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Introduction Edit

The guidance you'll find here takes the form of a walkthrough on a very specific setup. This is what I'm familiar with and what I was able to get up and running. NetBSD is quite flexible in a number of ways, but if you take advantage of this flexibility and stray from the recommendations here, the walkthrough will obviously be less helpful to you. If there's an overall philosophy I'm following here, it's that:

  • If you have the required configuration, you should be able to follow my walkthrough and get set up with NetBSD on your TT030 pretty quickly and painlessly.
  • Being that we're now in modern times, it's completely reasonable for the walkthrough to recommend you obtain a dedicated SCSI disk for the NetBSD install.
  • The walkthrough should work on what is arguably the "optimal" target for a NetBSD Atari install -- a more or less stock TT030 with a Riebl (Atari) ethernet card. (Though of course this also conveniently coincides with my own setup...)

Requirements Edit

Even though the guidance in the NetBSD 5.1 Install Notes is hard to follow, duplicative, and outdated, I would highly recommend giving it a read-through before getting started. Likewise, take a look through the NetBSD Atari FAQ and the Useful Links section of this wiki.

Also, familiarize yourself with and make sure you have the hardware described in the "Hardware Requirements" pages on this wiki:

Before you start to install Edit

The walkthrough recommends that you remove your Atari's existing primary hard drive and use a dedicated drive for NetBSD. Regardless, now might be a good time to make sure you have a backup! You can use the SelfImage tool to do image the original drive. (Don't use GEMExplorer to image a disk unless it's less than one gigabyte. And even if it's less than one gig, SelfImage is much faster.)

You may want to check out the tool for setting your NVRAM settings from TOS here. I haven't found that it's mandatory to use this tool though, even to set your boot OS default to NetBSD.

You may want to purchase a new Tadiran TL-5242/W battery if your TT030 still has its original battery. Replacing it is easy. Just follow the instructions for How to Open Your TT030 and you'll find the battery in the rear right-hand side of the case.

To set the system clock, boot up into to BIOS version of TOS with the TT030 Language Disk in the floppy drive. To do this, turn on the TT030 and 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. You should see TOS appear. Go to the control panel under the Desk menu. You can then set the time and date. For NetBSD, it's best to set the system clock to GMT. Go to Setup and change the path for the CPX files (Control Panel applets) to A:\, then click the button about in the middle of the window to reload the CPX files. Now you can explore the control panel and use the various applets. This isn't mandatory for a NetBSD install but it's something you may want to consider doing nevertheless.

David Ross

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