Subject: Re: Install NetBSD over the top of Linux
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Ken Hornstein <email@example.com>
Date: 06/16/1996 23:39:19
>> >1. Major and minor device numbers dont conform to any standard.
>> > (is there any?)
>What i mean is that i think it would be useful to have the harddisks on
>NetBSD-Amiga have the same Major and minor numbers as NetBSD-i386,
I could see the reasoning for that, but since you can't use filesystems on
machines that have a different endianness (ie - you can't use an i386
NetBSD filesytem on an Amiga or a Mac), I'm not sure it would be worth
the effort. How would you resolve the case where different systems have
different devices? I suppose you could make one master conf.c for all
>I dont mind to change the NetBSD-Amiga device numbers to i386 style..
>Of course it is difficult to do it with all devices as same are uniq on
>some platforms but it should be possible to find a way to get NetBSD-Amiga
>boot on a NetBSD-Mac Harddisk after replacing /netbsd by the NetBSD-Amiga
>version. As i understand it it is necceassary for this to match the
>device numbers to the same hardware devices on the different platforms.
>And at least the major number distribution seems to be completely
>arbitrary on the different NetBSD ports and Unixes in genereal.
Okay, at the same time you replace /netbsd, why don't you put new devices
>> >2. NetBSD does not understand ext2fs of Linux
>> Well, there are actually about a billion reasons it wouldn't work :-) These
>> probably include:
>> - Lilo may not know how to load a netbsd executable
>why? NetBSD-i386 has to boot to NetBSD somehow.. how?
>Is there a tool similar to lilo that allows to boot netbsd?
>What makes it impossible to replace lilo by something that allows NetBSD to
>boot? Could lilo be modified to even boot NetBSD kernels copied to /vmlinuz?
What boots NetBSD are the NetBSD boot blocks. They don't understand ext2fs
either, so you'd need to either change them to understand ext2fs (which would
be a LOT of work), or reformat the filesystem as a UFS filesystem (and if
you're going to do that, you might as well install NetBSD).
>> - NetBSD doesn't know how to run Linux binaries (you might be able to get
>> by with Linux binary emulation, but I'm sure lots of things won't work).
>I was under the impression that NetBSD's Linux emulation has improved very
>well. What exactly it the problem?
>Would it be possible to replace these parts and make it then work?
I believe Laine Stump convered this better than I ever could. I'd just like
to point out that if you replace init, fsck, mount, you'll also need to
replace /etc/rc and rc.local, and then you'll need all the boot binaries
that NetBSD needs (along with NetBSD shared libraries, ld.so, etc etc ...)
>> >And to try to get help directly for my problem:
>> >Is there any filesystem that NetBSD and Linux know both and
>> >that would help to do my migration to NetBSD?
>> Well, there's always MSDOSFS. I don't know of any others.
>Unfortunatly this means to introduce a non transparent way to
>interpret msdos files as special files. How does linux do this?
>I heard it is able to boot from msdos fs.
What you're referring to is the ability to run a special program from MS-DOS
and have it boot Linux. I believe there is even a way to boot a Linux
kernel that is stored in a MS-DOS partition. But as I understand it, you
still need a Linux installation to work -- that "booting from MS-DOS"
only gets the kernel loaded.
The same technology exists for FreeBSD, and I believe someone did it for
NetBSD as well. Again, this doesn't help you much.
>> I think you might be able to do an NFS-mount off of one of the install
>> floppies ... but if you can do that, why not just ftp the installation
>perhaps anybody out there knows something about this more exact?!
>I cant see what ftping helps me if i dont have the space to hold the
>NetBSD distribution on the msdos partition.
No, I mean when you get the filesystem initialized and have booted off of
your NetBSD kernel on your HD, you could ftp the installation media from
that point. I believe this is even mentioned in the install notes.