[Soekris] NetBSD + flashcard layout strategy

M. Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sat Nov 30 00:02:25 UTC 2002

I've done a lot with flash cards and *Free*BSD, so maybe my comments
are a little off.

: 1) "no namelist" on netstat - I have no kernel image in the root
:    ramdisk and cannot put one there since the kernel image contains
:    the root filesystem 

Hmmmm, I let FreeBSD boot the kernel in the normal way, so I don't
have this problem.

: 2) /dev needs to be read-write no matter what? Lots of complaints
:    during the boot process if it is not.  Tried to put a minimal /dev
:    in the root memory disk image and then mount a new one over top of
:    it later but that confuses many programs.  Seems the /dev I boot
:    with has to stay there forever.

/dev doesn't need to be R/W in FreeBSD, but I had to fix a few places
that complained on boot.  Maybe it would be a good idea to fix them in
NetBSD as well.

: 3) is it possible to pare down the memory disk to contain only / and
:    /dev, and have everything else on flashcard filesystems that can be
:    mounted r/o to prevent write-cycle damage to the card?  If so, when
:    during boot would /usr/lib, /var, /usr/bin, etc have to become
:    available?

We put / and /usr on the same partition (read only), and link /bin and
/sbin dynamically.  We mount /var in a memory disk, and symlink /tmp
-> /var/tmp and have an mtree spec for creating /var.

: 4) the ramdisk is huge - 12MB since it contains /bin and /sbin which are
:    apparently necessary to enter a meaningful single user mode.

Why are you using a ram disk image anyway?

: Just wondering if there are any FAQs or archived resources/discussion
: on flashcard layout strategy with NetBSD?  I've been able to find
: precious little on this subject during my google searches.

Again, my experiences have been with FreeBSD, but I don't think that
NetBSD is that different.  I've done similar things with
NetBSD/hpcmips, but have to boot through WinCE on those flashes.


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