Items missing from the handbook and/or FAQs.

Marc Fonvieille blackend at
Fri Apr 23 13:36:52 PDT 2004

On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 12:37:00PM -0700, Joe Rhett wrote:
> Sorry, it's been quite a while since I've played with FreeBSD and some
> things are taking a while to get used to.  The configuration system has
> come a long way... but the documentation seems to be lacking a bit.
> This is a quick list of items that I had to struggle through without
> references from the documentation.  I have figured most of them out from
> reading through the rc and init scripts, but that's hardly an easy way to
> handle this.
> version: 4.9-stable installed from ISO images.
> hardware: Sony VAIO PCG-F350
> 	(not relevant, because I have no hardware issues...)
> 1. How to disable ppp ?
> The handbook has lots of information on how to configure it.  Apparently I
> chose to enable it during install (I don't remember this) and I'm trying to
> get rid of the ppp0 and sl0 interfaces.  The answer was to copy related
> parameters from /etc/defaults/rc.conf to /etc/rc.conf and change them.
> (The handbook actually does say "modify rc.conf" but it doesn't say what
> items should be modified!)

Wrong, read
about sl and ppp

> 2. How to configure a wireless card?
> If you're coming from any other unixy OS, you're going to be looking for
> iwconfig and relatives.  Just a note somewhere that all wireless
> configuration is handled through ifconfig would have saved me some time.
> Also a note to create /etc/start_if.{ifname} to put the wireless options in
> would also have saved me reading through the rc scripts.  I asusme that's a
> general case for all interfaces, but it could bear repeating in the wireless
> documentation. (when there is some...)

> 3. Choosing filesystem types
> During setup you can create filesystems other than FreeBSD, but you are
> supposed to magickally know their filesystem type numbers.  The setup
> documenation and the fdisk tools only tell you the filesystem numbers for
> freebsd, linux and dos.  An option to get a list would be nice.
> Documentation of the filesystem types would be nice too. (I had to use
> fdisk on a linux system to get the filesystem numbers I needed) 
especially Disk Layouts for the i386

> 4. Why is xdm still listed as the way to set up X?
> Okay, I'm certain that a bunch of people will respond to tell me that gnome
> and kde are evil and should be destroyed, but the vast majority of people
> are expecting modern graphical interfaces.
> Suggestion: put a gdm configuration script there right next to the xdm
> configuration. The people who love twm know what to do to make it happy.
> Forcing people who aren't in love with twm and startx to hack at and make
> their own gdm startup scripts doesn't make much sense.
> (yes, there is an example gdm startup script, but it won't work be default
> and you have to search for it, edit it, move it to the proper directory,
> etc....)

Well XDM and KDM are covered in the Handbook, we can't cover everything.
However the FreeBSD GNOME team provide some docs:

> 5. Why doesn't the gdm package set up the gdm user?
> Running gdm fails because of the lack of a gdm user.  Why isn't this
> handled by the package installation script?

It's not a doc issue, if it's real, it's a GNOME ports issue.

> There's a few things I'm still hacking at and haven't solved yet.  I'll
> probably figure these out in the next few hours, but anyone who wants to
> clue-by-four me would be appreciated.
> 1. How to put DHCP on the wireless card?
> I still haven't figured this out. I run dhclient on the interface by hand
> after every reboot and it works fine, but I'm assuming there is some 
> standard method of telling the system that wi0 should be a dhcp-managed, right?

> 2. What is interface faith0 ?
> It took a ridiculous amount of searching to determine that faith0 was an
> ipv4 -> ipv6 interface.  And I can find nothing about how to disable it.
> (and if you say compile a new kernel and make world, excuse me while I puke)

man faith


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