cvs commit: src/release Makefile

Peter Jeremy peterjeremy at
Wed Feb 1 00:28:01 PST 2006

On Tue, 2006-Jan-31 13:39:33 -0700, Scott Long wrote:
>Note: this amounts to life support for floppies.  The end IS coming.  What 
>we need is for people to start working out the kinks of using usb ram 
>drives to run the installer.  This isn't the same as running nanobsd or 
>picobsd, this is about creating an image like the CD bootonly ISO that 
>can be easily transfered to USB and run at boot.

Some time ago, I was surprised to find that my son's oldish (mid 2003)
system was happy to try and boot off a USB memory stick.

As an experiment, I just tried (on 6-STABLE):
# mdconfig -a -t malloc -s 95m -u 10
# fdisk -B md10
# bsdlabel -wrB md10s1
# newfs md10s1a
# mount /dev/md10s1a /a
# cd /a
# dump -0f - / | restore -rf -
# umount /a
# dd if=/dev/md10 of=/dev/da0 bs=8k
and then rebooting off the memory stick - the activity LED showed that
this worked.  It got to single user (though since I hadn't updated
fstab, it mounted ad0s2a as root).  Admittedly, this is on a brand
new laptop but I have no reason to believe it wouldn't on my son's

Creating a downloadable, bootable image to write to a USB stick is
trivial.  I suspect the major effort will be providing a tool that is
capable of writing the image to a raw memory stick using a common,
proprietary GUI file loader.

>all the sob stories about everyone's shiny new server only includes 
>support for floppies and MFM disks and how cd's and netbooting just aren't 
>an option.

I still administer two (P-1) boxes that can only boot from HDD or
floppy but one is due to be de-commissioned Real Soon Now and I
suspect an inability to run 7.x on the other one will not be a

BTW, when will FreeBSD support booting from punch cards, paper tape and
uniselectors :-)  [EDSAC bootstrapped from uniselectors]

Peter Jeremy

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