August 22, 2004 INSTALL 8 NetBSD


INSTALL - Installation procedure for NetBSD/sparc64.



About this Document............................................2 Quick install notes for the impatient..........................3 What is NetBSD?................................................3 Changes Between The NetBSD 2.0 and 3.0 Releases................4 Supported platforms and machines............................4 Supported devices...........................................4 Kernel......................................................6 Networking..................................................6 File system.................................................7 Libraries...................................................7 Security....................................................7 System administration and user tools........................8 Miscellaneous...............................................8 sparc64 specific............................................8 The Future of NetBSD...........................................9 Sources of NetBSD..............................................9 NetBSD 3.0 Release Contents....................................9 NetBSD/sparc64 subdirectory structure......................11 Binary distribution sets...................................11 NetBSD/sparc64 System Requirements and Supported Devices......12 Supported machines.........................................12 Unsupported machines.......................................13 Supported devices..........................................13 Unsupported devices........................................14 Getting the NetBSD System on to Useful Media..................14 Preparing your System for NetBSD installation.................16 Deciding on partition sizes................................16 Setting up Open Firmware...................................17 Determining how to boot from an SBUS or PCI................18 Configuration of network interfaces........................19 Installing the NetBSD System..................................19 Installing NetBSD from CDROM...............................19 Installing NetBSD by using the NetBSD miniroot.............19 Installing NetBSD by using a NetBSD kernel on a............20 Installing NetBSD by using a netboot setup.................20 Running the sysinst installation program...................25 Introduction............................................25 General.................................................25 Quick install...........................................26 Booting NetBSD..........................................27 Network configuration...................................27 Installation drive selection and parameters.............27 Partitioning the disk...................................27 Preparing your hard disk................................28 Getting the distribution sets...........................28 Installation using ftp..................................28 Installation using NFS..................................29 Installation from CD-ROM................................29 Installation from an unmounted file system..............29 Installation from a local directory.....................29 Extracting the distribution sets........................29 Ensure you have the correct kernel installed............30 Finalizing your installation............................30 Manual Installation of NetBSD using Solaris................30 Preparing the disk in Solaris...........................30 Installing NetBSD Software from Solaris.................32 Creating NetBSD Device Nodes under Solaris..............32 Configuring the NetBSD system from Solaris..............32 Booting NetBSD for the first time.............................32 Post installation steps.......................................32 Upgrading a previously-installed NetBSD System................35 Compatibility Issues With Previous NetBSD Releases............36 Issues affecting an upgrade from NetBSD 2.1 and older......36 Using online NetBSD documentation.............................36 Administrivia.................................................37 Thanks go to..................................................37 We are........................................................42 Legal Mumbo-Jumbo.............................................48 The End.......................................................54


About this Document

This document describes the installation procedure for NetBSD3.0 on the sparc64 platform. It is available in four different formats titled INSTALL.ext, where .ext is one of .ps, .html, .more, or .txt:


Standard Internet HTML.

The enhanced text format used on UNIX-like systems by the more(1) and less(1) pager utility programs. This is the format in which the on-line man pages are generally presented.

Plain old ASCII.

You are reading the HTML version.

Quick install notes for the impatient

This section contains some brief notes describing what you need to install NetBSD3.0 on a machine of the sparc64 architecture.

What is NetBSD?

The NetBSD Operating System is a fully functional Open Source UNIX-like operating system derived from the University of California, Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2), 4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2 sources. NetBSD runs on fifty four different system architectures (ports), featuring seventeen machine architectures across fifteen distinct CPU families, and is being ported to more. The NetBSD3.0 release contains complete binary releases for many different system architectures. (A few ports are not fully supported at this time and are thus not part of the binary distribution. For information on them, please see the NetBSD web site at

NetBSD is a completely integrated system. In addition to its highly portable, high performance kernel, NetBSD features a complete set of user utilities, compilers for several languages, the X Window System, firewall software and numerous other tools, all accompanied by full source code.

NetBSD is a creation of the members of the Internet community. Without the unique cooperation and coordination the net makes possible, it's likely that NetBSD wouldn't exist.

Changes Between The NetBSD 2.0 and 3.0 Releases

The NetBSD3.0 release provides numerous significant functional enhancements, including support for many new devices, integration of hundreds of bug fixes, new and updated kernel subsystems, and many user-land enhancements. The result of these improvements is a stable operating system fit for production use that rivals most commercially available systems.

It is impossible to completely summarize a year of development that went into the NetBSD3.0 release. Some highlights include:

Supported platforms and machines
Supported devices
File system
System administration and user tools

Kernel interfaces have continued to be refined, and more subsystems and device drivers are shared among the different ports. You can look for this trend to continue.

sparc64 specific

NetBSD3.0 features several sparc64-specific bug fixes that greatly improve the stability. Besides this, the most visible changes in this new release are

Compatibility to the old console framework is still available, as well as the old Xsun X server.

The Future of NetBSD

The NetBSD Foundation has been incorporated as a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to encourage, foster and promote the free exchange of computer software, namely the NetBSD Operating System. The foundation will allow for many things to be handled more smoothly than could be done with our previous informal organization. In particular, it provides the framework to deal with other parties that wish to become involved in the NetBSD Project.

The NetBSD Foundation will help improve the quality of NetBSD by:

We intend to begin narrowing the time delay between releases. Our ambition is to provide a full release every six to eight months.

We hope to support even more hardware in the future, and we have a rather large number of other ideas about what can be done to improve NetBSD.

We intend to continue our current practice of making the NetBSD-current development source available on a daily basis.

We intend to integrate free, positive changes from whatever sources submit them, providing that they are well thought-out and increase the usability of the system.

Above all, we hope to create a stable and accessible system, and to be responsive to the needs and desires of NetBSD users, because it is for and because of them that NetBSD exists.

Sources of NetBSD

Refer to

NetBSD 3.0 Release Contents

The root directory of the NetBSD3.0 release is organized as follows:


Changes since earlier NetBSD releases.

Last minute changes.

A list of sites that mirror the NetBSD3.0 distribution.

README describing the distribution's contents.

NetBSD's todo list (also somewhat incomplete and out of date).

Post-release source code patches.

Source distribution sets; see below.

In addition to the files and directories listed above, there is one directory per architecture, for each of the architectures for which NetBSD3.0 has a binary distribution.

The source distribution sets can be found in subdirectories of the source subdirectory of the distribution tree. They contain the complete sources to the system. The source distribution sets are as follows:

This set contains the ``gnu'' sources, including the source for the compiler, assembler, groff, and the other GNU utilities in the binary distribution sets.
79 MB gzipped, 367 MB uncompressed

This set contains the ``pkgsrc'' sources, which contain the infrastructure to build third-party packages.
24 MB gzipped, 200 MB uncompressed

This set contains the ``share'' sources, which include the sources for the man pages not associated with any particular program; the sources for the typesettable document set; the dictionaries; and more.
5 MB gzipped, 20 MB uncompressed

This set contains all of the base NetBSD3.0 sources which are not in gnusrc, sharesrc, or syssrc.
37 MB gzipped, 176 MB uncompressed

This set contains the sources to the NetBSD3.0 kernel for all architectures; config(8); and dbsym(8).
26 MB gzipped, 140 MB uncompressed

This set contains the sources to the X Window System.
84 MB gzipped, 450 MB uncompressed

All the above source sets are located in the source/sets subdirectory of the distribution tree.

The source sets are distributed as compressed tar files. Except for the pkgsrc set, which is traditionally unpacked into /usr/pkgsrc, all sets may be unpacked into /usr/src with the command:
       #( cd / ; tar -zxpf - ) < set_name.tgz

In each of the source distribution set directories, there are files which contain the checksums of the files in the directory:

Historic BSD checksums for the various files in that directory, in the format produced by the command:
cksum -o 1 file.

POSIX checksums for the various files in that directory, in the format produced by the command:
cksum file.

MD5 digests for the various files in that directory, in the format produced by the command:
cksum-m file.

Historic AT&T System V UNIX checksums for the various files in that directory, in the format produced by the command:
cksum -o 2 file.

The MD5 digest is the safest checksum, followed by the POSIX checksum. The other two checksums are provided only to ensure that the widest possible range of system can check the integrity of the release files.

NetBSD/sparc64 subdirectory structure
The sparc64-specific portion of the NetBSD3.0 release is found in the sparc64 subdirectory of the distribution: .../NetBSD-3.0/sparc64/. It contains the following files and directories:

Installation notes in various file formats, including this file. The .more file contains underlined text using the more(1) conventions for indicating italic and bold display.
A gzipped NetBSD kernel containing code for everything supported in this release.
The install kernel.
sparc64 binary distribution sets; see below.
sparc64 miniroot file system image; see below.
Netboot bootloader; see below.
Binary distribution sets
The NetBSD sparc64 binary distribution sets contain the binaries which comprise the NetBSD3.0 release for the sparc64. The binary distribution sets can be found in the sparc64/binary/sets subdirectory of the NetBSD3.0 distribution tree.

If you want to install 32-bit only binaries, you will still need to boot using the sparc64 installation tools. When it asks you for the distribution set to install, provide the NetBSD/sparc binary/sets. Be sure to use the 32 bit sparc kern-GENERIC_SUN4U.tgz kernel distribution. Otherwise, continue to follow the sparc64 installation procedure, not the sparc instructions.
Most people will want the 64-bit sparc64 distribution tree:

The NetBSD3.0 sparc64 base binary distribution. You must install this distribution set. It contains the base NetBSD utilities that are necessary for the system to run and be minimally functional. It includes shared library support, and excludes everything described below.
18 MB gzipped, 56 MB uncompressed

Things needed for compiling programs. This set includes the system include files (/usr/include) and the various system libraries (except the shared libraries, which are included as part of the base set). This set also includes the manual pages for all of the utilities it contains, as well as the system call and library manual pages.
22 MB gzipped, 88 MB uncompressed

This distribution set contains the system configuration files that reside in /etc and in several other places. This set must be installed if you are installing the system from scratch, but should not be used if you are upgrading.
1 MB gzipped, 1 MB uncompressed

This set includes the games and their manual pages.
4 MB gzipped, 8 MB uncompressed

This set contains a NetBSD/sparc64 3.0 GENERIC kernel, named /netbsd. You must install this distribution set.
3 MB gzipped, 6 MB uncompressed

This set includes all of the manual pages for the binaries and other software contained in the base set. Note that it does not include any of the manual pages that are included in the other sets.
8 MB gzipped, 30 MB uncompressed

This set includes the (rather large) system dictionaries, the typesettable document set, and other files from /usr/share.
3 MB gzipped, 9 MB uncompressed

This set includes NetBSD's text processing tools, including groff(1), all related programs, and their manual pages.
2 MB gzipped, 8 MB uncompressed

NetBSD maintains its own set of sources for the X Window System in order to assure tight integration and compatibility. These sources are based on XFree86, and tightly track XFree86 releases. They are currently equivalent to XFree86 4.4.0. Binary sets for the X Window System are distributed with NetBSD. The sets are:

The basic files needed for a complete X client environment. This does not include the X servers.
7 MB gzipped, 20 MB uncompressed

The extra libraries and include files needed to compile X source code.
12 MB gzipped, 50 MB uncompressed

Fonts needed by X.
31 MB gzipped, 39 MB uncompressed

Configuration files for X which could be locally modified.
0.03 MB gzipped, 0.17 MB uncompressed

The X server. This includes Xsun, Xsun24, XsunMono and Xvfb servers with man pages.
6 MB gzipped, 14 MB uncompressed

The sparc64 binary distribution sets are distributed as gzipped tar files named with the extension .tgz, e.g. base.tgz.

The instructions given for extracting the source sets work equally well for the binary sets, but it is worth noting that if you use that method, the filenames stored in the sets are relative and therefore the files are extracted below the current directory. Therefore, if you want to extract the binaries into your system, i.e. replace the system binaries with them, you have to run the tar -xpf command from the root directory ( / ) of your system. This utility is used only in a Traditional method installation.

Each directory in the sparc64 binary distribution also has its own checksum files, just as the source distribution does.

NetBSD/sparc64 System Requirements and Supported Devices

Supported machines
The minimal configuration requires 32 MB of RAM and ~60 MB of disk space. To install the entire system requires much more disk space, and to run X or compile the system, more RAM is recommended, as NetBSD with 32 MB of RAM feels like Solaris with 32 MB of RAM - slow. Note that until you have at least 64 MB of RAM, getting more RAM is more important than getting a faster CPU.

Not all of the machines listed here have been tested. Often Sun will use the same motherboard design in multiple models. For example, they'll release a Blade ("workstation") model, Enterprise or Fire ("server") model, and Netra or ft ("telco") model with essentially the same devices, as far as NetBSD is concerned. If one model in this scheme works, it is highly likely another will work.

Sun has also released a few models with names that might imply the systems are UltraSPARC-based but actually have an i386 class CPU. These systems might be supported by the i386 port of NetBSD. See the following site for more info on what system boards are in which models.

Unsupported machines
Supported devices

There are a large number of untested PCI drivers that have never been tested on UltraSPARC PCI systems that may `just work'.

Unsupported devices

Getting the NetBSD System on to Useful Media

Note that if you are installing or upgrading from a writable media, the media can be write-protected if you wish. These systems mount a root image from inside the kernel, and will not need to write to the media. If you booted from a floppy, the floppy disk may be removed from the drive after the system has booted.

Installation is supported from several media types, including:

The steps necessary to prepare the distribution sets for installation depend upon which installation medium you choose. The steps for the various media are outlined below.

If you are installing the 32-bit sparc distribution sets, you will need to rename sparc/binary/sets/kern-GENERIC_SUN4U.tgz to kern-GENERIC.tgz since the sparc64 installation tools would otherwise attempt to install the kernel for 32-bit sparc computers which does not boot on sparc64 systems.

Find out where the distribution set files are on the CD-ROM or DVD. Likely locations are binary/sets and sparc64/binary/sets.

Proceed to the instruction on installation.

The preparations for this installation/upgrade method are easy; all you need to do is make sure that there's an FTP site from which you can retrieve the NetBSD distribution when you're about to install or upgrade. If you don't have DHCP available on your network, you will need to know the numeric IP address of that site, and, if it's not on a network directly connected to the machine on which you're installing or upgrading NetBSD, you need to know the numeric IP address of the router closest to the NetBSD machine. Finally, you need to know the numeric IP address of the NetBSD machine itself. If you don't have access to a functioning nameserver during installation, the IPv4 address of is and the IPv6 address is 2001:4f8:4:7:2e0:81ff:fe21:6563 (as of June, 2004).

Once you have this information, you can proceed to the next step in the installation or upgrade process. If you're installing NetBSD from scratch, go to the section on preparing your hard disk, below. If you're upgrading an existing installation, go directly to the section on upgrading.

This method of installation is recommended for those familiar with using BSD network configuration and management commands. If you aren't, this documentation should help, but is not intended to be all-encompassing.

Place the NetBSD distribution sets you wish to install into a directory on an NFS server, and make that directory mountable by the machine on which you are installing or upgrading NetBSD. This will probably require modifying the /etc/exports file on of the NFS server and resetting its mount daemon (mountd). (Both of these actions will probably require superuser privileges on the server.)

You need to know the numeric IP address of the NFS server, and, if you don't have DHCP available on your network and the server is not on a network directly connected to the machine on which you're installing or upgrading NetBSD, you need to know the numeric IP address of the router closest to the NetBSD machine. Finally, you need to know the numeric IP address of the NetBSD machine itself.

Once the NFS server is set up properly and you have the information mentioned above, you can proceed to the next step in the installation or upgrade process. If you're installing NetBSD from scratch, go to the section on preparing your hard disk, below. If you're upgrading an existing installation, go directly to the section on upgrading.

This method of installation is recommended for those already familiar with using BSD network configuration and management commands. If you aren't, this documentation should help, but is not intended to be all-encompassing.

To install NetBSD from a tape, you need to make a tape that contains the distribution set files, in `tar' format.

If you're making the tape on a UNIX-like system, the easiest way to do so is probably something like:

       # tar -cf tape_device dist_directories

where tape_device is the name of the tape device that describes the tape drive you're using; possibly /dev/rst0, or something similar, but it will vary from system to system. (If you can't figure it out, ask your system administrator.) In the above example, dist_directories are the distribution sets' directories, for the distribution sets you wish to place on the tape. For instance, to put the misc, base, and etc distributions on tape (in order to do the absolute minimum installation to a new disk), you would do the following:

       # cd .../NetBSD-3.0
       # cd sparc64/binary
       # tar -cf tape_device misc etc kern

You still need to fill in tape_device in the example.

Once you have the files on the tape, you can proceed to the next step in the installation or upgrade process. If you're installing NetBSD from scratch, go to the section on preparing your hard disk, below. If you're upgrading an existing installation, go directly to the section on upgrading.

Preparing your System for NetBSD installation

Deciding on partition sizes
If you're installing NetBSD/sparc64 for the first time it's a good idea to look at the partition sizes of the disk you plan to install NetBSD on. Will you be installing NetBSD onto the same disk as Solaris, on its own disk, or will you be netbooting? While NetBSD can work just fine on a disk shared with Solaris, the NetBSD installer does not currently support this. The limitation is that the NetBSD disklabel(8) writes partition info that Solaris is not familiar with. Therefore, if you are sharing a disk with Solaris, any time you change a partition table, you must do it from Solaris.

Assuming a classic partition scheme with / (root) and /usr file systems, a comfortable size for the NetBSD / partition is about 100 MB. A full binary installation including X11R6 takes nearly 350 MB in /usr. Since the pkgsrc binaries are typically installed in /usr/pkg you may want a significantly larger /usr partition. A good initial size for the swap partition is the amount of physical memory in your machine, if you've got more than 128 MB RAM. If you've got less RAM, you may want swap to be at least 128 MB.

Setting up Open Firmware
First, you need to stop your system from automatically booting when powered on. Pressing the STOP key (sometimes called the L1 key, found on the left side of your keyboard) and the a key will halt your system and give you the ``ok'' prompt. If you are using a serial console, send a ``BREAK'' signal from your terminal (the method of sending ``BREAK'' varies from terminal to terminal).

If the ethernet address of your sparc64 system is ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff (check with the Open Firmware ``banner'' command), then your NVRAM battery is dead and you will have trouble using ethernet (among other problems). Read the Sun NVRAM/Hostid FAQ.

If you have a valid ethernet address and you plan to netboot, write down your system's ethernet address.

You cannot use the security modes of the SPARC OpenFirmware.

ok setenv security-mode none

If you are using a serial console, the NetBSD/sparc64 installer defaults to using 9600 bps, 8N1 settings. You may want to configure your system and serial terminal like this prior to booting the installer. Additionally, a new installation of NetBSD/sparc64 will default to these settings as well.

SCSI devices are specified by an Open Firmware devalias which provides simple mnemonics for the full path to the device. Type devalias to get a list of all of the available aliases. At a minimum, the alias and partition are necessary when booting.

Therefore, to boot from the swap partition on the internal hard drive one would use:

ok boot disk:b

To boot from a CD-ROM (Open Firmware assumes SCSI CD-ROMs are at target 6), one would use:

ok boot cdrom

And, to boot from a kernel named netbsd-GENERIC on the fourth partition ( `d', often the /usr partition) on an external SCSI hard drive (target 2, partition 3), one would use:

ok boot disk2:d netbsd-GENERIC

If you get ``.... Fast Data MMU Miss'' when booting after the NetBSD installation, your OpenBoot PROM may need updating. It has been reported that version 3.31 lead to a successful boot on an Ultra Enterprise 420R, while version 3.23 did not. Exact values may vary, depending on your hardware, current OpenBoot PROM version and moon phase.

Determining how to boot from an SBUS or PCI card
Some SBUS and PCI cards have firmware that lets you use them as a boot device. These cards do not automatically create a devalias entry, so you must traverse the device tree to figure out what Open Firmware calls your card. You will be using Open Firmware commands at the `ok' prompt. First `cd' to the top of the device tree and list the nodes there. The following is the procedure to boot from an IDE card in an UltraSPARC 30.
ok cd /
ok ls
f006cf08 SUNW,ffb@1e,0
f006c32c SUNW,UltraSPARC-II@0,0
f006002c counter-timer@1f,1c00
f005f410 pci@1f,2000
f005eb54 pci@1f,4000
f004cf84 virtual-memory
f004c9a4 memory@0,0
f002ce38 aliases
f002cdc8 options
f002cc90 openprom
f002cc24 chosen
f002cbb4 packages
Usually, you can simply type in the name before the at (@) sign and OpenFirmware will fill in the rest.
ok cd pci@1f,4000
ok ls
f0081524 ide@2
f007be50 scsi@3
f0074688 network@1,1
f0060324 ebus@1
ok cd ide@2
ok ls
0081fe4 cdrom
f0081938 disk
ok cd disk
ok ls
ok pwd
OK, now we know the path to the IDE device in this example. Now, we need to determine if it's capable of booting. If it is, it will have the word `open'.
ok words
close         load          write         read          seek
open          write-blocks  read-blocks   max-transfer
block-size    dma-free      dma-alloc     spin-down     spin-up
Great! Also, in case you're interested in further details about your hardware, you can use the `.properties' command.

So, when it's time to type in a boot command, use the shortened version of the pwd command. You need to be more specific if there are two devices with the same name (in this case, two /pci entries). In this example, you'd type:

ok boot /pci@1f,4000/ide/disk@0,0
You can also store this device path across reboots using the nvalias command.
ok nvalias wd0 /pci@1f,4000/ide/disk@0,0:a

And when the kernel is done booting, it may not automatically use your card as the root device -- you may need to type in the NetBSD/sparc64 name for that device:

root on sd0a dumps on sd0b
no file system for sd0 (dev 0x700)
cannot mount root, error = 79
root device (default sd0a): ?
use one of: hme0 sd0[a-h] wd0[a-h] halt
root device (default sd0a): wd0a
dump device: wd0a
file system (default generic): ffs
root on wd0a
Configuration of network interfaces
Some network devices (i.e. certain SBus cards) allow a choice between operating on a UTP or a AUI port. The le driver supports automatic detection of the port which is actually connected to the wire. If automatic detection is not available or not working properly in your environment, you may have to specify the type connection using the media parameter of ifconfig(8). During installation, you'll get the opportunity to specify the appropriate medium. Use 10base5/AUI to select the AUI connector, or 10baseT/UTP to select the UTP connector.

Installing the NetBSD System

Installing NetBSD is a relatively complex process, but if you have this document in hand it shouldn't be too much trouble.

There are several ways to install NetBSD onto a disk. The easiest way in terms of preliminary setup is to install from CDROM. If you don't have access to a CDROM or CDROM burner, you can use a miniroot image that can be booted off your local disk's swap partition. Alternatively, if your UltraSPARC is hooked up in a network you can find a server and arrange for a diskless setup which is a convenient way to install on a machine whose disk does not currently hold a usable operating system (see the section Installing NetBSD by using a diskless setup below).

If you have problems with these or you are installing NetBSD onto the same disk as Solaris, see the section below on Manual Installation of NetBSD using Solaris

Installing NetBSD from CDROM
Installing from CDROM, whether it has the full distribution or just a kernel and sysinst is the least painful way to install NetBSD. Simply insert the CD-ROM in the drive, power up the computer, and type:
ok boot cdrom

This Open Firmware boot command will cause the NetBSD kernel contained in the CD-ROM to be booted. After the initial probe messages you'll be asked to start the install or upgrade procedure. Proceed to the section Running the sysinst installation program below.

Installing NetBSD by using the NetBSD miniroot
The miniroot is a self-contained NetBSD file system holding all utilities necessary to install NetBSD on a local disk. It is distributed as a plain file designed to be transferred to a raw disk partition from which it can be booted using the appropriate OpenFirmware command. Usually, the miniroot will be loaded into the swap partition of a disk. If needed, you can use any other unused partition, but remember that the partition will then not available during the installation process.

Loading the miniroot onto your raw partition is simple using the dd(1) command. Just remember to first uncompress the miniroot image and boot your OS with the -s flag so that it runs ``single-user'' and does not attempt to start swapping.

ok boot -s

On Solaris you use a command like:

# gunzip miniroot.fs.gz
# dd if=miniroot.fs of=/dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s1 bs=4k conv=sync
On NetBSD the command is:
# gunzip miniroot.fs.gz
# dd if=miniroot.fs of=/dev/rsd0b bs=4k conv=sync
Replace /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s1 or /dev/rsd0b with your swap partition.

After transferring the miniroot to disk, bring the system down by:

# halt
Then boot the miniroot by typing the appropriate command at the OpenFirmware prompt:
ok boot disk:b netbsd
If you've loaded the miniroot onto some other disk than sd0 use the correct devalias, such as
ok boot disk1:b netbsd
This Open Firmware boot command will cause the NetBSD kernel contained in the miniroot image to be booted. After the initial probe messages you'll be asked to start the install or upgrade procedure. Proceed to the section Running the sysinst installation program below.
Installing NetBSD by using a NetBSD kernel on a Solaris partition
This procedure is very straightforward. You will be putting the NetBSD installation kernel (kernel with a RAM disk installer) on your Solaris partition and telling Open Firmware to boot the NetBSD kernel.

First, copy the netbsd-INSTALL.gz kernel and bootloader to the root level of your hard drive and halt your system

# cp binary/kernel/netbsd-INSTALL.gz /
# cp installation/misc/ofwboot /
# halt
At the Open Firmware prompt, boot NetBSD.
ok boot disk:a /ofwboot -a
The -a flag is needed so that the bootloader will ask you to find your installation kernel.
Rebooting with command: boot disk:a /ofwboot -a
Boot device: /pci@1f,4000/scsi@3/disk@0,0:a  File and args: /ofwboot -a
Enter filename [/ofwboot]: <return>
>> NetBSD/sparc64 OpenFirmware Boot, Revision 1.7
>> (, Thu May 20 16:29:20 UTC 2004)
Boot: netbsd-INSTALL.gz
After the initial probe messages you'll be asked to start the install or upgrade procedure. Proceed to the section Running the sysinst installation program below.
Installing NetBSD by using a netboot setup

  1. Introduction

    To netboot a sparc64, you must configure one or more servers to provide information and files to your sparc64 (the `client ).' If you are using NetBSD (any architecture) on your netboot server(s), the information provided here should be sufficient to configure everything. Additionally, you may wish to look at the diskless(8) manual page and the manual pages for each daemon you'll be configuring. If the server(s) are another operating system, you should consult the NetBSD Diskless HOW-TO, which will walk you through the steps necessary to configure the netboot services on a variety of platforms.

    You may either netboot the installer so you can install onto a locally attached disk, or you may run your system entirely over the network.

    Briefly, the netboot process involves discovery, bootstrap, kernel and file system stages. In the first stage, the client discovers information about where to find the bootstrap program. Next, it downloads and executes the bootstrap program. The bootstrap program goes through another discovery phase to determine where the kernel is located. The bootstrap program tries to mount the NFS share containing the kernel. Once the kernel is loaded, it starts executing. For RAM disk kernels, it mounts the RAM disk file system and begins executing the installer from the RAM disk. For normal (non-RAM disk) kernels, the kernel tries to mount the NFS share that had the kernel and starts executing the installation tools or init(8). All sparc64 systems use a combination of RARP and DHCP for the discovery stage. TFTP is used in the bootstrap phase to download the bootstrap program,, which has been linked to a file name appropriate to the client's IP address as described in the TFTP section below. NFS is used in both the kernel and file system stages to download the kernel, and to access files on the file server.

    We will use `CC:CC:CC:CC:CC:CC' as the MAC address (ethernet hardware address) of your netboot client machine. You should have determined this address in an earlier stage. In this example, we will use `' as the IP address of your client and `' as its name. We will assume you're providing all of your netboot services on one machine called `' with the client's files exported from the directory /export/client/root. You should, of course, replace all of these with the names, addresses, and paths appropriate to your environment.

    You should set up each netboot stage in order (i.e. discovery, bootstrap, kernel, and then file system) so that you can test them as you proceed.

  2. dhcpd(8) in bootpd(8) compatible mode

    Put the following lines in your /etc/dhcpd.conf (see dhcpd.conf(5) and dhcp-options(5) for more information):

    ddns-update-style none;
                    # Do not use any dynamic DNS features
    allow bootp;    # Allow bootp requests, thus the dhcp server
                    # will act as a bootp server.
    authoritative;  # master DHCP server for this subnet
    subnet netmask {
                    # Which network interface to listen on.
                    # The zeros indicate the range of addresses
                    # that are allowed to connect.
    group {
                    # Set of parameters common to all clients
                    # in this "group".
            option broadcast-address;
            option domain-name              "";
            option domain-name-servers;
            option routers        ;
            option subnet-mask    ;
                    # An individual client.
            host {
                    hardware ethernet       CC:CC:CC:CC:CC:CC;
                    fixed-address ;
                    # Name of the host (if the fixed address
                    # doesn't resolve to a simple name).
                    option host-name        "client";
                    # Name of the bootloader or kernel
                    # to download via tftp.

    # # The path on the NFS server. # option root-path "/export/client/root";

    # # If your DHCP server is not your NFS server, supply the # address of the NFS server. Since we assume you run everything # on one server, this is not needed. # # next-server; } #you may paste another "host" entry here for additional #clients on this network }

    You will need to make sure that the dhcpd.leases file exists.

    # touch /var/db/dhcpd.leases

    You will need to start the dhcpd. If it's already running, you will need to restart it to force it to re-read its configuration file. If the server is running NetBSD, you can achieve this with:

    # /etc/rc.d/dhcpd restart

  3. rarpd(8)

    Create an /etc/ethers file with the following line:

    CC:CC:CC:CC:CC:CC     client

    Add your client to the server's /etc/hosts file: client

    You will need to start the rarpd. If it's already running, you will need to restart it to force it to re-read its configuration file. If the server is running NetBSD, you can achieve this with:

    # /etc/rc.d/rarpd restart

  4. tftpd(8)

    The default configuration of the TFTP server is to run in a chroot(8) environment in the /tftpboot directory. Thus, the first order of business is to create this directory:

    # mkdir -p /tftpboot

    Next, edit /etc/inetd.conf and uncomment the line with the TFTP daemon:

    tftp  dgram  udp  wait  root  /usr/libexec/tftpd tftpd -l -s /tftpboot

    Now, restart inetd(8). If the server is running NetBSD, you can achieve this with:

    # /etc/rc.d/inetd restart

    Now, you need to copy the bootloader for your sparc64 machine to /tftpboot. Get from the installation/netboot directory of the distribution.

    # cp /tftpboot

    Now, you need to link to the filename that your sparc64 will look for. It will look for a filename composed of the machine's IP address (in hexadecimal). For example, a machine which has been assigned IP address, will make a TFTP request for C0A8010A.

    You can use bc(1) to help calculate the filename:

    # bc
    # cd /tftpboot
    # ln -s C0A8010A

    Just to be sure, let's make everything readable.

    # chmod -R a+rX /tftpboot

    Sometimes, the arp(8) table gets messed up, and the TFTP server can't communicate with the client. In this case, it will write a log message (via syslogd(8)) to /var/log/messages saying: `tftpd: write: Host is down'. If this is the case, you may need to force the server to map your client's ethernet address to its IP address:

    # arp -s client CC:CC:CC:CC:CC:CC

  5. nfsd(8), mountd(8), and rpcbind(8)

    Now your system should be able to load the bootstrap program and start looking for the kernel. Let's set up the NFS server. Create the directory you are exporting for the netboot client:

    # mkdir -p /export/client/root

    Put the following line in /etc/exports to enable NFS sharing:

    /export/client/root -maproot=root

    If your server is currently running an NFS server, you only need to restart mountd(8). Otherwise, you need to start rpcbind(8) and nfsd(8). If the server is running NetBSD, you can achieve this with:

    # /etc/rc.d/rpcbind start
    # /etc/rc.d/nfsd start
    # /etc/rc.d/mountd restart

  6. NetBSD kernel and installation tools

    Now, if you place a kernel named netbsd in /export/client/root your client should boot the kernel. Use binary/kernel/netbsd-GENERIC.gz).

    # gunzip netbsd-GENERIC.gz
    # mv netbsd-GENERIC /export/client/root/netbsd

    If you are netbooting the installer, copy the distribution files to the client's root directory and extract the tools from installation/misc/instfs.tgz.

    # cp *tgz /export/client/root
    # cd /export/client/root
    # tar -xpzf instfs.tgz

  7. Client file system

    You can skip this step if you do not plan to run your client diskless after installation. Otherwise, you need to extract and set up the client's installation of NetBSD. The Diskless HOW-TO describes how to provide better security and save space on the NFS server over the procedure listed here.

  8. Setting up the server daemons

    If you want these services to start up every time you boot your server, make sure the following lines are present in your /etc/rc.conf:

    dhcpd=YES        dhcpd_flags="-q"
    rarpd=YES        rarpd_flags="-a"
    nfs_server=YES         # enable server daemons
    rpcbind=YES      rpcbind_flags="-l"   # -l logs libwrap

    Also, you'll need to make sure the tftpd line in /etc/inetd.conf remains uncommented.

Now, netboot your system from the server by entering the appropriate boot command at the Open Firmware prompt.

ok boot net netbsd
After the initial probe messages you'll be asked to start the install or upgrade procedure. Proceed to the section Running the sysinst installation program below.

Running the sysinst installation program

  1. Introduction

    Using sysinst, installing NetBSD is a relatively easy process. You still should read this document and have it in hand when doing the installation process. This document tries to be a good guideline for the installation and as such covers many details for the sake of completeness. Do not let this discourage you; the install program is not hard to use.

  2. General

    The following is a walk-through of the steps you will take while getting NetBSD installed on your hard disk. sysinst is a menu driven installation system that allows for some freedom in doing the installation. Sometimes, questions will be asked and in many cases the default answer will be displayed in brackets (``[ ]'') after the question. If you wish to stop the installation, you may press CONTROL-C at any time, but if you do, you'll have to begin the installation process again from scratch by running the /sysinst program from the command prompt. It is not necessary to reboot.

  3. Quick install

    First, let's describe a quick install. The other sections of this document go into the installation procedure in more detail, but you may find that you do not need this. If you want detailed instructions, skip to the next section. This section describes a basic installation, using a CD-ROM install as an example.

  4. Booting NetBSD

    You may want to read the boot messages, to notice your disk's name and capacity. Its name will be something like sd0 or wd0 and the geometry will be printed on a line that begins with its name. As mentioned above, you may need your disk's geometry when creating NetBSD's partitions. You will also need to know the name, to tell sysinst on which disk to install. The most important thing to know is that wd0 is NetBSD's name for your first IDE disk, wd1 the second, etc. sd0 is your first SCSI disk, sd1 the second, etc.

    Once NetBSD has booted and printed all the boot messages, you will be presented with a welcome message and a main menu. It will also include instructions for using the menus.

  5. Network configuration

    If you will not use network operation during the installation, but you do want your machine to be configured for networking once it is installed, you should first go to the Utility menu, and select the Configure network option. If you only want to temporarily use networking during the installation, you can specify these parameters later. If you are not using the Domain Name System (DNS), you can give an empty response in reply to answers relating to this.

  6. Installation drive selection and parameters

    To start the installation, select Install NetBSD to hard disk from the main menu.

    The first thing is to identify the disk on which you want to install NetBSD. sysinst will report a list of disks it finds and ask you for your selection. Depending on how many disks are found, you may get a different message. You should see disk names like wd0, wd1, sd0 or sd1.

  7. Partitioning the disk

  8. Editing the NetBSD disklabel

    The partition table of the NetBSD part of a disk is called a disklabel. There are 4 layouts for the NetBSD part of the disk that you can pick from: Standard, Standard with X, Custom and Use Existing. The first two use a set of default values (that you can change) suitable for a normal installation, possibly including X. With the Custom option you can specify everything yourself. The last option uses the partition info already present on the disk.

    You will be presented with the current layout of the NetBSD disklabel, and given a chance to change it. For each partition, you can set the type, offset and size, block and fragment size, and the mount point. The type that NetBSD uses for normal file storage is called 4.2BSD. A swap partition has a special type called swap. Some partitions in the disklabel have a fixed purpose.

    Root partition (/)

    Swap partition.

    The NetBSD portion of the disk.

    Available for other use. Traditionally, g is the partition mounted on /usr, but this is historical practice and not a fixed value.

    You will then be asked to name your disk's disklabel. The default response will be ok for most purposes. If you choose to name it something different, make sure the name is a single word and contains no special characters. You don't need to remember this name.

  9. Preparing your hard disk

    You are now at the point of no return. Nothing has been written to your disk yet, but if you confirm that you want to install NetBSD, your hard drive will be modified. If you are sure you want to proceed, enter yes at the prompt.

    The install program will now label your disk and make the file systems you specified. The file systems will be initialized to contain NetBSD bootstrapping binaries and configuration files. You will see messages on your screen from the various NetBSD disk preparation tools that are running. There should be no errors in this section of the installation. If there are, restart from the beginning of the installation process. Otherwise, you can continue the installation program after pressing the return key.

  10. Getting the distribution sets

    The NetBSD distribution consists of a number of sets, that come in the form of gzipped tarfiles. A few sets must be installed for a working system, others are optional. At this point of the installation, you will be presented with a menu which enables you to choose from one of the following methods of installing the sets. Some of these methods will first load the sets on your hard disk, others will extract the sets directly.

    For all these methods, the first step is making the sets available for extraction, and then do the actual installation. The sets can be made available in a few different ways. The following sections describe each of those methods. After reading the one about the method you will be using, you can continue to the section labeled `Extracting the distribution sets'.

  11. Installation using ftp

    To be able to install using ftp, you first need to configure your network setup, if you haven't already at the start of the install procedure. sysinst will do this for you, asking you if you want to use DHCP, and if not to provide data like IP address, hostname, etc. If you do not have name service set up for the machine that you are installing on, you can just press RETURN in answer to these questions, and DNS will not be used.

    You will also be asked to specify the host that you want to transfer the sets from, the directory on that host, the account name and password used to log into that host using ftp, and optionally a proxy server to use. If you did not set up DNS when answering the questions to configure networking, you will need to specify an IP address instead of a hostname for the ftp server.

    sysinst will proceed to transfer all the default set files from the remote site to your hard disk.

  12. Installation using NFS

    To be able to install using NFS, you first need to configure your network setup, if you haven't already at the start of the install procedure. sysinst will do this for you, asking you if you want to use DHCP, and if not to provide data like IP address, hostname, etc. If you do not have name service set up for the machine that you are installing on, you can just press RETURN in answer to these questions, and DNS will not be used.

    You will also be asked to specify the host that you want to transfer the sets from, and the directory on that host that the files are in. This directory should be mountable by the machine you are installing on, i.e. correctly exported to your machine.

    If you did not set up DNS when answering the questions to configure networking, you will need to specify an IP address instead of a hostname for the NFS server.

  13. Installation from CD-ROM

    When installing from a CD-ROM, you will be asked to specify the device name for your CD-ROM player (usually cd0), and the directory name on the CD-ROM where the distribution files are.

    sysinst will then check if the files are indeed available in the specified location, and proceed to the actual extraction of the sets.

  14. Installation from an unmounted file system

    In order to install from a local file system, you will need to specify the device that the file system resides on (for example sd1e) the type of the file system, and the directory on the specified file system where the sets are located. sysinst will then check if it can indeed access the sets at that location.

  15. Installation from a local directory

    This option assumes that you have already done some preparation yourself. The sets should be located in a directory on a file system that is already accessible. sysinst will ask you for the name of this directory.

  16. Extracting the distribution sets

    After the install sets containing the NetBSD distribution have been made available, you can either extract all the sets (a full installation), or only extract sets that you have selected. In the latter case, you will be shown the currently selected sets, and given the opportunity to select the sets you want. Some sets always need to be installed (kern, base) and etc they will not be shown in this selection menu.

    Before extraction begins, you can elect to watch the files being extracted; the name of each file that is extracted will be shown. This can slow down the installation process considerably, especially on machines with slow graphics consoles or serial consoles.

    After all the files have been extracted, all the necessary device node files will be created. If you have already configured networking, you will be asked if you want to use this configuration for normal operation. If so, these values will be installed in the network configuration files. The next menu will allow you to select the time zone that you're in, to make sure your clock has the right offset from UTC. Finally you will be asked to select a password encryption algorithm and can than set a password for the "root" account, to prevent the machine coming up without access restrictions.

  17. Ensure you have the correct kernel installed

    If you are installing from the 32-bit sparc distribution set, make sure that you installed the correct kernel. The sparc64 installation tools do not by default copy the correct 32-bit kernel. Unless you prepared ahead of time by renaming the kern-GENERIC_SUN4U.tgz to kern-GENERIC.tgz then you will need to follow the next few instructions.

    Go to the main installation menu, and select Utility menu and then select the Run /bin/sh option, which will give you a shell prompt. You may need to type one of the following commands to get your delete key to work properly, depending on your keyboard:
           # stty erase '^h'
           # stty erase '^?'

    Type the following command (replacing wd0a with the partition name of your destination root partition):
           # mount /dev/wd0a /mnt
           # cd /mnt
    Now you ned to mount the location of your distribution sets:
           # mount /dev/cd0a /mnt2
           # tar xpzvf /mnt2/sparc/binary/kernel/kern-GENERIC_SUN4U.tgz
           # umount /mnt
           # umount /mnt2
           # exit

  18. Finalizing your installation

    Congratulations, you have successfully installed NetBSD3.0. You can now reboot the machine, and boot NetBSD from hard disk.

Skip down to the section on Booting NetBSD for the first time

Manual Installation of NetBSD using Solaris
(Adapted from Murray Stokely's <> instructions)

You can use Solaris to prepare the NetBSD user-friendly installer or to perform a full manual installation of NetBSD. If you want to use the user-friendly miniroot installer or RAM disk installation kernel, follow the sections Installing NetBSD by using the NetBSD miniroot or Installing NetBSD by using a NetBSD kernel on a Solaris partition.

Manual installation from Solaris 10 is not possible because NetBSD cannot use the resulting UFS file system. It is possible to install Solaris 10 and NetBSD on the same disk. To do so, partition the disk with the Solaris format command, then boot NetBSD and perform a manual installation. Be careful not to write a NetBSD disklabel. Use the disklabel command to read the partition size, as constructed from the Solaris disklabel. By default the NetBSD newfs command writes a NetBSD disklabel. Avoid this by using the -F and -s arguments to newfs.

Booting NetBSD for the first time

Now it is time to boot NetBSD for the first time. You will boot from your disk using similar syntax as described above in Setting up Open Firmware and Determining how to boot from an SBUS or PCI card That is, boot from your first disk:

ok boot disk

Post installation steps

Once you've got the operating system running, there are a few things you need to do in order to bring the system into a properly configured state, with the most important ones described below.

  1. Configuring /etc/rc.conf

    If you or the installation software haven't done any configuration of /etc/rc.conf (sysinst usually will), the system will drop you into single user mode on first reboot with the message

           /etc/rc.conf is not configured. Multiuser boot aborted.

    and with the root file system (/) mounted read-only. When the system asks you to choose a shell, simply press RETURN to get to a /bin/sh prompt. If you are asked for a terminal type, respond with sun for a local console, or whatever is appropriate for your serial console (some systems display garbage with a sun terminal type, you may need to use sun-ss5) and press RETURN. You may need to type one of the following commands to get your delete key to work properly, depending on your keyboard:
           # stty erase '^h'
           # stty erase '^?'
    At this point, you need to configure at least one file in the /etc directory. You will need to mount your root file system read/write with:
           # /sbin/mount -u -w /
    Change to the /etc directory and take a look at the /etc/rc.conf file. Modify it to your tastes, making sure that you set rc_configured=YES so that your changes will be enabled and a multi-user boot can proceed. Default values for the various programs can be found in /etc/defaults/rc.conf, where some in-line documentation may be found. More complete documentation can be found in rc.conf(5).

    If your /usr directory is on a separate partition and you do not know how to use ed, you will have to mount your /usr partition to gain access to ex or vi. Do the following:

           # mount /usr
           # export TERM=sun

    If you have /var on a separate partition, you need to repeat that step for it. After that, you can edit /etc/rc.conf with vi(1). When you have finished, type exit at the prompt to leave the single-user shell and continue with the multi-user boot.

    Other values that need to be set in /etc/rc.conf for a networked environment are hostname and possibly defaultroute, furthermore add an ifconfig_int for your <int> network interface, along the lines of

           ifconfig_hme0="inet netmask"

    or, if you have in /etc/hosts:

           ifconfig_hme0="inet netmask"

    To enable proper hostname resolution, you will also want to add an /etc/resolv.conf file or (if you are feeling a little more adventurous) run named(8). See resolv.conf(5) or named(8) for more information. Instead of manually configuring network and naming service, DHCP can be used by setting dhclient=YES in /etc/rc.conf.

    Other files in /etc that may require modification or setting up include /etc/mailer.conf, /etc/nsswitch.conf, and /etc/wscons.conf.

  2. Select the proper terminal devices

    If you are using a serial console, you will have to edit the /etc/ttys file and change sun-ss5 to the appropriate terminal type, such as vt220.

  3. Logging in

    After reboot, you can log in as root at the login prompt. Unless you've set a password in sysinst, there is no initial password. If you're using the machine in a networked environment, you should create an account for yourself (see below) and protect it and the ``root'' account with good passwords. By default, root login from the network is disabled (even via ssh(1)). One way to become root over the network is to log in as a different user that belongs to group ``wheel'' (see group(5)) and use su(1) to become root.

    Unless you have connected an unusual terminal device as the console you can just press RETURN when it prompts for Terminal type? [...].

  4. Adding accounts

    Use the useradd(8) command to add accounts to your system. Do not edit /etc/passwd directly! See vipw(8) and pwd_mkdb(8) if you want to edit the password database.

  5. The X Window System

    If you have installed the X Window System, look at the files in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc for information.

    Don't forget to add /usr/X11R6/bin to your path in your shell's dot file so that you have access to the X binaries.

  6. Installing third party packages

    If you wish to install any of the software freely available for UNIX-like systems you are strongly advised to first check the NetBSD package system. This automatically handles any changes necessary to make the software run on NetBSD, retrieval and installation of any other packages on which the software may depend, and simplifies installation (and deinstallation), both from source and precompiled binaries.

  7. Misc

Upgrading a previously-installed NetBSD System

The upgrade to NetBSD3.0 is a binary upgrade; it can be quite difficult to update the system from an earlier version by recompiling from source, primarily due to interdependencies in the various components.

To do the upgrade, you must boot from the installer kernel using one of the methods described above. You must also have at least the base and kern binary distribution sets available, so that you can upgrade with them, using one of the upgrade methods described above. Finally, you must have sufficient disk space available to install the new binaries. Since files already installed on the system are overwritten in place, you only need additional free space for files which weren't previously installed or to account for growth of the sets between releases. If you have a few megabytes free on each of your root (/) and /usr partitions, you should have enough space.

Since upgrading involves replacing the kernel, the boot blocks on your NetBSD partition, and most of the system binaries, it has the potential to cause data loss. You are strongly advised to back up any important data on the NetBSD partition or on another operating system's partition on your disk before beginning the upgrade process.

The upgrade procedure using the sysinst tool is similar to an installation, but without the hard disk partitioning. sysinst will attempt to merge the settings stored in your /etc directory with the new version of NetBSD. Getting the binary sets is done in the same manner as the installation procedure; refer to the installation part of the document for how to do this. Also, some sanity checks are done, i.e. file systems are checked before unpacking the sets.

After a new kernel has been copied to your hard disk, your machine is a complete NetBSD3.0 system. However, that doesn't mean that you're finished with the upgrade process. You will probably want to update the set of device nodes you have in /dev. If you've changed the contents of /dev by hand, you will need to be careful about this, but if not, you can just cd into /dev, and run the command:

       # sh MAKEDEV all

Finally, you will want to delete old binaries that were part of the version of NetBSD that you upgraded from and have since been removed from the NetBSD distribution.

Compatibility Issues With Previous NetBSD Releases

Users upgrading from previous versions of NetBSD may wish to bear the following problems and compatibility issues in mind when upgrading to NetBSD3.0.

Issues affecting an upgrade from NetBSD 2.1 and older releases.
It is very important that you populate the directory /etc/pam.d with appropriate configuration files for the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) because you will not be able to login any more otherwise. Using postinstall as described below will take care of this. Please refer to for documentation about PAM.

The following issues can generally be resolved by extracting the etc set into a temporary directory and running postinstall:

postinstall -s /path/to/etc.tgz check
postinstall -s /path/to/etc.tgz fix

Issues fixed by postinstall: