Subject: CD boot/install. (was: Re: 1.5_ALPHA2/i386 bootable CD image available)
To: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?P=E5llen?= <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/19/2000 13:16:38
P?llen writes:
> >
> > 
> > 86MB including src and xsrc, bootable on i386. I didn't bother to gzip the
> > image as it contains only .tgz files anyways.
> > 
> > Happy alpha-testing! :-)
> Sure. But it doesn't boot here. :(
> Anyone else tried?

It works fine for me.  I burned ith with 'cdrecord -v' with a defaults
file with the device name and speed.  This was cdrecord 1.9 BTW.
I don't think that should really matter.  You might want to verify the
image with md5 or something also.

It is possible that your machine is not able to boot a 2.88MB emulated
floppy image.  My laptop booted it just fine all the way into sysinst.
So, the image does work on some IDE machines.  The problem relates back
to the fact that the INSTALL kernel doesn't fit on a single 1.44MB floppy
anymore, so for a CD 2.88MB is the only option.
If we had the ability (on i386) for a kernel to act as a "bootloader" and
load a larger kernel and start it, (like on the mmeye port) we could get
around this by having a stripped down kernel with CD support that would
boot from a 1.44MB floppy and locate the real INSTALL kernel on the CD.
But since we don't, we're stuck. :)

FreeBSD switched to a 1.44MB image that doesn't have a kernel, but uses
the int13 extensions to locate/load a kernel from the CD.  This causes
some older machines to no longer boot also.

I'm not sure if older machines (that can't do 2.88MB emulation or int13)
would support the boot menu features of the EL TORITO specication either.
If we could rely on it, then it would be possible to have several images
on the CD and the user could select the most appropriate.  These images
could be:
	stripped down 1.44MB image w/ INSTALL kernel & sysinst
	1.44MB image with just "CDBOOT" for int13 extension loading.
	2.88MB image like we do now.
	xxMB hard drive image with multiple kernels in it.

Provided the older BIOSes that implement EL TORITO can support menus, this
should allow us to boot on anything that supports CD booting.  It could
be that older BIOSes would just load the first image, which would be
a stripped down image targetted for the lowest common denominator boot.

If boot images were made just for CD booting, it might be reasonable to
have a 1.44MB image with no ethernet, presumably since the CD will have
the binary sets on it.

If we think about Jordan K. Hubbard's recent FreeBSD installation upgrade
proposal, it might be reasonable to have a CD boot image that only runs
fdisk/disklabel/newfs and copies the full INSTALL kernel to the root 
partition, then reboots.  This should be easy in 1.44MB and should work
on any machine that can boot a CD.  This would eliminate all of the bloat
problems we are having by adding wireless, IPv6, DHCP, etc to the install
images.  This 'INSTALL0' kernel could also give the user an option for
which kernel(s) to copy to the root partition.  This would allow us to ship
working kernels for some of the more troublesome features while not 
impacting all users.  I could see us shipping CARDBUS, NOSCSI, USBKBD,
SERIAL, NOPCI, PCIBIOS, PNPBIOS kernels that would address many of the
problems that occur with INSTALL or GENERIC kernels.

Not that I want NetBSD to get into the "reboot 4 times during install"
game, but I think a two stage install could be a good thing.