removing /var/empty on a non-system disk

Gary Aitken garya at
Tue May 29 01:17:39 UTC 2012

On 05/28/12 15:08, Robert Bonomi wrote:

>>  From owner-freebsd-questions at  Mon May 28 14:10:55 2012
>> Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 13:05:45 -0600
>> From: Gary Aitken<freebsd at>
>> To: Polytropon<freebsd at>
>> Cc: freebsd-questions at
>> Subject: Re: removing /var/empty on a non-system disk
>> On 5/25/2012 4:01 PM, Polytropon wrote:
>>> I should have mentioned that I did the (successful) test
>>> logging in as root (real console login). If you use "su -"
>>> or "su root", the effect should be the same. You can always
>>> check the success of your operation with the "ls -lo" command.
>> Nope.  That was the problem.  I had logged in on the vty as normal user
>> and done su root.  Had to back all the way out and log in on the vty as
>> root to make it work.
> I'm going to guess that you did 'su root', not 'su - root'.  The two commands
> are *NOT* identical.   'su root' does not run the root 'login' scripts; thus
> environment variables (including path, user, logname etc.) are *not* set as
> they are on root login -- this causes some 'am i root' tests to fail.  OTOH,
> 'su - root' should be equivalent to a root login in all respects.

Thank you.  That explains a number of problems I've been having.  doh.

> NOTE; there will be issues if the 'working directory' of a parent process is
> the directory you are trying to delete.

knew about that part

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