[Netkit.users] Netkit 1.4.2 has been released

Massimo Rimondini maxonthenet a tiscali.it
Mar 26 Ott 2004 11:01:18 CEST

Dear Netkit users,

another Netkit release is now out.

This release aims at fixing some bugs which have been both pointed out 
in this mailing list, and reported by students who have been intensely 
working with Netkit during the past days. It also introduces some new 
In particular, it addresses the following issues:

  - fixes a (nasty) bug in the UML kernel which caused virtual machines 
to crash
    when attempting to write to the host filesystem (i.e., the "/hosthome"
    directory); this bug caused some of the scripts distributed with 
Netkit not
    to work
  + improves the vstart script, which now supports two new options:
    - "--noxterm", to attach a virtual machine terminal to the current 
    - "--port", to attach a virtual machine terminal to a telnet port
  - fixes the vcrash script, which killed up the whole world upon 
crashing a virtual
    machine without an xterm; also, vcrash now sends SIGCONT before SIGKILL,
    which tries safely stops hanging processes (this feature has been 
    based on some discussion on this mailing list)
  + updates the filesystem:
    - suppressed some other bootup warnings
    - vim has been installed (no more keyboard tricks are needed... ;)

Moreover, this version appears to be fairly more stable than the 
previous ones. In particular, in the previous releases, launching many 
hosts sometimes caused them to all crash at the same time after they had 
completed the boot process. Now, this seems to happen less frequently.

This time we chose not to produce a patch against the previous release 
(Netkit 1.4-1), because both the kernel and the filesystem have been 

I would like to apologize to DD for missing his bug report. Maybe having 
listened to him would have prevented all of us from going through this 
bunch of patches and new releases.... ;)

Also, Francesco Cipriani implemented a nice functionality inside the 
vstart script, which other users have been long looking for (the 
possibility to start virtual hosts without xterms). This feature now 
also appears in the distributed vstart, with some minor variants (I have 
started to implement this feature just one day before Francesco had 
posted his script...). BTW, the script also takes care of the terminal 
possibly screwing up (mine does), by resetting it after the virtual host 
has been shut down.

We are currently checking the labs distributed with Netkit, for 
configuration and/or execution errors. In particular, we advise users 
getting the "/bin/bash: Bad interpreter: Text file busy" error to set 
their lab startup scripts read only ('chmod -w <script_name>'), in order 
to prevent virtual hosts to lock them.

Last, we suggest to always decompress the Netkit package by using the 
"--no-same-owner" option of tar. This prevents from having unreadable 
directories (because they are owned by some other non-existing user).

Best regards,
The Netkit Team.

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