Extremely experimental NetBSD install disks
THESE DISKS ARE LIKELY TO EAT YOUR SYSTEM. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT USING
THEM WITHOUT MAKING A BACKUP FIRST OR UNLESS YOU HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE
FAITH IN MY ABILITIES THAN I DO. THESE DISKS ARE LARGELY UNTESTED AND MAY
DO WEIRD STUFF.
Highly experimental debian GNU/NetBSD install disks are now available at
http://www.srcf.ucam.org/debian-netbsd/floppies/ . They're network install
only at present. In order to use them, simply write the images to disks,
bot off disk 1, swap disks when prompted, follow the installation
instructions and when prompted select the "Debian" option rather than the
THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE OS. THIS IS, IN FACT, BARELY USABLE. DO NOT BOTHER
INSTALLING UNLESS YOU'RE PLANNING ON DEVELOPING THIS SYSTEM.
At the moment, this won't give you a system that you can actually use to
do anything useful. On the other hand, it will give you a system that can
apt-get things, so as new packages become available it'll become
one. Please do check it out.
A couple of packages give errors during installation, which results in the
installer installing everything 5 times.
Once the installer is finished, hit a key to continue.
The boot loader doesn't seem happy at the moment. It's possible that it'll
overwrite whatever bootloader you currently have installed - make sure
you've got a recovery disk to rectify this (I haven't tested it on a
machine with an OS already installed). You'll probably then need to use
the bootloader on floppy 1 to load the OS anyway - at the prompt, hit any
key other than return and then type
boot rootpartition:netbsd -a
so if your root partition is wd0a, type
boot wd0a:netbsd -a
and then provide the root partition at the prompt that will appear after
the kernel is booted.
Debconf doesn't seem entirely happy at the moment
The init scripts don't work fully yet. This will be rectified.
Large quantities of includes are currently missing, so building anything
is likely to be a pain. Should be fixed shortly.
ifupdown segfaults. I'll look into this. ifconfig and route are fine.
There's no ssh or sshd compiled for the new setup yet.
Various bits of utmp handling are still broken. One possibility is to
integrate libutmp into libc (which is what I believe utsl has done with
the FreeBSD port), though this means that you won't be able to use a stock
BSD libc. I'm not sure whether this is a problem or not - discussion is
The dynamic linker has been moved from /usr/libexec to /lib. Keeping it in
/usr was impossible given that we don't provide staticaly linked binaries
in /, and it would have been the only file in /libexec so I thought it
might as well live in /lib. The gcc specs file has been updated to match.
I'm currently having trouble getting the gcc build process to put libgcc_s
in /lib rather than /usr/lib, which means that the libgcc package never
gets built. This is less than ideal - building everything with gcc 3 has
resulted in rather a lot linking against it. I've hand-built a binary
package for the moment.
apt works - add a line like
deb http://www.srcf.ucam.org/debian-netbsd sid-netbsd main
Patches are in http://www.srcf.ucam.org/debian-netbsd/patches - I'll tidy
these up somewhat this evening or tomorrow.
Thanks to Martin Keegan for fixing the NetBSD sysinst so it builds with
ncurses, Nathan Hawkins for providing lots of FreeBSD patches that I've
shamelessly stolen and hacked, Joel Baker for hacking on the NetBSD stuff
in all sorts of useful ways and VMWare for providing a wonderfully useful
program for testing installation (Plex86 doesn't seem to support swapping
floppies yet, sadly).
Matthew Garrett | email@example.com
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