c nerd blog — 4826–4

I’m continuing my project to install a version of OpenBSD onto my Soekris 4826s. I’ve updated flashboot to use OpenBSD 5.5, without apparent problem. Both 4826s boot into 5.5 as they did with 5.4; that seems to work.

My goal at the moment remains the construction of a working installation. I’m still in the tidying up phase. I’ve sorted passwords, I’m now working to reduce the size of the ramdisk from 48M so there’s enough room for OpenBSD itself to perform: my 4826s only have 64M of RAM. Trouble is, that build was borked. I’m rebuilding everything from beginning to ensure I haven’t done something silly (probable), which gives me a few minutes to write this ….

One habit I have to break is treating the operating system as a black box. 25 years of Windows development has done this to me. Under Windows, I can’t sneak into the operating system source code to see what’s going on underneath the hood, so I don’t try to do so. With OpenBSD, of course, all the source code is published, so I could go there—but I don’t. This is silly; it’d be much easier to solve a problem if I checked how the operating system actually behaved, rather than depending on the (excellent) documentation. The documentation isn’t wrong, incidentally, it just doesn’t go to the detail of the source code.

ancient front