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Old 18th February 2016
spermwhale_warrior spermwhale_warrior is offline
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Question can't create a bootable Nbsd USB key, from linux, unetbootin or dd alike

Hello.
Though I think I may have been able to do it in the past, all my attempts fail now : I try to create a bootable usb key, which would contain the installer, AND on which I would install the system itself.
I try with unetbootin(I am in debian 9 now), while booting the unetbootin menu appears, but can't find any image to boot on.
And with 'dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdc'(see, I took the whole disk, not the partition sdc1, maybe I was wrong ?), it isn't recognized at all by neither of my two computer.
We can find a way to create it, or to run the installer on a virtual box(never done that, or for a Windows more than 1 year ago), and install it on the key from the virtual box. I would add, that my computer CAN boot from a usb key, and I put all way to boot from it(fdd, hdd, cd, etc) one after the other before the hard disk, in the boot menu, to be sure I don't miss something.
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Old 18th February 2016
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Create a NetBSD install CD, insert your USB key, boot the NetBSD installerfrom the CD and choose the USB key as the hard drive to install on. Simple isn't it
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Old 18th February 2016
J65nko J65nko is offline
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I just downloaded NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img.gz on my OpenBSD box. After gunziping it became:
Code:
$  ls -l NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img
-rw-r--r--  1 adriaan  wheel  576716800 Feb 18 21:57 NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img
Because I suspected that this was an bootable USB image I ran file(1) on it:
Code:
$ file NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img
NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ID=0xa9, active, starthead 32, startsector 2048, 1124352 sector
So this confirmed it has a boot sector ......

Next step was to write this image to an USB stick/key (remember still using OpenBSD ):

Checking how the USB stick was detected
Code:
$ dmesg | tail
umass0 at uhub0 port 5 configuration 1 interface 0 "Innostor PenDrive" rev 2.10/0.01 addr 2
umass0: using SCSI over Bulk-Only
scsibus3 at umass0: 2 targets, initiator 0
sd0 at scsibus3 targ 1 lun 0: <Innostor, Innostor, 1.00> SCSI4 0/direct removable serial.1f750917000000000205
sd0: 15073MB, 512 bytes/sector, 30870077 sectors
Being detected as an OpenBSD sd0 device I wrote the NetBSD image:

Code:
$ sudo dd if=NetBSD-7.0-amd64-install.img of=/dev/rsd0c bs=1m
I can confirm this is an NetBSD install image, it booted successfully into the NetBSD installer......
Conclusion: NetBSD provides an install image, that you write to an USB key/stick
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Old 18th February 2016
J65nko J65nko is offline
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This is the first part of the NetBSD install booted from the USB stick, that I captured with a serial console:
Code:
Welcome to the NetBSD/amd64 7.0 installation image
===============================================================================

ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) should work on all modern
and legacy hardware.  However if you do encounter a problem while booting,
try disabling it and report a bug at http://www.NetBSD.org/.

     1. Install NetBSD
     2. Install NetBSD (no ACPI)
     3. Install NetBSD (no ACPI, no SMP)
     4. Drop to boot prompt

Choose an option; RETURN for default; SPACE to stop countdown.
Option 1 will be chosen in 06seconds..
14186104+654328+594952\[1024968+717517]=0x1163068
Unfortunately documentation of NetBSD serial console configuration is hard to find.
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Old 23rd February 2016
spermwhale_warrior spermwhale_warrior is offline
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Thanks, I did what you said and successed going up to the last menu.
Then, whatever I chose(didn't try the third option), the last lines I see before getting to what seems to be a boot prompt, is :
Quote:
mount_ffs: /dev/sd0a on /:specified device does not match mount device
cp: /etc/gettytab: Read-only file system
init: can't add utmpx record for 'system boot': Bad file descriptor
init: can't add utmpx record for 'run level': Bad file descriptor
init: can't add utmpx record for 'console': Bad file descriptor
I didn't see other things looking like fails. After that, I got a ' login :' thing, in which I can only enter 'root', then I am not asked for a password, then the keyboard layout in english(which doesn't please me, I am French), and nothing seems to work, no "man", no "help".
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Old 23rd February 2016
shep shep is offline
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Is the last menu item you mention dealing with disk formatting/labeling? You may be trying to format the usb drive(sd0) instead of an SATA hard drive(sd1).

You can sort this out by seeing how the drives are enumerated in dmesg.
# dmesg | grep sd
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Old 24th February 2016
spermwhale_warrior spermwhale_warrior is offline
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I tried while waiting for the computer to boot properly on the installation key and show me the menu above to plug the target flash key, and it worked. I did encounter some fails, but when I didn't try to put FFV2 instead of FFV1 for the first partition, and when I let some megabytes between it and the swap partition, it went well without error notifications. I chose my password and everything, however at the end it couldn't run the umount command for some reason. So I was forced to shut it down by force.
And, it does not boot. I can't boot from the flash key ... hell knows why .
How can I, from linux : try to boot into it in a serial console, whatever it be ?
I assure that prior to to that umount issue, there were error notifications.
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Old 24th February 2016
shep shep is offline
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If your hard drive previously had a GPT boot loader this can happen. It has something to do with the GPT boot loader using the first 2 sectors. NetBSD boot loader uses 1 sector and only writes to the first sector. I've had consistent success wiping out the GPT data using gdisk as described here. gdisk is available with gparted, PartedMagic, System Rescue CD and as a separate Debian package.
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