Subject: Re: help
To: Jonathan R. Langdale <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: port-pmax
Date: 05/27/1997 14:11:41
On Sun, 25 May 1997, Jonathan R. Langdale wrote:

> I have two Personal DECstation 5000/33's with Ultrix.  I think they work ok
> but don't seem to boot so I have to use control-c to get at a prompt.  One
> of the machines has a floppy.  I would like to install NETBSD but I can't
> figure it out so I need some HELP! please!  What is the best way to install
> NETBSD in my situation?

Steven McDonald <> replied:

>Try reading the Installation guide from the website and 
>the INSTALL file in the distribution (from the ftp site). Sorry, I don't 
>have the exact url's off hand, but you shouldn't have any trouble finding 

Hmm. the Installation guide is complete and correct as far as it goes.
But it does assume you have machines to help with the installation.

I think the simplest procedure is to get hold of the `diskimage.gz',
and uncompress it and dd it onto the beginning of a SCSI disk ('d'
partition under NetBSD/i386, 'c' partition under Ultrix or any other
flavour of Unix.)  That gets you an 32 Mbyte root partition containing
everything that'd be in the root partition of a bare installation.

That contains enough to NFS-mount a filesystem containing the *.tar.gz
sets and unpack them over the existing miniroot by hand.  Do you need
helpw ith that?  (Or you could put them on another Ultrix disk and 
mout that read-only from the NetBSD machine).

Note that installing diskimage.gz trashes the space where Ultrix keeps
its partition table, so the entire disk is effectively wiped at that

The standard NetBSD install scripts and miniroot are much nicer than
in 1.1 or 1.2, but I haven't put all the scripts together for the pmax
distribution yet. If someone wanted to take that on it'd be a *very*
helpful project (hint, hint ;)).

I don't wish to get into an OpenBSD vs NetBSD flamewar. But I do think
that NetBSD/pmax has better kernel support and much more skill and
response at fixing pmax-specific kernel bugs than OpenBSD.  Right now
OpenBSD/pmax certainly couldn't be harder to install than NetBSD/pmax;
it's hard to imagine what could be.

(well, okay, maybe a CSRG vax distribution without console media and
without hex load code for your load media. [:)