Netbsd install

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If you use this process, all data on the Kurobox will be lost. Make a backup of your data

Overview of the installation process

First, you have to install a working GNU/Linux-distribution. I prefer a Debian installation, and will use that in this guide, but you can probably do the same with Gentoo or any other installation. We use this GNU/Linux installation to set up a working NetBSD installation on a memory stick (USB stick). From this stick we can bootstrap NetBSD by partitioning/disklabeling and copying the installation. Finally, we boot into the NetBSD installation on the harddisk.

You keep your GNU/Linux-system on your Kurobox. This is required in order to boot NetBSD.


  • A Kurobox HG (this will probably work on a regular Kurobox as well, but I did not test it. If you do, please update this page).
  • A PC to connect to the Kurobox. This can be a GNU/Linux, *BSD, Windows, Mac OS X system, anything that has a network connection, ssh and telnet.
  • An HDD in your Kurobox that is sufficiently large (a few GB should suffice).
  • A memory stick of at least 256 MB.
  • A little bit NetBSD knowledge could come in handy but it is not required.

Installing Debian GNU/Linux

Follow the steps on this page, with a few minor comments:

  • I only created a 1GB partition on /dev/hda1, but this should not matter much.
  • You probably don't need a swap partition (/dev/hda2) if you are not going to use your GNU/Linux-installation much.
  • Do not create a /dev/hda3-partition. We let NetBSD's fdisk do this.
  • I upgraded to Debian Etch but this is not necessary if you are not going to use your GNU/Linux-installation much. The Debian installation page is for Woody (3.0). This distribution is no longer supported by Debian, you should upgrade to Sarge (3.1) and then to Etch (4.0) if you are going to use Debian on a regular basis in order to get the latest security updates.
  • Do not install U-boot, keep Linux 2.4.17 or 2.4.20. (You can probably compile the module for other versions of Linux 2.4.x as well, not sure about Linux 2.6)

Installing NetBSD on your memory stick

Fetch the following files from the Internet:

Install the bunzip2-utility:
apt-get install bzip2
Make a directory for your NetBSD-stuff:
mkdir /root/netbsd ; cd /root/netbsd
FTP / SCP the above files to your Kurobox and place them in /root/netbsd
Unpack the kernel:
bunzip2 netbsd.GENERIC3.20060417.bin.bz2
Unpack the NetBSD 3.0-installation:
bunzip2 256M_BSD3.img.bz2
Unpack the Linux 2.4-modules:
bunzip nbloader_v2.20060225.tar.bz2
Make the startup-script executable:
chmod a+x netbsd_load
Determine which module to use:
ln -s nbloader_v2/binary/`uname -r`/nbloader_v2.o nbloader_v2.o
Insert your USB-stick into the Kurobox. The device will probably be /dev/sda. You can check this:
dmesg | tail
Your USB-stick will be wiped with the next command!! Copy NetBSD to the USB-stick:
dd if=256_BSD3.img of=/dev/sda bs=1M
Start NetBSD from your USB-stick:
./netbsd_load usb
If you have a DHCP-server on your network, the Kurobox will get an IP from your DHCP-server. Otherwise, it falls back to either (Kurobox) or (Kurobox HG). Determine the IP-address that your Kurobox got.
Telnet into your box (replace with your Kurobox's IP). The user is 'bsduser', no password needed.

Congratulations, you have now successfully run NetBSD.