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

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Old 12th May 2008
alpopa alpopa is offline
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Default Putting Free/Net/Open - BSDs on one HDD

Hi,

after long way using Windows, Linux, Solaris, BeOS, MacOSX and some others I decide to learn the BSD philosofy.

I always use GRUB to boot all them (yes, I have all them installed). I have no problems installing FreeBSD OR NetBSD OR OpenBSD, but when I install all them or at least 2 of them, all except the last one, doesn't boot. So I have some questions:

1. I can boot FreeBSD with GRUB as:

title FreeBSD
root (hdX,Y,a)
kernel /boot/loader

but I can't boot either NetBSD or OpenBSD:

title NetBSD
root (hdX,Y,a)
kernel --type=netbsd /netbsd

title OpenBSD
root (hdX,Y,a)
kernel --type=openbsd /bsd

Bootloader does recognize the slice and partition and can see the files on it, but says it hasn't executable format. Is it possible to boot NetBSD and OpenBSD in such a way, or have I to use:

title NetBSD
root (hdX,Y)
chainloader +1

title OpenBSD
root (hdX,Y)
chainloader +1

instead?

2. After installing the second *BSD it seems the first has missconfigured disklabel. GRUB can't find previously installed system or mount its filesystem. On the other hand it finds the filesystem via the second's slice disklabel. However this time it doesn't boot (I beleave, because of incorrect /etc/fstab or missing partition bootcode). Is it possible to force these 3 BSDs to use independent disklabel?

3. It seems that FreeBSD uses disklabel on the slace scale:

# disklabel adXsY

and the "c" partition is the whole slace, while NetBSD and OpenBSD both use disk-wide disklabel:

# disklabel wdX

the "c" partition is the whole slice and "d" is the whole disk. In addition, OpenBSD seems to use the partition offsets starting at the begining of disk (not slice). Are there FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD disklabels compatible? Are they capable to understand / read / write each other?
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Old 12th May 2008
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Yes, FreeBSD has a disklabel set for each slice/"MBR partition", while the disklabel of Net and OpenBSD are for the complete disk.

OpenBSD uses "c" to designate the whole disk, while for FreeBSD it symbolizes the slice.
NetBSD uses "c" or "d", depending on the hardware platform to designate the whole disk.

The disklabels of Net, Free and OpenBSD are thus not compatible.
I wouldn't advise to try writing from one BSD to another. You will be lucky enough if they can read each other

Development of the different BSDs at the filesystem and disk organization level has diverged too much.

If you put each BSD on a MBR partition/slice, you can format the fourth MBR partition with either FAT32 or ext2fs for data exchange. That, in theory, should give no issues.
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Old 12th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpopa View Post
... but when I install all them or at least 2 of them, all except the last one, doesn't boot.

One of my systems has had a similar problem when having two FreeBSD installs on one disk, never was able to resolve it.

All of the other machines here have always performed fine no matter what was thrown at them...
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Old 13th May 2008
Meta_Ridley Meta_Ridley is offline
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There's no need to use the --type=netbsd option to boot a NetBSD kernel anymore, as starting with 4.0 the NetBSD kenel is Multiboot-compliant. So you can now just do this:

root (hdX,Y,a)
kernel /netbsd

Maybe that will allow you to boot NetBSD.
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Old 13th May 2008
alpopa alpopa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meta_Ridley View Post

root (hdX,Y,a)
kernel /netbsd

Maybe that will allow you to boot NetBSD.
I also tryed to boot NetBSD with no --type=netbsd, it doesn't boot
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Old 13th May 2008
alpopa alpopa is offline
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As I understand, BSD disklabel is a record residing in the partition BSD is installed adn doesn't touch MBR at all. However each BSD interacts with other in a way I don't understand.

For example, if I have FreeBSD installed in the first MBR partition, a for root and b for swap, GRUB sees them as (hd0,0,a) and (hd0,0,b).

After I install NetBSD on the 2-nd MBR partition, a for root and b for swap, GRUB sees them as (hd0,1,a) and (hd0,1,b). NetBSD's disklabel looks like this:

wd0a FFS2 mounted on /
wd0b swap
wd0c <2-nd MBR partition>
wd0d <whole disk>
wd0e FFS2 (FreeBSD's /)
wd0f swap (FreeBSD's swap)

GRUB isn't able to mount any more FreeBSD via (hd0,0,a), but via NetBSD's disklabel as (hd0,1,e).

Does anibody knows how to repair this?
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Old 23rd December 2008
Randux Randux is offline
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You have to boot the BSDs as chainloaded OS.
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