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BOOT(8) NetBSD/macppc System Manager's Manual BOOT(8)
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boot -- Macppc system bootstrapping procedures
Power fail and crash recovery
Normally, the system will reboot itself at power-up or after crashes. An
automatic consistency check of the file systems will be performed as
described in fsck(8), and unless this fails, the system will resume
The boot ROM performs a Power On Self Test (POST) then loads Open
Firmware. Depending on the Open Firmware variable `auto-boot?' it will
either stop at the Open Firmware prompt or attempt to boot an operating
system. Depending on the contents of the `use-nvramrc?', `boot-command',
`boot-device', and `boot-file' Open Firmware variables, it will attempt
to boot MacOS, MacOS X, or NetBSD.
To boot NetBSD, Open Firmware loads the bootloader macppc/ofwboot(8) from
the specified `boot-device'. The bootloader then loads the kernel from
the `boot-file', (if it exists). Otherwise, it tries to load (in the
following order): netbsd, netbsd.gz, or netbsd.macppc on the ``a'' parti-
tion of the same device that had the bootloader.
Open Firmware Commands
An essential but incomplete list of Open Firmware commands follows. A
more thorough list is contained in the FAQ.
boot [boot-device [boot-file]] [options]
Boot an operating system. The default arguments for this command are
taken from the Open Firmware environment variables:
boot-device primary bootloader location
boot-file kernel location
options flags passed to the kernel
Reset the system, and proceed as specified by the `use-nvramrc?' and
`auto-boot?' variables. If `use-nvramrc?' is set to `true', then the
system will attempt to execute the commands stored in the `nvramrc' vari-
able. If `auto-boot?' is set to `true', the system will attempt to use
the values stored in `boot-command', `boot-device', and `boot-file' to
boot the system. If `auto-boot?' is set to `false', the system will halt
at the Open Firmware prompt.
Power off the system.
setenv variable value
Set an Open Firmware variable, e.g.,
setenv auto-boot? false
setenv boot-device hd:,\ofwboot.xcf
setenv boot-file netbsd-GENERIC.gz
Set an Open Firmware variable to its default value.
Show Open Firmware variables and values.
Eject floppy disk on systems with on-board floppy drives.
Attempt to boot MacOS on an Open Firmware 3 system.
Attempt to boot MacOS on an Open Firmware 1.0.5, 2.0.x, or 2.4 system.
Open Firmware Variables
An essential but incomplete list of Open Firmware variables follows. A
more thorough list is contained in the FAQ.
auto-boot? What Open Firmware will do at system startup or reset:
true automatically bootstrap an operating system using
values from the `boot-command', `boot-device', and
false stop at the Open Firmware prompt.
use-nvramrc? If `true' runs commands in variable `nvramrc'.
real-base Kernel memory location. Do not modify this value on Open
Firmware 3 systems -- you may damage your computer. All
other Open Firmware versions should use F00000.
load-base Bootloader memory location. Do not modify this value on
Open Firmware 3 systems -- you may damage your computer.
All other Open Firmware versions should use 600000.
boot-command The command to use for booting. Typically, the default
of `boot' is used.
boot-device Device from which to load primary bootloader. Value
depends on a variety of factors. See macppc/ofwboot(8).
boot-file Kernel location. Value depends on a variety of factors.
input-device What type of console input device (ADB keyboard, USB
keyboard, or serial port).
kbd ADB keyboard on models with ADB, USB keyboard on
models with USB, and built-in keyboard on laptops.
This is the default on some Open Firmware 2.0.x
machines and all Open Firmware 2.4 and 3 machines.
ttya `Modem' serial port on machines with serial ports.
Properties are 38400 bps, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop
bit, no handshaking. This is the default on all
Open Firmware 1.0.5 systems and some Open Firmware
ttyb `Printer' serial port on machines with serial
ports. Properties are the same as the `Modem'
scca Serial port on Xserve models. Properties are 57600
bps, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no handshaking.
output-device What type of console output device (On-board video, AGP
video, PCI video, built-in LCD, or serial console).
Value depends on a variety of factors. See
nvramrc If `use-nvramrc?' is set to true, these FORTH commands
will be run when the computer is reset
When Open Firmware loads the primary bootloader, it will print something
like the following:
tsize=CC50 dsize=14AC bsize=2668 entry=640000
.text 00640000 00640000 0000CC50 000000E0
.data 0064D000 0064D000 000014AC 0000CD30
.bss 0064E4B0 0064E4B0 00002668 00000000
loading .text, done..
loading .data, done..
clearing .bss, done..
When macppc/ofwboot(8) is started, it prints something like the follow-
>> NetBSD/macppc OpenFirmware Boot, Revision 1.7
>> (firstname.lastname@example.org, Thu Feb 6 17:50:27 UTC 2003)
When macppc/ofwboot(8) is loading the kernel, it prints something like
When the NetBSD kernel has started it prints a banner similar to the fol-
Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
NetBSD 1.6ZC (GENERIC) #0: Tue Sep 30 13:09:10 UTC 2003
Once the NetBSD/macppc kernel is booted normally it initializes itself
and proceeds to start the system. An automatic consistency check of the
file systems takes place, and unless this fails, the system comes up to
The proper way to shut the system down is with the shutdown(8) command.
If the system crashes, it will enter the kernel debugger, ddb(4), if it
is configured in the kernel. If the crash occurred during initialization
and the debugger is not present or is exited, the kernel will halt the
If the crash occurred during normal operation and the debugger is not
present or is exited, the system will attempt a dump to the configured
dump device (which will be automatically recovered with savecore(8) dur-
ing the next bootstrap cycle), and after the dump is complete (successful
or not) the kernel will attempt a reboot.
/boot NetBSD secondary bootstrap program (Open
Firmware 1.x and 2.x)
/netbsd default NetBSD system kernel
/usr/mdec/bootxx NetBSD primary bootstrap program (Open Firmware
1.x and 2.x) a.k.a. ``partition zero'' boot-
/usr/mdec/ofwboot NetBSD secondary bootstrap program (Open
Firmware 1.x and 2.x)
/usr/mdec/ofwboot.xcf primary bootstrap for netboot and ``cd9660''
(ISO 9660), ``MS-DOS'', ``HFS'', and ``HFS+''
ddb(4), intro(4), diskless(8), halt(8), init(8), installboot(8),
macppc/ofwboot(8), rc(8), reboot(8), savecore(8), shutdown(8)
IEEE Std 1275-1994 (``Open Firmware'')
The device names used by NetBSD/macppc and Open Firmware often have no
relation to each other.
Apple Computer's Open Firmware implementation is easily confused. It is
best to reboot your computer after a failed boot attempt, halt, or
shutdown -h. Use the Open Firmware reset-all command.
Apple Computer's Open Firmware implementation is notoriously bad. Thor-
ough instructions for installing and booting NetBSD are in the install
notes (INSTALL.html) included with every release of NetBSD.
NetBSD 9.99 February 17, 2017 NetBSD 9.99