Well by some strange google search I actually found a site in Russia that had NetBSD 0.9 for the i386! Wasting no time, I mirrored the site on my VPS, then spent some time late last night trying to figure out how to boot this thing, but to no avail. Qemu, Virtual BOX and Virtual PC, could not boot the disk images correctly, while BOCHS was running into all kinds of errors related to the 0.9 kernel’s floppy, and hard disk errors with 1.0’s handling of the hard disk.
So for the heck of it, I tried it on VMWare Fusion for OS X, and lo, it booted the NetBSD 0.9 kernel floppy! So I went ahead, and made all the diskettes for the release, and went ahead and installed it on VMWare. Now while VMWare may be able to install NetBSD, it doesn’t emulate peripherals like NE2000’s so networking would involve PPP or SLIP over the COM port, which sounds like a lot of work, looking back to my adventure with SLIP a while back, that I’m not looking to redo anytime soon.
So with my installed VMDK (the disk file VMWare uses), I used the qemu utility qemu-img to convert it to a compressed qcow2 image, then booted up Qemu with the image.
So with that in hand, I rebuilt Qemu to remove the NE2000 on 0x300/IRQ 9, and then rebuilt the NetBSD kernel to remove all the devices I don’t need/care about (SCSI,NFS,MATH EMULATION,etc..) and reconfigured the NE2000 to be on 0x320 IRQ 10, to match Qemu, and then ran the whole thing together, configured the network, and it seemed to be working fine.
From there it was a matter of transferring the disk image back to VMWare, I copied in the source code for lynx and ircII-4.4 then transfered it back to Qemu. And yes they worked as expected!
The only thing remaining in my flight of adventure was to build f2c, and see if it’d run Dungeon.
So with all of that out of the way, for anyone that wants to run it, I’ve uploaded my work on my sourceforge project page.
Now I just need to find myself a copy of NetBSD 0.8, and spend some more time with 386 BSD 0.0 & the hard disk parameters to see if I can get that to cleanly install.
In the meantime, feel free to load up NetBSD 0.9, fire up irc and say hi.