NetBSD is an open source BSD distribution derived from the well known and stable FreeBSD operating system and designed from the ground up to provide users with a highly portable UNIX-like OS that supports a wide range of hardware platforms.
Key features include a clean design, packet filtering and network address translation (NAT), IPv6 support, Network File System (NFS) support, comprehensive and robust networking, hardware and software RAID, high performance PCI IDE, and support for large IDE disks.
Availability, supported architectures and boot options
The distribution is available for download as CD-size ISO images, which can be easily written to blank or RW CD discs or deployed to USB flash drives using the UNetbootin or Disks applications, as well as any CD/DVD burning software.
It has been engineered to be directly installed on a local disk drive. Therefore, you can use the boot prompt of the installation CD to install the operating system with default settings, without ACPI, or without SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessing) and ACPI. It is also possible to drop to a shell prompt.
Supported architectures include i386, amd64, Sparc/Sparc64, IBM RS/6000, CES FIC8234, Atari, Algorithmics, Amiga PowerPC, Commodore Amiga, Digital/Compaq Alpha, Acorn RiscPC/A7000, IBM Network Station 1000, Motorola MVME 68k, Digital VAX, Digital DNARD, and many others.
The NetBSD installation process is text-based, using a menu-driven utility that allows users to either install the operating system or upgrade an existing installation. It supports five languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Polish), and consists of choosing a keyboard layout, partition the disk drive, and setup users and passwords.
In conclusion, NetBSD provides users with a very fast and stable UNIX-like operating system that supports a plethora of architectures and can be deployed on server machines without much hassle. Applications can be installed through the comprehensive NetBSD Packages Collection.