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Installation of NetBSD 5.99.44 and resulting problems
I installed NetBSD 5.99.44 on a 4 GB USB stick via the Internet,
after downloading boot-big.fs .
I booted boot-big.fs as a floppy image using grub4dos running under FreeDOS;
this was successful.
I don't think this was the intended way to boot such too-big-for-floppy images,
but it worked.
Installation took 2 1/2 hours, surprisingly fast considering the USB stick is
so much slower than hard drive.
Next night, I downloaded the source, /usr/src and /usr/xsrc , using cvs
checkout, this was also surprisingly fast, about 2 hours.
I remember, from NetBSD 4.0 and 4.0.1, how slow extracting .tgz files was on a
USB stick, took over 7 hours extracting from already-downloaded .tgz source
sets. I have 5.1_STABLE on hard drive.
I had 600 MB space left after all this, with NetBSD 5.99.44, enough to rebuild
the kernel, and even some packages if I have and use pkgsrc on a hard drive,
where I have NetBSD-5.1_STABLE installed.
I built kernels with r128fb and with no framebuffer. In all cases, I could
startx (twm), but when I exited, text console was all dark and could not be
restored (shutdown -r now worked even though I couldn't see anything on the
Also, when I booted the kernel with r128fb after enabling vesa mode 0x322, and
also 0x101, and subsequently booting netbsd-r128fb, screen almost immediately
went blank, with either mode 0x322 or 0x101, though apparently the boot went
through invisible to me. I was able to login as root and type the password,
and subsequently shutdown -r now with no sight of the screen: not usable that
way, but I got out clean. I wonder if anybody has succeeded getting vesa
framebuffer to work.
Subsequently I booted into Linux, using vga=ask, went for the same video mode,
and it worked, and for the first time ever, I ran links web browser using the
framebuffer (fb) graphic driver. I wanted to verify that the particular
videomode was compatible with my monitor.
I don't have the time to keep up with every update of NetBSD-current, but if
something promising comes up, I might try again, otherwise not.
What is the best way to update? Boot that giant-floppy image from FreeDOS and
grub4dos, using the update function of sysinst? I would update the source
using cvs update -dP.
If things really look promising, and I want bigger things, I will need to go to
a bigger USB stick, at least 8 GB, at least on present computer.
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