Subject: boot/installer and disk partitions
To: <>
From: None <>
List: macbsd-development
Date: 01/28/1995 15:16:41
> [cgd wrote:]
> > The "PC" derived systems operate within a subset of
> > the DOS partitions. We operate within the Apple partitions.
> NetBSD/i386 can run within a PC BIOS partition, or can be the only
> system on the disk (in which case it doesn't really supply a real BIOS
> partition table, just sort-of fakes one up at the right place in the
> boot block).

heres the key  ^^^  it can use either partition scheme.

> it'd be _really_ nice if one could run NetBSD/mac68k without a MacOS
> partition, and run it on the 'whole disk' with a faked up Mac
> "disklabel," and using a BSD disklabel for partitioning-related things.

back to the booter, id also like to be able to boot netbsd directly
(ie. WITHOUT any part of the macos) and using the entire scsi disk
as a whole using a BSD disklabel seems most apropriate for this.
> From: Chris G Demetriou <Chris_G_Demetriou@LAGAVULIN.PDL.CS.CMU.EDU>
> > Those of us whose native platforms have
> > >more sane partition table schemes, with functionality equal or superior to
> > >that of the BSD disklabel format (I believe both the Mac and Amiga fall int
> > >that category), see little reason for such kludges.
> > 
> > I agree. We should not adopt a kludge as our standard when we have a better
> > option available.

what happens when i access partition 'c'?
do i get all the data contained in 'a+b+d+e+f+g+h'?
historicly, thats the way BSD style file systems work.
is the same true using the 'several mac partitons=several BSD partitions'?
(ex: say i wanted to 'dd sd0c onto sd1c' both with identical BSD partitioning)
its true under BSD/i386 using either of their partition schemes

> except, as it currently stands, you _don't_ have a better option
> available.
> I.e. on either the Mac or the Amiga, i have to boot into the 'native'
> OS to boot NetBSD.  I also have to boot into the native OS to
> repartition the disk.  Lastly, i don't know how NetBSD/mac68k assigns
> partition names, but the amiga does it in an, umm, hokey way.

agreed, i dont want to boot macos at all to start netbsd.
what do you do in a few years if apple stops distributing 'macos v.7.x'
or even any macos for the m68k... they are copyright, so you cant 
redistribute, with means you can nolonger setup a new netbsd/mac system
unless you already have the old macos.
i thought the whole point of this was to have a FREELY AVAILABLE
operating system for the macintosh... its not too free when it still 
relies on a proprietary operating system is it?
> however, i _do_ think that ports which can run non-UN*X-like OSs
> should support both "just plain BSD disklabels" as well as a hybrid
> scheme.

again we have that the system should support MORE THAN ONE method
this should not be any more difficult than currently.
and would be a great asset in enabling booting netbsd as standalone,
OR booting it from within macos, at the option of the user.

> From: "Dan Menchaca" <>
> RE>>Partitioning should stay the...                                    
> Many OSes do it and I would like to have to ability to boot onto MacOS HFS or 
> MacBSD AUX partition.

noone is saying that we do away with the current system or that 
you cant boot both OSs out of the same disk, just that we'd like 
to see these other options added, including a native mode BSD file system.
even ideally, write a scsi disk on one BSD system, connect it to another 
BSD system of a different architecture, and be able to mount it. (feasibility?)
> From: (Allen Briggs)
> Subject: Re: Partitioning should stay the same
> I declare this discussion moot since there are more immediate
> things to work on and I think that all benefits/costs are on
> the table.  I, personally, believe that the disklabel code is
> in dire need of a rewrite, but it's far down on my to-do list...
> So, back to the booter installer development question.  I
> have notes of having had one person volunteer to head up the
> development in this arena.  He's interested in working in the
> "boot BSD and install from there" camp, but it sounds like he's
> quite busy.  

having a miniroot loaded to do installation and other file stuff, 
is half the step along the way to allowing either a macos or native mode 
bootstraping of the kernel. the more that is removed from the list
of things 'the booter' must do, the easier it will be to support both methods.

> From: "Charles J. Williams" <>
> In message <>,Allen Briggs writes:
> >next post on this list to be a proposed design for the mac-side
> >utilities and install process or something on an entirely

sorry allen, im trying to meet you half way 8^)

> i would like to see a single utility, probably called something stupid like
> console (or miniroot even though it really wouldn't be)
> ideally, it would be /bin/sh with windows wrapped around it.  this would
> make it easy to write some install scripts, maintenance scripts, etc.
> of course, builtins like ls, newfs/mkfs, fsck!, etc, would need to be added.
> and naturally, there would be a command boot.  [i am possibly overfond of 
> the commandline interface, but there could be menus/etc], disk label
> editor (see below)

this sounds good, you could probably even write it so that the only
differences in the native mode boot/install and the macos based, 
is that the macos has everything (ie, command line, or menu) in a window 
and has to _write_ to the _BSD_ drive as a foreign file system, 
and the native mode has the exact same command line (just not in a window)
and has to _read_ from the _macos_ as a foreign filesystem.

also i think it would be very useful (both in the install and through netbsd)
to be able to read from the floppy as a filesystem (HFS/MSDOS/BSD?)
and read/write it as a raw device, (ex: tar -xf /dev/rfd0c)
also SCSI tapes would make installation very simple,(though not bootable)
i create a tape with all the tar files, mail it to you,
you drop it in your tape drive, and away you go...

-jim h