New installation script

Kevin Oberman kob6558 at
Sun Aug 7 00:16:24 UTC 2011

On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM, Doug Barton <dougb at> wrote:
> On 08/06/2011 07:52, Nathan Whitehorn wrote:
>> This is, to some extent, a deliberate design decision. The idea is that
>> if you are installing onto an existing partition with the right type,
>> then you really do just want to use it without newfs.
> Actually, if I am reinstalling I really do want to newfs the system
> partitions because that's how I can guarantee that no old cruft is left
> over. I generally do not want to newfs things like /home. I think my use
> case here is fairly typical.
> There should at minimum be an option to newfs the partitions one is
> installing the OS to. Ideally that option should default to whatever
> sysinstall does now (which IIRC is 'on').

I strongly agree. I find it hard to come up with a scenario where installing
onto an existing, populated FS would even work unless there was simply
installed OS already there, in which case 'newfs'ing would only waste a
small amount of time.

If an installed system already exists, bsdinstall will fail rather soon when it
tries to create a file that already exists, as it did in my case.

You may have a /home partition or some other data partition you don't want
lose, but, in that case you would not "Modify" it by adding a mount point.
That is exactly what I did for all partitions I wanted left alone.

If it is /tmp, it is probably irrelevant. If root or /usr, leaving old
stuff around is
a very bad idea. Even if bsdinstall does not fail, I would not bet on the
correctness of the system installed.

What I WOULD like to see is a screen that lists the partitions that will be
created and 'newfs'ed. Sort of a confirmation screen that ask "Is this what
you REALLY want to do. I know that when I hit the point where part of an
existing disk that has, for example, a Windows system on it that I do not
want to lose, I get very uncomfortable and look very closely at what I've
done to confirm that it is what I want to do. I'd love to see something that
makes this easier and a bit less nerve wracking.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer - Retired
E-mail: kob6558 at

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