Ott 31

Recently I needed a *BSD machine to test a software I’m developing with two friends for an university research project.
My choice went for NetBSD of course ( latest version is 5.0.2, but the 5.1 is coming, anyway…).
But I can’t use Mirage, my UNIX (Oracle Solaris) server, for two reasons:

  • The only disk inside has Solaris on it and I don’t want to remove it, install NetBSD, then reinstall Solaris again;
  • I need two network cards and  Mirage has only one ( the Happy Meal ).

Because Raptor is powerful enough, I decided to virtualize NetBSD on VirtualBox, so I can have up to four network cards, as much RAM (and CPUs) as I wish, remote desktop, etc.

So, I created a virtual hard drive, then I created a virtual machine and tried to boot it… No way… Some strange errors at boot, during kernel loading…
Now, the NetBSD slogan is “Of course it runs NetBSD”, meaning it is able to runs on almost anything with a CPU and some RAM, including the toaster.
Being unable to run on one of the most used desktop virtualization software is unacceptable. It has to be my fault, I’m missing something.
Something critical for every OS I’ve used (and they’re many) is the / or the C: partition. The boot loader could be able to launch the kernel, but the kernel could not be able to find and mount the partition.

So, get my advice. When creating a virtual machine for NetBSD, add a SCSI controller to handle the virtual disk instead of using the classical IDE interface or the newer AHCI interface.


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Categories: computers ,howtos

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