Mergemaster and a mess of /etc

Rob rob at
Sun Sep 12 16:22:43 PDT 2004

Giorgos Keramidas wrote:

>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
>freebsd-current at mailing list
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Thank you for information.  I think the problem is not mergemaster, but 
me.  I've just temporarilly gotten burnt out on computers.  I'm sure in 
a week or so I will be fine.  ;Rob

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