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Re: install files on mac UFS partition (mac mini G4)
Thanks all for your help and replies.
I have been using the comments here and this blog (link provided by
somebody on the matrix room).
Some follow-up (and more questions).
First, the current situation is this:
- I managed to format the first partition in HFS format and put
ofwboot.elf and ofwboot.xcf on it
- I managed to format the 2nd partition in FFS format and install netbsd
9.2 on it.
I can then boot into open firmware. Normally, I should do this:
setenv boot-device hd:2,ofwboot.elf
setenv boot-file hd:3,/netbsd
And then do "boot".
This loads of openfirmware bootloader ok, but then gives an error:
"open hd:3,/netbsd: No such file or directory"
But that file (I guess that is the kernel) DOES is present on the 3th
partition of the disk.
I also tried 'hd:4' (and some other numbers) but that did not make any
Any idea what is the issue here?
Apple Openfirmware 3
NetBSD/macppc OpenFirmware Boot, Revision 1.13
3: Apple_UNIX_SVR2 root /
4: Apple_UNIX_SVR2 swap (swap)
This has in any case been a good way to learn some more stuff.
I have been reading the "NetBSD/macppc partitioning howto" document, but
I still have some question.
I have some questions to help me understand this:
- I first started out with 'pdisk /dev/rwd0', while the blogs indicated
That "c" seems to be the name that indicates the complete disk?
But I did notice that /dev/rwd0 and /dev/rwd0c have the same 'MINOR' and
'MAJOR',so I guess both do point to the same device.
- Normally, in linux, partitioning a harddisk goes like this:
-> you use (e.g.) fdisk to make a partition, indicate the correct 'type'
-> you do 'mkfs....' to format the partition with the correct
- you then mount the partition at a certain location in the
filesystem-tree (or use fstab to do that automatically).
However, if you indicate a partition as FFS, you can also indicate a
So what is the relation between what you enter pdisk and the
mount-points you have in fstab?
- In pdisk, I you can also enter a partition name, but I guess that is
just informational. Correct?
- what exactly is the relation between the 'pdisk' partition (1 to 4)
and the partitions you get with 'disklabel' (a, b and d in my case)?
When do you use which one?
am I correct to assume that '/dev/rwd0...' indicates the
pdisk' partition, and '/dev/wd0' the disklabel?
Or is this wrong?
- What partition numbering-scheme does open-firmware use? And which one
does ofwboot use?
My FFS root-partition is partition 3 in the 'pdisk' partition table and
So to what 'hd:x,...' does this translate in openfirmware?
- I guess that 'ofwboot' is the boot-loader, which is then handed
'hd:3,/netbsd' as parameter to load the netbsd kernel.
So this is the only file that needs to be in the UFS 'hd:2,' partition?
Or am I wrong?
- what is the difference between 'ofwboot.elf' and 'ofwboot.xcf' anyway?
(except that the latter is a lot larger).
Some blogs indicate that the '.xcf' version is buggy and that you must
use the 'elf' version, while other do use the '.xcf' in the final
I know this is a lot of question. :-)
As said, this has been a great way to learn how the mac-mini,
openfirmware and the netbsd boot-process works, so I am curious to learn
more about this.
On 01.11.21 17:21, kristoff wrote:
I am trying to install netbsd 9.2 (or 9.0) on a mac mini G4.
The box has been running macOSX years ago, then linux (debian) and also
FreeBSD, so I do not have access to the mac software.
I would like to try netbsd to see if I get better software support.
The problem I have, if I see it correctly, is the apple openfirmware 3
needs a HFS partition and -for some reason- the netbsd installer does
not seems to create that.
In the end, I got the FreeBSD installer to create me a HFS partition,
and I have netbsd installed on the 2nd partition.
(in openfirmware, I can do 'dir hd:,\' and see the files)
However, the problem now is that the files on the HFS partition are -of
course- the FreeBSD tools (inside hd:,\ppc\...) and no the netbsd files
So what would be the best way to correct this,
I was hoping that booting into the shell with the netbsd install ISO CD
would allow me to do that, but I do not find the tools to access the HFS
partition. (hformat, hcopy, ...)
Is there some sort of 'rescue-disk' I can boot from that allows to do
file-operations on the HFS partition? I guess I also need wget or curl
to download ofwboot.xcf from some server and it not on the CD image.
-+While reading the archive of this mailing-list, I found some reference
to using a MSDOS partition instead of a HFS partition.
What would be the best way to reformat the HFS partition into a MSDOS
partition and copy ofwboot.xvf on it?
Any help appreciated.
Cheerio! Kr. Bonne.
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