Subject: Re: etc/Makefile: snapshots in release(7) format
To: Curt Sampson <>
From: Simon Burge <>
List: tech-toolchain
Date: 02/08/1999 14:33:45
On Sun, 7 Feb 1999 17:39:21 -0800 (PST)  Curt Sampson wrote:

> I'm not really sure I'm understanding the problem you're talking
> about here. (In fact, I'm sure I don't understand it.)

Welcome to the pmax :-)  Rememebering that we use an ELF toolchain, this
is roughly how it works:

 + To boot from a disk with NetBSD bootblocks, you need an a.out kernel.

 + To boot from a disk with Ultrix bootblocks, you need an ecoff kernel.

 + To netboot, you need to tftp load an ecoff kernel, but have an a.out
   kernel in the NFS root to read symbols from (I think - this was my
   first question above).

There are plans afoot to write a 2 stage boot system.  Michael Hitch has
almost had the disk 2 stage boot working a while ago, and I'm beating up
on that now.  The plan for this is that the second stage can read a.out,
ecoff and ELF kernels (ELF being preferred).

Hopefully a 2 stange network boot loader will follow that, because not
all pmaxs can load the standard ecoff netboot kernel because it's too
large.  The plan for this is for the second stance to NFS mount the root
fs and pull the kernel in from there.

Pmax's can also boot from tape drives too, but I haven't even thought of
that yet (and I don't _think_ we support it at the moment).

At the moment, each release ships with three kernels (although this
will probably change now the pmax has ramdisk support):

 + netbsd           - a GENERIC a.out kernel for booting of disk and
                      loading symbols.
 + netbsd.ecoff     - an ecoff version of above for netbooting.
 + nfsnetbsd.ecoff  - a stripped down INSTALL kernel for netbooting
                      with buggy PROMs that can't tftp a normal sized

Confused enough now?  :-)