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NetBSD installation from the command line (without sysinst)
 
Get to the prompt
Boot with your prefered NetBSD install media (e.g. CDrom), choose language, keyboard and exit sysinst,
language : english
keyboard : your keyboard layout
^C
Note. if you ever wish to return to sysinst, no need to (re)execute it. Simply exit the shell.
 
DOS partitions
On i386 or amd64, you need to configure the MBR and DOS kind of partition table.
 
Initialize the MBR and make an empty DOS partition table,
fdisk -i sd0
y
y
 
Create the first partition using the whole disk (offset: sector 63), make the first partition 'active' and check,
fdisk -u -0 sd0
fdisk -a -0 sd0
fdisk sd0
Note. empty boot menu disables it (press enter)
 
BSD partitions
On all hardware plateforms, create a disk label,
disklabel -i sd0
E (long) or P (short)
a
4.2BSD
...
b
swap
...
verify, write the label and quit,
E (long) or P (short)
W
Q
Note. there's also 'E' to print more details
 
Installation
On i386 or amd64, enable swap straight away,
swapctl -a /dev/sd0b
swapctl -l
 
On all hardware plateforms, make an FFS file system and mount the root partition,
newfs /dev/rsd0a
cd /
mount /dev/sd0a mnt/
 
Mount the install media,
mkdir /cdrom
mount_cd9660 /dev/cd0a /cdrom
note. mount_cd9660 prefers absolute path destination, which is not the case for mount_ffs
or mount the NFS share,
mount -t nfs 10.1.1.254:/var/data/netbsd61sparc mnt2
 
And proceed with the installation,
cd /mnt2/
tar xvzphfe kern-GENERIC.tgz -C /mnt/
#tar xvzphfe kern-GENERIC.MP.tgz -C /mnt/
tar xvzphfe modules.tgz -C /mnt/
for set in base comp etc games man misc tests text; do tar xzphfe $set.tgz -C /mnt/; done
unset set
Note. on sparc, kern-GENERIC.MP works for both, single and multi-cpu.
 
Install the boot loader, on sparc,
cp /usr/mdec/boot /mnt/
installboot -v /dev/rsd0a /usr/mdec/bootxx /boot
note. no timeout option available on sparc.
note. third argument needed.
on i386 or amd64,
cp /usr/mdec/boot /mnt/
dumpfs -s /dev/rwd0a | grep ^format
installboot -v -o timeout=3 /dev/rwd0a /usr/mdec/bootxx_ffsv1 
 
Generate the device files,
chroot /mnt/
cd dev/
./MAKEDEV all
 
Further configure the system (using vi in the chrooted environment),
cd /etc/
ln -sf ../usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Paris localtime
vi rc.conf
#wscons=yes
sshd=yes
cd /etc/ssh/
cp sshd_config sshd_config.dist
vi sshd_config
 
Eventually fix the wscons keyboard layout,
cd /etc/
cp wscons.conf wscons.conf.dist
vi wscons.conf
change e.g.,
encoding fr
 
Don't forget to setup the fstab (using vi in the chrooted environment),
cd /etc/
cat > fstab <<EOF9
/dev/sd0a  /  ffs  rw,log  1 1
/dev/sd0b  none  swap  sw  0 0
EOF9
Note. add /kern if you want kernfs
 
Exit the chroot, finish up and reboot,
exit
umount /mnt
umount /mnt2
reboot
 
References
Appendix B. Installing without sysinst
http://www.nibel.net/nbsdeng/ap-inst.html
 
fdisk -- MS-DOS partition maintenance program
http://netbsd.gw.com/cgi-bin/man-cgi?fdisk++NetBSD-current
 
disklabel -- read and write disk pack label
http://netbsd.gw.com/cgi-bin/man-cgi?disklabel++NetBSD-current
 

Last update: Aug 20, 2013