can't reboot after messing up my rc.conf file

Sandy Rutherford sandy at
Wed Feb 23 19:01:37 GMT 2005

>>>>> On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 06:48:33 -0800, 
>>>>> "Loren M. Lang" <lorenl at> said:

 > On Thu, Feb 17, 2005 at 12:44:55AM -0800, Sandy Rutherford wrote:
 >> >>>>> On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 20:02:02 -0600, 
 >> >>>>> Jamie Novak <novak at> said:
 >> > I may have missed something from the thread before I joined the list,
 >> > but is there any reason you can't just mount the filesystems and use vi
 >> > as you're used to? If you're getting far enough in the boot process to
 >> > get an opportunity to interact with a shell, you should just be able to
 >> > mount -a and vi whatever. (Or, if you want to play it safe (or if the
 >> > system wasn't cleanly shutdown before), fsck and then mount -a)
 >> This should work fine. Although, depending on where he is in the boot
 >> process, / may be mounted read-only.  Do `mount -uw /' to make it
 >> read-write.
 >> The lesson here is that when editing any file that is even remotely
 >> connected to the boot process, _make_a_backup_copy_.  You can then
 >> simply mv the backup copy back into place should you mess up.

 > Actually, Absolute BSD has a handy suggestion about using rcs for all
 > important files in /etc/.  Maybe you should try looking into that.

I actually do both.  RCS is very usefull for unwinding changes to get
the system back to a previous state, should you realise that some of
your "improvements" weren't such a good idea afterall.  However, if
you are concerned that your changes might adversely affect the boot
process, then keeping your recovery plan as simple as possible is
highly recommended.  It doesn't get much simpler than `cp'.


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