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 **Contents**  This page was moved to:
   [The NetBSD Guide - Installing NetBSD: Preliminary considerations and preparations](//www.NetBSD.org/docs/guide/en/chap-inst.html)
 [[!toc levels=3]]  
   
 # Installing NetBSD: Preliminary considerations and preparations  
   
 ## Preliminary considerations  
   
 ### Dual booting  
   
 It is possible to install NetBSD together with other operating systems on one  
 hard disk.  
   
 If there is already an operating system on the hard disk, think about how you  
 can free some space for NetBSD; if NetBSD will share the disk with other  
 operating systems you will probably need to create a new partition (which you  
 will do with sysinst). Often times this will not be possible unless you resize  
 an existing partition.  
   
 Unfortunately, it is not possible to resize an existing partition with sysinst,  
 but there are some commercial products (like Partition Magic) and some free  
 tools (GNU Parted, FIPS, pfdisk) available for this.  
   
 You can also install NetBSD on a separate hard disk.  
   
 *Advice*: Unless you are comfortable with setting up a partitioning scheme for  
 two or more operating systems, and unless you understand the risk of data loss  
 if you should make a mistake, it is recommended that you give NetBSD its own  
 hard disk. This removes the risk of damage to the existing operating system.  
   
 ### NetBSD on emulation and virtualization  
   
 It is possible to install and run NetBSD on top of other operating systems  
 without having to worry about partitioning. Emulators or virtualization  
 environments provide a quick and secure way to try out NetBSD. The host  
 operating system remains unchanged, and the risk of damaging important data is  
 minimized.  
   
 Information about NetBSD as a Xen host and guest system is available on the  
 [NetBSD/xen web page](http://www.NetBSD.org/ports/xen/).  
   
 The [NetBSD on emulated hardware](http://www.NetBSD.org/ports/emulators.html)  
 web page provides detailed information about various emulators and the supported  
 NetBSD platforms. It should also be noted that NetBSD runs as a VMware guest.  
   
 ## Install preparations  
   
 ### The INSTALL document  
   
 The first thing to do before installing NetBSD is to read the release  
 information and installation notes in one of the `INSTALL` files: this is the  
 official description of the installation procedure, with platform-specific  
 information and important details. It is available in HTML, PostScript, plain  
 text, and an enhanced text format to be used with more. These files can be found  
 in the root directory of the NetBSD release (on the install CD or on the FTP  
 server). For example, the amd64 install instructions are available at:  
   
     http://cdn.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-8.0/amd64/INSTALL.html  
   
 ### Partitions  
   
 The terminology used by NetBSD for partitioning is different from the typical  
 DOS/Windows terminology; in fact, there are two partitioning schemes involved  
 when running NetBSD on a typical PC. NetBSD installs in one of the four primary  
 BIOS partitions (the partitions defined in the hard disk partition table).  
   
 Within a BIOS partition (also called *slice*) NetBSD defines its BSD partitions  
 using a *disklabel*: these partitions can be seen only by NetBSD and are  
 identified by lowercase letters (starting with `a`). For example, wd0a refers to  
 the `a` partition of the first IDE disk (wd0) and sd0a refers to the `a`  
 partition of the first SCSI disk. In the following figure, there are two primary  
 BIOS partitions, one used by DOS and the other by NetBSD. NetBSD describes the  
 disk layout through the disklabel.  
   
 ![Partitions](/guide/images/part.gif)  
   
 *Note*: The meaning of partitions `c` and `d` is typical of the amd64 port. On  
 most other ports, `c` represents the whole disk.  
   
 *Note*: If NetBSD shares the hard disk with another operating system (like in  
 the previous example) you will want to install a *boot manager*, i.e., a program  
 which lets you choose which OS to start at boot time. sysinst can do this for  
 you and will ask if you want to install one. Unless you have specific reasons  
 not to, you should let sysinst perform this step.  
   
 ### Hard disk space requirements  
   
 The exact amount of space required for a given NetBSD installation varies  
 depending on the platform being used and which distribution sets are selected.  
 Generally speaking, if you have a few GB of free space on your hard drive, you  
 will have enough space for a full installation of the base system.  
   
 ### Network settings  
   
 If you plan to fetch distribution sets over the network (not necessary if you  
 downloaded a full-size install ISO) and do not use DHCP, write down your basic  
 network settings. You will need:  
   
  * Your IP address (example: 192.168.1.7)  
  * the netmask (example: 255.255.255.0)  
  * the IP address of your default gateway (example: 192.168.1.1)  
  * the IP address of the DNS server you use (example: 145.253.2.75)  
   
 ### Backup your data and operating systems!  
   
 Before you begin the installation, make sure that you have a reliable backup of  
 any operating systems and data on the used hard disk. Mistakes in partitioning  
 your hard disk can lead to data loss. Existing operating systems may become  
 unbootable. "Reliable backup" means that the backup and restore procedure is  
 tested and works flawlessly!  
   
 ### Preparing the installation media  
   
 The NetBSD installation system consists of two parts. The first part is the  
 installation kernel. This kernel contains the NetBSD install program sysinst and  
 it is booted from the install media (e.g, CD/DVD, USB drive, memory card, etc.).  
 The [[!template id=man name="sysinst" section="8"]] program will prepare the disk: it separates the disk space into  
 partitions, makes the disk bootable and creates the necessary file systems.  
   
 The second part of the install system is made up of the binary distribution  
 sets: the files of the NetBSD operating system. The installer needs to have  
 access to the distribution sets. [[!template id=man name="sysinst" section="8"]]  
 will usually fetch these files from the install media you booted from, but it  
 can also fetch them via HTTP, NFS, or a local file system.  
   
 The NetBSD Project provides [complete install media](https://cdn.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-8.0/images/) for every supported hardware  
 architecture. This is usually in the form of bootable CD images (`.iso` files).  
   
 #### Booting the install system from USB  
   
 To use a bootable USB install image (on amd64, i386) download the `img.gz` file for your hardware architecture, decompress and copy the image to a USB. For example on a Unix-like system you may use:  
   
         # gunzip NetBSD-8.0-amd64-install.img.gz  
         # dd if=NetBSD-8.0-amd64-install.img of=/dev/your-usb bs=2m  
   
 Examples of `your-usb` are `/dev/rsd0d` (NetBSD), `/dev/sda` (Linux).  
   
 *Caution*: Selecting the wrong device in dd may destroy your current system.  
 Double check it isn't mounted and is your USB stick. It should appear at the  
 bottom of dmesg on connect, for example, if you see:  
   
         sd0 at scsibus0 target 0 lun 0: [...], disk removable  
   
 on NetBSD, you will want to select `/dev/rsd0d`.  
   
 #### Booting the install system from CD  
   
 To use a bootable NetBSD install CD download the `iso` file for your hardware  
 architecture and burn it to a CD or DVD. You will need to handle this step  
 alone, as burning programs vary widely. Ensure that your computer is set up to  
 boot from CD-ROM before hard drives, insert the disc, and reboot the computer.  
   
 #### Booting the install system from floppy  
   
 If you need to create installation floppies, you need to copy floppy images to a  
 diskette. The floppy images are available on the NetBSD FTP servers or on a  
 NetBSD install CD. To perform this operation in DOS you can use the rawrite  
 program in the `i386/installation/misc` directory. For Windows, there's a  
 version in `rawr32.zip`. The image files are `i386/installation/floppy/boot1.fs`  
 and `i386/installation/floppy/boot2.fs` for installation of a "normal" PC. The  
 other floppies that are available are described in more detail in the `INSTALL`  
 document.  
   
 *Note*: Before you write the boot images to floppies, you should always check  
 that the floppies are good: this simple step is often overlooked, but can save  
 you a lot of trouble!  
   
 The procedure to write floppies is:  
   
  1. Format the floppy.  
  2. Go to the `I386\INSTALLATION\FLOPPY` directory of the CD-ROM.  
  3. Run the `..\MISC\RAWRITE` program (or extract `..\MISC\RAWR32.ZIP` if  
     you're on a Windows system, and run the RAWRITE32 program in that file).  
         Usually the `Source file`s are `BOOT1.FS` and `BOOT2.FS` and the  
         `Destination drive` is `A`:  
   
 To create a boot floppy in a Unix environment, the  
 [[!template id=man name="dd" section="1"]]  
 command can be used: For example:  
   
     # cd i386/installation/floppy  
     # dd if=boot.fs of=/dev/fd0a bs=36b  
   
 *Note*: A 1440K floppy contains 1474560 bytes and is made up of 80 cylinders, 2  
 tracks, 18 sectors and 512 bytes per sector, i.e., 80 \* 2 \* 18 = 2880 blocks.  
 Thus `bs=36b` copies one cylinder (18 \* 2 blocks) at a time and repeats the  
 operation 80 times instead of 2880.  
   
 ## Checklist  
   
 This is the checklist about the things that should be clear and on-hand now:  
   
  * Available disk space  
  * Bootable medium with the install system  
  * CD/DVD or server with the distribution sets  
  * Your network information (only if you will be fetching distribution sets via  
    the network and do not use DHCP)  
  * A working backup  
  * A copy of the INSTALL document  
   

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