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NetBSD 4: A Force to Be Reckoned With?

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NetBSD 4 is finally out, boasting a long list of feature and speed improvements in the open source operating system. The NetBSD 4.0 comes nearly two years after NetBSD 3.0 was released. As with earlier versions, NetBSD 4 continues to competitively position its BSD variant against its BSD, Linux and Unix peers.

"It's hard to point out a single aspect -- there have been so many improvements," NetBSD developer Geert Hendrickx told

Among the improvements in NetBSD 4 is a switch to the latest GCC compiler which is faster and more efficient than its predecessors.

From a user point of view Hendrickx noted that NetBSD 4 now supports the Xen3 open source virtualization hypervisor. He also noted that there is a lot more support for recent consumer hardware including ACPI (define) improvements, a native driver for SATA disks and Bluetooth support.

NetBSD is a derivative of the UC Berkeley's 386BSD Unix with the first NetBSD release appearing back in April of 1993. It competes in the BSD variant space with FreeBSD and OpenBSD and is also considered to be a competitive alternative to Linux as well.

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