Subject: Re: Two NetBSDs on one (i386) drive
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Rick Byers <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 12/19/2001 10:25:28
> I'd like to be able to have two distinct NetBSD setups on one i386
> drive.
> At the minute it isn't possible (well, not cleanly) because both /boot
> and the kernel find the root by searching the partition table for a
> NetBSD partition, and assuming that the first they find is it.
> [...]

If we recognize more than one NetBSD partition on a disk, that means
more than one disklabel.  Wouldn't that cause a bunch of problems?  For
example, how do I write the second disklabel when I've booted from the
first partition?  I would find it confusing because now there are two
different NetBSD views of the disk (i.e. the meaning of "wd0a" depends on
which partition you booted from - what if you boot from a floppy?)

Wouldn't it be better to just have one NetBSD partition and create
seperate disklabel slices for the two systems?  From the bootloader you
can specify which slice you want to boot into, and it should just work
without any code changes.

The only disadvantage I see is that an entire partition can't just be
dumped from one disk to another to transfer ONE of the systems.  However,
when moving NetBSD from one disk to another isn't it best to (at the
least) create a new disklabel for the new disk anyway (since the disk
could have different characteristics)?

If there is some problem with that solution, I think we should address it
instead of trying to work around it by using mutliple partitions.
Multiple NetBSD installations on one disk is something that should be
possible on any platform, and so shouldn't need a platform specific

Just my $0.03 ($CAD),