Finally, NetBSD Boots in KVM!

Compared to OpenBSD and FreeBSD the NetBSD install was hard, really hard. It wasn’t until I stumbled across this that I managed to convince myself to try it again.

The trick seems to be to ignore as much as you can from other Internet tips. NetBSD runs fine in KVM, so if someone says you need to run it in Qemu mode — don’t believe the hype. OK, in virt-manager there is no preset defaults for NetBSD, so I went with a generic OS and tried starting the install from there. The kernel hangs before it probes USB, or it segfaults.

What I did was to stop the guest, and in the details view I disabled ACPI and selected the pcnet NIC instead of the default ne2k-pci. Running the default options in the NetBSD 5.0.2 installer, and the bootloader after install, works fine.

If you still don’t manage to get it running check the KVM home page for known bugs and workarounds. Sometimes it helps adding -no-kvm-irqchip or -no-kvm-pit. However, virt-manager does not seem to support these options yet, so you must run from the command line.

Good Luck!