Install NetBSD from USB stick

Since NetBSD 5.1, a special image is generated for i386 and amd64 architecture. This is called “memstick”.

Look at your nearest mirror, in a directory called /pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-5.1/memstick. You’ll find fs.gz image file. Grab the one you want and unzip it. Plug you USB key and issue commands that, from Mac OS X, would look like:

# diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
# dd if=i386memstick-5.1.fs of=/dev/disk3 bs=1m
# diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3

Insert the USB key in the laptop and boot from it.

That’s All Folks!


  • Using NetBSD as a Gnome workstation at TuM'Fatig Thu, 28 Jul 2011 02:26:11 +0000 Reply

    […] installed NetBSD using a USB stick as described here on an Asus EeePC […]

  • combier Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:43:24 +0000 Reply

    I am installing netBSD from a USB stick ; in “Install from : CD-ROM / DVD …Floppy …Skip Set group ” there is no USB ! What can I do ?
    thanks for your response

    • Joel Carnat Wed, 26 Sep 2012 09:23:35 +0000 Reply Author

      I don’t remember 🙂
      It is probably “local directory” or “unmounted fs”, specifying the USB drive.
      Your best bet is to drop to a shell and have a look if you can find the sets from “/” ; then use “local directory”. If not, just mount sd0a on /mnt, locate the sets’ path, unmount sd0a and specify the information with “unmounted fs”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: