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Re: Paring down NetBSD

On 11/07/2012, at 12:46 AM, Andy Ball wrote:
>    Do you pare down your router/firewall installations?
> What are you able to omit Vs. an ordinary NetBSD server
> installation?

I don't know about Dave, but I usually just throw base.tgz and etc.tgz on 
embedded boxes. Modern storage has outgrown base.tgz so much that it normally 
isn't worth the mental effort of stripping a system down any further.

>  DPM> I use sparc64 (Netra X1s mostly...tiny, cheap, low
>> power) for that stuff.
>    I understand those are quite energy-efficient.

That is almost certainly not true. Power requirements for any given unit work 
of are dropping all the time, so it isn't hard to get new hardware that will be 
much more efficient than old hardware. By efficient, I mean CPU throughput per 
watt, although power supply efficiency is also improving. Last year I finally 
bit the bullet and replaced a small bunch of sparc64 and i386 boxes with a 
single Xen server. Everything runs faster, my electricity bill went down and 
that room is no longer the warmest room in the house. If it will do the job, 
just buy an Intel Atom.

> I need to learn how to net-boot it though and how to tailor
> a NetBSD image for a diskless environment (for this and
> other embedded applications).

I have a system for building images to do that at It does have a 
couple of flaws: 1) it can use syspkgs, but syspkgs isn't structured in a way 
that is very useful, 2) the configuration file format is at best OK. Now that 
I'm self-employed, I'll be putting some time onto working on that software some 


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