FreeBSD drops to single user mode

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Fri Jan 27 17:00:40 PST 2006

Paul Schmehl wrote:
> --On Friday, January 27, 2006 22:49:25 +0000 RW
> <list-freebsd-2004 at> wrote:
[ ... ]
>>> Here's my fstab, if that illuminates anything:
>>> ...
>>> /dev/ad5s1d             /files          ufs     rw             
>>> 2       2
>> If you neglected to comment-out this line, FreeBSD would be looking for
>> this  partition, which doesn't exist on the Windows drive.
> I suspected that was the case, but if so, why did mount -a work?

"mount -a" does the best it can, and will even remount / for historical reasons:
/etc/rc used to mount / ro in single-user mode, run fsck, and then remount /
"rw" once fsck had finished, before going multiuser.

The system intends to have all of the listed filesystems in fstab mounted before
starting daemons and the like which will expect their files to be available; if
it can't make a filesystem available, it stays in single-user mode waiting for a
human to solve the problem.

If you remove a device containing a filesystem listed in fstab, you should
either comment out that line or use the noauto keyword.


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