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Notes to -current Developers About BBB Booting Issues

My adventures trying to get netbsd running on the Beaglebone Black have reached another level. There seem to be two basic things preventing 7.1 from being installed on the BBB.

1) The u-boot version of netbsd-INSTALL kernel for the BBB isn’t included in the distribution. The plain elf version *is*, so once you understand what’s going on all you have to do is use the Linux mkimage command or the NetBSD mkbootimage to add a u-boot header identical to the one on the netbsd.ub kernel file.

REQUEST: Since the install kernel and install kernel with the u-boot header are already built by build.sh, can we just add the u-boot install kernel to the distribution manifest, please?

2) The watchdog timer is enabled when you boot the netbsd kernel. (I have a rev C BeagleBone; apparently this wasn’t the case with the u-boot on older versions.) I found instructions for how to disable it here <https://github.com/mihaiolteanu/xinu-beaglebone-howto>.

REQUEST: The kernel should disable the watchdog timer once it’s up and running (at least if it’s got a valid root filesystem). Alternatively it should support the timer and reset it periodically, but that’s probably not useful most of the time since a crash may not kill the reset process.

Once I actually get netbsd installed on on-board mmc, I’ll work on the boot commands to make it happen automatically. I don’t think an SD card should be needed like on a PI, but I can’t realistically see not having a USB-to-serial adapter to get console access yet.

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