Subject: IMPORTANT NOTE : Installation assistance
To: Peter Bell <>
From: Reinoud Zandijk <>
List: port-acorn32
Date: 03/27/2002 01:29:00
Dear Peter and all who read with him on these mailing lists,

On Tue, Mar 26, 2002 at 10:39:16PM +0000, Peter Bell wrote:
> I'm attempting to get BSD up and running on the following
> configuration:
> RiscPC 600 with SA revT
> RISC OS 3.7
> 16MB RAM
> EtherLan 500 (EtherH), [with adsl gateway on lan]
> ideA (Arcin V6) IDE interface with empty IBM 44GB master drive
> 205GB Conner on ADFS::4 (totally dedicated to RO)

> Firstly, I'm unclear whether I should be using arm32 or acorn32
> distributions - any advice?

This is part of a restructuring of all ARM ports in the transition from 
NetBSD-1.5.x to NetBSD-1.6.

The older one is arm32 ... this used to cover all kinds of ARM based ports,
this was split up for maintenance reasons into port-acorn32, port-shark,
port-hpcarm, port-cats etc..

So for NetBSD-1.5.2 or the forthcoming NetBSD-1.5.3 you'll need the 
port-arm32, for all newer versions you'll have to use port-acorn32.

Since NetBSD-1.6 hasn't rolled out yet there is no snapshot i can give
you... technically NetBSD/acorn32 hasn't been released yet. I could give
you a snapshot now of the -current branch but you'll be in trouble then for
things are likely still to change... it might make your installation

You can use the BtNetBSD on's /pub/NetBSD/arch/acorn32/riscos/*
but you'll have to put in `oldkernel' as one of the options if you decide 
to run NetBSD-1.5.x on it... or it won't work :(

There you can also find the in the 1.5.2 release missing prep.RISCOS and
the INSTALL.* docs (!)

> Secondly, as I read through INSTALL.txt files they advise me to
> 'perform the instructions in arm32/platform/prep that are specific to
> your platform'.  Where do I find 'arm32/platform/prep'?  Is this
> somewhere on  Am I meant to start of in
> /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-1.5.2, or somewhere in /pub/NetBSD/arch?  I cannot
> find any directories called 'platform' - is this supposed to be
> substituted by 'riscos'?

thats the prep.RISCOS file in /pub/NetBSD/arch/acorn32, and yes the 
`platform' is to be renamed by `sparc', `alpha', `acorn32', `shark', etc. 
i.e. not the operating system origionally run on it.

> Thirdly, if I ignore the fact that I haven't been able to find the
> platform-specific instructions and go ahead to try to get something
> running, I run bb_(net/risc)bsd - I want to dedicate the whole of the
> 44GB disc on IDEFS - so I specify a starting cylinder of 0 on IDEFS
> drive 4.  That's fine but I can't get mountufs to mount the partition.
> Should the command be 'mountufs IDEFS 4' or 'mountufs IDEFS wd0a'.
> There seems to be some confusion over this in the files which I have
> fetched from the ftp site.  In any case, both commands fail, wd0a
> produces 'Disc drive not known', 4 produces 'Bad disklabel'.

Thats good ... the `mountufs IDEFS 4' is the good one ... It reports a `bad 
disklabel' for the NetBSD partition is made OK but it isn't fomatted or 
whatever ... thats where the disclabel comes it... it describes the 
partitioning of the NetBSD part of the harddisc.

> If I ignore mounting the ufs partition, and attempt to load a kernel
> from the RISC OS drive, after reporting memory configuration, BtNetBSD
> produces a message about 825 pages needing relocation and then bombs
> out with a 'Can't use array reference here at line 2580'.

Hope this isnt occuring anymore ! ... hmm... i wonder how it can happen... 
if it happends again.... _please_ send a problem report to me or on the 
problem report section of the NetBSD homepage... so we can solve this ASAP.

> If I attempt to run !BtRiscBSD, after ignoring the mountufs failure, I
> get to a situation where the kernel actually starts up, reports lots
> of info about the machine config, including finding the Conner 205MB
> drive (as wd0), and reports of the EtherLan at podule0 and the IDE &
> CDFS expansion card at podule1, but doesn't appear to find the 44GB
> drive on podule1.  Obvioulsy, since there is no accessible unix
> partition, the kernel then loops around asking for root and dump
> devices and reports invalid partition format on wd0, ending with an
> 'error = 79'.

Thats because you haven't specified what the root is ... for installation
purposes there is an explicit _installation kernel_ you can use from a RISC
OS filingsystem that doesn't need an installed NetBSD harddisc to boot
from. The `error = 79' is too cryptic i must agree but signals that there
is not NetBSD partion found on that wd0 disc.

Does it say anything other than noting the interface on podule1 ? i.e. 
attaching something on it ? or does it say `not configured' ?

One thing you could do is to put the 44 Gb disk as a slave to the 205 Mb 
disc (or was it 205 Gb ;) big) ... or vice versa ... the onboard IDE is 
supported for sure !

> Am I being stupid?  What do I need to do to get BSD going?

No no you are not ... you just happend to find a port in a big flux :-)  
this is both a good sign but also not that handy if you want to install a
fresh NetBSD system ... The release planned for 1.6 (maybe even this week
in beta?) is much better prepared than the 1.5 release.... partly for the 
origional port-arm32 maintainer left without ensuring a successor ... that 
didnt help :-/

Hope this helped... it has become a big document but i really hope ppl.  
will find this helpfull ... am also planning to put up a piece on the 
website on this but that also takes some time and i'd rather have something 
to release then too ....


Reinoud Zandijk
(NetBSD port master of port-acorn32)