kernel names

David Wolfskill david at
Thu Dec 14 17:46:40 UTC 2017

On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 09:17:36AM -0800, bob prohaska wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 01:47:13PM +0800, blubee blubeeme wrote:
> > When you boot into FreeBSD and you can select kernels, there's only 2
> > options:
> > default and kernel.old
> > 
> > Is there a way to have better output and support multiple kernels without
> > having to login to the system and running uname -v or something like that?
> > 
> > Would it be possible to add options for more kernels from that boot menu?
> Unless I've been fooling myself, it's possible now. Just stop the boot
> loader during loading by hitting the spacebar and type 
> boot kernelname
> at the loader prompt
> ....

As Allan Jude pointed out earlier in the thread, it's a lot easier than
that: just set the "kernels" variable in /boot/loader.conf.

For example, I update, build, boot, and run FreeBSD on my laptop daily.
That process installs /boot/kernel (after moving the previous one to
/boot/kernel.old).  I like to keep a "recent known-working" kernel
around that isn't automagically replaced, so:

g1-252(11.1-S)[1] grep kernel /boot/loader.conf 
# Experiment to see if can be an option from the boot menu
kernels="kernel kernel.old"

(And yes, it does work -- verified empirically.)

David H. Wolfskill				david at
The US "cannot afford" Trump as President or Roy Moore in the Senate.

See for my public key.
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