sysctl options loader.conf or sysctl.conf

Gary W. Swearingen garys at
Wed Aug 3 17:46:39 GMT 2005

dick hoogendijk <dick at> writes:

> I'm a bit confused about whcih options needs to be set where.

You're not alone.

> I know i.e. that hw.ata.atapi_dma="1" needs to be set
> in /boot/loader.conf while others are set in /etc/sysctl.conf. I need
> to know where I can find info on the rules about this. Now I'm
> dependant on what I happen to read somewhere.

Well, sysctl(8) refers to loader.conf(5), sysctl.conf(5), loader(8),
which refer to /boot/defaults/loader.conf & /etc/sysctl.conf and
don't forget the handboot and FAQ.

> I read something about vfs.read_max="16" -> where do I set this I
> wonder? 

Since sysctl.conf is read in only when going multi-user and that
sounds like something you'd want always, I'd put it in loader.conf.

> Is there info about this somewhere?

Google?  If you think it's needed, please write a PR (probably on

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