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NetBSD is a freely available open source version of the Unix-derivative Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) computer operating system. It was the second open source BSD descendant to be formally released, after 386BSD,[1] and continues to be actively developed. The NetBSD project is primarily focused on high quality design, stability and performance of the system.[2] Due to convenient license and portability, NetBSD is often used in embedded systems.[3][4]

The current stable release of NetBSD is version 5.1 (November 19, 2010).



NetBSD was originally derived from the 4.3BSD release of the Berkeley Software Distribution from the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, Berkeley, via their Net/2 source code release and the 386BSD project. The NetBSD project began as a result of frustration within the 386BSD developer community with the pace and direction of the operating system's development.[5] The four founders of the NetBSD project, Chris Demetriou, Theo de Raadt, Adam Glass and Charles Hannum, felt that a more open development model would be beneficial to the project: one which was centered on portable, clean, correct code. Their aim was to produce a unified, multi-platform, production-quality, BSD-based operating system. The name "NetBSD" was suggested by de Raadt, based on the importance and growth of networks such as the Internet at that time, and the distributed, collaborative nature of its development.[2]

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