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RE: NetBSD/amiga sysinst (Was: Video of NetBSD/amiga 10.0_BETA network install in real Amiga 1200)

Adding to the topic of making easier for Amiga users to install NetBSD, I think we have a major issue we are not covering: most of the Amiga users have a CF card as hard-drive, attached to an IDE interface. They work very well under AmigaOS, but they have problems under NetBSD when performing write operations, as I told here [1]. I know an user that recently was successful booting the 9.3 miniroot, but had to give up due to the IDE device timeout with CF card.

Several weeks ago I bought a DiskOnModule (DOM) and tested it with netbsd-9.3, but it suffered from the very same timeouts as the CF cards. The conclusion is that only real hard drives will work well. In my setup I am using a mSATA SSD with a mSATA to IDE 44 pin converter without issues.

Now to the other topics...

From: David Brownlee <abs%netbsd.org@localhost> 
Sent: lunes, 27 de febrero de 2023 14:43

> - Adding sysinst to the miniroot

This would be nice to improve user install experience, providing the Amiga peculiarities are covered, such as the RDB partition handling. I also wonder if the lack of DHCP during installation needs to be handled as well. I insist the current script is working really well, it should be kept as fallback.

> - Working out why AmigaOS 3.2 kickstart ROM will not boot NetBSD boot blocks

You get this [2] when you try to boot NetBSD from boot block in the early startup. However, it will boot correctly using the runbootblock or loadbsd utilities from AmigaOS. As this was working well with previous kickstarts I guess some change in 3.2 introduced the issue (or maybe 3.1.4! I didn't test that one since I don't own it). I tried to report the problem to the AmigaOS 3.2 forum [3], but I do not have permissions to publish in the board and... anyway it seems to be rather abandoned. If anyone knows how to get in contact with the developers it would be appreciated.

The problem can be reproduced with WinUAE.

> - Simplifying the boot process (fewer arguments needed, maybe reading defaults from a file)

I think the boot blocks is the simplest and native way to boot. For AmigaOS 3.2 users it would be enough to provide an example of how to use runbootblock and loadbsd.

> - Improving install notes

I think current install notes are really good, that documentation is the one I used for installing the OS for the first time. I wrote a simplified installation guide in the Warp Accelerators forum [4], but as you can see, it is actually a summary of installation steps that points to the official documentation for the detail.

- Providing easy test disk images (I think your aminet upload covers this)

Yeah, I think they are useful for making a quick test of the OS with an Amiga emulator. I created the image using WinUAE; it is fairly easy and fast; it can be done again for new versions. Aminet is a good place for the distribution.


[1] http://mail-index.netbsd.org/port-amiga/2021/10/12/msg008228.html 
[2] https://msx.pics/images/2023/03/01/amigaosnetbsdbootblock_alert.png
[3] https://forum.hyperion-entertainment.com/viewforum.php?f=62
[4] https://forum.agedcode.com/viewtopic.php?t=39 

Carlos Milán Figueredo | HispaMSX System Operator | http://www.hispamsx.org | telnet://bbs.hispamsx.org | https://calnus.com 

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