Subject: Re: little things that bother me
To: Daniel C. Sinclair <>
From: Andy Ruhl <>
List: port-cobalt
Date: 02/05/2005 06:12:44
On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 18:19:56 -0800, Daniel C. Sinclair
<> wrote:
> On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 22:57:30 +0200, Michael Bramley <> wrote:
> > Can you point me in the direction of somewhere that can pretty easily
> > explain how to get netBSD 2.0 up and running on a Cobalt Qube 2?.  I've got
> > access to the machine again in two weeks and then that will be it for about
> > a year.  (it lives in my house in the UK with my mother and I live in
> > Beirut, Lebanon)
> I think there is someone working on a NetBSD 2.0 Cobalt boot CD to
> automate this but I haven't heard anything lately.
> It's not very easy, but here are the steps I used to install 2.0 on my Cube2:
> 1. Cross-compile kernel from another NetBSD computer
> 2. Extract filesets into a directory and copy kernel there
> 3. Set up netboot on that computer to send the kernel
> 4. Set up NFS on that computer to share directory as root filesystem
> Those are the more difficult steps.  For more information on how to
> set up that kind of thing you can have a look at the NetBSD 1.6.1
> Cobalt boot CD and diskless howtos.
> 5. Connect null-modem cable so you can see what is going on and log in
> 6. Netboot Cube2 - you will be booted into a NetBSD 2.0 system
> 7. Partition hardrive (need Linux ext2fs for bootloader; NetBSD fs for /)
> 8. Create filesystems and mount them
> 9. Copy bootloader to ext2fs as vmlinux.gz (more info in the Cobalt FAQ)
> 10. Copy kernel and extract desired filesets to / filesystem on harddrive
> 11. Reboot and you should boot into NetBSD 2.0
> Sorry these instructions aren't very detailed.  I spent two evenings
> figuring out the details and I was new to NetBSD and Cube2s.  I may
> write step-by-step instructions and submit them for inclusion in the
> FAQ but so far I have had little time to tinker with my Cube2.
> Daniel
> PS: Almost forgot: the kernel you use to netboot cannot be over a
> certain size; see the FAQ.  I used the GENERIC kernel configuration
> and removed all support for SCSI and other hardware that is not in the
> Cube2.

That's a pretty slick way to do it too... You could also just put a
kernel that wants to mount root over nfs in /usr/games/.doug (in the
linux partition) and go about it that way. That way you have full
control of the disk at that point since it isn't in use. Very nice.

I believe I was able to get away with just putting the 2.0 kernel in
place where the 1.6.x one was, then reboot into single user, then
unpack the rest of the sets though... I know I messed it up one time,
but the other I didn't. Obviously this requires knowledge of what
unpacking etc.tgz is going to do to your system, if you don't change
rc.conf and allow root to log in via telnet or ssh, you aren't getting
in after rebooting.

Re: the 2.0 CD. I had said that I was going to look at it, but I
haven't had time yet. I'm hoping it will be as easy as just replacing
the old 1.6.1 sets with the 2.0 sets, and changing some stuff about
the way it edits rc.conf (and whatever else changed between 1.6.1 and
2.0). Also, I'm not too smart about some of this automation stuff so I
can't guarantee results. I think the author of the first recovery CD
said he might make a new one too.

I'm still of the opinion that it's worth taking the disk out and
setting it up on another box. It will probably take less time from
beginning to end than doing the network install, but it does require
another NetBSD machine and a little skill about how NetBSD boots.