Subject: Re: New to NetBSD/Vax, trying to bring up a MVII
To: None <>
From: Kees Stravers <>
List: port-vax
Date: 08/14/2007 11:38:56
Mr Ian Primus wrote:
> While we're on the subject of booting, I came across
> this in the INSTALL.txt file in the NetBSD-3.1:
> Creating boot floppies
>      Fetch the bootable bootfs image from
> .../NetBSD-3.1/vax/installation/bootfs/boot.fs
>      and gunzip it.  It is a 1.2MB bootable image that
> will boot from any
>      floppy of size 1.2MB and bigger.
> This doesn't work. For one, gunzip won't gunzip it,
> and also - boot.fs is a 2400 kilobyte file, and I
> don't see how that could decompress into a 1200
> kilobyte file. (unless it's a really, really bad
> compression scheme).
> Am I missing something?
> -Ian

In my experience, boot.fs nowadays is not compressed and meant to be 
written to a CDROM (as if it were an ISO file) to boot VAXstations from. 
You then install by getting the rest of the needed files via FTP. If you 
write it to a tape it won't work because there are drivers missing.

The last time I installed a MicroVAX II from tape was with NetBSD 1.4.3. 

If you gunzip and write that to a TK50 tape, the VAX will boot it 

My very first MicroVAX II did not have a tape drive. This was way back 
at NetBSD/VAX 1.0. I also did not have another unix machine to create 
floppy images with. Then someone from the mailing list (alas I forgot 
who it was) created the floppies and made Teledisk images of them, so 
you could use a DOS PC with a 80 track drive to write them out to real 
disks. This is what I installed my first MicroVAX with. The images are 
still on my old site:

In case you are able to get a RQDX disk controller and an RX50 floppy 
drive you can try those to get the vax to boot.

Good luck with your experiments!

Kees Stravers