Subject: Re: INSTALL thoughts
To: James K. Lowden <>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: netbsd-docs
Date: 10/30/2006 19:36:12
On Sun, 29 Oct 2006, James K. Lowden wrote:
> 1.	"As is usual between releases, the i386 port has had many improvements
> made to it--too many to detail all of them here."
> Couldn't we get '&mdash;' in there instead of the typewriter's '--'
> convention?

It seems there's code in /usr/share/groff_font/devhtml/* to turn 'em' into 
&mdash; but that's not used. I'm afraid I'm lost in *roff... :(

> 2.  It's not clear to me if the xfont set is used by the client or server.
> I want to support X clients, but I'm never going to run a server on this
> box.

Right, that's unclear. As far as I understand it's only needed on the X 
server side.

> 3.  It's not clear what install kernel I'd use on my Soekris box with its
> serial console.

IIRC that's not a question of what kernel you use. You'd need a bootloader 
that is enabled to use the serial console, and then have that tell the 
kernel where the console is.

I'm not sure where to put this - maybe there should be a seperate "how to 
install NetBSD on a Soekris" document? Anyone?

> 4.	"#( cd /usr/pkgsrc ; tar -zxpf - ) < pkgsrc.tar.gz "
> Typographically, this command should be in boldface (like the one above
> it).  But for my money it's over-fancy, confusing, and old-fashioned.  I
> would say:
> 	# cd /usr/pkgsrc
> 	# pax -rzpe -f pkgsrc.tar.gz
> (or)	# tar -xzp  -f pkgsrc.tar.gz

Right, I've fixed this in two places...

> 6.  Under "Issues fixed by postinstall" there's one bullet point, and if
> the indentation is taken literally (so to speak) it would seem that the
> fixed issues include "The following issues need to be resolved manually".
> This would be clearer if there were two headings: files updated/created by
> postinstall, and those not.  As is, it's a bit clumsy.

I'm only looking at the -current install notes, and there are two lists, 
one about "issues fixed by postinstall" (with three bullets) and one 
listing "[t]he following issues need to be resolved manually". The latter 
only has one item, but I guess that could be worse...

> 7.  The tone varies a bit from novice hand-holding to
> one-expert-to-another.  For example, "Change to the /etc directory and
> take a look at the /etc/rc.conf file. Modify it to your tastes" comes
> before mentioning that vi won't run without /usr being mounted (and
> explaining how to do that, bravo).  And "More complete documentation can
> be found in rc.conf(5)" comes before the section that describes how the
> manual is organized and how to use man(1).  I'd be willing to try to
> improve it.

That would be greatly appreciated. Please make sure you send (unified) 
diffs against the files in src/distrib/notes/common (etc.) on 

> 8.  There's a claim that "We are planning future support for many of these
> devices" beneath a list that includes QIC-40 and QIC-80 tape drives.  Is
> it credible?

The whole hardware list needs a LOT of work,
or just a bullet in the head... (the latter's easier IMHO).

> 9.  I am glad for the list of versions of 3rd party software included.  I
> wish for a file /etc/3rd_party.txt (or a 3party(1) man page) that
> documented them on installed systems.  It's not easy (afaik) to discover
> what version of BIND or tcpdump is installed.

There's actually a file src/doc/3RDPARTY (as part of the NetBSD Source).
It's not installed, though.

  - Hubert