Subject: Re: HELP ON 1.3 BOOT (fwd)
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Colin Wood <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/16/1997 00:13:12
Forwarded to current-users at Nico's request.  Some background:  the
quoted material is a NetBSD/mac68k user's experience with upgrading from
1.2 to 1.3_ALPHA along with another user's response.

Nico van Eikema Hommes wrote:


>>> at the end of the boot I get
>>> /etc/rc.conf is not configured.  Multiuser aborted
>>> help.  I am fairly new to BSD so I don't know all the configs
>>Basically, you need to boot into single-user and edit the file
>>/etc/rc.conf so that the line that currently says:
>You'll probably want to make other changes while you're in there
>(if you haven't already ;-).
>You'll want to `mount -u /` before editing the file so you can
>write it back.

We're in the phase of testing 1.3alpha to locate bugs, aren't we?
I'd definitely consider this a bug, not a cute new feature.
Forcing a user (in particular if (s)he is new to netbsd) to fiddle
with files while in single user mode, without giving any instructions
on what to do, is ridiculous. Even the above is incorrect, since it does
not include the necessary "fsck -p" (which no doubt will fail too for
a lot of people for yet another confusing reason).

IIRC, "RC_CONFIGURED" was introduced to increase security, i.e. to avoid
letting the machine boot in multi-user in an insecure setup. The advice
given above means "forget it, be as insecure as it used to be". I'm aware
that this is NetBSD, not OpenBSD (which is sooo much more secure :-), but
we nevertheless should care about security sufficiently.

An improvement might be:
* with RC_CONFIGURED == YES, boot the usual way;
* otherwise, boot with a minimal configuration, in particular without any
  network setup, and print a nice warning like "/etc/rc.conf is not yet
  configured. Edit this file to enable the functions you want. See
  man rc.conf(8) for more information". (it should be 8, shouldn't it?)

It would be nice if someone actively involved in preparing the 1.3 release
could forward this to the proper list. Thanks.

Best wishes,


  Dr. N.J.R. van Eikema Hommes     Computer-Chemie-Centrum       Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg
  Phone:    +49-(0)9131-856532     Naegelsbachstr. 25
  FAX:      +49-(0)9131-856566     D-91052 Erlangen, Germany

Colin Wood                       
Component Design Engineer - MD6                 Intel Corporation
I speak only on my own behalf, not for my employer.