Subject: Re: Problems booting new 1.3 kernel
To: port-pmax@NetBSD.ORG <port-pmax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Bill Harris <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 01/21/1998 09:33:30
Jonathan Stone wrote:

> I still don't understand what's "not working" about the current thing
> but which would be fixed by having the identical same stuff on a
> CD-rom, but that would be installed the same way as the current thing.
> If someone can help explain that, it might make things easier for *everyone*.

 My goodness, I sure hope I didn't still all this up.  This all started sometime

in late 96 when I called Jonathan at school and he helped me thru ( a bizarre at

that time) procedure of installing NetBSD 1.1 onto my single drive Ultrix box.

I believe the diskimage procedure that is now in production is quite good, and
works well.  I've used it myself to upgrade two machines from 1.2G to 1.3.
However, for me, having a bootable disk for installs on raw/non-netbsd systems
is much more convenient than any netbooting scenario, especially if the disks
new and have no os on them.  In fact, on the second one, I booted off the cdrom,

then installed the disk image into the swap of the target drive and finished the

install as described, except I had all the tarballs easily accessible.

Earlier last year when I found I could build a bootable zip disk, that had all
the utils
and install tarballs for 1.2(x) on it, life became so much easier for installing
on the stack of 240's I have up here at work.  Being able to boot single user
off the
zip disk also gave me a comfort level, should I have a drive/system failure and
a way to boot the machine up in a recovery scenario.  Not that I've ever had to
do that,
except when I built a few kernels that didn't quite work as expected.

I could build a NetBSD system from scratch in less than 45 minutes.  OSF on our
alphas takes twice that long.

I've had, as mentioned previously, a old Toshiba TXM 3301 1x cdrom drive with
old removable caddy.  It was originally used (and still needed) on SGI's of all
I found it was the only drive I could get my hands on for the longest that I
could boot
Ultrix off of and install on the 240's we have up here.  Now, having found this
new Pioneer 4x that does have the selectable block sizes, I've got two drives
that will
boot Ultrix or NetBSD, and neither are of the DEC genealogy.

This gives me what I already have for my FreeBSD based PC's, which is a CD
OS, that to some degree I can customize in anyway I wish.  Since I can boot, I
have a
recovery tool, in the event of a failure.

I actually have some radically different motives in mind for the bootable
CD-ROM, though.
At the risk of sounding ignorant, hey I've got to try, right?  I didnt' know I
could build a
bootable NetBSD cdr till last week.

My secret goal is to build a workstation that boots and runs entirely off a
customized  cd,
getting it's ip via dhcp, mounting a common nfs filesystem where it finds some
rc scripts based on it's hostname, to fire off specific applications, ie; web
servers, irc servers,
radius,  dns, etc.

Oh, boy, here it comes, what about swapping over the net, and other diskless
issues.  Well,
all these machines have at least 128 megs of ram, and since they will be
designed to run 1-2
specific applications at most, I believe that most of the diskless client
problems will be
a non-issue, since these machines aren't truly diskless, just having some
read-only file-

It probably won't work, and will be a waste of time.  But, with the fine work
done on 1.3,
I believe I have all the tools I need,  and I'll be the first to admit my
failure when it doesn't


P.S.  to those who have requested CD's, I didn't have much time over last
weekend to
build up a set to burn from.  My plan is to take Jonathan's released 1.3 source
and binaries
as well as the packages (if I get time) and set all of it up on a 500 meg drive
that I'm
currently not using, and burn an image from it.