Daily Archives: March 21, 2017


Getting started with NetBSD on embedded platforms – London 20/4/2017

NetBSDOn the 20 April 2017, 17:30 – 20:00 at BCS London, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] (51.510812, -0.121733)

Please register to attend and share on Lanyrd.

Workshop scope

You’re hired at the latest startup as a hardware engineer and required to build the firmware which will run on “The Greatest Next Generation Appliance” (GNA). The GNA boots, prints a message and interacts with a device (in this case an LED).

In this workshop we cover how a person with an interest and a focus on hardware can make progress with the software side by using the NetBSD operating system and the features it offers to save considerable time and effort.

  • NetBSD supports a wide & diverse range of systems & CPU architectures.
  • Support for cross compilation is offered by default and works out of the box.
  • There is a high level language interface to interact with the system internals.
  • File integrity verification support to detect tampering of binaries and preventing execution is builtin.
  • An instance of the kernel can be run as a user process on different operating systems where rapid development can take place.

Things we will cover:

  1. An introduction to cross-compilation with build.sh and constructing an image to boot on your hardware.
  2. Interacting with the system using Lua (which is embedded in the kernel, avoiding having to write C or have knowledge of OS internals) to e.g. access GPIO.
  3. Preventing the execution of tampered or unauthorised binaries with veriexec.
  4. Using rump kernel for rapid development away from a potentially slow dev board.

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