I've got an old VAXstation 3100 Model 76, and I'd like to install OpenBSD/vax 4.7 on it.

I've got two drives in it, an RZ23 (104MB) and a another 1.09GB. Now, since the 1.09GB is too large for an operating system to boot from (VAXen have that "magical 1.072GB boundary"), I'd like to use the 104MB drive as / partition, and all other partitions, including swap should go on to the other drive.

But how do I do this with the OpenBSD install, since it lets me chose one disk only?

I tried installing NetBSD/vax 5.0.2 beforehand, but sysinst segfaults right after I give the OK to install the sets.

The VAXstation has the both hard drives I mentioned above and 16MB RAM (which I'd like to expand some day). The machine is otherwise in perfect working order, expect the NVRAM and RTC don't work any more, I'll change them (new chip is already ordered).

In case you'd advice another OS (aside from OpenVMS), you might give me hints here, too.

1 Answer 1


Are you sure it only lets you use one disk?

It asks you for a root disk to install the bootloader. You should select the smaller disk and select manual partitioning. Read the manual for disk label or, if you know what you are doing, the installer help.

After you set this disk up, other disks should be offered for setup in a list. Enter the name of the correct disk and follow on to disklabel and add the remaining partitions in that disk.

I've only ever used the emulated VAX in simh, but I doubt there is any difference as long as both disks are actually detected correctly.

  • This is exactly right. If the OS can detect the 2 disks, it will give you the option to set them up during the install, one at a time.
    – gabe.
    Nov 10, 2010 at 15:59

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