Subject: RE:NetBSD vs. linux mac68k
To: Steve Revilak <>
From: El JoPe Magnifico <>
List: port-mac68k
Date: 05/17/1999 18:48:23
Mmm, your information is a bit outdated here... albeit all too true
for the time period during which you tried linux-mac68k.

On Mon, 17 May 1999, Steve Revilak wrote:
> Guy Santiglia <> wrote:
> > I'm not trying to start any arguments.  But, I was wondering if
> > any one has tried that linux for the mac68k.
> I had, before I had even heard of NetBSD -- roughly a year and a half
> ago.  At that time, their installation was similiar, albieit a little
> more complicated: one needed to copy /etc/ files out, edit and then put
> the edited versions back in the unix filesystem.

The old Watchtower installation to which you refer above hasn't been
in use since summer 1998, when a Debian installation became available.
Much, much smoother now as a result.

> With the mac68k port of linux one had the option of doing a test boot
> from a ram disk instead of having to first install the filesystem. 
> Granted, there wasn't much you could do once you were there, but it
> did allow a farily painless confirmation of the fact that your machine
> would boot.
> Tried with my Quadra 605.  Boot it did, so I went ahead and collected
> the rest of the filesystem.  Afterwords, I found something that I had
> missed in their "currrent support notes:.  My machine booted, but SCSI
> support for it's particular chipset hadn't been implemented -- NFS
> booting was the only option.  Then I found out about NetBSD...

Quadra SCSI has been working under Linux since September 1998.  
This I know, because I was the prick on that mailing list with a Q605 
who kept pestering the developers with boot debug info. =)

> FWIW, there is one thing that I found during this course of events. 
> Our mailing list was a lot more supportive thatn theirs at the time. 
> (Disclaimer: I really haven't monitored theirs since then).

Although I haven't thought about NetBSD since last summer, I'm still
on both lists.  The situation has reversed lately; mailing list chatter
and development efforts have both picked up enormously, whereas this
list seems to have quieted down a fair bit.

The online documentation is sorely lacking, I'll grant that.  But the
website is moving to CVS (development already has largely), which should
allow for greater participation and more frequent updates.  If you haven't 
looked recently (or ever)...

Archives to the mailing list are now available (under "Resources") for
those not interested in actually subscribing to the list.

Various items of interest that are now (or close to) working...
* correct color support (both console and standard FBDev X server)
  for most internal video (up to 8-bit, reportedly 16-bit in one case);
* floating-point emulation for machines lacking an FPU;
* several varieties of ethernet hardware from Apple, Daynaport,
  Asante, Farallon, and Cabletron;

Having said this, the linux effort is _very_ grateful to the NetBSD
effort, which has cleared up many a confusing point as to how the
hardware works on these old jalopies.  It's nice to see that the spirit
of copperation isn't dead. =)

PS... if any headway has been made in NetBSD being able to co-exist with 
Linux on the same machine (kept grabbing the wrong root partition when 
last I tried; boot variable available to explicitly specify it?), I still 
have partitions on my drive formatted for that purpose.