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Re: NetBSD/Xen How to - suggestions

Hi John,

John Hayward wrote:
Dear Netbsd Xeners,
I am in the process of set up xen on NetBSD. I have a NetBSD-4.0 install and using xen3.
   I ran into a few issues in the process following the How to:

1) When setting up grub it mentions putting the menu.lst in /grub
   I also needed to (as mentioned in the installing with raid link at the
   bottom of the NetBSD/Xen How to):
   GRUB setup

# mkdir /grub
# cp -p /usr/pkg/lib/grub/i386-/* /grub
   It might be nice to include this step.

This is only true if you have not already done a full grub-install.

Grub in it's self could be tackled in a varieties of ways, it all depends on the users experience or the howto they happened to google :)

I'd say grub is technically outside the scope of xen, but maybe a link to a netbsd orientated grub howto would be nice. Unfortunately the xen howto probably includes just enough grub info to confuse someone new.

2) It appears that the 4.0 generic and generic-mp kernels have a
   Multiboot-enabled kernels (the default for NetBSD 4.x and above)
   the "module --type=netbsd /..." did not work for me.  I needed
   to remove the --type=netbsd on the kernel line for the items in
   the menu.lst.  It is "exciting" when you have problems booting the
   xen kernel (see item 3) then try to boot the "backup" generic
   kernel and have that fail ;-)  I found about this flag in info

The xen howto never quite keeps up with the development state of xen under netbsd due to how quickly it changes. With an older xen/netbsd install this option may still be required. Once again though, this issue is still more grub related than xen ... maybe a grub howto would be beneficial ...

3) For some reason when I booted the xen.gz file as the kernel I got a
   corrupted file error message.  I tried several times to rebuild this
   file without success on booting.  If I uncompressed it and referenced
   the uncompressed xen in the kernel line it booted without problem.
   I don't know if there is something missing that while booting cannot
   decompress the xen.gz or if there is a difference in how the
   compression is done relative to decompression on boot.

And last ... but not least (as a lot of us have run into this one ... and a lot haven't) another grub issue.

This apparently stems from grubs inability to access the filesystem correctly. Don't ask me how.

If you have a small root partition (mine is 500MB) and you copy the compressed kernel there .... it may boot.

Apparently ffs version plays a part aswell. All my installs are default and dumpfs reports ffsv2 ... that may be part of the problem. Unfortunately this needs to be addressed by a grub dev.

Seeing as you had no actual xen issues, I'd say for the most part the howto was a success. My vote would be to remove grub to a seperate howto to detail potential issues under versions of netbsd ... and xen ... or just remove any detailed instructions pertaining to it, noting that additional grub configuration is required and btw, here's a few sample menu.lsts.

Either way, the howto did it's job, and you learned something along the way ;)


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