1.5.1/2 release
    More disk
  Machine Types
  Dual boot
  Bootable CDROM
Use Upgrade option
  Partition (MacOS)
  NetBSD stuff on HFS
boot (netbsd.ram.gz)
  Open Firmware
  Getting Media
  disklabel wd0
  replace kernel
  boot (Open Firmware)
  Permanent setup in OF
  Hot Keys
Other Sources
  Error Messages
      netbsd: No such ..
      No response
      SIOCGIFFLAGS gm0: Device not ..
      TERM environment variable ..


These pages are kind of out-dated. I do not recommend to install NetBSD based on these pages. See INSTALL.html (from the page for 1.5.1/2 release ) for sofisticated sysinst type installation, Thanks a lot.

But following pages may still be benificial -> Trial | Use Upgrade Option | Booting.

Then..., these pages provide how to install NetBSD on Newer Macintosh's, after Bondi Blue PowerMac G3, with Open Firmware 3.0 machines. Older machine prior to above, installboot is the way making the disk bootable. This means dual boot on single disk can not be done without special coding on NetBSD label handling. (*1) Related info in Japanese

Newer Mac has to boot from HFS partitions (, or by netboot). This allows you to make single disk dual bootable, while sysinst, NetBSD standard installer does not support this type of installation yet (If you proceed sysinst to the end, the program called installboot will run and it will corrupt the MacOS disk label and loose everything). That's why manual installation is necessay at the time of this writing. ( One alternative: to use sysinst with Upgrade option. ) Small MacOS partition required anyway for the OF3 machines:
(Here I mean Small MacOS HFS(+) partition required by the phrase dual boot. It is your choice to have

  • larger HFS partion with MacOS installed, or
  • with only small partitions to put ofwboot.elf and netbsd.GENERIC_MD.gz ( for another installation process, may be)
If you pursue NetBSD dedicated machine with OF >= 3.0, you need anyway small HFS(+) partition to boot ( unless you have netboot server in your network segment every time you boot).

More disk

If you have two disks connected to your machine, having one for MacOS partitions (with ofwboot.elf placed in it), while the other is available with pure NetBSD label (which can be labeled later by sysinst utility) you will employ sysinst. Sysinst will be invoked automatically after booting from HFS partition (with ofwboot.elf + netbsd.ram.gz), and say (I)install. Sysinst will install NetBSD on another disk ( if you say wd1 for the target disk).

Be carefull of possibility that after all the installation is done, OF does not allow booting from wd1 (It only reads from wd0 whatever you type). In that case you need jumper pin tweak to exchange wd1/wd0, so that NetBSD unit should be wd0, and original MacOS partition unit will be wd1.

You can do the similar thing by netboot (with ofwboot.elf + netbsd.ram.gz prepared on bootp/NFS server), or booting from bootable CDROM, you may install on single disk. These situation is fairly easy and it is not explained here (now).

Machine Types

The machines with Open Firmware 3.0 or later are covered here. Say, I hope following machines ARE covered.
  • iBook 1999 or prior models
  • iBook 2000/summer version (Firewire)
  • iBook (dual USB)
  • iMac
  • Bondi blue G3
  • G4
  • G4 cube ( -current may be necessary)
  • PowerBook G3 Bronze Keyborad, or FireWire
  • PowerBook G4 (Titan)
See also:

Dual boot

If you got two or more disk you have any choise. If you have only one disk instead, still you have choise of
  • NetBSD only
    NetBSD label, without MacOS installed, (but with small HFS partition to boot)
  • Dual (or more) boot
    MacOS label, multiple boot
At this time of the moment, multiple boot is explained here.

Please give me any updates/corrections on the information contained these pages. I will appreciate to have your comment also.
Thanks, Makoto$ki.nu

If the question is on NetBSD/macppc generic, please send mail to port-macppc$netbsd.org


Last Update: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 22:16:17 GMT 1.66 2008/03/08