Subject: Re: Kernel "vanity" config files
To: Paul A Vixie <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/05/1999 11:05:35
>> A file in /etc does not address the needs of someone with one machine
>> and a boot floppy, because without already making the boot floppy boot,
>> the user can't modify the file in /etc!

>in bsdi, /etc/boot.default is read by /boot and "executed".  there are
>commands like "-sleep 5" which cause
>        press any key to interrupt boot: 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1..
>to appear.  if you have a generic boot floppy that's not going to boot
>aon the machine you have, then you can press a key at this stage and type
>the commands needed to configure the RPB in a way that will get you up.
>then you go in and edit /etc/boot.default on the hard disk after install
>to make it contain whatever it was that got you up.
>there are other good ways to do it, but i wanted to explain how a file
>in /etc does in fact do the right thing.

Nitpick: I dont think its the file in /etc isn't what makes this work.
What  makes it work is the abillity to
     `type the command needed to configure the RPG in a way
      that will get you up'.

With that, you can get up, even without the file in /etc (at worst,
just type the same commands each reboot).  Without it, if the
preconfigured setup doesn't work, you're hosed.

Don't get me wrong; storing the machine-specific config is a win.  But
it's being able to override the config (wherever it is) to suit, e.g.,
a particular laptop's interrupt wiring, which really wins.