Unusual Question

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Mon Jul 10 09:34:22 UTC 2017

On 2017/07/09 10:57, Doug Hardie wrote:
> I have a FreeBSD 9.3 remote server that needs to be purged.  I know
> that rm -rf / will remove all the directory entries, but I need to
> write over the drive.  I thought that dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ada0
> might do the trick, but it gives an not permitted error.  The whole
> thing can crash and burn at the end.  This is an unmanned site so
> moving drives is not viable.

I'd do this by usinf dd(1) but slightly more carefully.  You need a
small, temporary, bootable partition that contains dd(8).  This could be
either by booting from install media -- although as you say, the machine
is in an unmanned location so that may not be feasible -- or you could
possibly re-purpose an existing swap partition.  You can then zero out
each of the other partitions /dev/ada0p1 etc on your drive -- the idea
being not to try and delete the OS you're running from, as that will
likely crash in the middle and leave things half deleted.



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