Subject: Re: /etc/rc.conf and upgrading
To: Simon Burge <>
From: Soren S. Jorvang <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/03/1999 04:15:03
On Sun, Oct 03, 1999 at 11:59:45AM +1000, Simon Burge wrote:
> One of the little pains of an upgrade is rebuilding /etc/rc.conf.  What
> if we moved the clean /etc/rc.conf to /etc/rc.defaults and started
> with an empty /etc/rc.conf that users could override /etc/rc.defaults
> settings? /etc/rc would then:

Note that FreeBSD now has /etc/defaults/rc.conf which as far as
I can tell does exactly that, so if we go that route, close
compatibility seems a good idea.

However, I prefer the current scheme (compared to the current
FreeBSD one, at least).

If you are willing to accept a blind update that just keeps
around the previous values, a quick diff/patch with a heavy fudge
factor will give the same results, but I think that for major
release upgrades (point releases should, more or less by
definition, not require any changes to /etc/rc.conf) one Really
Wants to redo such a configuration file. There might well be
changed internal dependencies and similar trickiness.

The FreeBSD way means that you have to "shadow" the default/rc.conf
instead of just having all possible parameters and an overview
of them immediately available when doing normal configuration stuff.

> and next time I upgrade I can copy a new /etc/rc.conf over the top of
> the existing one and not worry about killing the existing configuration.
> There are other .conf files in /etc, but none as complex as rc.conf.