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sysinst and 4.0 on i386
Just some notes, questions and suggestions from installing 4.0 today.
(Some of these are old notes from November for some older version.)
Please share your feedback. I have some suggestions below too -- if you
agree, let me know and I will commit some fixes.
1) Maybe get rid of menu display for full or custom install (since a
novice doesn't know what that implies without seeing it). Just got to the
custom and show defaults. And add some documentation or notes there to
make suggestions for minimum or full. Or have a toggle there to do minimal
2) Doesn't tell you what the kernel choices even mean -- what are they
for? Maybe that doesn't matter for NetBSD 5 (like amd64 only has GENERIC
and i386 no longer has GENERIC_LAPTOP).
3) The fullpart message of "Allow at least 5GB if you want to build NetBSD
itself" could be confusing to novice or out of context. sysinst has
nothing to do with building NetBSD, but a novice may think they need "at
least 5GB" to complete install of NetBSD. Maybe reword to:
For example, allow at least 5GB if you want to later build NetBSD
from source code.
(Maybe move "later" in different place in that sentence?)
4) Active not explained in MBR editor. I changed from default No to Yes.
5) Install in MBR editor was No. I changed to Yes. Shouldn't that be done
for me? Or will it complain?
6) In the MSG_Choose_your_installation, it has "Use existing partition
sizes" as a choice. This is confusing on "new" install (i.e. I didn't have
any existing partition).
7) In the bsddisklabel (Set sizes of NetBSD partitions?) menu, it doesn't
use letters for choices like many other menus use. So unclear from looking
that you have to scroll down to accept partition sizes.
8) distmedium message says "For ftp or nfs, you must be connected to a
network..." -- maybe should say "For FTP, HTTP, or NFS, you must be
connected to a network...". (Currently missing "http".)
9) In the getboottype message, it says "Would you like to install the
normal set of bootblocks or serial bootblocks?" I am unclear on what the
term "set of" means? Maybe simplify to: "Would you like to install the
normal bootblocks or serial bootblocks?" (Does it need "set of"?)
10) If choose FTP, can't easily get back to menu to choose CD instead. (At
least I didn't see it after going through several menus -- finally just
pressed CTRL-C and ran sysinst again.)
11) Installation repeatedly failed for me with "no space on device" but
that error disappeared quickly with many new errors "tar: cannot create
... (no such file or directory).
So CTRL-Z and df showed me I only had 22 MB. Even though disklabel editor
showed 14000 MB -- I tried several times restarting sysinst and this kept
I don't know why or how it happened. Later I saw there are two different
disk label editors and they had different values.
Set sizes of NetBSD partitions: has the menu with: "You can now change the
sizes for the system partitions." And has the filesystem mount points.
Or Use existing partition sizes: this has the bsdlabel letters.
In my case, they had different information.
I used "Use existing partition sizes" every time which still gave me an
editor to set the sizes.
Finally when I used "Set sizes of NetBSD partitions" it had different
sizes. Once I went through the first one and fixed the sizes there, it
would newfs a bigger disk and my installation completed.
Why two different disklabel editors?
And why aren't they synchronized?
12) Once the installation/upgrade "is now complete" -- when go to next
screen after that there is no indication that it is complete any more and
you can begin the installation again. Maybe allow rebooting from there?
Or maybe keep track if already installed and mention that on the main
13) upgrcomplete and unpackcomplete (I don't know unpackcomplete) both
suggest changing rc_configured=NO to rc_configured=YES. But I don't see
any sysinst code that set that to NO.
Jeremy C. Reed
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