Proudly announcing NetBSD 6.0!

October 17, 2012 posted by Jeff Rizzo

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.0, the fourteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system. Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter.

Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers, an experimental CHFS file system designed for flash devices, support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol, and more. This release also introduces NPF - a new packet filter, designed with multi-core systems in mind, which can do TCP/IP traffic filtering, stateful inspection, and network address translation (NAT).

In addition to many other features, NetBSD 6.0 includes significant developments in various ports. Some highlights:

  • SMP support for Xen domU kernels, initial suspend/resume support for Xen domU, PCI pass-through support for Xen3, and addition of the balloon driver.
  • Major rework of MIPS port adding support for SMP and 64-bit (O32, N32, N64 ABIs are supported) processors, DSP v2 ASE extension, various NetLogic/RMI processor models, Loongson family processors, and new SoC boards.
  • Improved SMP on PowerPC port and added support for Book E Freescale MPC85xx (e500 core) processors.
  • ARM has gained support for Cortex-A8 processors, various new SoCs, and initial support for Raspberry Pi. Full support for Raspberry Pi and major ARM improvements to come in a future NetBSD release.
  • time_t is now a 64-bit quantity on all NetBSD ports. This means that the NetBSD world no longer ends in 2037.

Please read the release notes for a full list of changes in NetBSD 6.0.

The generous donations of companies and individuals to the NetBSD Foundation in previous years has enabled TNF to sponsor some exciting developments in NetBSD 6.0, including the Xen DOMU multiprocessor support. See our donations page for information about how you or your company can donate to help sponsor future projects!

Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 6.0 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 or USB disk images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the images area. A list of hashes for the NetBSD 6.0 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:


NetBSD 6.0 is dedicated to the memory of Allen Briggs, who passed away in March of 2012.

Allen's technical contributions to NetBSD were significant, and many. He was a NetBSD developer from the very beginning of the project, and was the main driving force behind the initial import of some of our hardware ports. He also served on NetBSD's core team from 2003 until 2006. More than that, however, he was a mentor to many on the project, and always willing to help when he could. Even for those he didn't mentor, his civilized example was often a guiding influence. He worked with many of us on the project, and in a field where prickly personalities are common, he was always pleasant and kind regardless of your status or technical expertise. He will be sorely missed.


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 (Lule? Academic Computer Society) computer society at Lule? University of Technology for current colocation services.



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