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[20081122] g4u 2.4alpha3 is available for testing
After a lot of time, a lot of distractions, and a lot of changes to NetBSD's install system, I've finally found time again to adjust g4u to the current world order, and I'm happy to finally have g4u 2.4alpha3 available for testing.

What is g4u? ``g4u ("ghosting for unix") is a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of PCs using FTP. The floppy/CD offers two functions. The first is to upload the compressed image of a local harddisk to a FTP server, the other is to restore that image via FTP, uncompress it and write it back to disk. Network configuration is fetched via DHCP. As the harddisk is processed as an image, any filesystem and operating system can be deployed using g4u. Easy cloning of local disks as well as partitions is also supported.''

Get it now:

What's new in g4u 2.4alpha3:
  • Support Bluetooth keyboard and USB hubs
  • ACPI support is enabled by default. SMP is, too, but that's not really used in g4u; They can both be disabled form the bootloader in case of problems.
  • Moved away from GENERIC kernel back to customized kernel, to avoid bloat through too many drivers that aren't needed in g4u (audio, video, ...)
  • The build structure was adjusted to NetBSD's latest framework, which loads the kernel from CD, then loads the ramdisk, too, before starting the kernel. No more kernel+ramdisk for now. (Need to re-evaluate situation for PXE)
  • Drivers for:
    • AMD CS5535/CS5536 and Intel PIIX4 PCI bridges
    • Areca SATA PCI RAID controllers
    • Workbit NinjaATA-32 CardBus IDE controllers
    • Realtek 8139C+/8169/8169S/8110S cardbus wlan cards
    • Geode CSC and ScanLogic SL811HS USB controllers
    • Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN
    • JMicron JMC2[56]0 ethernet
    • Atheros L2 Fast-Ethernet
    • Realtek 8139C+/8169/8169S/8110S cardbus network cards
  • ... and any driver updates, bug fixes and other enhancements from NetBSD-current
  • This version of g4u was again cross-compiled on Mac OS X. To get your own build, grap NetBSD-current sources from yesterday (20081122), unpack the g4u source .tgz then "cd .../src ; sh g4u-build" and report what happens.
I'd like to hear any reports if this version works better or worse than any previous alpha version or release, esp. under the light that this version is (another...) attempt to switch to ACPI, which is on by default in NetBSD now. Let me hear if it works, or if it hangs for you!

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