NetBSD 5.0 Better on Multi-CPU Systems

Apr 30, 2009

The NetBSD project has released version 5.0 of its free UNIX derivative. The release above all improves performance and scalability on multiprocessor and multicore systems.

Multithreading applications can use more CPUs and processor cores more efficiently with the new NetBSD. Developers have reworked the threading subsystem, brought kernel synchronization to a better footing, and rewrote the scheduler and its real-time extensions. New support for processor sets (psets), cpusets and thread affinity allows for binding processes or threads to specific CPUs or CPU groupings.

Enhancements to NetBSD 5.0 include Power Management Framework (PMF) and ACPI suspend/resume support for a range of laptops. Also included are write support for UDF filesystems and a preview of metadata journaling for FFS filesystems (known as Write Ahead Physical Block Logging, or WAPBL).

The project release notes contain a full list of changes, as does the changelog. NetBSD 5.0 is available for download as source code and binaries at various mirrors over FTP, bittorent and other protocols.

The NetBSD Foundation is running a funding drive to help finance its next version 6.0. The foundation reports that most of the 2007 donations went into improving the multiprocessor system.

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