7th European BSD Conference: Oct 18-19 2008, Strasbourg, France

Sleeping Beauty - NetBSD on Modern Laptops

Joerg Sonnenberger

This paper discusses the NetBSD Power Management Framework (PMF) and related changes to the kernel. The outlined changes allow NetBSD to support essential functions like suspend-to-RAM on most post-Y2K X86 machines. They are also the fundation for intelligent handling of device activity by enabling devices on-demand. This work is still progressing. Many of the features will be available in the up-coming NetBSD 5.0 release The NetBSD kernel is widely regarded to be one of the cleanest and most portable Operating System kernels available. For various reasons it is also assumed that NetBSD only runs well on older hardware. In the summer of 2006 Charles Hannum, one of the founders of NetBSD, left with a long mail mentioning as important issues the lack of proper power management and suspendto- RAM support. One year later, Jared D. McNeill posted a plan for attacking this issue based on ideas derived from the Windows Driver Model. This plan would evolve into the new NetBSD Power Management Framework (PMF for short).