Make sure to read the Before you start! section before attempting this walkthrough.

Phase I: Preparation Edit

  1. If you haven't already, back up your existing Atari TT hard drive per the Before you start! page.
    1. To do this, temporarily terminate your original Atari TT SCSI drive and plug it into the Windows PC or whichever machine you'll use to image it.
    2. Create an image with Selfimage or other imaging software. You'll want to steer clear of using GEMExplorer for imaging drives larger than 1GB.
    3. Unplug the original Atari TT SCSI drive and remove its termination.
  2. Format the disk.
    1. Format the disk on a PC.
      1. Plug the new SCSI drive (onto which you will later install NetBSD Atari) into the Windows PC.
      2. If the PC has an Adaptec 2940AU or similar SCSI card, you can press CTRL-A during boot to get to the SCSI BIOS.
      3. From the SCSI BIOS, verify the drive (if there is an option to do this), then format it. Formatting may take quite a while.
    2. ...or, erase the disk on your Atari once you've booted up and gone to the shell: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rsd0c bs=1m progress=1
  3. Copy the compressed NetBSD kernel (/atari/binary/kernel/netbsd-ATARITT.gz) from a NetBSD mirror site to a formatted 1.44MB floppy. The latest release version as of the time of this writing can be found here.
  4. Rename the file on the floppy to ataritt.gz to avoid any issues with DOS long file names later during the installation.
  5. On the same floppy, copy loadbsd.ttp (/atari/installation/misc/loadbsd.ttp) from the NetBSD mirror site. The latest release version as of the time of this writing can be found here.
  6. Download sysinst.fs.gz (/atari/installation/miniroot/sysinst.fs.gz) to the local PC. The latest release version as of the time of this writing can be found here.
  7. Use GZIP to unzip sysinst.fs.gz on the local PC. (Run "gzip -d sysinst.fs.gz" from the appropriate directory.)
  8. Download rawrite.exe from the NetBSD i386 distribution. The latest release version as of the time of this writing can be found here. An alternative is NTRawrite.
  9. Use it to write sysinst.fs to the second of the two floppy disks. (With the second formatted floppy in the drive, run rawrite.exe, type "sysinst.fs", type "a", then press enter to write out the floppy.)

Phase II: Booting to the Installer Edit

  1. With the first floppy in the drive (the one with the kernel and loadbsd.ttp on it), turn on the TT030. As soon as the power light goes on, hold down the "Alternate" key. Once the memory tests pass and the hard drive countdown starts, release Alternate and press it a couple of times, then hold it down again. With Alternate held down, press Esc and wait a few seconds. The TT030 will boot to TOS stored in ROM.
  2. Double-click the "A" floppy drive icon.
  3. Double-click loadbsd.ttp. As the command line parameters, use "-b ataritt.gz" without the quotes.
  4. Wait while the kernel is decompressed and loaded into memory.  This will take several minutes.
  5. Observe NetBSD boots to the root device prompt. Among other things, note that your network card and hard drive should be detected.
  6. Wait for the root device prompt.
  7. Swap the second floppy into the drive.  (You may note that the floppy drive light does not stop.  This is a bug, but no big deal, swap the disk anyway.)
  8. Type "fd0a" and press Return.
  9. Press Return twice more to select the default dump device and default file system.
  10. The contents of the sysinst floppy will be loaded.
  11. Press Return to select the default init path.
  12. Select your keyboard map as prompted and press Return.
  13. You are now presented with the NetBSD installer.

Phase III: The InstallerEdit

  1. Select the Utility menu.
  2. Select Configure network.
  3. Press Return to select the default network interface (le0).
  4. Press Return to select the default network media type (manual).
  5. Type your DNS domain. If your machine will be, your DNS domain would be "".
  6. Type your host name. In the above example, your hostname would be "tt030".
  7. Type your IPv4 address for this machine. You can configure DHCP later, so just pick something that will get you on your local network and won't conflict.
  8. Type your IPv4 netmask or just press Return to select the default.
  9. Type your IPv4 gateway IP address.
  10. Type your IPv4 nameserver IP address.
  11. If everything is correct, select Yes to start the network.
  12. Allow the network configuration to proceed. If you want, choose the utility menu option to drop to a shell and verify connectivity.
  13. Now might be a good time to drop to a shell and use dd to wipe the disk, per above.
  14. Exit back to the main menu.
  15. Select the option to install NetBSD.
  16. Select Yes at the warning.
  17. Select sd0 as the disk onto which NetBSD will be installed. This should be the default.
    1. You may see a warning "unknown disklabel format- assuming empty disk." This is OK.
  18. Choose the Custom installation option if you want to pick which distribution sets to load.  I generally load only the ATARITT kernel, then all the other sets except Games and the source sets.  Press Return on each option to select it, then press "x" and Return when you're done.
  19. Choose not to use AHDI compatible partitioning. (This means you will use the entire disk for NetBSD)
  20. Choose "Set sizes of NetBSD partitions."
  21. I have found the system runs well with the swap partition size to 256 (Megabytes) total.  More recently I decided to try a 2048 MB swap partition size. In any case, adjusting the swap size is quite optional.  There is no need to adjust the size of the root filesystem as it will fill the entire disk by default.
  22. Select "Accept partition sizes."
  23. Select "Partition sizes ok."
  24. Type a name for the disk and press Return, or choose the default.  
  25. Now is the point of no return. If you're not sure you want to overwrite your drive then maybe you want to just stop here.
  26. Select "Yes" to format your sd0 drive.
  27. When formatting is complete the bootloader will be installed onto the drive.  Press Return as prompted.

Phase IV: The Actual Installation ProcessEdit

  1. Choose ftp.
  2. Choose the default ftp directory. If you want to use the install you built via Cross-building a Customized Install, just set basedir to /usr/obj/releasedir. (In that case also make sure to set the username / password for the FTP server to the user account on your cross-build machine. Also set the server name as necessary.)
  3. If you have a proxy server and are installing from the Internet, configure the proxy appropriately using the menu.
  4. Choose the Get Distribution menu option.
  5. Go out to dinner while the sets download and install.

Phase V: Finishing Up Edit

  1. Press Return to install the network settings in /etc.
  2. You will see a menu to configure various options.
    1. Leave "Configure network" alone as it is already configured.
    2. Choose the appropriate time zone (US/Pacific works for me.).
    3. Leave the root shell at /bin/sh.
    4. Set the root password.
    5. Don't choose "Enable installation of binary packages," you'll run out of swap.  You can set up pkgin later.  (Todo: add a section on how to do this.)
    6. Choose the option to "Fetch and unpack pkgsrc for building from source."
    7. Enable sshd.
    8. Enable ntpd (if you have a non-proxied connection to the Internet).
    9. Enable ntpdate at boot (if you have a non-proxied connection to the Internet).
    10. Select "Finished configuring."
  3. Press Return when prompted.
  4. Choose the option to reboot the machine.
  5. Observe the machine boots.
  6. Log on as root.
  7. If you'd like, you can now also remove the new hard drive and image it.  First run "shutdown -p now" and turn the machine off once it has halted.

That's it, you now have a working NetBSD install on your Atari TT030!  Now go run through the Basic post-install steps.

David Ross