mergemaster -U ask for a lot non-user modified files

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Thu Feb 24 06:05:29 UTC 2011

On 23/02/2011 22:14, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> David Demelier <demelier.david at> writes:
>> I also noticed that even with the -F flag, mergemaster still asks for
>> files that only differs by CVS id, see :
>> -#####  $FreeBSD: src/etc/sendmail/,v
>> 2010/06/14 02:09:0 6 kensmith Exp $  #####
>>  +#####  $FreeBSD: src/etc/sendmail/,v
>> 2010/12/21 17:09:2 5 kensmith Exp $  #####
> Again, I think this is a local problem on your system.  
> It certainly works on my system (RELENG_8, updated this week).

mergemaster -U functionality depends on mergemaster having recorded an
mtree database of what the contents of your /etc (and various other
bits) looks like.  The first time you run mergemaster with the -U flag,
it's going to ask you about a lot of files -- but after that, it
remembers and you only get asked about updating files you've previously

The recommendation for minimizing the amount of questions asked is:

* the first time you run mergemaster, on a newly installed machine:

   mergemaster -UFi

(This will involve quite a lot of user interaction)

* for any subsequent updates:

   mergemaster -Ui

(Which will be much more automated)

The other handy tip is to make sure you don't delete the $FreeBSD$ tags
from your fles, and that when the file is modified upstream, you merge
in the new value for the tag.

Doing this certainly works for me -- frequently the only file I get
asked about is /etc/motd



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at               Kent, CT11 9PW

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