Linked by Nathan Mace on Tue 19th Mar 2002 17:21 UTC
FreeBSD Most tech savvy geeks can work their way through a FreeBSD install, even if they have no prior UNIX experience. However installing an OS and configuring an OS are two totally different things. This article is targeted towards anyone who might be wondering about FreeBSD, but doesn't know what to do with it after they install it. This isn't then end-all be-all of FreeBSD howto's. Just some of the simple stuff. Update: Some of the readers of OSNews have emailed me concerning corrections that need to be made in this article. Dig in (third page) for more.
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FreeBSD init scripts
by Rick Morris on Wed 20th Mar 2002 07:16 UTC

The article is a nice overview, but is rather thin on explanation of the FreeBSD init system. He dismisses the core init stuff as "several rc.*" files. These are critical files, and should be learned by any serious FreeBSD admin. The main configuration for standard system startup is controlled through a file called /etc/rc.conf, which doesn't actually have the startup scripts, but contains user overrides FROM the default startup inside /etc/defaults/rc.conf. This is a very smart concept, which shields the user from complexity, and shields the system from having a broken startup file. Any changes you make to startup options in /stand/sysinstall will appear in /etc/rc.conf, also. It also contains settings for your NIC cards.

And I know that /usr/local/etc/rc.d is the traditional custom startup script area, for non-core stuff, but FreeBSD also provides for a nice generic startup script called /etc/rc.local. If it is not there, just create it, and any commands you put in there will be run as the system boots.