Monday, 2 July 2012

NetBSD/vax moves to MAXPARTITIONS 16

Image courtesy of Computer History Museum
This is RetroChallenge 2012 month, and as my Dreamcast and VAXstation are still many miles apart I decided to finish off switching NetBSD/vax from 8 to 16 partitions per disk.

Turned out to be quite simple to do - once I remembered to check that the boot blocks would need to be adjusted to handle the larger disklabel.

Of course given the average disk size in use on a VAX is likely to be on the order of dozens to hundreds of MB there may not necessarily be as many obvious uses for more partitions, but to quote a *nix saying "Here is rope. Do stuff".

Copy of the message sent to port-vax to inform users of the change:

For all you staring at that RD52 and wondering how to make full use of
its capacity with only seven partitions, your solution is here!
No more will you have to nest devices to allow you to create 15
separate 2MB partitions, now NetBSD/vax has been extended from 8
partitions per device to 16! (*)

(*) Also works for devices greater than 31MB!

After updating current all existing /dev nodes should be unaffected,

just run MAKEDEV to gain access to the additional partitions.

Commit message:

- Increase MAXPARTITIONS for vax from 8 to 16, using the standard NetBSD
  mechanism to ensure all existing /dev nodes continue to work
- Adjust boot block layout to fit additional partitions
- Adjust number of inodes on install media

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