Finding exactly which commands, and in which order, rc is running at startup

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Fri Aug 23 06:14:02 UTC 2013

On 22/08/2013 21:07, Paul Hoffman wrote:
> Greetings again. After doing a freebsd-update, my system is starting
> up differently than it was before. I want to figure out why before I
> come here and say "it's broken".
> Is there a way to say "show me all of the commands you are running
> during startup"? It would be grand if I could say "tell me what you
> would do next time (dry run)", but "what did you do last time" is OK
> too.

How much detail do you want?  You probably can't get a report on every
single process run during the boot process at all easily.  However, you
can see the console output from the boot process.

To see what the kernel emits on boot-up, look at /var/run/dmesg.boot --
if you've got an old copy of dmesg.boot around somewhere, comparing the
two should show you any changes in the devices the kernel discovers when
it probes your system.

To see the output from the rc system, the best thing is to enable the
console log.  Edit /etc/syslog.conf and uncomment the indicated line, as so:

# uncomment this to log all writes to /dev/console to /var/log/console.log					/var/log/console.log

Then do:

    touch /var/log/console.log
    chmod 600 /var/log/console.log
    /etc/rc.d/syslogd restart

Obviously, that won't help you see what happened on the previous reboot,
but on the next reboot you should see a transcript of the console output.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

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