Annotation of wikisrc/guide/inst.mdwn, revision 1.3

1.1       jdf         1: # Installing NetBSD: Preliminary considerations and preparations
                      3: ## Preliminary considerations
                      5: ### Dual booting
1.2       jdf         7: It is possible to install NetBSD together with other operating systems on one
1.1       jdf         8: hard disk.
1.2       jdf        10: If there is already an operating system on the hard disk, think about how you
                     11: can free some space for NetBSD; if NetBSD will share the disk with other
                     12: operating systems you will probably need to create a new partition (which you
                     13: will do with sysinst). Often times this will not be possible unless you resize
1.1       jdf        14: an existing partition.
1.2       jdf        16: Unfortunately, it is not possible to resize an existing partition with sysinst,
                     17: but there are some commercial products (like Partition Magic) and some free
1.1       jdf        18: tools (GNU Parted, FIPS, pfdisk) available for this.
                     20: You can also install NetBSD on a separate hard disk.
1.2       jdf        22: *Advice*: Unless you are comfortable with setting up a partitioning scheme for
                     23: two or more operating systems, and unless you understand the risk of data loss
                     24: if you should make a mistake, it is recommended that you give NetBSD its own
1.1       jdf        25: hard disk. This removes the risk of damage to the existing operating system.
                     27: ### NetBSD on emulation and virtualization
1.2       jdf        29: It is possible to install and run NetBSD on top of other operating systems
                     30: without having to worry about partitioning. Emulators or virtualization
                     31: environments provide a quick and secure way to try out NetBSD. The host
                     32: operating system remains unchanged, and the risk of damaging important data is
1.1       jdf        33: minimized.
1.2       jdf        35: Information about NetBSD as a Xen host and guest system is available on the
1.1       jdf        36: [NetBSD/xen web page](
1.2       jdf        38: The [NetBSD on emulated hardware](
                     39: web page provides detailed information about various emulators and the supported
1.1       jdf        40: NetBSD platforms. It should also be noted that NetBSD runs as a VMware guest.
                     42: ## Install preparations
                     44: ### The INSTALL document
1.2       jdf        46: The first thing to do before installing NetBSD is to read the release
                     47: information and installation notes in one of the `INSTALL` files: this is the
                     48: official description of the installation procedure, with platform-specific
                     49: information and important details. It is available in HTML, PostScript, plain
                     50: text, and an enhanced text format to be used with more. These files can be found
                     51: in the root directory of the NetBSD release (on the install CD or on the FTP
                     52: server). For example (replacing `6.1` with your release number, and `port` with
1.1       jdf        53: your port):
                     57: ### Partitions
1.2       jdf        59: The terminology used by NetBSD for partitioning is different from the typical
                     60: DOS/Windows terminology; in fact, there are two partitioning schemes involved
                     61: when running NetBSD on a typical PC. NetBSD installs in one of the four primary
1.1       jdf        62: BIOS partitions (the partitions defined in the hard disk partition table).
1.2       jdf        64: Within a BIOS partition (also called *slice*) NetBSD defines its BSD partitions
                     65: using a *disklabel*: these partitions can be seen only by NetBSD and are
                     66: identified by lowercase letters (starting with `a`). For example, wd0a refers to
                     67: the `a` partition of the first IDE disk (wd0) and sd0a refers to the `a`
                     68: partition of the first SCSI disk. In the following figure, there are two primary
                     69: BIOS partitions, one used by DOS and the other by NetBSD. NetBSD describes the
1.1       jdf        70: disk layout through the disklabel.
                     72: ![Partitions](/guide/images/part.gif)
1.2       jdf        74: *Note*: The meaning of partitions `c` and `d` is typical of the i386 port. On
1.1       jdf        75: most other ports, `c` represents the whole disk.
1.2       jdf        77: *Note*: If NetBSD shares the hard disk with another operating system (like in
                     78: the previous example) you will want to install a *boot manager*, i.e., a program
                     79: which lets you choose which OS to start at boot time. sysinst can do this for
                     80: you and will ask if you want to install one. Unless you have specific reasons
1.1       jdf        81: not to, you should let sysinst perform this step.
                     83: ### Hard disk space requirements
1.2       jdf        85: The exact amount of space required for a given NetBSD installation varies
                     86: depending on the platform being used and which distribution sets are selected.
                     87: In general, if you have 1GB of free space on your hard drive, you will have more
1.1       jdf        88: than enough space for a full installation of the base system.
                     90: ### Network settings
1.2       jdf        92: If you plan to fetch distribution sets over the network (not necessary if you
                     93: downloaded a full-size install ISO) and do not use DHCP, write down your basic
1.1       jdf        94: network settings. You will need:
                     96:  * Your IP address (example:
                     97:  * the netmask (example:
                     98:  * the IP address of your default gateway (example:
                     99:  * the IP address of the DNS server you use (example:
                    101: ### Backup your data and operating systems!
1.2       jdf       103: Before you begin the installation, make sure that you have a reliable backup of
                    104: any operating systems and data on the used hard disk. Mistakes in partitioning
                    105: your hard disk can lead to data loss. Existing operating systems may become
                    106: unbootable. "Reliable backup" means that the backup and restore procedure is
1.1       jdf       107: tested and works flawlessly!
                    109: ### Preparing the installation media
1.2       jdf       111: The NetBSD installation system consists of two parts. The first part is the
                    112: installation kernel. This kernel contains the NetBSD install program sysinst and
                    113: it is booted from a CD (or DVD), memory card, USB flash drive, or floppy disk.
                    114: The sysinst program will prepare the disk: it separates the disk space into
1.1       jdf       115: partitions, makes the disk bootable and creates the necessary file systems.
1.2       jdf       117: The second part of the install system is made up of the binary distribution
                    118: sets: the files of the NetBSD operating system. The installer needs to have
                    119: access to the distribution sets. sysinst will usually fetch these files from the
                    120: CD or DVD you burned, but it can also get them via FTP, NFS, or local
1.1       jdf       121: filesystem.
1.2       jdf       123: The NetBSD Project provides complete install media for every supported hardware
                    124: architecture. This is usually in the form of bootable CD images (`.iso` files).
1.1       jdf       125: For example (replacing `6.1` with the release you want to install):
1.2       jdf       129: *Note*: To improve net flow, and especially download speed, you should have a
                    130: look at the [list of mirrors]( and choose a local
1.1       jdf       131: server near you.
                    133: #### Booting the install system from CD
1.2       jdf       135: To use a bootable NetBSD install CD download the `iso` file for your hardware
                    136: architecture and burn it to a CD or DVD. You will need to handle this step
                    137: alone, as burning programs vary widely. Ensure that your computer is set up to
1.1       jdf       138: boot from CD-ROM before hard drives, insert the disc, and reboot the computer.
                    140: #### Booting the install system from floppy
1.2       jdf       142: If you need to create installation floppies, you need to copy floppy images to a
                    143: diskette. The floppy images are available on the NetBSD FTP servers or on a
                    144: NetBSD install CD. To perform this operation in DOS you can use the rawrite
                    145: program in the `i386/installation/misc` directory. For Windows, there's a
                    146: version in ``. The image files are `i386/installation/floppy/boot1.fs`
                    147: and `i386/installation/floppy/boot2.fs` for installation of a "normal" PC. The
                    148: other floppies that are available are described in more detail in the `INSTALL`
1.1       jdf       149: document.
1.2       jdf       151: *Note*: Before you write the boot images to floppies, you should always check
                    152: that the floppies are good: this simple step is often overlooked, but can save
1.1       jdf       153: you a lot of trouble!
                    155: The procedure to write floppies is:
                    157:  1. Format the floppy.
                    158:  2. Go to the `I386\INSTALLATION\FLOPPY` directory of the CD-ROM.
1.3     ! jdf       159:  3. Run the `..\MISC\RAWRITE` program (or extract `..\MISC\RAWR32.ZIP` if
1.2       jdf       160:     you're on a Windows system, and run the RAWRITE32 program in that file).
                    161:        Usually the `Source file`s are `BOOT1.FS` and `BOOT2.FS` and the
1.1       jdf       162:        `Destination drive` is `A`:
                    164: To create a boot floppy in a Unix environment, the
                    165: [dd(1)](
                    166: command can be used: For example:
                    168:     # cd i386/installation/floppy
                    169:     # dd if=boot.fs of=/dev/fd0a bs=36b
1.2       jdf       171: *Note*: A 1440K floppy contains 1474560 bytes and is made up of 80 cylinders, 2
                    172: tracks, 18 sectors and 512 bytes per sector, i.e., 80 \* 2 \* 18 = 2880 blocks.
                    173: Thus `bs=36b` copies one cylinder (18 \* 2 blocks) at a time and repeats the
1.1       jdf       174: operation 80 times instead of 2880.
                    176: ## Checklist
                    178: This is the checklist about the things that should be clear and on-hand now:
                    180:  * Available disk space
                    181:  * Bootable medium with the install system
                    182:  * CD/DVD or server with the distribution sets
1.2       jdf       183:  * Your network information (only if you will be fetching distribution sets via
1.1       jdf       184:    the network and do not use DHCP)
                    185:  * A working backup
                    186:  * A printout of the INSTALL document

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