Subject: Re: setting up a HP 425
To: Marc Boschma <>
From: Jason Thorpe <>
List: port-hp300
Date: 07/04/1995 11:36:49
On Tue, 4 Jul 1995 13:13:11 +1000 
 Marc Boschma <> wrote:

 > I have recently obtained a HP 425 beastie and after reading the Netbsd 1.0
 > installation notes I've begun to wonder if the installation process could be
 > done from a PC based Netbsd box.

I don't see why not.  I've heard of people building NetBSD boot disks 
for the hp300 under Linux, NeXTSTEP, and Domain/OS.  The only thing you 
really need is access to the character device that corresponds to the 
`whole disk'.  I've not tried it in _several_ months, but I'm relatively 
certain that the MI SCSI code used by most ports (including the i386) 
allows writing the the `whole disk' partition when a disklabel is not 

 > Is there anything really special about the makedisk app ?(I'll admit I
 > haven't gotten round to reading the source for it yet).

It really amounts to nothing more than parts of the disklabel(8) program 
along with enough goo there to write the disklabel, bootblock, and root 

 > Disklabel the disk.
 > dd the boot block and root file system onto the disk.

This is essentially what `makedisk' does ... Note, however, that the 
i386 disklabels and the hp300 disklabels are not stored in the same 
format on disk.  You will therefore have to write an hp300 disklabel in 
the correct format (and byte-order) to the disk directly.  `makedisk' 
takes care of this for you.  Again, I've not tried this myself, but have 
heard reports of others doing this sucessfully on little-endian 
platforms.  You may have to pass the appropriate flags to `dd' (makedisk 
uses it) to swap the bytes on the way out to disk.

 > newfs the other file systems
 > copy over source etc that I want.

Actually, you're going to have to do this under NetBSD/hp300.  FFS 
doesn't understand byte-swapping.

 > Move the disk into the 425 and boot ?

If you need more help, feel free to communicate with me directly.  I've 
gone though the bootstrapping process bunches of times (albeit, always 
with another hp300, since there was no shortage of them at my old job).

Jason R. Thorpe                             
NASA Ames Research Center                               Home: 408.866.1912
NAS: M/S 258-6                                          Work: 415.604.0935
Moffett Field, CA 94035                                Pager: 415.428.6939