Missing fstab

Sean Bruno sbruno at miralink.com
Mon Sep 29 17:11:21 UTC 2008

Dan Allen wrote:
> In messing around trying to get a bootable FreeBSD system on a memory 
> stick I messed up and deleted my fstab file on my main FreeBSD STABLE 
> machine.  Actually a script I was writing overwrote it...  arrggghh.
> I feel so stupid.
> Anyway, my system now boots and then dies midway in boot because there 
> is no /etc/fstab.  I get the mountroot prompt, I type in ufs:ad0s2a 
> (my main root partition) and it begins booting fine.  So far so good.
> It then goes into single user mode, which is fine, but it leaves my 
> main root filesystem as readonly, which is not so fine. This is 
> because of the missing /etc/fstab file.
> I have a backup of my fstab file on a USB memory stick.  I can mount 
> the stick on /mnt and then I type
>     /sbin/mount -F /mnt/fstab -f -u -w /
> thinking that it will now update the drive to readwrite.  It does 
> not.  The command appears to succeed but running mount again shows the 
> file system is still read-only.  It will not mount my main root file 
> system readwrite.  I believe my main file system is fine.  I can see 
> all of my files readonly.
> I cannot change my root file system in order to copy my backup fstab 
> back to /etc/fstab because the file system refuses to be updated to 
> readwrite.  This is my core problem.
> fsck will not run because there is no /etc/fstab and there is no 
> option that I can find that will allow a different fstab to be used, 
> although running fsck is not my central problem.
> Any ideas on how to force the file system to be readwrite long enough 
> for me to replace my /etc/fstab file?
> Dan
A "mount -o rw /dev/ad0s1a /" doesn't "just work" for you?


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