From the ‘BSD Lives‘ files:
Among the big changes are improved scalability and performance improvements, thanks to a new threading subsystem that is optimized for multi-core systems. The NetBSD kernel itself has been improved to include kernel preemption, a new schedulers as well as some real-time extensions.
“Almost all core kernel subsystems, like virtual memory, memory allocators,
file system frameworks for major file systems, and others were audited and
overhauled to make use of highly concurrent algorithms,” NetBSD 5.0’s release notes state.
NetBSD has also included a new file system preview with FFS which is a WAPBL (Write Ahead Physical Block Logging) system. as well as a new Power Management Framework.
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
At one point in NetBSD’s history having Unix compatibility, specifically HP-UX compatibility was a key feature, but that’s no longer the case with NetBSD 5.0. At the bottom of the changelog is a list of items that have been removed from NetBSD for various reasons. Among those items removed is: HP-UX binary compatibility.
In the BSD space, FreeBSD tends to be the most popular (from what I personally have seen), but that’s not to take away from the importance of NetBSD, OpenBSD and even DragonFly BSD. They are all part of the ecosystem as well. Though the BSD’s do compete among each other somewhat, they also co-operate (a bit) and are all part of growing BSD usage.