How to build your own version of PicoBSD?

  1. Get the file picobsd.tgz. It contains the scripts you'll need. Also, I assume you run quite -current system with full sources installed.

    NOTE1: beginning with version 0.4, PicoBSD sources are maintained as part of official FreeBSD CVS repository, so if you have recent source tree you can find them in /src/release/picobsd.

    NOTE2: there were some mysterious interactions between vn(4) driver and 'disklabel auto' in versions earlier than 3.0. There is another set of scripts prepared by Dinesh Nair which allows to build PicoBSD floppies on a earlier systems.

    Unpack the archive into your src/release/picobsd. You'll need at least 5MB of free space.

  2. Change working directory (cd build) and run the ./build script. Select target language, size of MFS and one of pre-canned setups (personal dialup, dialin server or router-like). Details of each setup are contained in dial/, router/, isp/ and net/ directories respectively. You should at least check ${TYPE}/config/PICOBSD file to make sure it contains the drivers you want.

    You can also choose a special type called 'custom'. You'll need to supply the full path to your own custom config tree constructed exactly like one of the standard config directories. Also, you'll probably want to adjust the number of inodes on MFS - see the stage1 script and look for INODES=.

    I also recommend to adjust the ISA devices parameters to match the ones of your hardware - though PicoBSD can save the changes from UserConfig, this way it will produce smaller /kernel.config file.

  3. I assume you will use 1.44MB floppy. If not, please edit the file build/stage3.
  4. There are several directories which contain some sources and config files:
    	build/			main build directory; you MUST cd here!
    	dial/			config files for dialup setup
    		conf/		kernel config file
    		crunch1/	crunch of system programs
    		mfs.tree/	contains the MFS configuration
    		lang/		contains language-dependent files
    		floppy.tree/	contains the startup floppy hierarchy
    
    	isp/			config files for dialin server setup
    		...		(as above)
    	net/			config files for router-like setup
    		...		(as above)
    	tinyware/		collection of small system utilities
    	tools/			additional tools them needed during build
    

    There are no /etc/passwd nor /etc/pwd.db files on the "dial" floppy - in case of other types, they are reconstructed from /etc/master.passwd on each startup (and then put on MFS with the rest of /etc). In case of "dial" type floppy, you don't need them at all.

    NOTE: thanks to the above, the floppy is needed only during startup, and then only if you want to synchronize (possibly changed) MFS /etc with the one on the floppy. It means that you can pull off the floppy from the drive as soon as login: prompt appears. In other words, it is almost equal to read-only floppy.

  5. Edit the set of installed programs.
  6. Make sure that the system you're running has /dev/[r]vn0* entries in /dev directory (if not, you can make them with 'MAKEDEV vn0'), AND that your running kernel has built-in vnode driver (there should be a line in your kernel config file stating 'pseudo-device vn').
  7. You'll need at least 9MB of free disk space, and free /mnt directory.
  8. Do a cd build/ and fire off the ./build script. Select the build parameters or 'n' for 'no change'. If all is well, after some time (like 10-30m) you end up with a 'picobsd.bin' file in this directory.

    WARNING: make sure you don't have stale .depend files around!!! You may encounter many strange errors during build process in that case.

    If there were any errors, please execute each script by hand and try to find what causes this error. Most often this will be one of the following reasons:

    You can also remove 2>&1 redirections from Makefiles to see the stderr.
  9. Transfer this file to the floppy:
    		dd if=picobsd.bin of=/dev/rfd0
    
    (The 'build' script asks you if you want to do this.)

That's all. You're welcome to change and improve these scripts. If you stumble upon something which looks like a good idea to have it here, let me know.

If, for some reason, the scripts don't work for you at all, also let me know.


Last modified: Sun Nov 1 12:29:26 PST 1998

<abial@freebsd.org>