Subject: Re: Installing NetBSD experiences and help wanted
To: None <>
From: Jimmie Houchin <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/21/2005 11:20:23

Martin Husemann wrote:
> Well, if the install kernels don't find your hard disk no nics, that is not
> a problem of installer userfriendliness or documentation/integrated help -
> it is a plain bug (or two, in this case), IMHO.

Apparently not finding the hard disk is my bad. I apparently mixed up 
all of my FreeBSD and NetBSD reading and thought NetBSD had support for 
the LSI SATA 150-6 card. Nothing I've researched today supports that it 
supports that card. However, FreeBSD does, and I know I also read its 
hardware pages. FreeBSD support began at 5.4.

However, on my desktop the nic I used is supported.
  RealTek RTL8129/8139 based 10/100 Ethernet cards,
  including D-Link DFE-538TX and D-Link DFE-530TX+ (rtk(4))
I was able to install to my desktop. But I was a stranded island with 
not network access. If I can learn how to get my nic recognized even 
after a successful install and first boot. It would be a great help to 
progress to a full install.

> Since I don't know anything about the hardware you quoted, I can't realy
> say what to do to fix them. Getting kernel boot messages would be a good
> thing - you could do that via serial console or by mounting a memory stick
> (if your USB works on that machines) and copying /kern/msgbuf to the
> stick.

Since this machine has a floppy I should able to just copy to floppy.
I'll see about possibly doing that tonight.

I have the luxury of multiple drives on this machine so I can go back 
and forth between OSes until I get it setup right.

Regarding user friendliness, it wasn't the friendliest in the world. 
However it wasn't necessarily much worse than some. I've install a 
number of varieties of Linuxes, most of the Windows, Mac OS 7 up. All of 
them required a certain amount of knowledge and understanding. I am as 
adept at installing some of them because I've done it dozens of times. I 
know in learning Linux I've installed many, many times, sometimes in a 
single day. All just to get the install right, or like I wanted. NetBSD 
has not had that opportunity with me yet.

Now I think it would be absolutely wonderful if NetBSD could (did) offer 
the pleasant install that Ubuntu offers. It is not a "graphical" 
installer. Ncurses I believe. It does require some knowledge, but it is 
a pleasant experience. And the installer takes care of much of the work.

Are the BSDs moving that direction? Will the BSDs ever compete with 
Linux in that arena? Is there a desire to? A nice process from pop in 
the CD to a Gnome/XFCE4 or somesuch login screen would be very sweet.

I hope so. I hope so for NetBSD. I think NetBSD is the best BSD to 
compete with Linux. It is the only BSD to run on a competitive number of 

Well that little speech probably belonged on *.advocacy. Oh well. :)

Thanks again.