Monday, February 08, 2010

FreeBSD on Eee

I've managed to install FreeBSD 8.0 on my Eee. I was planning to install NetBSD 5.0, but I found out that I had to convert the ISO to a memory stick image before I can dd it. For some reasons, unetbootin doesn't work with NetBSD's ISOs. There's a script that converts NetBSD ISOs to memstick images, but it seems that it only works on an existing *BSD system. I could have just SSH'd into a remote NetBSD system so that I can run the script there, but I realized that the output would be too big. SSH access is a privilege and not a right; abusing it with large file transfers is a big no-no.

I tried to manually create an image using Mac OS X, but I couldn't initialize my USB stick's MBR (i.e., I couldn't boot from the USB). It says that it couldn't find "/usr/standalone/i386/boot0". I searched for it at the Mac OS X' original install discs, but I couldn't find it there either.

It is possible to install NetBSD using Mac OS X, but I was like, FreeBSD is already available as a memstick image from its FTP site. Why not use it? Thus, I downloaded it, dd'd it to my USB stick, and installed it on my Eee. Everything was straightforward.

Straightforward is boring. I'll try to recompile the kernel to see if I can further reduce its boot time (it boots less than 20sec from GRUB to login). I strongly suspect that I'll just reduce its space but not its boot time, but I'll never know until I try. I'll also try to install NetBSD via PXE, once I'm done playing with FreeBSD. I haven't tried doing it yet.

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