NetBSD Live! 2007

NetBSD Live! is Copyright © 2003-2006 Jörg Braun & C&L - Computer und Literaturverlag GmbH, Germany

The underlying NetBSD Operating System lies under the NetBSD license:
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

NetBSD is based on 4.4BSD-Lite:
All of the documentation and software included in the 4.4BSD and 4.4BSD-Lite Releases is copyrighted by The Regents of the University of California.

Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Parts of the software on this CD-ROM are subject to other and differing licenses.

Please note that this distribution requires at least 256 MB of RAM to work smoothly. No access to any hard disk is taking place without the intervention of a user. Without user confirmation, no swap partitions or swap files are created. For large applications, or for starting several applications at once, significantly more than 256 MB of RAM should be available. Since applications are started from the CD-ROM drive, startup times are sometimes longer than expected. Re-starting the application shortens the startup time considerably.

Legal / Disclaimer:

The operating system distribution contained on this CD-ROM is protected by copyright. Distributing this CD-ROM or its contents is allowed for non-commercial use only. Distribution as part of a software distribution or a book or newspaper publication, or any other commercial distribution is only allowed with prior written permission by the author or C&L-Verlag GmbH, respectively. For questions or written permissions please contact via email or:

C&L-Verlag GmbH
Red. freeX
Zavelsteiner Str. 20
D-71034 Böblingen

This statement is valid for any commercial distribution, as CD-ROM, image on DVDs, or via Internet, for ISO-images as well as the scripts and configuration files of the distribution.

It is explicitly allowed to distribute the CD-set, for the cost of manufacturing, during trade shows and exhibitions to advertise the NetBSD operating system, and to generate fundings for the NetBSD project.

This distribution was compiled carefully and tested for functionality on several different computers with Intel-compatible hardware. It worked without problems on machines with AMD K6/2, Duron, Athlon, and Intel Pentium-II processors, on boards from different manufacturers. Nonetheless, it can not be guaranteed that the distribution will work on any other hardware than the tested systems. Since this is a fixed CD-ROM software distribution, customization for other hardware based on the data on this CD-ROM is not possible. All parts of the operating system (kernel, programs) are on the read-only area of the medium.

Neither the maintainer nor the publisher of this distribution can guarantee proper function of the operating system for a specific hardware configuration. Before trying to return a non-functional medium to the publisher, please try to boot the operating system on a different machine, with different hardware, or try to use one of the alternative kernel files provided. Media shipped with defects will of course be replaced by the publisher.

It was already evident in previous versions that occasional problems with booting BSD systems usually stem from non-supported hardware. Being able to boot Windows or Linux should not be taken as an indication that the NetBSD CD-read only system is working on the same system. The probability may be high, but there is no 100 percent guarantee.

This CD-ROM contains an operating system that does not access the hard disk without the user requesting it to do so. Should the hard disk be in an inconsistent state, and accessing it -- even on swap partitions -- with a running NetBSD system could lead to problems, the request for swapping during system startup must not be answered positively. Neither the maintainer nor the publisher of NetBSD Live! 2007 assume any liability for improper use of the CD-ROM.

Network and Login:

In order to allow network access to the system running from CD-ROM, two accounts are pre-arranged, the administrator account root and a normal user account user. Since there is no risk to damage the system running purely from CD, one can login as root safely. Especially when using the CD as a rescue system one should directly login as root and not use su(1) or sudo(1).

Basically, the distribution on CD is network-compatible. A DHCP-server and a network card supported by NetBSD should be provided. The network can also be configured to use a static IP address. In this case the address as well as the netmask have to be entered manually into a dialog during system startup. Please note that specifying a duplicate IP address can cause severe problems with the network administrator!

There were some problems configuring a network with PCI-DEC-21041 network cards. Unfortunately, NetBSD's tulip driver doesn't seem to work correctly. This is not a problem specific to NetBSD-3. It also occurred on NetBSD 2.x and 1.6.x.

The telnet server is activated by default on this distribution. This means it is possible to log into the system from a remote machine if the network is configured correctly. Access via telnet is only allowed for the normal user account. If root privileges are needed, su(1) has to be used afterwards. The password for the root account is root, and user for the user user (sorry). The User-ID of the user account is 1001. Apart from the telnet server, a ftp server (only the user account is allowed, no anonymous access) is activated in /etc/inetd.conf. This makes it possible to boot from CD, mount hard-disks and transfer data from a remote machine. Anonymous-ftp is not configured; one has to specify the username user and the password user at the ftp server's login prompt. In order to export X11 applications from a remote machine to the NetBSD machine running from CD, one has to manually allow X access with the xhost + command in a X terminal emulator window. This isn't handled automatically.


The operating system on this CD-ROM allows for complete read- and write access to Linux-, Windows-, NetBSD- and FreeBSD-4 installations. Hence, the CD-ROM should not remain in the CD-drive of a machine others have access to. In addition, the boot device sequence in the BIOS should not be configured to automatically boot from CD-ROM. If the machine is not 100% secure, the BIOS should at least be protected with a password, so that others can not boot from a Live-CD-ROM (this applies not only to NetBSD Live! 2007).

For access to foreign filesystems the software packages ext2fs-Tools (Linux Ext2), MTools (FAT), HFS-Tools (Macintosh HFS) and NTFSProgs (Windows NTFS) are installed.

In order to disable root access if needed, one can also only work with the user account. For running X applications on the local machine, all dialogs (except the one after the DHCP dialog) have to be confirmed with [Enter]. In wdm it is also only necessary to hit [Enter] twice for an empty account and password. Wdm is configured to boot the user account in this case. If a console window is opened from the user account, all commands can be entered without a password through sudo(1). If you plan to seriously work with a machine connected to a network, consider this a security vulnerability. Change the password for the user account immediately after booting, if needed. This is especially important if hard-disk partitions are mounted and an Internet connection is established. Pleas note that the telnet daemon is activated and no firewall is running.

If necessary, please change the passwords immediatly after login and enable passwords for sudo with the sudo-editor visudo(1). The configuration for sudo is stored within the RAM-Disk area and can be changed on the fly. Note that changes to the configuration will get lost after reboot.


This CD-ROM contains a specially constructed version of NetBSD 4.0_BETA sporting a modified kernel based on NetBSD-CURRENT, as this is needed to access compressed file systems. Booting is done using an adapted version of the GRUB boot loader. You can choose between a minimally modified GENERIC kernel (including sound), an adapted Laptop kernel and a kernel for modern ACPI-enabled PC systems supporting NetBSD's power-off functionality. All three kernel images exclusively boot from the cd0 device and cannot be used to boot from the hard drive.

This CD contains the following software packages in addition to the base operating system files:

The package database has not been removed from the CD, but will not be copied to the RAM-Disk /var partition in order to save memory space. Instead, a link to the real database directory will be installed so that a glance at /var/db/pkg will be able to determine the list of installed packages.

The graphical environment used is KDE with the kdm display manager.


During boot phase, the system analyses installed hard disks and searches for CD drives. All found and recognized partitions are made available as icons on the KDE desktop of root (not on the user's desktop). They can easily be mounted from there.

In addition to this, the disk analyzer tries to find valid NetBSD swap partitions on the harddisks. The system will ask for each found swap partition whether it may be used for the session. In case of harddisk inconstistency, the question must not be confirmed!

If there's no installation of NetBSD present on the system, the analyzer can of course not find any swap partitions. In order to allocate additional virtual memory in that case, the command "swapfile" is executed. The script demands a mounted partition (a foreign partition is OK here) to put a swap file on. The file name of "swapfile" is hardcoded here. As an example, assume the virtual disklabel of the first IDE disk (wd0) contains a FAT partition as wd0e (detected by the analyzer, added to auto-generated /etc/fstab). A swap file of 256 MB in size can easily be created here by typing (as user, thus using "sudo"):

$ sudo /sbin/mount /var/mnt/wd0e
$ sudo /sbin/swapfile /var/mnt/wd0e 256

If the mount commands were issued correctly, the newly allocated swap space is available immediately, enlarging virtual memory by 256 MB. If no size is given, "swapfile" assumes 128 MB. Please note that swapfile creation on a foreign partition might take some time, especially when creating large swap files on relatively slow machines. The script always recreates the swap file from scratch, overwriting any present file.

Note that such swap files are still available on hard disk after system shutdown, taking up free space and being accessable by possible unauthorized persons having access to the disk in whatever way!

Closing note

If you're having any questions regarding this NetBSD distribution: We're looking forward to your messages. You'll reach us at

Have fun trying NetBSD!

Your freeX editorial staff