Subject: Announcing the g4u 2.2 release
To: None <>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: netbsd-news
Date: 05/31/2006 02:23:53
  * Announcing the g4u 2.2 release

G4u ("ghost for unix") is a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows
easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of
PCs using FTP, and I'm happy to announce the first release of the g4u
harddisk image cloning software since one year now.  G4u is freely
available for most uses, military and optional commercial are
available on request, and donations are always welcome.
The most important changes in this release lie in an improved
infrastructure that allow more flexibility, basically restricting the
2.88MB limit that g4u had so far. Here's the full list of changes:

  * The build infrastructure was changed: The kernel used is now
    based on a GENERIC kernel with ramdisk hooks, instead of a
    customized INSTALL kernel. There's still a ramdisk embedded in
    the kernel, and that kernel+ramdisk are used to build the ISO
    and floppy-set. My main motivation for this release is to
    utilize NetBSD's 'makefs -t cd9660' and bootxx_cd9660 for
    creating the ISO version, the floppy splits the kernel+ramdisk
    over (now) three floppies using NetBSD's ustarfs. This approach
    allows growing the ramdisk with more programs without the 2.88MB
    limit imposed by harddisk-emulation-booting and mkisofs before,
    to an (sort of) arbitrary size. Size restrictions right now are
    the size of the CD and (more likely) the size of the ramdisk
    that can fit into RAM, see below.
  * Password entry in all scripts is now without echo (added stty(1)
    to run 'stty -noecho')
  * The G4U kernel is now a real NetBSD "GENERIC" kernel with an
    embedded ramdisk, with all the devices supported there. The
    trade-in for the reduced maintenance costs are a minimum of 16MB
    RAM needed now. Please let me know if this is an issue!
  * Updated hardware support to match NetBSD-current's GENERIC as of
    20060406, adding support for Workbit NinjaSCSI-32 (pci); Symbios
    53c875 SCSI and newer (pci); Qlogic ESP406/FAS408 SCSI (pcmcia);
    Cardbus SCSI including AdvanSys 1200[A,B], 9xx[U,UA] SCSI,
    Adaptec ADP-1480, Workbit NinjaSCSI-32; Intel 82597 10GbE LR NIC
    (pci); Sun Microelectronics STP2002-STQ (pci); Intel
    PRO/Wireless 2100 and 2200BG (pci; may not work due to missing
    firmware); PCnet-PCI Ethernet (pci); ralink wifi (pci); 3com
    3cr990 (pci); VIATech VT612X Gigabit Ethernet (pci); Neterion
    (S2io) Xframe-I 10GbE (pci); BayStack 660 (802.11FH/DS, pcmcia);
    Cardbus NICs including Atheros 5210/5211/5212 802.11, ADMtek
    ADM8211 (802.11), 3Com 3C575TX, Intel i8255x, Realtek
    8129/8139/8180L (802.11) and DECchip 21143; CDC, Ethernet
    Networking Control Model and Davicom DM9601 based USB-ethernet
    adapters; Atmel AT76C50XX based adapters and Ralink Technology
    RT25x0 802.11a/b/g USB WLAN adapters
  * I've added an item "What FTP server software to use?" to the FAQ
  * I've added a reference to the g4u blog (or rather, the g4u part
    of my NetBSD blog :).

For more information on g4u see the homepage at

  - Hubert