[rescue] OT: Linux and USB on Intel (actually OpenBSD)

Sheldon T. Hall shel at cmhcsys.com
Tue Apr 22 13:31:30 CDT 2003

Various people said ...

[for routing USB-to-Ethernet] [on Intel] [use OpenBSD]

... so I'm trying it.

It took a while to find a machine here that could make a floppy of the boot
disk; neither rawrite.exe (1.2) nor rawrite2.exe (2.0) would do it under
W2k, and none of the pukka Unix machines here have floppies, so I had to
drag out an old W98 machine to make the floppies.

While I was doing this, my son, Eric, a/k/a "Mr. Impatient Teenage
Engineer," asked why they didn't make the disk writer part of the downloaded
file, i.e. download an EXE file that just creates a bootable floppy.  I said
"I don't know."

So I finally get the boot floppy made, and the target machine won't read it.
It will read other floppies, even other ones made on the same W98 machine,
but not the OpenBSD boot disk.  Eric asked why this was.  I said "I don't

So I changed the floppy drive in the target machine, and it booted into the
installer.  Or most of the way, anyway.  Then it panicked.  No usable (to
me) information in the error message, and nothing useful on Google.  Eric
asked why this was.  I said "I don't know."

So I changed the RAM.  No diffo.  Changed the IDE controller.  No joy.
Changed the motherboard.  Nyet.

Eric asked why OpenBSD wouldn't boot on a machine that happily ran W98 last
week.  I said "I don't know."

So, while I was getting another machine out of deep storage, he re-assembled
that machine, installed W98 on it, put it in his car, and went home.

So ... I finally got the OpenBSD boot disk to boot this new machine (P-100,
96 MB, 1.2 GB, no USB), and, after a few false starts, got it FTP-ing the
real stuff overnight.

This morning, we finished up the installation, and ... it wouldn't boot.  It
would start, but hung just after detecting the network card.  No amount of
re-setting will fix this, but if I power-cycle it, it boots fine.

To make a long story short (if I haven't missed my chance), I now have an
OpenBSD-on-Intel machine with nothing much to do.  The original target
machine is down at Eric's place, running W98 and routing, at least in
spurts.  It'll route for half an hour, then quit.

And my question is ... if I add some USB ports to this new machine, what do
I have to do to get OpenBSD to use 'em?  I've got a couple of days before
Eric comes back up here, and I'd like to show him that OpenBSD will do the


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