NetBSD/hpcmips User How-To page

Getting started with NetBSD/hpcmips

pbsdboot.exe: the NetBSD/hpcmips boot loader

About this page

This page contains information that current and potential users of NetBSD/hpcmips can use to help them set up and maintain their systems.

Getting started with NetBSD/hpcmips

Overview of how to start NetBSD/hpcmips

You need at least 2 files to start NetBSD/hpcmips:

bootloader runs on WindowsCE environment.
a netbsd kernel

On pbsdboot pull-down menu, select hardware type and path to kernel. pbsdboot passes hardware information (framebuffer information, etc.) to kernel. The kernel will use all the Windows CE memory as RAM, so you MUST backup all of your data stored in CE memory before booting. Click Boot to load the kernel.

filesystem overview

You have a choice of filesystems:

filesystem on Compact Flash Cards or ATA Cards
need a DOS partition for pbsdboot.exe and a NetBSD partition
filesystem on SCSI/IDE disk
NetBSD/hpcmips supports PCMCIA SCSI Card such as SlimSCSI, so you can make your file system on SCSI disks. Recommended for developers.
filesystem on NFS Server

During boot:

NetBSD/hpcmips finds pcmcia Ethernet Card

gets an IP address via dhcp server

finds NFS server

mounts / partition from NFS server

Do I need to purchase a CF or ATA card? If so - got any recommendations?

for typical users we recommend 128M CF.
base+kern+etc+comp works fine
80M-96M CF
base+kern+etc - basic NetBSD system available in your pocket.
less than 64M CF
base+kern+etc - if you delete large unused files
15M CF
north pole for living - for those who like a challenge

Finding out if your system is supported by NetBSD/hpcmips

Check Supported Machines listing.

Supported CF and PCMCIA cards

NetBSD Supported hardware database is available. Select PCMCIA and query/add database. NetBSD users build this database.
See NetBSD Machine-independent PCMCIA drivers.
Compact Flash Storage:

over 48M CF SanDisk

note:on z50 Extreme Memory Compact Flash EM-CF/128/P (PQI FLASH DISK 1201N)sometimes chokes and hangs the z50, especially under heavy "disk" load.

PCMCIA Devices cards:

NE2000 compatible corega Ether PCC-T

3com 3C589*

Lucent/Agere WaveLAN/Orinoco wireless NIC

Socket Communications, Inc. Standard LP-E CF+ (EA2900-117)

Xircom CF Ethernet card

TDK LAC-CF010 CF Ethernet Card

3com 3C1 : gets MAC address via ep driver, but does not transmit any packets. Broken.

NTT DoCoMo Paldio 611S (Japan:PHS include CF Modem I/F)


eXtreme drive

Adaptec SlimSCSI 1460 (APA-1460)
Apricorn EZ-GIG Expansion Card
Callunacard CT260T2

Getting the NetBSD/hpcmips distribution


binary/sets:NetBSD/hpcmips binary such as base.tgz, comp.tgz.

installation:pbsdboot.exe.gz and netbsd.gz

source:source files

place pbsdboot.exe and netbsd on your CF card and run pbsdboot.exe to start netbsd installation kernel (includes sysinst). You can boot netbsd.gz without unzipping it if space is tight.

Getting the NetBSD/hpcmips boot loader (pbsdboot.exe)

Download from pbsdboot download directory. Pbsdboot.exe is compiled for WindowsCE 2.00. Use Pbsdboot1.exe for Windows CE 1.01. Pbsdboot.exe is updated to use color maps for 8 bit frame buffer machines. Now we can use 256 colors, though we don't know about details of video controller chip. (We actually do not know about the video chips at all.)

Because Windows CE 1.0 does not support color map at all, the pbsdboot can not support both CE 1.0 and 2.0 with single binary. Thus pbsdboot.exe is compiled for CE 2.0 or later. You should use pbsdboot1.exe for CE 1.0.

Getting the NetBSD/hpcmips kernel

pbsdboot hook up NetBSD/hpcmips kernel file.

netbsd-GENERIC.gz: this kernel runs on Vr41xx and TX3922 CPUs only.

netbsd-TX3912.gz: a kernel for TX3912 machines.

Accessing Microsoft partitions

To access your MS-DOS WinCE partition, read Accessing Microsoft partitions.

Preparing a Compact Flash card with a NetBSD partition

Creating a file system on Compact Flash.

Preparing a Compact Flash card without a NetBSD partition


Getting support from mailing lists

keyboard mapping control

wsconsctl -w encoding=jp.swapctrlcaps
Muhenkan key to Function 10 (for MGL2 switch window)
wsconsctl -w map+="keysym Muhenkan = F10"
Henkan key to Function 9 (for MGL2 change window)
wsconsctl -w map+="keysym Henkan = F9"

pbsdboot.exe: the NetBSD/hpcmips boot loader

What is the NetBSD/hpcmips boot loader (pbsdboot.exe)?


NetBSD/hpcmips boot loader options

Boot loader from Windows CE
Boot loader from Windows CE environment called "pbsdboot.exe" is available from
Boot loader Options

-d break into the kernel debugger

-m use miniroot in memory

-s single user mode

-h use serial console

-a ask for name:kernel ask root device (such as wd0a), dump device (such as wd0b), filesystem (such as ffs). To change root device on Slim SCSI card/IDE PCMCIA card, use this option and set root device to sd0/wd.

-b=DEV change boot device to DEV(wd0, sd0, nfs etc.)

Booting the kernel with a serial console

On pbsdboot, check & set these parameter:
Options: h
Serialport on
Connect your terminal with 9600bps, 8bit, non-parity, VT100 mode
pbsdboot frame buffer type setting

D8_FF : white type on black screen

D8_00 : black type on white screen

Automatically booting into NetBSD

To skip touch panel calibration, power on with shift+power key. Some systems will automatically run \Storage Card\AutoRun\XXXXXX\Autorun.exe where XXXXXX is the CPU family. However, that isn't true for all systems. Also the exact path is from memory and may be slightly incorrect.

CASIO Cassiopeia:

One-button boot on the Everex Freestyle

Everex Freestyle systems can be configured to start the boot loader at the press of a button! To set up one-button boot loader invocation, place a copy of pbsdboot.exe in the root directory of an FAT file system on a compact flash, with the name voiceapp.exe.

To boot, just push the Freestyle "Record" button. PHILIPS Nino312 can use this method.

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