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NetBSD Installation and Upgrading Have trouble getting NetBSD on your toaster?

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Old 2nd May 2008
standardFoo standardFoo is offline
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Default post-install green text w/o shell

Hello, I just tried to switch to NetBSD from Linux with the belief that this OS is much more heavily documented and more "correct" in some ways.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any reference to the part where the user reboots immediately after an install, the text turns green, and w/o a user name or password required a 'db>' prompt shows. I can't enter any commands beyond sh as far as I can tell. And sh does nothing it would seem. I'm really lost; any help?

So far I haven't read of another person with this problem. PCBSD works when I installed on this computer. I'm trying to install NetBSD 4.0 on an old Sony notebook. I have basic familiarity with Linux but I have only used FreeBSD for about a month a year ago.
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Old 2nd May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standardFoo
I just tried to switch to NetBSD from Linux with the belief that this OS is much more heavily documented and more "correct" in some ways.
FWIW, I'm also new to NetBSD (and, coincidentally enough, also installed it on an old laptop). It definitely seems to be thoroughly documented and "clean" (or correct, as you put it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by standardFoo
I haven't been able to find any reference to the part where the user reboots immediately after an install, the text turns green, and w/o a user name or password required a 'db>' prompt shows. I can't enter any commands beyond sh as far as I can tell. And sh does nothing it would seem. I'm really lost; any help?
To make sure I'm following here: post-install, you boot the machine (normally), but then instead of getting to a login prompt, you get a 'db>' prompt? If that's all correct, do you see any error message at all?
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Old 2nd May 2008
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P.S. I realize the list (port-mips) may at first seem entirely out of context WRT your question, but have a look at this thread:
Quote:
> "db>" is the kernel debugger prompt - something went wrong.
> Can you please post the complete boot messeges up to this point and also
> do a "bt" command at the db prompt?
Sounds like you have earned the dubious honor of entering the kernel debugger.
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Old 2nd May 2008
standardFoo standardFoo is offline
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I swear I could mess up an Ubuntu install!

Now at least I know what the prompt really is. I have a feeling that I must have sliced up my disk wrong.

Thanks for the links. I don't yet understand fully what the 'bt' command and such are doing, but I'm gonna guess the goal is to point to the root file system.

Sounds like a lot of excitement for tomorrow.

Thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 2nd May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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anomie's diagnosis is correct; your installation is dropping into the kernel's debugger. Green text on a black background is simply the output of dmesg(8) done when the kernel is loading & determining what drivers to load. Without knowing more, these errors may be due to two separate issues:
  • The kernel is somehow being corrupted when being loaded or executing in memory. To test this assumption, check the memory. Memtest86 is freely available:

    http://www.memtest86.com/
  • Likewise as you postulated in passing, there may be a problem in the disk partitioning. I would suggest studying Section II of The NetBSD Guide:

    http://netbsd.org/docs/guide/en/
If this helps, great. Even if it doesn't, you will have reduced the number of possible causes & have a better idea as to what is & isn't working on your system.

Last edited by ocicat; 2nd May 2008 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 2nd May 2008
standardFoo standardFoo is offline
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Solved! Besides the disk problem I forgot to use the laptop kernel.
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