Subject: Re: Floppy booting NETBSD 1.4 on VS3100
To: William Gnadt <>
From: Brian D Chase <>
List: port-vax
Date: 06/17/1999 14:54:58
On Thu, 17 Jun 1999, William Gnadt wrote:

> I'd like to strengthen the above statement by adding that it is not even
> possible to *boot* NetBSD/vax 1.4 from floppy on any VS3100 (or VS4000?)
> using the miniroot.fs and directions supplied with the distribution.
> At least part of the reason is that the bootloader cannot find the
> correct kernel file. It tries several "standard" files during
> autoboot, and then dies. [I detailed all of the messages in a previous
> post.]

I don't know how the ROM routines for booting are setup, but I would
imagine the following as a possible solution if the ROM routines allow for

Would it be possible using the VS3100 ROM routines to load the raw image
of a bootable filesystem into RAM, and then boot from this RAM disk image?
I mean, perhaps you'd have to create a bootloader capable of doing the raw
image read, but that should be simpler than doing a full scale SCSI driver
and handling a filesystem on the floppy directly.

It might be something like:

  [1] The VS3100 ROM grabs and executes a bootloader from floppy.
  [2] The bootloader reads the raw disk image in from floppy into RAM.
  [3] Upon completion of the read, the bootloader accesses this in core
      filesystem image and boots to the kernel located within this RAM

It's possible that with a little additional work from here you could do an
NFS mount of your client filesystems.  I would simplify the diskless
process in that you wouldn't neccessarily need a full bootserver setup --
maybe just an NFS server.

Brian "JARAI" Chase | | VAXZilla LIVES!!!