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installing NetBSD/macppc from/onto USB key

I'd like to share my experience installing NetBSD 5.0/macppc from and onto a USB key:

I've booted an iMac G3 350 MHz (slot-loading CDROM) with the MacOS 9 boot CD, then plugged in a USB key and installed MacOS 9 onto it, formatting it as an HFS disk and installing the Apple disk driver to it (don't know whether that's necessary).
Afterwards the iMac could boot MacOS 9 from that USB key.
I was curious whether it would also boot NetBSD. So I plugged the USB key into a running MacOS X installation (probably any OS that can write HFS would do) and directly downloaded the ofwboot.xcf and netbsd-INSTALL_MD.gz files to it. Now I could boot the iMac from the USB key using the following OF command:

boot /pci@f2000000/usb@18/@1:,\ofwboot.xcf netbsd-INSTALL.gz

Depending on which USB port is used, it could also be @19.
I got into the usual NetBSD installer, everything seemed to work fine.

I could take out the boot USB stick and put in another one instead.

Now, when it came to partitioning the hard disk (i.e. the USB stick), the install app terminated with the following error message:

Screen too narrow

(74 + 5 > 66) for menu "untitled"

It seems like NetBSD on the iMac provides only a 66 character console and the partitioning tool does not like it.
Looks like this is bug #35202 still open and alive?

Is there anything I can do about that?

I tried the same on an iBook G3 700 MHz. This time the screen seemed to be wide enough. I chose to install to sd0, i.e. the USB key I had inserted after booting the NetBSD install. When I choose "Set sizes of NetBSD partitions" I get into a partitioning tool, but I don't see a way to exit it. So I had to quit the install using ^c.

I managed to proceed selecting "use existing partitions" and then manually adding/tweaking the USB key's partitions. NetBSD installed fine via ftp using the gem0 interface. (BTW, why is there no DHCP support???)

Now I finished installing, but how do I boot from the USB key??? OF does not seem to recognise the FFS file system on the USB key.

Georg Schwarz    http://home.pages.de/~schwarz/
georg.schwarz%freenet.de@localhost  +49 151 11559652

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