Subject: Re: Again: Booting a Vax-Server 3100 with NetBSD-1.4
To: Anders Hogrelius SdU <>
From: Jason Thorpe <>
List: port-vax
Date: 06/19/1999 17:51:33
On Sun, 20 Jun 1999 01:42:48 +0200 (MET DST) 
 Anders Hogrelius SdU <> wrote:

 > > newfs creates and writes data in host-byteorder. VAX is little-endian,
 > > PMAX is big-endian. Thus filesystems are not interchangeable.
 > > Away from the different layout of bootblocks filesystems created on
 > > i386 and VAX would be interchangeable.

Actually, the PMAX (DECstation) is little-endian, too.  Were there ANY
big-endian DEC systems?

Of course, NetBSD's newfs allows you to create a file system of either
byte-order, and the FFS_EI kernel option allows you to mount opposite
byte-order file systems.

 > Ehm, Nope, i386 and VAX filesystems are not interchangeable. 
 > The i386 version expects the disklabel to start at block 0 on the disk,
 > where as just about every other system expect the disklabel to be located
 > at block 1. (Or was it the other way around?)
 > This means that a PC doesn't recognize a disk with a filesystem
 > made on a VAX. It applies the other way around also, the VAX doesn't
 > recognize a filesystem on a HD if it's made on a PC.

This doesn't mean the _filesystems_ aren't interchangeable.  The filesystems
themselves certainly are, but the disks aren't, currently.  Actually,
floppies and any other disks with no disklabel whatsoever are perfectly
interchangeable (providing the connector/disk protocol is supported on
the other machine).

The fact that you can't take a disk from arch foo and plop it onto
a machine from arch bar is a known bug, and will eventually be addressed
in a generic way.

        -- Jason R. Thorpe <>