02 January 2005

Gateway part II

I figured that, having already installed OpenBSD, it would be a piece of cake to do again. And it was. Installation was fast and easy using the 3.5" boot floppy. Downloading via FTP was super-fast as well (I set up the computer on my kitchen counter for lack of other space, and disconnected the CAT5 from the PS2 network adapter to use for this install).

For some reason unbeknownst to be, installation went perfectly but the OS wouldn't boot properly. I didn't take any notes on why, and perhaps I could have reinstalled, but I had other ideas.

Those ideas included trying something different, as in, a different operating system. Of course, I would be limited to something that could be started from a 3.5" floppy (or 3 floppies as it turned out). OpenBSD's cousin FreeBSD turned out to be the answer.

FreeBSD uses three floppies: one boot floppy and two kernel floppies. I downloaded the disk installation images and used ntrw to write them to the floppies. It took a few tries as a couple of the floppies did not want to cooperate, but in short order I had my three installation floppies.

I rebooted with (surprise) the boot floppy installed. It started up, asked for the kernel one floppy, then the kernel two floppy, and finally the boot floppy again.

Instead of the scrolling text install that OpenBSD used, FreeBSD uses a program called sysinstall with text-based menus.

OpenBSD was pretty easy, but this was cake!

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