removing /var/empty on a non-system disk

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Tue May 29 19:16:54 UTC 2012

> From owner-freebsd-questions at  Mon May 28 20:22:58 2012
> Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 19:17:38 -0600
> From: Gary Aitken <garya at>
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: Re: removing /var/empty on a non-system disk
> On 05/28/12 15:08, Robert Bonomi wrote:
> > 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.

To misquote Mae West: "When confronted with the choice between two mistakes,
I try to choose the one I haven't made before."

I've been doing this kind of stuff long enough that, under that philosophy,
I've seen things that hardly anybody else has ever experienced.  Luckily,
at least for me, I _do_ remember virtually all the mistakes I've made.

<wry grin>

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