Installing NetBSD 5.1 on the SIMH MicroVAX II

From Computer History Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Installation of NetBSD on the SIMH MicroVAX II ought to be trivial.

First get the vaxcd-5.1.iso file from the NetBSD site.

pre install

First you'll need an ini file, I'm going to use this:

load ka655x.bin -r
set cpu 128m
set rq0 ra92
at rq0 netbsd.dsk
set rq1 cdrom
att rq1 vaxcd-5.1.iso
set xq ena
set throttle 33%
set console telnet=2223
boot cpu

Note that you *MUST* use a console that can interpret ascii codes or you'll be stuck with something like this:

 Welcome to sysinst, the NetBSD-5.1 system installation tool.  This
 menu-driven tool is designed to help you install NetBSD to a hard disk, or
 upgrade an existing NetBSD system, with a minimum of work.
 In the following menus type the reference letter (a, b, c, ...) to select an
 item, or type CTRL+N/CTRL+P to select the next/previous item.
 The arrow keys and Page-up/Page-down may also work.
 Activate the current selection from the menu by typing the enter key.

 ←[13;17H+---------------------------------------------+←[14;17H|>←[7ma: Install
ation messages in English←[m←[14;63H|←[15;17H| b: Messages d'installation en fra
nçais      |←[16;17H| c: Installation auf Deutsch←[16;63H|←[17;17H| d: Komunikat
y instalacyjne w jezyku polskim |←[18;17H| e: Mensajes de instalación en castell
ano    |←[19;17H+---------------------------------------------+←[14;18H

instead of a useful install menu like this:

                |>a: Installation messages in English         |
                | b: Messages d'installation en franτais      |
                | c: Installation auf Deutsch                 |
                | d: Komunikaty instalacyjne w jezyku polskim |
                | e: Mensajes de instalaci≤n en castellano    |

boot it up

It's pretty simple first the MicroVAX II will run it's diagnostics, then you'll be at the boot prompt. Then we just tell it to boot from dua1 which will then kick off the boot loader. I've noticed in this version it takes substantially longer for NetBSD to boot up. Just be patient. It will work.

It's a pretty straight forward install, I setup my disk like this..

        MB         Cylinders   Sectors   Filesystem
       256               553    524797   /
        32                70     66430   swap
         0                 0         0   tmp (mfs)
       768              1658   1573442   /usr
        64               139    131911   /var
       314               679    644371   /home

Be sure once you are prompted to select a source for the CD-ROM, to change cd0a to ra1a.

Because the sources are compressed, this will take a while.