NetWinder DM-3.9 Disk Image #28

Status: Build 28 is an unofficial release, uploaded to the FTP site on July 9th, 2001.

This disk image is an early release candidate of what will eventually become DM-4.0. This pre-release is provided without any support, as we are currently swamped with the Crusoe project. You should expect for this image to be removed once the final 4.0 is released!

This release is meant as a stepping-stone to aid developers in upgrading to an environment with a versioned glibc. While it is possible to run a mixed system, it is quite painful. The disk image includes:

Where to get it

The full disk image (dm-3.9-28) can be found at It is very large (486.91 MB), and unpacks to about 1.5 Gigs, mostly on the /usr partition. A base image is also available, you'll need to add a compiler and header files to make it useful.

The individual RPMS and SRPMS that went into this image will be made available on an as-requested basis. The main reason for this is to reduce the amount of disk space on our ftp server. We've dropped our RedHat-7.0 mirror to make room for this DM release. So, for the time being, if you need any individual RPMS or SRPMS, please post to the devel group and we'll upload the package. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Before you upgrade

Firmware. The appropriate firmware to be used is NeTTrom 2.3-3. If you don't upgrade, then you must be careful when running mke2fs. It is critical to use the options `-O sparse_super' otherwise your older firmware will not be able to mount the partition for loading the kernel. You should really update the firmware: the new also one boots faster. (And there is a "nwlilo" feature, but don't worry about that).

Partitions. We recomment the same partitioning scheme used for DM-3.1:

/dev/hda1300 MB or more/ (root filesystem)
/dev/hda2128 MBswap
/dev/hda31500 MB or more/usr filesystem
/dev/hda412 MBrescue filesystem

If your hard disk is less than 2 GB then you're in trouble :)

Known bugs

  1. The kernel is at 2.2.17, which is pretty old. As a quick fix, we have tarballs of 2.2.19 and 2.4.5 available. These are built from the CVS tree at To install them, just unpack the tarball from / and then in /boot, adjust the vmlinux and symlinks.

  2. Video resolution cannot be controlled via the commandline option video=NNxMM anymore. You can however use the fbset utility to change framebuffer resolution.

  3. Console line wrap problems. If you use fbset to change to a higher resolution, then there seems to be a bug: the environment variable COLUMNS doesn't get updated (Thanks to Russell King for spotting this). This results in bash commandlines in wrapping badly. Fix it by logging out and back in again, or setting COLUMNS yourself.

  4. Sound driver doesn't load automatically. Under 2.2 kernels all you need to do is `modprobe waveartist'. For 2.4 the same works, though you'll get an error about module `adlib_card' failing. Both cases can be fixed by suitable editing of /etc/modules.conf.

  5. Certain NetWinders with the newer 2010 version of the CyberPro graphics chip, may experience crashes when starting X. The problem is in the kernel and can be solved by using a different kernel. Older 2.2 kernels are known to work. Try the 2.2.19 and 2.4.5 kernels listed above (and let me know, I can't reproduce the failure here...).

  6. If you don't upgrade your firmware to 2.3-3, then you'll have problems with mke2fs. Specifically, any partitions you format with the new mke2fs will not be visible to the firmware. To avoid this you must either upgrade your firmware, or turn off the new features `mke2fs -O sparse_super /dev/hda1' when you format partitions.

  7. There is still no Xconfigurator or XF86_Setup program. The default resolution is 1024x768, if you have an older fixed-frequency monitor then you'll probably get a blank screen. You can fix this by editing the HorizRefresh and VertRefresh parameters in /etc/X11/XF86Config.

  8. Video capture: you must insmod vidcap before starting up the X server, and run X at a medium resolution (640x480x16 is recommended) so there is enought video memory left over for the capture chip to use.

  9. Sendmail: by default it does not accept incoming mail. Yes this is a bug. Fix it by editing /etc/sysconfig/sendmail and putting in the line DAEMON=yes. For some reason this doesn't seem to affect the base-3.9 image, only the full dm-3.9 image.


As stated at the top of this document, we are not in a position to offer much support for this disk image at this time. We do intend to release a completed DM-4.0 image in the near future, and your feedback will help us towards this goal. The final image is expected to be based on glibc-2.2 and gcc-2.95.3 (or perhaps gcc-3.0), and will use a 2.4 kernel.

If you find problems with this disk image, the best place to ask is as always on the netwinder.devel newsgroup. We also run a Bugzilla server for tracking issues that come up. But we prefer to deal with most issues on the mailing list, and we'll only use Bugzilla to log bugs that we can't fix (eg. it is more of a "reminder" system).

Document History

This document first got posted on July 09, 2001.

On July 10 2001 I discovered that the firmware version number was a figment of my imagination. There is no 3.3-3 firmware, I meant to say 2.3-3. Pages corrected.

On October 11 2001 I moved the kernels around, links to the 2.2.19 and 2.4.5 tarballs above have been corrected.

On October 31 2001 I added information about sendmail, provided by Rod Stewart.

Ralph Siemsen /