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NetBSD 10.0 arrives after a long wait

NetBSD's ctwm graphical environment (Source: NetBSD)
NetBSD's ctwm graphical environment (Source: NetBSD)
In development since 2019, NetBSD 10.0 is now finally available for download. The list of highlights includes support for WireGuard, Apple hardware and Raspberry Pi boards, SMP tweaks, as well as multiple tweaks and fixes. Some early tests revealed a performance increase of roughly 12% over NetBSD 9.0.

With the first official release, which was labeled 0.8, dated April 19, 1993, NetBSD is now back with version 10.0. Released more than four years after its predecessor, this new major release comes with a rich list of changes which includes multiple new features and supported pieces of hardware, but also the removal of various obsolete and unmaintainted components.

The most important part of this update is the comprehensive list of supported hardware, which now includes the Asus Tinker Board, Apple M1, Raspberry Pi 4, Nintendo Wii, as well as the Intel 40 Gigabit Ethernet. New AArch64 security features such as Branch Target Identification and Pointer Authentication, as well as Linux binary compatibility on AArch64 support are also present. NetBSD 10.0 comes with WireGuard VPNs compatibility, Adiantum disk encryption, support for PVH Xen virtualization, as well as multiple minor tweaks and fixes. This new release also removes various obsolete and unmaintained networking components, such as Token Ring or HIPPI.

The full list of changes can be found on this page. According to benchmarks that were ran on pre-release builds, NetBSD 10.0 is at least 12% faster than NetBSD 9.0. Existing installations can be upgraded with the help of an installation image. After booting it, the user needs to select the Upgrade option and follow the on-screen instructions. Other update methods might need a bit of research work before proceeding. 

Existing NetBSD users and potential ones, as long as those interested in other similar systems should find Michael Bernal's A Comprehensive Installation & Configuration Guide of the BSD Variants a quite useful companion.


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Codrut Nistor, 2024-04- 2 (Update: 2024-04- 2)