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

John Baldwin jhb at freebsd.org
Fri Oct 28 11:56:32 UTC 2011

On Friday, October 28, 2011 4:43:28 am Thomas Mueller wrote:
> 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.

Hmm, I did not know NetBSD had a util called etcupdate.  However, the
etcupdate in ports will work fine for FreeBSD.  You do need to bootstrap it
(see the notes in the manpage) once before you do a cvsup or svn up, but
after that it should do 3-way merges to files rather easily.  You can also
see your local customizations via 'etcupdate diff'.

John Baldwin

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