How to determine which distribution sets were installed

Allan Bowhill abowhill at
Sun Nov 30 16:11:14 PST 2003

On  0, Melvyn Sopacua <freebsd-questions at> wrote:
:On Sunday 30 November 2003 08:52, Allan Bowhill wrote:
:> On  0, Paul van Berlo <pvanberlo at> wrote:
:> :Hello,
:> :
:> :is there an easy way to determine which distribution sets were installed
:> :during the FreeBSD installation and after that? I inherited a server and
:> :want to make sure what is and is not installed. Of course I can do all of
:> :this manually, but I was hoping FreeBSD keeps a log or something
:> :somewhere.
:> I am not %100 sure, but I think you might have to do it manually. I
:> don't think FreeBSD keeps records of what was originally chosen
:> in /stand/sysinstall for distribution sets on a first-time installation.
:Right - because it doesn't make sence to do so.
:If you choose 'developer' during the 'standard installation' but later install 
:the XFree86 port, you essentially now have an 'X-Developer' distribution set.
:In a well-maintained system, /etc/make.conf should reflect any alterations to 
:the base installation and the rest can be found in /var/db/pkg/*.

Well, there are definitely _options_ in /etc/make.conf that I would look
at, since really the job of that file is to set defaults for make, and 
associated functions to build software.

And don't forget to look for things that are actually activated when the
system runs. /etc/rc.conf(.local), /usr/local/etc/rc.d, and /etc/crontab
and cron files in user accounts, too. Those can be a problem.

One thing I can't quite remember is if stuff that goes to console during
/stand/sysinstall installation actually gets logged in
/var/log/messages*. I don't think it does, but it wouldn't hurt to look
at the logfiles to see what kind of installation activity went on recently.

And then there may be some boot time options, like LKMs that get
configured in one of the /boot files, I think /boot/defaults/loader.conf
and /boot/loader.conf would be places to look.

Obviously, if /usr/obj exists with craploads .o files, it is evidence an 
attempt has been made to rebuild the system from sources, and if cvsup
records can be found, then the sources have been updated using that 

Then there are kernel modifications which can be found in /sys/i386/conf.

There are other places to look. /usr/X11R6/bin is one place. Some people
don't use ports or packages when they install X. They just get the
sources outside the ports/packages system, and then build and install
X on the box directly. It never gets recorded in /var/db/pkg. Same for
other software.

I suspect what you do depends on how paranoid you are about the system.

Personally, I would back it all up, zap the filesystem, and rebuild 
from scratch with -stable.  That would take less time and energy 
than checking all the nooks and crannies.

Allan Bowhill
abowhill at

George Orwell was an optimist.

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