Well, I broke it! FreeBSD V8.1 release

b. f. bf1783 at googlemail.com
Wed Dec 22 11:41:45 UTC 2010

dave wrote:
>I was trying to disable the console screensaver, and found that in
>sysinstall, there is no way to select "none" as an option.
>So I went and edited /etc/rc.conf to comment out the line:-
>Saver="fire" (or whatever it is)
>I put a ; at the beginning of the line, and now FreeBSD wont come up,
>showing an error (unexpected ;) and leaving me with a # prompt.
>How do I get to re-edit rc.conf, to correct the problem, as all command
>line commands result in a "not found" error.

You didn't provide much information, but probably what happened is
that your defective rc.conf caused an error when booting, and your
normal boot aborted and dropped into "single-user". This typically
means that some partitions that are mounted by default during a normal
boot and that contain editors and other programs are not initially
mounted.  So probably if you did something like:

fsck -p /
mount -uw /
swapon -a
mount -a

you could then edit /etc/rc.conf with your favorite editor. Or you
could just use sed, ed, or vi from /rescue, or from the release media,
to make the necessary changes, rather than attempting to mount all

>Also.  What's the "Correct" way to disable a console screensaver?
>Sysinstall alows you to select and enable one, but not remove it!

On the fly, you can use vidcontrol -t ...

To change the default setting, comment out or delete the  "saver=..."
line, or change it to


which is what is originally in /etc/defaults/rc.conf.

Sysinstall is only one tool you can use to install or configure the
system.  It's not necessary, and for minor changes like this, it's not
the method of choice.


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