Subject: Re: read the mailing lists, still a newbie . . .help?
To: None <>
From: Jamie Heilman <>
List: port-cobalt
Date: 01/03/2001 01:41:41 wrote:

> So here it goes:
> How should the disk be partitioned. If I follow the cobalt port FAQ 
> correctly, the boot partition needs to be a Linux ext2 Filesystem on wd0e.

I've brought around 3 cobalt machines up successfully now, here's how I
usually do it:

  On a Linux box I use fdisk to create a single DOS (BIOS) partition at the
end of the disk, in Linuxese thats hda1.  I usually make it as small as I
can while still aligning to a sector boundry.  Many times that means this
partition is 1 sector.  (ie. on a disk with 1500 sectors hda1 would start
at 1498 and end on 1499)  The type of the parition should be Linux (type
83).  I then mke2fs it (hda1) using the flags -r 0 -O none.  Then I mount
it, and make do "mkdir boot; mkdir -p usr/games".  Then I copy over the
netbsd kernel from and link it (hard link) to vmlinux.gz (or
one of the varient names depending on your box - by the way FWIW, my RAQ 1
uses vmlinux.gz not vmlinux_RAQ.gz).  (all that is done in the boot

  From there I move the disk to the cobalt box, and boot it up.  I usually
try to break into the firmware before it autoboots and pass -i and -a to
the kernel, but its not crucial as if there's no disklabel I've found
netbsd will end up asking anyway.  From there I netboot the machine with
everything on a linux box acting as my nfs server.  As soon as I've got a
root shell I fdisk/disklabel the disk into something more agreeable.  (hda1
does indeed become wd0e in netbsd-land)  Then I more or less install the
various tar balls from the dist as per the directions given in the diskless
workstation documentation.  (which is a very handy reference for setting up
the netboot environment as well. one caveat, when making the dev tree the
netbsd MAKEDEV expects the usernames and groups to align to what netbsd
thinks they should be, and naturally enough this isn't always what your
linux distribution thinks they should be.  I use debian, and I had to sort
of make a twiddled MAKEDEV script that used numbers instead of names so my
devices would be owned by the right users in my netboot env.)

  NetBSD folks will ofcourse note that you don't have to have a linux box
to bootstrap a new cobalt system as the ext2fs utils work now, and thus the
entire process can be done in netbsd only environment.

The only problem with this method I've run into so far is that fdisk under
linux and fdisk under netbsd-cobalt tend to disagree about disk geometry.
Usually this isn't a big deal as the sector boundries still line up, but
sometimes it they don't - gotta watch out for that.  You don't want your
BIOS partitions and your disklabel to disagree or bad things may happen.
I've got a 10G disk thats doing this to me right now and everytime I run
fdisk it panics the kernel with a message like TLB is out of universe or
something like that.

Anyway, goodluck.

Jamie Heilman         
"I was in love once -- a Sinclair ZX-81.  People said, "No, Holly, she's 
 not for you." She was cheap, she was stupid and she wouldn't load 
 -- well, not for me, anyway."				-Holly