Subject: Re: RAM disk and sysinst
To: Ray Phillips <>
From: Manuel Bouyer <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 08/02/2001 20:49:34
On Thu, Aug 02, 2001 at 02:24:45PM +1000, Ray Phillips wrote:
> Dear NetBSD/alpha:
> 1) How does the booting sequence in cdhdtape create a RAM disk and populate
> it with a file system and functioning NetBSD system?

The boot sequence doesn't do anything, the ramdisk is inside the
kernel binary

> 2) What sequence of commands does sysinst use to install NetBSD once it's
> been told the desired configuration?  I've been able to see some of them at
> the top of the console as they're being performed but it would be good to
> see a complete list.

In the utility menu you you should have an option to activate scripting.
At end of install this will dump a script which the commands used
for the install.

> 3) I've made a CD-ROM containing the NetBSD/alpha installation files which
> will boot an alpha according to the instructions in
>  When booting from this
> CD this sequence is displayed on the console
>   NetBSD/alpha 1.5.1 ISO 9660 Primary Bootstrap
>   Jumping to entry point...
>   NetBSD/alpha 1.5.1 Secondary Bootstrap, Revision 1.10
>   (, Jun 13 03:11:13 MEST 2001)
>   VMS PAL rev: 0x10001052f
>   OSF PAL rev: 0x20122
>   Switch to OSF PAL code succeeded.
>   Boot flags: A
>   open netbsd: No such file or directory
>   7780888+250088=0x7a8e58
>   Entering netbsd.gz at 0xfffffc00003010c0...
>   [ netbsd ELF symbol table not valid ]
>   [ no symbol table formats found ]
>   Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
>       The NetBSD Foundation, Inc.  All rights reserved.
>   Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
>       The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.
> "open netbsd: No such file or directory" doesn't appear when I boot from a
> DAT tape (which I copied cdhdtape to) so I guess the instructions at the
> above URL should really say to put a decompressed version of the file
> alpha/installation/instkernel/netbsd.gz named netbsd in the CD's root
> directory?

It doesn't matter much, as the boot block can boot netbsd.gz if it doens't
find netbsd.

> What do the "netbsd ELF symbol table not valid" and "no symbol table
> formats found" messages mean?

The symbol table is used to translate addresses -> functions or variables
names (for things like the debugger). I'm not sure why it's not found here;
maybe the install kernel is stripped.

Manuel Bouyer <>