[nycbug-talk] Confusion around Grub, NetBSD 3.0, DAC960 control (all for Xen)

alex at pilosoft.com alex at pilosoft.com
Mon May 15 15:39:30 EDT 2006

On Mon, 15 May 2006, Tillman Hodgson wrote:

> I picked up an older VA Linux 4u rack-mount server with dual 450MHz CPUs
> and a nice DAC960-based hardware RAID controller and a stack of SCSI
> drives. I want to repalce some of my very-much-older hardware
> (decstation, SGI boxes and sparcs, mostly) that are performing simple
> tasks with this single box running Xen 2.0 (because that's what the
> NetBSD Xen port seems to make the easiest option). The services are all
> light-weight items (an NFS server, for example) and it makes sense to
> reduce my electrical bill at home. And Xen sounds neat to play with.
Oh jebus. Get a ghetto dell P4/3ghz with an IDE drive for 500$, and it'll
be far more power-efficient and an order of magnitude faster that the 
above. Of course, less of a 'omg look at all the prehistoric hardware i 
manage to keep running' factor.

> I have my initial NetBSD install setup and I went to install grub. I
> should note that I switched from Linux to BSD back in the ays when lilo
> was the bootloader for most Linux distributions ... I've never used grub
> before. In any case, I don't think I did it right :-)
why are you using grub instead of bsd bootloader?

> The machine boots to what looks like the normal BSD bootloader, loads a
> kernel, then reboots. Rinse, wash, repeat. The reboot behaviour tells me
> that my attempt to install grub did /something/ to the boot sequence: it
> was booting fine before. But seeing the BSD bootloader instead of a grub
> prompt makes me believe that the install wasn't done right.
> Is there an easy way to recover from this? My thought was to boot from
> the install disk, get a shell, and re-install the BSD bootloader
> somehow, and try to recover from there.
yes, that's what you do.

on freebsd, you use installboot to install bootloader. I don't know how it 
is on netbsd.

> Perhaps it's an issue that I'm booting from a DAC960 virtual disk? (In
> NetBSD, it's the ld0 device). I trusted grub-install to come up with the
> device map, perhaps that's the problem.
no, that's not an issue. 

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