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Installing NetBSD on an iBook G4
having played a bit with FreeBSD on my old iBook G4, I decided to try
NetBSD, which I had already used some twenty years ago on my old 68k-Macs.
I remember that back in the day there were certain peculiarities during
installation, which seem to have sent me into an infinite loop right now:
Before trying NetBSD, I had already cleaned the disk of the iBook of
anything related to OSX in favour of FreeBSD, and this seems to result
in certain problems, which I cannot figure out how to circumvent:
Unless I misunderstood it completely, INSTALLATION.more says that
OpenFirmware should be able to boot the machine from an MS-DOS
partition, but I am stuck initialising the disk properly.
I managed to create a set of partitions with fdisk, but I do not know
how to make sysinst or disklabel see them, let alone which devices to
use to initialise any kind of filesystem there.
newfs_msdos was apparently able to create a filesystem in partition 0,
which seems to get mapped to /dev/wd0a, but as far as the other
partitions are concerned, I could not get any useful results. /dev/wd0b
is inaccessible, and the harddisk as a whole seems to be mapped to
The manual for fdisk points to a program called mbrlabel, which should
be able to update disklabels from the MBR-partition-scheme, but it is
not on the install media.
Is there really not 'self contained' way to get NetBSD up and running
using the ISO alone?
P.s.: Another annoyance is that the kernel used on the installation
medium does not shut down devices properly, when issuing a "halt". As a
result, the harddisk does not park the heads properly, and instead
performs an emergency retract upon getting cut off from power, which is
needlessly hard on the (old) mechanics. Is there any way to avoid this?
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