NetBSD/mac68k Install Guide

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whatthehellswithwindows's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Feb 27 2006 - 04:10
Posts: 67
NetBSD/mac68k Install Guide

This thread will be my version of a coherent install guide that is up to date. Since I am installing right now, I'll post it all later.
Watch this thread ^_^. In the meantime, Think about the macs you would like to try this on. It Must be a '020, '030, or '040 w/ PMMU, or FPU. 8mb ram is a sharp requirement, and at least a 1gb hard disk. I will try and lessen the reqs later when I have time to do a custom build. and unless you want to build your packages (Belive me, you do NOT want to build them) You need an internet connection and an internal ethernet card. an asante SCSI one will not do. NetBSD is a unix variant, and is totally different then what a ot of mac users are used too, so unless you have some unix experience, or are willing to learn as you go, and dive off the deep end, this guide is not for you. I, nor apple fritter, nor its members take responsibility for and harm to you, your hardware, or loss of data. If you have questions, feel free to PM me, or find me on freenode IRC.

For now,

whatthehellswithwindows's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Feb 27 2006 - 04:10
Posts: 67
Lets start.


  • Macintosh with an '040, '030, '020, with FPU /PMMU.
  • At least 8MB ram
  • At least a 1GB Hard disk. You can install in much less, but If you want to be productive, You'll want at least this much.
  • MacOS 7.3.5-7.6 Install disks.
  • Internet connection
  • Built in or nubus ethernet. SCSI will not do.
  • CD-ROM Drive
  • a CD burner
  • Patience


Re-read the checklist above. Do you have everything required? Good.
Now, The first thing we need to do is download our Net-BSD/Mac68k .iso ! a .iso file is a cd image, similar in effect to a .dmg.

Now, open a web browser on the computer you plan to burn the .iso with. cop and past this into your address bar: .
It is around 135mb. Now, open the .iso with the burning software of your choice. Burn it to a CD-R< as CD-RWs give most Apple SCSI CD-ROMs issues.

Now, for the Part where data loss can occur. Partitioning your drive. For this I used the patched 7.3.5 HD SC Setup. I'll upload this to a file host later for those who don't have, or cant patch their own.*
It should look something like this:

In HD SC Setup, Create One 100mb Mac Partition. Next, create an A/UX Swap partition that is double the amount of RAM you have. Then, Make an A/UX Root&User partition with the rest of your free space. Quit HD SC Setup.

Remember those MacOS install disks? This is where we use them. Install MacOS onto the 100mb partition we made. I prefer 7.6, but 7.5.x will do. If using 7.6, do not install any of the extra packages like Mac link plus.

Is that .iso burnt? . Take your newly burnt CD and pop it into your 68 Mac of choice that fits the above criteria. it should Show up in the finder as "NetBSD 3.1 Mac68k CD". Open the CD in the Finder. Browse to the following directory. MAC68K > INSTALLATION > MISC . Copy BSD_MAC68K_BOOTER.BIN to your Mac partition. Then browse to MAC68K > INSTALLATION > INSKERNEL . copy NETBSD_INSTALL.GZ to your Mac partition. Browse to MAC68K > INSTALLATION > MINIROOT and copy MINIROOT_FS.GZ to your Mac partition. Your Hard disk should look something like this now IMAGE(

Now Open BSD_MAC68K_BOOTER.BIN. Select options from the menu bar, then booting. this will open a window. You should see a section Called "Kernel Location". Make sure the bullet is set to "Mac OS file". Click the "SET" Button, and select NETBSD_INSTALL.GZ then click "OK". You should be back to the BSD/Mac68k Launch window.

Now, press cmd-b. This may take awhile, because it is decompressing the kernel. One it has decompressed, you should see "So I sez to him The real way that it should be done is to..." and then your screen will blank ,and you'll see text fly down your screen. This is normal. It will stop and there will be a question at the bottom of the screen. "Terminal type? [VT220]" Just hit return.

You are now in the NetBSD installation program, sysinst. You should see a welcome message at the top, and then a menu That says "NetBSD-3.1 Install System", and offers you the following choices. A: Install NetBSD to hard disk, b: Upgrade NetBSD on a hard disk, etc. We want the first choice, A, it should already be selected. Hit return. Next you will be taken to a screen that explains about possible data loss. select yes, and hit return. Next is should say "I only found one disk, sd0, Therefore I assume you want to install NetBSD on it" Hit return to continue. Next it will ask you to "Select your distribution" it should already have "a: Full installation" selected. hit return. Next you will see a screen that says "We are no going to install NetBSD on the disk sd0. You may choose to install NetBSD on the entire disk or part of the disk. Which would you like to do?" We want to choose choice "a", and that is "Use only part of the disk". Make sure that it is selected, and hit return.

*** *** THERE IS NO GOING BACK *** ***

This next screen is the one that lets us select the partitions to use for NetBSD. Be careful.

The top of the screen should read :
Edit Disk Partition Map: The Map on the disk has been scanned...". You should see a list of partition on your drive. The first should be fstype HFS, and Use MacOS.
The one we want is fstype 4.2BSD and Use Root&USR. Select the "Select next partition" until the above partition is highlighted. then go to choice "b:", "Change Selected Partition". hit return. The menu should change to "Partition Type?" Make sure NetBSD root is selected, and then hit return. now select the partition with fstype "swap". go to change selected partition. Only this time, go to NetBSD swap, then hit return.
Select exit, and hit return. It will now ask you "yes or no?" Select yes, and hit enter. It will start to create the file system on you disk. This can take awhile. go have a soda and watch a movie if you aren't using an '040.

OK! We have partitioned our disks, and formatted them. Time to do the install!

Warning. This is the part that takes forever, even on an '040 with 32mb RAM.

We are now ready to install. You will be at a screen thats asks "Select set extraction verbosity" it should have "a", "Progress bar" selected already. Hit return. Now it wants you to select where to pull the archives from. Make sure the cd is in, then hit return, then select continue and hit return again. It will then mount the CD-ROM, then tell you to press enter to continue. do so. You are in for the long haul now. This will take a LONG time, specially on Slower macs, with old drives. now once its all done copying, it will ask to reboot.

When it does, Open the booter application. Select options from the menu, and then booting.
Change kernel location. click the "BSD device" selector. Enter the partition you installed on. click OK, now in the next section, "BSD ROOT DEVICE" select SCSI disk, and enter the ID of your disk.Check the "Single User" box and try booting. If it boots, continue.

At first boot, it will be in single user mode. We have to change this. Once you are booted, type the following commands, an enter after each line:

Minus the # and leading space**
# mount /dev/sd0a
# vi /etc/rc.conf

change rc_configured=no to rc_configured=YES then add sshd=yes , and dhclient=YES .
((if you don't know how to use vi, ((you probably don't)) then look at

Now type reboot, and hit enter.

Open the booter application, deselect single user. click OK, then Boot. enjoy.

--Feel free to PM on the forums, Contact me via an Instant messenger service, or on the AppleFritter IRC on FreeNode--

Patched Apple HD SC Setup:

Pics coming within the hour.

Jon's picture
Last seen: 13 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 2804
One point to add, that I enco

One point to add, that I encountered years go the last time I layed with NetBSD on a mac68k, is that if you set it to show every file name as it is extracted then the installer runs much slower. NetBSD didn't have accelerated video in the installer, so it took a noticable amount of CPU time to scroll the screen.

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