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Re: Old Binary Packages/Sources (NetBSD/i386 1.5.3)?

On Friday 13th August 2010 Jeremy C. Reed asked a similar question:

"> > One reason we went with NetBSD/i386 1.5.3 was that [ 
> > ] states that 1.5 was released 
> > "December 6, 2000" and [ ] 
> > states that Slackware 7.0 was released circa 2000 (a little before 
> > if we can read the figure correctly).

I don't understand why. You may want to use recent supported NetBSD and 
provide feedback on how it does or doesn't work well with your old 

[ ]

To which we responded on Thursday 19th August 2010:

With regard to the question:

> I don't understand why. You may want to use recent supported NetBSD and
> provide feedback on how it does or doesn't work well with your old
> system.

The NetBSD/i386 5.0.2 GENERIC (we believe) kernel seemed to cause the 486 to 
halt when booted from floppy disk. In contrast the NetBSD/i386 1.5.3 GENERIC 
(again we believe) booted successfully. Although we could have attempted to 
compile a GENERIC_TINY kernel for NetBSD/i386 5.0.2, we preferred to use a 
release whose GENERIC kernel would run happily on our hardware.

The reason we were also looking for corresponding older packages rather than 
using pkgsrc-2010Q2 packages is expressed succinctly by Thomas Mueller in a 
later response on Saturday 14th August 2010 [ ]:

"I wonder if you could use a current pkgsrc and build the packages against 
the old libraries.  But two limiting factors are shortage of RAM and probably 
disk space."

In lieu of having to do:

# cd /usr/pkgsrc
# sh mk/bulk/build

[ ]

to obtain the corresponding old binaries again we'll probably revert back to 
Slackware 7.0 distribution. Although it would still be interesting to know 
whether there actually is a public archive of old pkgsrc binaries lurking 
somewhere on the Internet."

[ ]

The shortage of RAM, diskspace and processing speed were amongst the motivating 
factors for using "older" packages rather than newer ones (and preferably 
binary packages rather than compiling from source).

The NetBSD 5.0.2/i386 GENERIC kernel (alleged) causing the 486 to halt in 
contrast to the older NetBSD/i386 1.5.3 GENERIC kernel (alleged) booting 
successfully was a significant motivating factor for using the older release. 

This was compounded by the fact that Slackware 7.0 was running happily on the 
machine beforehand and NetBSD/i386 1.5.3 seemed close to the Slackware 7.0 
release date. The dates were significant to us for the "complexity" of the 
kernel, userland and older packages, i.e. the RAM, diskspace and processing 
speed issue.

We hope the above answers your questions (without quenching your curiosity to a 
permanent state of !curiosity)

Kind Regards,

--- On Sun, 22/8/10, Ian D. Leroux <> wrote:

> From: Ian D. Leroux <>
> Subject: Re: Old Binary Packages/Sources (NetBSD/i386 1.5.3)?
> To: "The Beyonder" <>
> Cc:
> Date: Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 0:47
> On Sat, 21 Aug 2010 22:18 +0000, "The
> Beyonder" <>
> wrote:
> > How would running Microsoft Windows 95 help us
> obtaining NetBSD/i386
> > 1.5.3 date/time related pkgsrc binaries (and
> sources)?
> I think the question Herr Husemann asked about Windows 95
> might be put
> more explicitly thus: why do you insist on running NetBSD
> 1.5.3, an
> obsolete release, thus requiring you to find similarly
> obsolete pkgsrc
> binaries or the sources from which to recompile them,
> instead of running
> a more recent and better-supported NetBSD with a more
> recent and better-
> supported pkgsrc?  Just because your hardware is old
> doesn't mean your
> software has to be.  As far as I know NetBSD only
> dropped support for
> 80386-class CPUs with release 5.0, and some people are
> still using the
> 4.x branch happily enough.  What constraint prevents
> you from taking
> that (substantially easier) route?  Sometimes it's
> easier to help when
> we know *why* you need something as well as *what* you
> think you need.
> Curiously yours,
> Ian Leroux

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