Upgrade from source to RC1: problems with /etc : lost users and dbus

Thomas Mueller mueller6727 at bellsouth.net
Fri Oct 28 08:43:29 UTC 2011

from Tom Evans <tevans.uk at googlemail.com>:

I have had this happen before, the PEBKAC. When running mergemaster,
> it will prompt you to install new passwd, master.passwd and group
> files - if you have added local users you must not say yes to this,
> you must either merge the changes in or keep your local one.
> If you still have a backup, you are probably missing just master.passwd.
> hald, dbus would fail to start since their users are no longer there.
> Once you've done this to your system once, you never want to do it again!

When I had this problem, I was itching to get to bed.  But since then, I checked /etc and the backup, and found master.passwd, copied it back, still have to boot into RC1 to see if the fix works.

How does one run mergemaster without running roughshod over existing configuration?

I did hit d (delete) on some files I didn't want to trash, such as mail.rc and the ports directory configuration.

I wish there were a way to do a practice run with mergemaster without destroying anything, just as a medical student may practice on human cadavers, or flying in a flight simulator, where the consequences of doing the wrong thing are not disastrous.  That way, I'd know what to do for next time.

I could make one backup at the beginning, before the first mergemaster -p, and then another after that, before the second mergemaster.

I remember etcupdate from NetBSD, see it in FreeBSD ports/sysutils, but not in FreeBSD base system.


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