Subject: Re: [Probably OT] Turbochannel framebuffer support
To: van de Werken, Matthew \(DEM, PH\) <>
From: Bucketmouth Frogstump <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 07/18/2001 12:25:16
> I've recently acquired a DEC 3000-M400 with two turbochannel framebuffers
> board. I'd like to run NetBSD on this machine. Questions:

I don't know about the "two framebuffers" bit - no idea what'll happen
there, but in theory it should all work.

>2. Anyone else run this particular machine? Caveats?

I know there are people using 3000-400 machines quite happily, but I'm not
sure how many framebuffers they have ...

> 3. Can I run X? (On the alpha page it says the turbochannel FB's are
> unsupported, but on the turbochannel page it says they are supported in a
> platform-independent sense).

X can be made to run. I'm a bit out of date on the state of the -current
sources, but I have binaries based on 1.5 available, and the patches to the
1.5 release code are minimal if you want to do it yourself - just be
prepared for a LONG compile.

> 4. What's the easiest way to install netBSD on this machine? I don't have
> access to fast internet where it's located, it doesn't have a CDROM (that
> can use), but I do have (root) access to a Linux box with scsi and any
> number of (re)movable/external scsi disks, and access to a local ethernet
> where the machine is located.

I've put up a very minimal supplement to the install documentation at:

All the binaries linked from that page are built from the 1.5 release
source. I'm waiting for the 1.5.1 release to get everything updated. If you
use the official binaries from, you will NEED a serial console.

From the sounds of what you've got, I'd think the most painless way to do it
would be to "dd" the cdhdtape image onto the 3000's hard drive from your
Linux box, boot from it and then install the system via ftp.

Netbooting is also a possibility, but I've always found it very fiddly to
get a 3000 to netboot from a Linux-based server. It's a piece of cake with
IRIX or any other BSD as the server, and I've never sat down to figure out
what's going on. You may have better luck, it's just my experience. Once I
got the first one installed, I've always used that machine as the netboot
server for the others.

Good luck - it's not too much of an ordeal, really. Give me a yell if
anything bizarre happens. :)