Subject: Re: NetBSD won't boot when 'a' is not the first partition
To: <>
From: David Laight <>
List: tech-install
Date: 12/23/2004 19:24:17
On Thu, Dec 23, 2004 at 09:54:01AM +0100, Geert Hendrickx wrote:
> Hi, 
> I tried to install NetBSD with a different partitioning scheme: I
> created swap (b) first (so on the outermost part of the disk), then
> root (a), then the rest.  NetBSD installed fine, but wouldn't boot.  I
> tried with several different combinations, but it only booted when
> partition 'a' came first.  I don't know whether this is a bug or a
> "deeper" problem with the NetBSD bootloader, but shouldn't the installer
> mention this / give an error?  

The actual problem is that the root filesystem (or at least the fs
that you run installboot on) has to be at the beginning of the
mbr partition.

The mbr partition doesn't have to be at the start of the disk, and the
netbsd label can reference disk outside the netbsd mbr partition.

Also you might manage to write the boot code to the start of the swap
partition - I THINK the space is unused.  The code looks for /boot in
a filesystem at the start of the mbr partition, but if that fails it
will look in 'a'.

Although, given that the system speed will suck if it is actually
swapping, why would you want to put swap on the fastest part of a disk.

And yes, sysinst could stop you shooting youself this way...


David Laight: