New mergemaster option -I, failsafe install files

Doug Barton dougb at
Mon May 11 04:54:53 UTC 2009

Jeremie Le Hen wrote:
> Hi Doug,
> As you may guess from my multiple emails, I'm in the process of
> upgrading my jails :-).
> Since I have one jail per service, a very few number of configuration
> files are modified on each jail.  As most of user of FreeBSD I think,
> I'm used to run "mergemaster -iU" to automate the process as much as
> possible.  The problem with service jails (chapter 15.6.1 of the
> handbook) is that / is read-only mounted on all jails, /etc /var /root
> and a few other places being symlinks to /s, the private read-write
> space of each jail.  Thus when mergemaster tries to update
> /boot/devices.hints it fails and abort.

I think the way to solve this problem would be with an
MM_PRE_COMPARE_SCRIPT that deletes /boot/device.hints (and any other
relevant files) from the temproot. If they are not present in that
directory when the comparison starts then it's a non-issue.

> Therefore I've implemented a new -I option that does the same thing as
> -i except that it will proceed on failure. 

ewwww, scary. :)  Seriously though, I have very strong feelings about
not blasting through errors since I have no way of determining which
errors are/should be show stoppers, and which are merely annoying. And
even if I thought I could write code to do that, the real answer would
depend heavily on local policy in any case.

Thanks for thinking about this issue in any case,


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