let’s be clear, OpenBSD is a stand alone operating system. It came as a fork of NetBSD in 1994, there isn’t much things in common between the two nowadays.

While OpenBSD and the other BSDs are independant projects, they share some very old roots in their core, and regularly see source code changes in one being imported to another, but this is really a very small amount of the daily code changes though.

Just like OSNews (more information about the OSNews Gemini capsule), this article is also available on Gemini.

September 30, 2023

Benny Siegert pkgsrc statt Containern!
1. Es gibt da dieses Betriebssystem, und es ist nicht Linux. NetBSD. NetBSD besteht nicht nur aus einem Kernel, sondern aus einem Basissystem, in dem auch eine Shell, ein Compiler, der X-Server, usw. ist. Aber zum Beispiel kein Firefox. Was mache ich jetzt, wenn ich aber Firefox installieren möchte? Dafür gibt es pkgsrc, gesprochen „package source“. Wie der Name schon sagt, ist es eine Sammlung von Quellpaketen, also Rezepten, um Software aus dem Quelltext zu bauen.

September 29, 2023

Frederic Cambus Toolchains adventures - Q3 2023

This is the eighth post in my toolchains adventures series. Please check the previous posts in the toolchains category for more context about this journey. There was no Q2 2023 report as there wasn't really anything worthwhile to write about.

In Pkgsrc land, I updated binutils to the 2.41 version, and mold to the 2.0.0, 2.1.0, and 2.2.0 versions. It's worth noting that Mold transitioned its license from AGPL to MIT starting with the 2.0.0 release.

I also updated the NetBSD system call table in GDB to add the memfd_create(2) and epoll(2) syscalls which were added in July.

Regarding OpenBSD, I updated binutils to version 2.41, allowing us to remove patches for ARM support as they had been pushed upstream.

During this release cycle, OpenBSD enabled mandatory enforcement of indirect branch targets using Intel's IBT on OpenBSD/amd64 and ARM's BTI on OpenBSD/arm64. I added support upstream for the PT_OPENBSD_NOBTCFI segment type to readelf in GNU Binutils, as well as in LLVM versions of objdump and readobj.

As usual, I’ve also been busy reading different material, and adding new resources to

binutils and GDB commits:

2023-09-2873b2241Add support to readelf for the PT_OPENBSD_NOBTCFI segment type
2023-09-219c1e3e4Update the NetBSD system call table to add memfd_create(2) and epoll(2)

LLVM commits

2023-09-25e5038f0[llvm-readobj] Add support for the PT_OPENBSD_NOBTCFI segment type
2023-09-22a921f2a[llvm-objdump] Add support for the PT_OPENBSD_NOBTCFI segment type
2023-09-21ca3ed7b[clang] Update Clang version from 17 to 18 in scan-build.1

September 26, 2023

Ruben Schade Trying the GNOME desktop for a few weeks

Keen-eyed readers among you might have noticed my tribute to Bram Moolenaar was wrapped in GNOME window dressing. I haven’t made the switch, but it was fun experimenting again with what people on the other side of the fence use.

Goodbye, Bram Moolenaar ♡

By way of context, is a phrase with four words. Much of my blog from the early-2000s was spent chronicling my adventures with various desktop environments and window managers on FreeBSD, NetBSD, and a smattering of Linux distros. I ended up sticking with the delightful Xfce for the longest time, before recently switching back to KDE Plasma.

My current Ryzen desktop is dual-booted with FreeBSD and Linux, so I thought I’d try installing Fedora Workstation with GNOME during a system rebuild. This is what you see below, with an open Nautilus file manager, Firefox, GNOME Terminal, and Minecraft.

Screenshot of GNOME showing four open window previews over a desktop picture of Hatsune Miku, a system menubar along the top, and a horizontal dock of icons along the bottom.

GNOME and KDE are the two biggest desktop environments for *nix, and have very different philosophies. GNOME is arguably the more Mac like, with its minimal interface, dock, task switcher, and system bar along the top where it belongs. While I appreciate the customisation KDE offers, I will admit GNOME mostly looked great for me from the start.

2011: Ruben’s review of GNOME 3

I’m actually surprised how little the interface seems to have changed since GNOME 3 controversially entered the scene last decade. The desktops and dock are aligned horizontally, and elements of the UI have been flattened, but otherwise it was very familiar. I suppose KDE 4+ has remained similar as well, albeit with its new Breeze theme.

GNOME Tweaks on GitLab

I found myself changing little about the desktop, though GNOME Tweaks should still be considered mandatory so you can replace that ugly Cantarell font that’s still everywhere in the UI. Swapping to Nimbus Sans (my personal favourite) or Liberation Sans makes a huge difference to legibility, especially in smaller sizes.

Unfortunately, I’m also disappointed to see Nautilus and other GNOME bundled software use the hamburger icon, with no option to enable a menubar like you can on KDE or Xfce. This is where the drive for minimalism crosses the line into being an accessibility issue.

Other than that, there wasn’t much more to report. It mostly got out of the way and worked, which I could appreciate. The UI is simple, and I got into the habit of throwing the cursor into the corner to see all my open windows. The main things I missed were my memorised KDE shortcuts, Dolphin file manager layout, and those aforementioned menus. My daily Qt applications like Kate also integrated well, despite coming from KDE land.

I should do a post about why I love Plasma so much, and why I still lean towards Xfce for a GTK desktop. But in the meantime I’d rate the current version of GNOME (as ships in Fedora 38) three feet out of a possible five, which last time I checked is just shy of a metre.

By Ruben Schade in Sydney, 2023-09-27.

September 17, 2023

Frederic Cambus On the importance of distfiles

I've been involved with the OpenBSD ports collection since 2015, and have accumulated some notes on the topic over the years. This is an attempt at doing a redacted version, mostly for my personal use. While some of these notes are specific to the OpenBSD Ports Collection, most of them will also apply to the others BSDs and Linux distributions.

It will come at no surprise that distfiles are at the core of the problem domain. The ports system fetches distribution files, most often tarballs, verifies their checksum and starts building programs. In order to be able to reliably build packages from the source tarballs, we need both availability and integrity.

Because MASTER_SITES can be down, either temporarily or permanently, each of the BSD maintains their own distfiles mirrors, or caches.

As a rule of thumb though, MASTER_SITES (or nowadays simply SITES) should not be set to point to, mostly because there is sometimes no guarantee that the files will be cached there forever, and also to avoid putting unnecessary load on the server. To remedy this, some porters maintain their own distfiles hosting sites.

For checking distfiles integrity, each BSD uses a different combination of cryptographic hashes:

OpenBSD and FreeBSD both use SHA256, while NetBSD uses BLAKE2s and SHA512. The hashes are stored in a file called distinfo.

Here is an example from OpenBSD's distinfo for binutils:

SHA256 (binutils-2.41.tar.bz2) = pMS+wFL3uDcAJOYDieGUN38/SLVmGEGOpRBn9nqqsws=
SIZE (binutils-2.41.tar.bz2) = 37132937

And another excerpt from NetBSD's Pkgsrc distinfo for binutils:

BLAKE2s (binutils-2.41.tar.bz2) = bd20a803c6f86632b62e27fce2cb07eb0ee4aa06fb374d80c8ba235568466dd2
SHA512 (binutils-2.41.tar.bz2) = 8c4303145262e84598d828e1a6465ddbf5a8ff757efe3fd981948854f32b311afe5b154be3966e50d85cf5d25217564c1f519d197165aac8e82efcadc9e1e47c
Size (binutils-2.41.tar.bz2) = 37132937 bytes

Checksums can fail because there was a network failure while downloading the source file, or because the file itself changed.

If the distfile changed, there can be several causes:

Re-rolling tarballs can happen for software which is not versioned, or when upstream try to fix minor issues not long after a release, without issuing a new one in order not to have to bump version numbers.

For the last possible cause, this has been a problem with GitHub auto generated tarballs in the past. More information can be found in sthen@'s "Porters, please read re GitHub auto-generated tarballs vs releases" post on the ports mailing list back in 2018.

In January 2023, GitHub updated the Git version they are using on their platform. Because Git switched to use their internal gzip implementation for generating tarballs, this resulted in the generated tarballs having different checksums. The change has quickly been reverted.

Each durable checksum failure will require maintainers to spend time analyzing changes to ensure there has not been any malicious changes happening.

Ideally, distfiles should be as small as possible to prevent wasting bandwidth when fetching and CPU cycles when unpacking content. Unfortunately, that's not always the case because some projects do vendor dependencies, and everyone has to pay the cost.

September 13, 2023

Unix Stack Exchange How do I install the manual pages on NetBSD?

I've done a "Minimal" installation of NetBSD 9.3 from the ISO image, just to examine the behavior of one particular command (mktemp) as it differs from Linux.

I'm not seeing man pages for… really anything; not even man man works. Cursory searches of the Guide, r/NetBSD on Reddit, and the netbsd-users mailing list archives have not turned up anything helpful.

I also ran pkgin search man thinking there might be a man-pages or manpages binary package, but all I saw was a package for Linux man pages.

How do I get the man pages for the basic, built-in stuff after finishing a "Minimal" installation of NetBSD?

September 09, 2023

NetBSD Package System (pkgsrc) on DaemonForums unable to execute libreoffice
Hi All,
having problems with libreoffice now; this is the message I get when executing libreoffice:

$ libreoffice
javaldx: Could not find a Java Runtime Environment!
Warning: failed to read path from javaldx
/usr/pkg/libreoffice- Shared object "" not found

besides this, everything working fine. Using NetBSD NetBSD-arriba 10.0_BETA NetBSD 10.0_BETA (GENERIC), and $ repositories.
Thanks for your help!

August 26, 2023

BSD Talk bsdtalk267 - Interview with Hans Petter Selasky
Interview by Michael Dexter with FreeBSD developer Hans Petter Selasky who passed away this summer in a traffic accident in Norway. Post on the FreeBSD email list  File Info: 29 Min. 14MB Ogg Link: