problem with dhclient after update to FreeBSD-8.3

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Sun May 6 09:48:46 UTC 2012

On 05/05/2012 19:30, Carmel wrote:
> I just updated my system to "FreeBSD 8.3-STABLE #0" from version 8.2. I
> was getting warning messages regarding "webcamd" at boot-up; however, I
> got them fixed (I think) I loaded: cuse4bsd_load="YES" in the
> loader.conf file and placed: webcamd_enable="YES" in the rc.conf file.
> I had never used it before; however, I am assuming that the 8.3 version
> somehow requires it.

What's happening is that 8.3 has introduced more comprehensive support
for a wider range of USB devices.  It's just picking up on the presence
of a webcam now and suggesting software that could manage it.

You don't need to enable the webcam at all: the kernel will recognise it
as a webcam from its built-in identifying codes, but unless you enable
some software to deal with it, it won't be able to do anything.

This usually shows up with USB ethernet devices suddenly appearing and
cluttering up ifconfig(8) output -- unlike webcams, ethernet interfaces
generally do have kernel level support automatically enabled.  devd will
try and run dhclient on the interface to configure it, which I guess is
where your extra dhclent invocation is coming from. It is possible to
turn this behaviour off by adding something like:


into /boot/loader.conf but this is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut,
as that turns off that usb bus entirely.  (Warning: This may well have
deleterious effects on your ability to use a keyboard or mouse with the
system: use cautiously.  Also, change that '0' to the appropriate bus
number if you need to)

> "dhclient" is listed as starting at the beginning of the log and again
> at the end. I never had this happen when using FreeBSD-8.2. I am still
> confused as to why "devd" wants to start "webcamd"

devd only wants to start webcamd because you've installed the webcamd
software including /usr/local/etc/devd/webcamd.conf  If you pkg_delete
the webcamd stuff and then restart devd, it won't try starting up
webcamd any more.

> All I guess I really have to get corrected is the "dhclient" thing,
> assuming it is a real problem and just not some useless noise.

The 'dhclient already running' message is untidy, but harmless.  It's
the rc system refusing to start a duplicate dhclient process on some
interface.  As your network interface is via a PCI  device, I can't see
why devd would think it should try and restart dhclient for it.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

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