NetBSD, an operating system that is serious about being cross-platform: now improves its support for the Commodore Amiga (1985)

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NetBSD It is a *BSD type operating system (in turn belonging to the Unix family), stepbrother of macOS and first cousin of Linux. The release of its version 10.0 is expected to take place relatively soon, but for now its managers have decided to publish a minor update version, 9.3.

Some of the novelties of this new version They certainly don’t sound very exciting.:

“Support for UDF file systems built in Windows 10, improved support for Intel Gigabit Ethernet chipsets, better support for newer Intel and AMD Zen 3 chipsets, support for wsfb-based X11 servers on the Commodore Amiga, and…”

Wait, you noticed that too, right?

If it exists, it works with NetBSD

The Commodore Amiga was a 16-bit computer released in 1985 and, for several years, it was able to stand up to Apple Macs and IBM/PC with MS-DOS thanks to its advanced operating system (AmigaOS), equipped with real or preemptive multitasking.

It didn’t give up on the home computing market until 1994, just a few months before the release of Windows 95. And yet, The Amiga maintains a dwindling but enthusiastic fan base among retrocomputing enthusiasts.

Lost computers: the Commodore 900 wanted to change the world thanks to Unix, but the Amiga made it irrelevant

Enough fans in fact, for that a 2022 operating system bothered to add support for graphical sessions (via an X11 server)** on said hardware**. This already gives us an idea that NetBSD is far from being the typical operating system, even if it is a minority one.

And it is that the objective that differentiates this system from other BSDs such as FreeBSD or OpenBSD is summed up, precisely, by its slogan “Of course it runs NetBSD” (Of course running NetBSD)in reference to the vast catalog of hardware architectures that it supports, from the (today) enormous VAX microcomputers (launched on the market in the 1970s) to PDAs of all kinds, passing through PCs, Raspberry Pis or Sega Dreamcast video consoles.

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Currently, has support for 8 preferred development architectures, as well as 47 minor ones. The 55, in total, already have versions (called ‘ports’ in this context) of the NetBSD 9.3 release.

Facility

Those who have already tried NetBSD on an Amiga machine speak of a two-part installation process:

  1. The installation itself, not excessively complex ?within your audience made up of advanced users? and that, when finished, it directly shows us a basic graphical environment.

  2. Program execution sysinstwith the aim of configuring certain advanced aspects of the operating system, from the host name to software package repositories.

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