NetBSD is an open source BSD derived UNIX Operating System It can trace its roots back all the way back to First Edition Unix from Bell Labs.

NetBSD's goals are to support as many Hardware platforms as possible, They currently support arm32,mac68k (in vairous guises), sparc, sparc64, alpha, amiga, atari, hp300, i386, mvme68k, pc532, pmax, sun3, sun3x, vax, x68k.

They claim to be the first *NIX with USB support too...

NetBSD is excellent if you need support for strange, obscure platforms. The biggest problem with NetBSD is that if you work on it (for example, hacking its kernel), you end up working for companies like Apple gratis, because the BSD licence offers no protection against proprietary use.

NetBSD is still excellent however, even if it is saddled with a poor licence. I recommend it as a good SunOS alternative for older Suns, and as far as old VAXen go, it's either NetBSD or 4.3BSD.

NetBSD is known for its portability and running on the most architectures and having support for old and obscure hardware. However, it doesn't get hype in other areas it's strong in.

It is a secure OS, and whenever holes in software are found they're quickly patched. It stays on the cutting edge of IPv6 development, also. Not to mention its ports system can run on other operating systems (e.g. Darwin, Solaris, and Linux).

NetBSD works as great for servers, routers, embedded systems, and workstations.

NetBSD is my personal computer OS. I can hear you ask, "Why, why would anyone use such an obscure, hard to use OS?" Well, I started out using GNU/Linux. I switched because I wanted to use a Unix-derived system, just for fun.

What I found was a high-quality system, without all the bloat of conventional Linux setups, yet including everything you need to get started (Slackware is the best Linux; before I switched to NetBSD, I had actually done Linux From Scratch, to have an OS that suited me, but keeping up on security and changing makefiles to work on my system got pretty tiring). Want more? There's pkgsrc, a whole tree of packages that you can download (precompiled or from source), that can suit almost any need you might have (right now, I'm downloading Gnome from source). Best of all, it automatically downloads packages that are required by the package you want.

The NetBSD philosophy is to write good, clean code, not quick hacks. They care about security just as much as OpenBSD (or more so), they just don't brag as much. All of the many NetBSD ports require that the code be written cleanly (so it will compile on all of them).

I love NetBSD.

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