Subject: Re: More on Mac-side stuff
To: Richard Wackerbarth <>
From: Bill Studenmund <wrstuden@loki.Stanford.EDU>
List: macbsd-development
Date: 01/19/1995 14:26:25
> >My thoughts on the Mac side question:
> >
> >I think a Mac-side application would be best.
> I am on the opposite side of things. What I want to see is a minimal booter
> that can mount an Apple HFS, load a kernel, and run from it.

Ok. So between us, we will probably raise enough issues that the topic
gets well thought-out. :-)

> As I see it:
> 1) Partition the HD with some existing software. Apple does not follow the
> standards and we don't need to re-invent their wheels.
> 2) Use any of the standard Mac utilities to obtain and place certain files
> in a folder on the Mac partition. (Probably use a SEA for the core and .tgz
> for the body)
> 3) Use standard Mac editors to pre-adjust the configuration files as
> needed.(KISS)
> 4) Double-click the "booter" to get up and running.
> 5) Run a shell script to set up the basic system ala FreeBSD/Linux -- using
> NetBSD utilities to format ufs partitions.
> 6) Run standard shell scripts to port in the rest of the world from any of
> the various media available.

If that's the concensus decision, I can live with it. And as an instalation
kit, it sounds good. But I still have reservations. 

1) As someone else mentioned, it seems fragile. It doesn't work if you
are trying to port to a new Mac & having problems. Also, it would be great
to be able to fsck the root file system no matter what (correct me if I'm
wrong, but don't I need to be able to run a root shell to be able to
fsck a partition? So if things get REALLY sick, I lose?).

2) I see a problem with "the various media available." I live in a campus
dorm. We're _suposed_ to get Ethernet this year, but they've been saying that
for years. I'm on LocalTalk, so my IP connection goes away when I stop
running MacOS; thus I'll need all the files to be local, in a Mac partition.
Also, as I understand it, MacBSD can't read MacOS partitions. From what I know
of the Mac filesystem, it would be best left to MacOS to read from it.

Your idea sounds good and clean for a kit install for a machine with
either Ethernet, SLIP, or PPP running. Or if we could do like Linux & press
a CD :-)  (it's down the road, but it would be cool). In that case, all the
booter would have to do is boot MacBSD; its other features could just
be waiting in the shadows until needed.

> I am of the opinion that those who expect fancy Mac look and feel programs
> for installers will never be happy with NetBSD/Mac. A good shell script
> that leads you through the list of questions should make users happy. After
> all, what do you think that you will have once you get it installed?

Hmm. Perchance I should clarify my thoughts. I agree that the user interface
I will get under MacBSD will be _very_ different from the Mac interface.
The reason I would want a good Mac installer (if the instalation is on the
Mac side) is that a well-done Mac program lets me do exactly what I want;
I am not limited by decisions made by the programmer. Likewise with UNIX,
I can edit a config file to make the program do as I wish.

Another way to put is that I like MacOS and UNIX because they fit like
gloves; they let me do what I want how I want. Admittedly they are different
gloves, suited to different tasks. That's why I want both on my Mac
(whenever the IIsi ADB problems get fixed :-)  ).

That said, I wasn't thinking the booter would do all the steps of
configuring the unix system. You're right; that's best left to a shell
script. I only envisioned the Mac-side program transfering files,
uncompressing tar files, doing UNIX partition formatting, and

Take care,