I hate to bitch but bitch I must

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Fri Oct 16 23:08:00 UTC 2009

On Fri, 16 Oct 2009 17:54:23 -0400, PJ <af.gourmet at videotron.ca> wrote:
> Why is it that the manual pages, as thorough as they may be, are very,
> very confusing.

A common misunderstanding about manpages can be that they
are often (wishfully?) seen as a tutorial or a howto. In
fact, they are references.

> Perhaps I am being too wary, but I find that too many 
> instructions/examples are stumbling blocks to appreciation of the whole
> system:
> for instance, let's look at the instructions for changing disk labels
> with glabel or is it tunefs ?
> man glabel(8):
> for UFS the file system label is set with
> tunefs(8)
> <http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=tunefs&sektion=8&apropos=0&manpath=FreeBSD+7.2-RELEASE>.
> what happened to glabel?

That's confusing...

> man tunefs(8)
> The *tunefs* utility cannot be
> run on an active file system. To change an active file system, it must
> be downgraded to read-only or unmounted.
> So, you have to run tunefs from an active file system to modify another
> disk?

No. "Active file system" refers to a file system that is mounted
rw - the common method of using a file system. But in order to run
a program from a file system, the file system can as well be mounted
ro. This still allows running programs.

A setting you'll often find is maintenance done in single user
mode; here, / is mounted ro to give access to the basic programs
in /bin and /sbin. All other partitions, including /usr, are not
mounted. They don't need to be for having a fully functional
system in maintenance mode.

> but from man tunefs:
> This utility should work on active file systems.
> What in hades does this mean--just above it says cannot be run on active
> file systems. ???

It "should". This means: Don't try that. :-)

My printer isn't printing!
But it should.
No, it is not printing!
Yes, but it should.

>  To change the root file
> system, the system must be rebooted after the file system is tuned.
> You can tune a file system, but you cannot tune a fish.
> How cute... And fish eat bugs.

Nice you found this. :-)

> Seriously, now to the manual:
> To create a permanent label for a UFS2 file system without destroying
> any data, issue the following command:
> # tunefs -L /home/ /dev/da3
> Oh? home is what? What does this have to do with the partitions?

The volume name, according to the manual, is "/home/" now,
isn't it?

> from manual:
> # tunefs -L /home/ //dev/da3/

I cannot find this in the tunefs manual in group 8... It
seems that there are too many /s in it...

> Do people who write this stuff ever read it? Tell me that its clear and
> simple and to the point... so far, I have been running back and forth
> between half a dozen web pages trying to understand what is going on... 
> and doing things through a dense fog does not produce creative results!

Wow... I'm having problems now, too. Maybe I should re-read
the manpages a few times...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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