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Re: Starting with port-pmax on DECstation 5000/133

I'm a new user to NetBSD and, in addition to using i386 machines, I
have nearby in my workplace a forgotten and sad DECstation 5000/133
machine. I just turned it on, after a few years in the darkness, and
the Ultrix login prompt comes up (asking for a new OS :)).


If you care about what's on the machine now you can interrupt the PROM before the kernel loads, boot it into single user, and wipe the root password. Otherwise you can just have NetBSD wipe the disk, or neboot.

always fun to explore an old machine like this! it's time travel, you never know what interesting things are lurking in the corners of tmp directories and spool files and whatever other dusty corners of a box that's been sitting idle for a decade!

you can boot into ultrix single user either by hitting ^c during the early
phase of the boot-up (it's slow enough that you can catch it easily), while rc is just starting up, or more cleanly with a flag to the kernel
of -s.. but there are a couple different pmax firmwares around and they
have different ways of setting this. i think on the 5k133 it is rather
straightforward.. it was more confusing on the 2100/3100. but someone else with a better memory might be better to answer it.

Is there still good support to this port on NetBSD?

Interest in these machines isn't nearly as high as it was a few years ago but they still work. I built -current a few months back, netbooted it on a /260 and compiled some things from pkgsrc, and everything seemed fine.

'they still work' is an understatement. These things will still be running when _electricity_ goes obsolete! not much traffic on this list or in the
community anymore, but there are a few of us still lurking in the corners.
I suppose one reason there's not much traffic is that the stuff Just Works
and we don't need to monkey with it.. not a whole lot of hardware that
hasn't been supported for many years, and i know a lot of people just
keep rather old versions of netbsd running on their pmax'en (i still have 1.6 running on mine).. but this list you will find still a lot of people
who will happily help a newcomer get sorted out and up and running!

good luck with your decstation!

happy hacking,

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