Subject: Re: big disk blues
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Monroe Williams <email@example.com>
Date: 05/18/1995 11:42:52
[...after many problems with a 4GB disk...]
> So now that I had my root&usr filesystem on the big disk, I
> decided to install NetBSD. I ran the install utility and
> selected the SCSI # and I got an error that was something
> bad dir: ino 2
> and the install program terminated. Just to make sure that
> the filesystem wasn't corrupt, I booted single user off the
> small disk and ran fsck on the big disk -- no problem.
> To summarize, I am unable to use the install utility to
> install onto the big disk root&usr partition.
> Any ideas why this is so?
> Did I do something wrong, or is this a limitation of the
> installation utility?
Short answer: the install utility is showing its age.
If you created the file system on the disk with newfs using the default
settings, it will be the newest UFS format introduced with Bsd 4.4.
(Type 3, I think? the man page on newfs or fsck explains some of
this...) The installer utility uses an older version of the UFS code
that doesn't grok the new format. (I believe the installer was written
before 4.4 was released, or at least before it was incorporated into
NetBSD. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong... :-)
I know that older filesystems can be converted to newer formats with
fsck, but I suspect it's a one-way conversion. (I'm away from my
man pages at the moment.)
I recently had a similar problem after hosing up some things while
trying to build -current and having to reinstall some of the original
distribution. The simplest thing to do is to keep at least one
partition around that has an old-format file system on it. (I have an
alternate root filesystem that was created with mkfs.) If you need to
install something, run the installer, mount the old filesystem, and use
cpin to copy the tar file to it. Then boot up bsd, mount the old-style
filesystem, and do the actual tar -zxvf from NetBSD. This is great as
long as you don't get things so hosed up that nothing works, but if
you've got that much disk space, keeping a small, working altroot
partition is cheap insurance.
Monroe Williams aka firstname.lastname@example.org aka email@example.com