[rescue] Emulators

Steven M Jones smj+rescue at crash.com
Tue May 13 14:52:46 CDT 2014

On 05/13/2014 11:57 AM, David Brownlee wrote:
> On 13 May 2014 18:29, Earl Baugh <earl at baugh.org> wrote:
>> If I could netboot from it,  I'd play :-)
>> But of course, I'd need a local copy for that... it has to be on the same
>> subnet.
> "Tell me more..." :)
> What OS/hardware combinations would you want to netboot from it, and would
> you just want to netboot install ramdisk type setups or full remote disk
> filesystems?
> I know someone put together an x86 CD/USB image to provide an turnkey
> install server for Cobalt NetBSD on mips based Qube/Raq boxes, so there is
> definitely prior art.

Some of you on the list are aware of a VM image with scripting
specifically to support the oddities of netbooting/installing classic
SGI systems. DINA (http://dina.harrydebug.org, will deregister at end of
May but I've mirrored it) has some rough edges I've been meaning to go
back and fix, but is a lifesaver compared to CD installs. The original
DINA image is VMware flavored, but I've gotten it running under
VirtualBox and I think others have done the same for one or two other
platforms. More info about DINA is available here:


DINA can't include the IRIX software, though that's all a user has to
add. But VM images setup to serve various architectures of free
operating systems (Linux, *BSD) certainly could. How about a
netboot/install server for NetBSD that included VAX, SPARC, MIPSco, x86,
etc? Maybe, like DINA, it's already out there and it just hasn't been
publicized outside of a given circle. Heck, maybe I'm the only one
unaware of it. ;)

Including a runtime environment for IRIX or SunOS within the VM...
interesting. Distribution of a VM image including the software would
again be "problematic" - at least from a copyright/IP perspective. But
technically I don't see why you couldn't serve a SunOS 4 runtime
environment from an x86 *BSD VM, for example.

> Are we tending towards the lean single use box, or the kitchen sink
> approach? Given the relative size of the emulators and modern disk
> space the latter might make more sense...

I'd be thinking of netboot/install server images as separate from
emulators intended for end-users to fiddle with. Maybe that's just an
old sysadmin reflexively wanting to keep the regular users away from
where the infrastructure services are running...


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