Subject: Re: NetBSD floppy installation defects
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Ognyan Kulev <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 12/24/2004 08:11:56
On Thu, Dec 23, 2004 at 06:52:00PM -0600, Frederick Bruckman wrote:
> In article <>,
> (Ognyan Kulev) writes:
> > 
> > The problems started when I started transferring kern-GENERIC.  I made the 
> > mistake to split and transfer netbsd-GENERIC.gz.  Of course, untarring failed. 
> > I became aware of my mistake and I have transferred kern-GENERIC.tgz.  But 
> > untarring failed again!  After more time of trying, I understood that 
> > kern-GENERIC.tgz in /targetroot/usr/INSTALL is not truncated before transferring 
> > the split tar.
> You need the INSTALL floppies for that. GENERIC is not a stand-alone system,
> but only a kernel. They are called "boot1.fs" and "boot2.fs", and they're in
> ".../installation/floppy". Those are floppy images, meant to be "dd"'d whole
> onto the floppy disks. (Read the INSTALL notes.)

Yes, I booted with boot1.fs and boot2.fs, and later selected floppy
installation media.  But before kern-GENERIC.a{a,b,c} are loaded from
floppy, /targetroot/usr/INSTALL/kern-GENERIC.tgz is not truncated, so when
loading set is canceled and is tried again later during install, the tgz is
corrupted -- this is the (first) problem.

> > So this is the first problem -- I think that before getting split parts and 
> > concatenating them, the tgz should be truncated.  Why it isn't so?
> I don't recall if the installation kernel actually supports the splits sets
> at all, these days, even though the INSTALL notes (as of NetBSD 2.0) still
> tell you how to make them.  It's *much* easier to install from the network
> or from CD-ROM. The problem with floppies is that one single media error
> on one floppy disk makes you have to start all over, and that most of the
> computers that are too old to have network or CD-ROM drives will also have
> aging floppy drives that give lots of media errors, even on new disks. You
> can always get one or two good ones, but "base" alone is 20MB, and to make
> a dozen floppies with no errors takes a minor miracle.

My laptop is Compaq Armada 4120 (Pentium 120, 32M, 1G) and it doesn't have
CD drive. It has PCMCIA slots, but I don't have Ethernet PCMCIA.   The
NetBSD installer has no option for PPP install, so I have no
choice but using floppies.  Fortunately, the floppy drive is good and I have
good floppy disks.  I agree that installing anything beyond base with
floppies is hard.  With this laptop, I usually use PPP over null-modem for
connecting to LAN and Internet.