Top > Notes > Toshiba Magnia SG20: Installing OpenBSD

Rather than use the default software provided with the SG20, I decided to have a look at OpenBSD. These are my notes on installing it. To do likewise you will need a laptop that you can swap hard disks into, but there are no guarantees that it will work for you. You may want to be a little more careful with the install than you would otherwise be, or you could find yourself swapping laptop disks over rather more than you anticipated.

  1. Install a suitable laptop drive into a laptop, and install OpenBSD in the usual way.
  2. Reboot off the boot floppy, and mount the new filesystems under /mnt ... there's still some essential steps to do.
  3. Note the device names that OpenBSD uses for some of the more important devices ... rl0 for the interface connected to the 8 port switch, fxp0 for the external interface, and wi0 for the PCMCIA wireless card (if you've got one).
  4. Set the console to 'com0' with echo "set tty com0" >> /etc/boot.conf. It seems OpenBSD doesn't like booting without something to write to.
  5. The install process will have setup network settings in the file /mnt/etc/hostname.{interface} which unless your laptop has a Realtek adaptor, will not be appropriate for booting your SG20. Rename this file to /mnt/etc/hostname.rl0. At some point you will want /mnt/etc/hostname.fxp0, so you could create this file.
  6. Create a user to login via ssh with the following commands :-
    	    /mnt/usr/bin/chroot /mnt /bin/sh
    	    useradd -s /bin/sh -g wheel -c "name" -m username
    	    passwd username

You should be ready to boot OpenBSD on the SG20 at this stage, although there are plenty of other things that can be done to make it work a little better. As an indicator, some improvements are listed below :-

  1. Change root's shell to ksh with chsh (why on earth do the BSD people install root with csh as the shell??).
  2. Add echo "\033XOpenBSD started" to the end of /etc/rc.local. This simply cleans up the LCD display.
  3. Trim /etc/motd.
  4. Recompile the kernel sources with a minor patch ... extract the kernel sources to /usr/src/sys, and modify line 2249 of /usr/src/sys/arch/i386/i386/machdep.c to printf("\033q"); (if the line numbers change, search for "press any key"). This lets OpenBSD power down the Magnia without attempting to use APM (which doesn't seem to work on the Magnia).

More improvements to come.

Links to OpenBSD information that I found useful :-