Subject: Re: Small questions.
To: None <port-sun3@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Paul Boven <>
List: port-sun3
Date: 09/06/1995 00:14:59
Hi all

> > I've brought one of my Sun3s to work, so I can net-boot it, but I
> > haven't brought my monitor, keyboard or mouse. (In fact, all of
Some people like a challenge :)
> > these are sitting quite a long way away at the moment <Sigh>).  Does
> > NetBSD use a serial console on port A in the same way that SunOS
> > will, so I can actually boot it up and get all the networking bits
> > working so I can use it properly...
> NetBSD selects the use of the serial console or the "real" console
> from the value in the eeprom.
Next to the ethernet-connector there is a switch, called norm/diag. Put it
in the diag mode, and connect a 9k6-terminal to ttya. All auto-diagnostics
will then be routed to the ttya-port, and you can boot it. Now do something
like a "b le0() -s", where le0 means ethernet-booting, and the -s
means single-user boot. When you have booted -s, you can change /etc/ttys so
the baudrates etc. work for your terminal. Set ttya to on, and secure, so
you can log in as root on it when going multi-user. The "on" entry means a
getty will be spawned by init. When you're finished in single-user more you
can log out with ^D, and then it will continue to go multi-user. Oh, don't
forget to edit your fstab so things will get mounted properly, and don't
forget to re-mount your root as r/w, so you can acctualy edit the /etc
Before booting, you could also enter q to drop in the eeprom editor, to
change the console-device to ttya. This way you can make ttya the
default console. Read the FAQ carefully for this, as it might mess up your
system. Making ttya your default console has the advantage that all
startup-messages from the kernel also go to the ttya. Otherwise, you won't
hear from the kernel after it's loaded. You'll know things worked out when you
get a login prompt, but that's working in the blind. Later on, you can also
change the eeprom to know where to boot from (SCSI/ethernet/tape) so it will
boot automagicly on power on once you set the norm/diag switch back to norm.

> > (BTW, does a break signal from the terminal still halt the machine
> > under NetBSD?  I'd imagine that is in hardware, but it might be
> > possible to trap?)

A break from ttya will halt the kernel, if ttya is the default-console.
You will indeed drop into debug , if this accidently happens just type "c"
to continue. Disconnecting the terminal will be regarded as a break!
> > Also, is it possible to use Linux to netboot them?  We do have some
> > Suns, but they're in another building so using them to netboot would
> > mean a very slow 64k link between sites....
Before I got a SCSI, I used to NetBoot from an AT, running dos, with a
program that did RARP, TFTP, ARP, BootParam (and thus a portmapper), Mountd
and even NFS. This programm was written by a friend of mine (with some work
done by me as well). Just read the RFC's and hack... This was all before
someone ported Bootparam (wich is diffrent from BootP) to Linux, someone
else might help you with that. It has been done. Make sure your Linux will
rarp your Sun, and find someone with Bootparamd for Linux. You also need to
do something to your tftp, because I recall the Linux tftp normally won't
send the bootfile when it gets it's request the way the Sun sends it.

On the, and it's mirrors, in the mailing-lists/port-sun3
directory of the NetBSD-tree, you can find an archive of this mailing list
and I think the rest of your questions will be awnsered there.

> > Alternatively, I could use one of the remote Suns to act as rarp and 
> > bootparam server, and then get my Sun to mount its file systems from 
> > somewhere local by providing a modified bootparam file.... ?
> You could do this pretty easily.  The only time you'd need to use the
> slow link is for booting, which isn't too often.  The Sun3 on my desk
> has been up for over three weeks, which is when I brought it from 
> home to work.

I don't know wether you realy can have the bootparamd point to another
machine than itself when mounting root, dump and swap: That means you might
have to get your kernel etc. from the Suns as well, and when things get
going you could just mount another root. But this means a lot more traffic.
But I still use the SunOS bootfile, and used SunOS Netboot back then, so I
don't know how these things are with the NetBSD-bootfiles.

Good luck with it, and have fun!