Subject: Re: Testing for devices in kernel startup
To: Christopher R. Bowman <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 11/02/1996 10:17:46
> Not bad, but I think that we ought to write a small faq about installing
> and some frequent errors, and tips, and instructions, and add a help menu
> to the installer and the booter that would display these FAQs and TIP, I
> think this would stop 80% - 95% of the questions that get asked on these
> list about installing, We could also include the address of the lists, the
> URLs of the web pages, and tell them what sort of information to include
> when asking questions.  If I knew anything about mach programing, I would
> do this myslef.

The thing is that we currently HAVE FAQ's which tell you to build devices.
And they get ignored.

>From my experience, when I set up my SE/30 for NetBSD, I forgot to build
devices. The problem was that I was porting to a new (to me) machine, and
that the kernel's death was such that it was unintuitive what was wrong.
I couldn't tell if something was wrong with the hardware or the salvaged
disk drives.  Also, I _though_ I had made devices. So after about the
second evening fussing with it, I noticed /dev was empty. When I filled
it, all was well.

I think a http'd instalation guide mighty be a VERY good thing, though.
And having tips & hints show up during installation would not be bad either. 
I just think it'd be easy to check out /dev/console (or some other standard
device) and report any errors. Also, if your system used to work fine but
you start getting these boot errors, you know you have a problem. :-)
Granted I'm only suggesting looking at one device out of /dev, but you might
just get "lucky."

I gather there's already a send-pr on it. I'll check it out.

Take care,