Download NetBSD now from one of the mirrors, or obtain a copy on CD.
At the very beginning of the project, I was asking myself how I could bring my mails everywhere I go. I know, it's as easy as using IMAP or saving them using POP on a laptop, but I wanted something else. I want my own IMAP server on a key so I can poll my mails from anywhere. The reason? I've been disappointed by past providers. They told me they lost my mails (~300Mb!) which they finally found only after they converted my mailbox to a dovecot one, resulting in my having to install dovecot to get them back. So, I decided I would only use those IMAP servers for new mails. Now, as soon as I boot my USB stick it will poll those mails so I have them with me anywhere. I don't want to rely on a provider anymore. I prefer being in control myself :)
I know people who have bought memory sticks with a tool that allows them to bring their favorite apps and preferences wherever they go. Since I haven't done geeky things for the past year I decided to dig into this idea a little further: to put a whole NetBSD system, apps and all, on a keyring. At first I thought it would be as easy as typing some words on a search engine, getting the answer and making my own key, but I actually only found one page discussing how to put the NetBSD installer on a stick to make an install without the need for a CD. I read it and put a kernel on the key. When I saw the blue LED of my keyring blink and the NetBSD bootloader prompt I was so happy that I decided to write a howto so other people could do the same thing.
Just think about it for a moment: you boot your netbsd kernel from your stick; install packages like xorg, firefox and mutt; configure it to your tastes and suddenly you have your own secure system with your desktop and wallpaper, your apps, your configurations hanging on the end of your keychain ready to boot whenever you need it. All you need is a PC with a BIOS that can boot from a USB device (and most of today's computers can already do this).
I want to say a big big thank you to my friend WIntellect. Not only has he helped a lot, he also encouraged me to create this website. He even wanted a domain dedicated to this howto :) He built the first kernel I used, designed this website, hosts it, corrected my english and he even tried the howto before we released it to the world.
We will continue to fill this sites with new howtos concerning NetBSD on a Stick!
Most of all, we hope you enjoy the project as much as we do!