:${foo_enable:=NO} in rc.d script

Doug Barton dougb at FreeBSD.org
Thu Aug 5 05:34:47 UTC 2010

On 08/04/10 20:25, Hiroki Sato wrote:
> Hi,
>   This may be discussed already but I could not find which was correct,
>   so please point out it if we already have a consensus...
>   Well, I am wondering if an rc.d script installed by a port must have
>   ": ${foo_enable:=NO}" line.

That particular style is not mandated, but the policy is that all ports 
should ship with a default setting of _enable=no. The default is a 
security issue, in that an affirmative step by the user should be 
required to enable newly installed services. This also mirrors policy 
for almost everything in the base. Although in the last few years more 
services in the base have defaulted to on, of the 20 or so things in 
/etc/defaults/rc.conf that are enabled by default there are only 3 that 
are actual services; devd, sendmail_submit, and cron. Most of the rest 
are either boot-time things (like cleanvar_) or configuration elements 
of services that are themselves disabled by default (like 
named_chroot_autoupdate and named_symlink_enable). Requiring the 
explicit setting of _enable to no (rather than letting it error out) 
also mirrors the practice in the base of having /etc/defaults/rc.conf 
which explicitly disables everything.

I find it impossible to believe that at this stage in the game there are 
still users who are confused by how to enable services, and if they are 
the example in the porter's handbook provides sample text for the 
comments of the rc.d script to explain what to do. There are also a 
non-zero number of ports that include instructions in their pkg-message 

>   Since most of ports I am maintaining do not have this line, I need to
>   fix them if setting the variable as NO consistently is preferable.

I believe the examples in 
are fairly thorough, and relatively well documented. If you have any 
questions about the text please don't hesitate to bring them up, I am 
always looking for ways to improve it.




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