Mergemaster and a mess of /etc (was: Re: Still getting warning messages for rc.conf & default/rc.conf entries)

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Sun Sep 12 13:07:55 PDT 2004

On 2004-09-09 14:22, Rob <rob at> wrote:
> I will probably recompile the whole system.  Have only used mergemaser
> once, and somehow everything became a mess.  Now I just compare
> timestamps and do it manually.  You can actually do this fast with the
> right technique.

Until I started using mergemaster almost exclusively, I used to update my
/etc with the following sequence of steps:

	# cd /usr/src/etc
	# mkdir /tmp/temproot
	# make DESTDIR="/tmp/temproot" distrib-dirs
	# make DESTDIR="/tmp/temproot" distribution
	# cd /tmp/temproot ; diff -ruN /etc etc > /tmp/patchfile

Then I manually edited /tmp/patchfile and applied it to my /etc taking care
to run cap_mkdb on /etc/login.conf and pwd_mkdb if /etc/passwd was changed.

All these can be handled by mergemaster just fine, though.  I still do run
the same sequence of steps from time to time, but only as a check to make
sure that my /etc doesn't contain stale custom files (not included as part
of the base system source) that I created some time ago and then forgot to
update or delete when they became useless.

To make a long story short, what exactly is it about mergemaster that gives
you difficulties and why do you think that your /etc is a mess?  A good way
to find out is to run the commands shown above and then post the diff
output saved in `/tmp/patchfile' to me.  I'll check the differences of your
/etc from the /usr/src/etc sources and tell you what I find out.

* Note: the patchfile might contain critical information (such as the
  encrypted password of your root account).  A bit of caution and a bit of
  careful editing of the file, to avoid posting sensitive information to a
  stranger like me (or even worse to a public list), would be fine.  Just
  make sure you don't strip off useful stuff too.

- Giorgos

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