Subject: Bootstrapping NETBSD to a Vaxstation 3100 ("diskless")
To: None <port-pmax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Charles B Sites <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 02/04/1995 09:33:44
Hi Folks,

   I just found out about the pmax port of NETBSD and would like to 
get involved.  I have 5 VAXsation 3100s that are currently attached 
to a VMS cluster.  Most of this vax equipment is getting very little
use, which opens them up for experimenting with other software options.
Several years ago... When linux was just a kernel with no-network 
support, I was playing around with the early releases of 386BSD. 
I really enjoyed it.  It was definately a great effort.  Anyway 
I was trilled to find out that NETBSD was being ported to the pmax.

What I having trouble with is getting started.  From the documentation
I've seen so far on the pmax-port, you need ultrix to boot-strap the
port.  Unfortunately, I don't have ultrix so I'm kind of stuck there.
I was wondering if anyone out there has a mini-port that they can make
available via-ftp. For example, Linux has a boot-root disk combination
that fires up the kernel and brings up a shell.  From there it has
some simple utilities to mkfs, cp, .. and a few simple network functions
like ftp that makes loading the system a breeze.  Does anyone have 
such a combination.  The Vaxstations I have all have an internal 100Mb
scsi HD, and a 3 1/2" floppy drive.  If needed I can grab a TK50 or 
TZ30 tape drive for a boot tape if some kind soul would care to supply

    Are there other ways of bootstrapping the pmax-port.  I thought
about using GCC on a linux machine to cross-compile the arch/pmax/mini 
but I'm uncertain as to whether the floppy formats are compatable. (Are
Vax3100 floppies compatable with PC floppies?) There are some other 
issues with that like maintaining compatible libs, and whether I can 
get it into a physical format the 3100 can read.  Perhaps, a better 
way would be to load a PC with the NETBSD & the src tree and use GCC
to cross compile.  (does GCC support cross compilation. what about a.out 
and those nitty-gritty things needed run programs?)  
Anyway I would appreciate hearing other peoples Ideas and experiences 
bootstrapping the pmax NETBSD port.