NetBSD/mac68k Meta-FAQ


NetBSD/mac68k Meta-FAQ - Obtaining NetBSD/mac68k

FTP archives and WWW resources

Mailing Lists and Newsgroups

Recommended reading

Other useful FAQs

Keeping up with -current



What is MacBSD?

MacBSD, or NetBSD/mac68k as it is more properly known, is a port of NetBSD to the Apple Macintosh platform. NetBSD is a largely POSIX.1 compliant UNIX-like operating system based on the BSD 4.4 Lite distribution from the University of California, Berkeley. NetBSD comes with its own source code and for the most part is distributed under the Berkeley software license. Other portions are distributed under the GNU General Public License.

NetBSD/mac68k currently runs on older model Macintoshes with a 68040 or 68030 processor (or a 68020 with a PMMU). It will boot on machines without an FPU but some software still requires an FPU. Support for 68LC040-based Macs is still in progress.


This is a list of frequently asked questions or often encountered problems with their corresponding answers and solutions. Please read the FAQ before asking questions on the mailing lists, since your question has probably been asked and answered before.

The FAQ is available at: or any of's mirror sites.

Operating System Information

This document provides technical information about the current state of the NetBSD/mac68k operating system, including working systems and hardware, known bugs, and available software.

The INFO-Sheet is available at: or any of's mirror sites.

NetBSD/mac68k Meta-FAQ - Obtaining NetBSD/mac68k

Anonymous FTP

The primary method for obtaining NetBSD/mac68k is by anonymous ftp. The best location for obtaining the 3.1 release of NetBSD/mac68k is probably from or one of its mirrors:

A list of ftp mirror sites is available via the WWW / anonymous ftp at:


While one may download release binaries of the latest NetBSD/mac68k release, you can also purchase or create a CD-ROM containing it. A listing of companies offering NetBSD on CD-ROM is available at:

A listing of FTP sites which carry NetBSD ISO images is available at:

FTP archives and WWW resources

NetBSD/mac68k related WWW sites

Please note that Allen Brigg's machine,, has undergone a name change to make things a little more convenient. Here are the new names:

The NetBSD Project Page:

This is the official Home Page for NetBSD. It contains information about all of the NetBSD ports.

MacBSD's Home:

This is MacBSD's official home page. It contains pointers to a wealth of information on port-mac68k.

NetBSD's Port-mac68k Page:

This is the mac68k port's page on the NetBSD project's webserver. Official information on the state of each release of NetBSD for mac68k can be found here.

NetBSD/mac68k User Database

This is the interface to a searchable database of MacBSD users (i.e. their machines, hardware configurations, etc.) If you are running NetBSD/mac68k in any way, please add yourself to the User Database. The information presented in it might be a little out of date, however.

John Wittkoski's HWDIRECT ADB Kernel Info Page:

Descriptions, details, kernels, and source for those who need to build their own HWDIRECT kernels.

Ken Nakata's LC040 FPE Page:

Ken has a lot of information here about the bug that plagues the 'LC040-based Macs. Check it out for the status of the work or if you would like to contribute yourself.

Some useful ftp sites

The NetBSD ftp server:

This is the site for official NetBSD distributions and source, as well as for -current source and user-contributed binaries. A current binary snapshot is also available here at

Scott Reynold's current kernels and snapshots:

A variety of -current GENERIC kernels binary snapshots courtesy of Scott. These snapshots are usually tested enough to be fairly stable.

NetBSD-mac68k Binaries:

This site contains user-contributed binaries compiled for NetBSD/mac68k. Many popular programs are included.

Mailing Lists and Newsgroups

Mailing Lists

The port-mac68k mailing list is maintained by the majordomo mail server at

If you would like to subscribe to this mailing list, send e-mail to with any subject and the message: subscribe port-mac68k

The majordomo mail server can do many other things such as unsubscribe, inform you which mailing lists you are subscribed to, and give you detailed help on what functions it can perform. For further help about using majordomo, send e-mail to with any subject and the message: help

If the volume of mail produced by the port-mac68k mailing list bothers you and you would prefer to get the list in digest format, you're in luck. Mark Routbort ( currently has a digest server set up on his machine. Here is what Mark has to say about it:

I am announcing the availability of a new mailing-list for a digest form of port-mac68k, having seen a number of recent requests for such a format (and feeling a bit deluged by the volume of mail on the port-mac68k list myself). This digest will be sent out daily, and is simply a mirror of the regular port-mac68k list, except that it will be sorted by subject and dates (major/minor), have a topics list, and strip out a lot of mail header information - changes which will hopefully improve readability somewhat. To subscribe, send mail to "" with the text "subscribe port-mac68k-digest" in the body of the message. (As usual, any traffic to the mailing list should be sent to, mail sent to will just be forwarded there.) Past volumes (as of March 15th, 1997) will be available for anonymous ftp at:

The NetBSD/mac68k mailing list (port-mac68k) used to be two separate mailing lists called macbsd-general and macbsd-development. Both the macbsd-general and macbsd-development mailing lists are archived on several sites. If you are new to the mailing lists, we suggest that you browse over the archives for the last month or two before asking questions on a list, such as, "I have a <insert machine name here>. Will NetBSD/mac68k work on this machine?" Here is the location of the mailing list archives on the NetBSD Project's ftp server:

Most NetBSD mirrors also carry the mailing list archives. For a complete list, check out the NetBSD Project's Obtaining NetBSD page.


Two newsgroups of interest are:

  • comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.announce
  • comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc

However, most of the useful information about NetBSD/mac68k is obtained through the mailing lists.

Recommended reading

Unix and BSD information

The following books are recommended as sources of information about UNIX operating systems:


[admin-handbook] UNIX System Administration Handbook. Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, and Scott Seebass. Prentice-Hall 2. 1994.

[advanced] Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment. W. Richard Stevens.

[design-and-impl] The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating System. Marshall Kirk McKusick, Keith Bostic, Michael J. Karels, and John S. Quarterman. Addison Wesley 1996.

[unix-internals] Unix Internals. The New Frontiers. Uresh Vahalia.

Macintosh information

The following books are good sources of information on Macintosh hardware and devices:


[hardware-guide] Guide to the Macintosh Family Hardware. Apple Computer, Inc. Addison-Wesley 2. 1990.

[cards-and-drivers] Designing Cards and Drivers for the Macintosh Family. Apple Computer, Inc. Addison-Wesley 3. 1992.

Other useful FAQs

  • FAQ Title
    NetBSD Mailing List FAQ
    FAQ Maintainer (Chris G. Demetriou)
  • FAQ Title
    comp.os.386bsd BNR/2 derived BSD for PCs
    386bsd-faq (parts 1-10)
    FAQ Maintainer (Dave Burgess)
  • Archive-name
    aux-faq (parts 1-4)
    FAQ Maintainer (Jim Jagielski)

There is a list of each port's FAQ available in the NetBSD Documentation section of

Keeping up with -current

NetBSD-current is a daily snapshot of the NetBSD development source tree. Because it is "work in progress," it may not be particularly well tested, and it may not even compile. People developing drivers and other system-level software for NetBSD are encouraged to run NetBSD-current, as are people who want to be on the bleeding edge of NetBSD development. If you're just using NetBSD for day-to-day work, you should probably be running a formal release of NetBSD instead.

NetBSD-current is available via anonymous FTP and CVS. Current sources can be found in the NetBSD-current area directly off the "root" of the NetBSD area on FTP mirrors.


The general structure of this document is based on the Linux Meta-FAQ by Michael K. Johnson ( Much of the material it contains comes from the original NetBSD/mac68k FAQ by David Holcomb ( Non-mac68k specific information concerning NetBSD was obtained from the NetBSD project page, located at:

Although I try to verify that the information contained within this document is correct, I accept no responsibility for loss or damage caused by the use of the information contained within this document.

This document is © 1995-2001 by Colin Wood with portions © 1993-1994 by the Alice Group.