Manual browser: sysinst(8)

SYSINST(8) System Manager's Manual SYSINST(8)


sysinstinstall or upgrade a NetBSD system


sysinst [-D] [-f definition_file] [-r release]


sysinst is a menu-based program that may be used to install or upgrade a NetBSD system. It is usually invoked automatically when the system is booted from appropriate installation media.

sysinst is usually not present on a NetBSD system that has been fully installed.

The following options are available:

Switch on debugging.
-f definition_file
Use definition_file as a file for definitions other than the defaults. See the DEFINITION FILE section for its format.
-r release
Use release as the release name if it is different to the one compiled. Currently unused.


A definition file can be used with sysinst to control several aspects of the installation or upgrade process. Options can be stored within the file as
option = value
pairs. Options include the following, shown with their defaults as well as a description (“REL” and “MACH” are the release and architecture respectively, as determined by the image sysinst is used on):
option name default value description
release REL Release name (also set by -r release)
machine MACH Machine architecture
xfer dir /usr/INSTALL Transfer dir
ext dir Extract dir (will usually be set later on)
ftp host FTP host for fetching files
ftp dir pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-REL FTP directory for fetching files
ftp prefix /MACH/binary/sets Directory to look for sets, used for all methods of fetching (i.e., not just FTP)
ftp user ftp FTP user for connecting
ftp pass - FTP password
ftp proxy - FTP proxy
nfs host - NFS host for fetching via NFS
nfs dir /bsd/release NFS directory for fetching files
cd dev cd0a Name of CD device for fetching files
fd dev /dev/fd0a Name of floppy device for fetching files
local dev - Other device to be mounted for fetching files
local fs ffs File system type for local device
local dir release Directory to look for in the mounted local file system
targetroot mount /targetroot Directory to mount target root dir to
dist postfix .tgz Suffix of set files to be extracted
diskname mydisk disktab(5) diskname to use for target disk


release(7), afterboot(8), boot(8), diskless(8)

<machine>/INSTALL.* files on CD-ROM installation media .../NetBSD-<rel>/<machine>/INSTALL.* files in NetBSD releases or snapshots.


A sysinst command appeared in NetBSD 1.3.
June 30, 2012 NetBSD 7.0