Subject: Re: Help me defend NetBSD's honor!
To: None <>
From: David Young <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/09/2003 13:30:45
On Sun, Mar 09, 2003 at 02:59:33AM -0600, Peter Seebach wrote:
> The subject of our discussion is a Soekris systems box - an N4521.  AMD sc520
> single-chip processor, some memory, two cardbus slots and a CF slot, one
> serial port, two ethernets.
> The goal is a purpose-built box that fetches data over a serial port and
> makes it available somehow over wireless LAN.


My principle hobby project these days is to build a community wireless
network in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One station on the net is a
Soekris net4521 running NetBSD, so I have some experience in the area
of bootable, read-only CompactFlash cards....

I have a script and some patches I use to create a bootable CF card for
the net4521 (it will also make bootable CD-ROMs for regular PeeCees). The
script uses syspkg to pare down NetBSD to a reasonable size, it adds
appropriate memory filesystems to the fstab, it inserts new /etc/rc.d/
files to mount the memory filesystems at the right boot stage, and
so on. If it is not good for anything else, it is good for getting
some ideas.

(For the purposes of the wireless project, the script is even more
sophisticated than that. It abuses OSPF and DHCP to produce a VERY
rudimentary ad hoc wireless network.  I use this software to run two-
and four-station networks in downtown Urbana.)

I have put my complete set of patches and scripts at I cannot offer any
documentation, but I am willing to answer your questions. There are
bugs: the scripts are incompatible with the new Also, the part
that writes the CompactFlash contains the right ideas, but the code is
actually broken. It is necessary to manually copy the kernel to /netbsd
or else ipnat will croak.

I will gladly accept your patches, and if it will encourage contributions,
I will see if I can set up a CVS or Subversion server to hold them.

BTW, 'mkstaboot' is the script where all the fun begins.


David Young             OJC Technologies      Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933