Annotation of wikisrc/guide/boot.mdwn, revision 1.3

1.1       jdf         1: # The first steps on NetBSD
                      3: After installing and rebooting, the computer will boot from the hard disk. If
                      4: everything went well, you'll be looking at the login prompt within a few seconds
                      5: (or minutes, depending on your hardware). The system is not yet fully
                      6: configured, but basic configuration is easy. You will see how to quickly
                      7: configure some important things, and in doing so you will learn some basics
                      8: about how the system works.
                     10: ## Troubleshooting
                     12: ### Boot problems
                     14: If the system does not boot it could be that the boot manager was not installed
                     15: correctly or that there is a problem with the *MBR* (*Master Boot Record*). Boot
                     16: the machine from your install medium (CD, DVD, floppy, etc.) and when you see
                     17: the boot menu, select the option to drop to the boot prompt.
                     19:     type "?" or "help" for help.
                     20:     > ?
                     21:     commands are:
                     22:     boot [xdNx:][filename] [-12acdqsvxz]
                     23:          (ex. "hd0a:netbsd.old -s")
                     24:     ls [path]
                     25:     dev xd[N[x]]:
                     26:     consdev {pc|com[0123]|com[0123]kbd|auto}
                     27:     modules {enabled|disabled}
                     28:     load {path_to_module}
                     29:     multiboot [xdNx:][filename] [<args>]
                     30:     help|?
                     31:     quit
                     32:     > boot hd0a:netbsd
                     34: The system should now boot from the hard disk. If NetBSD does not boot correctly
                     35: from the hard disk, there is probably a Master Boot Record problem. You can
                     36: install the boot manager or modify its configuration with the **fdisk -B**
                     37: command. See [[Installing the boot manager|guide/misc#bootmanager]] for a
                     38: detailed description.
1.3     ! jdf        40: ### Misconfiguration of /etc/rc.conf
1.1       jdf        41: 
                     42: If you or the installation software haven't done any configuration of
                     43: `/etc/rc.conf` (sysinst normally will), the system will drop you into *single
                     44: user mode* and show the message
                     46:     /etc/rc.conf is not configured. Multiuser boot aborted
                     48: When the system asks you to choose a shell, simply press `RETURN` to get to a
                     49: /bin/sh prompt. If you are asked for a terminal type, respond with `vt220`
                     50: (or whatever is appropriate for your terminal type) and press RETURN. You may
                     51: need to type one of the following commands to get your delete key to work
                     52: properly, depending on your keyboard:
                     54:     # stty erase '^h'
                     55:     # stty erase '^?'
                     57: At this point, you need to configure at least one file in the `/etc` directory.
                     58: However, the root file system (`/`) is mounted read-only, so you will first need
                     59: to make it writable with:
                     61:     # mount -u -w /
                     63: Next, take a look at the `/etc/rc.conf` file. Modify it to your tastes, making
                     64: sure that you set `rc_configured=YES` so that you don't end up in this position
                     65: again. Default values for the various programs can be found in
                     66: `/etc/defaults/rc.conf`. More complete documentation can be found in
                     67: [rc.conf(5)](
                     69: When you have finished, type `exit` at the prompt to leave the single-user shell
                     70: and continue with the multi-user boot.
                     72: ## The man command
                     74: If you have never used a Unix(-like) operating system before, your best friend
                     75: is now the
                     76: [man(1)]( command,
                     77: which displays a manual page. The NetBSD manual pages are among the best and
                     78: most detailed you can find, although they are very technical.
                     80: A good manual to read after booting a new NetBSD system is
                     81: [afterboot(8)](
                     82: It contains information about various necessary and useful configuration
                     83: settings.
                     85: `man name` shows the man page of the `name` command and `man -k name` shows a
                     86: list of man pages dealing with `name`. The tool
                     87: [apropos(1)]( does
                     88: a full-text search on the manpages installed on your system, sorted by
                     89: relevance.
                     91: To learn the basics of the `man` command, type:
                     93:     # man man
                     95: Manual pages contain not only information about commands but also descriptions
                     96: of some NetBSD features and structures. For example, take a look at the
                     97: [hier(7)]( man
                     98: page, which describes in detail the layout of the filesystem used by NetBSD.
                    100:     # man hier
                    102: Other similar pages are
                    103: [release(7)](
                    104: and
                    105: [pkgsrc(7)](
                    107: Manual pages are divided in several sections, depending on what they document:
                    109:  1. general commands (tools and utilities), see
                    110:     [intro(1)](
                    111:  2. system calls and error numbers, see
                    112:     [intro(2)](
                    113:  3. C libraries, see
                    114:     [intro(3)](
                    115:  4. special files and hardware support, see
                    116:     [intro(4)](
                    117:  5. file formats, see
                    118:     [intro(5)](
                    119:  6. games, see
                    120:     [intro(6)](
                    121:  7. miscellaneous information pages, see
                    122:     [intro(7)](
                    123:  8. system maintenance and operation commands, see
                    124:     [intro(8)](
                    125:  9. kernel internals, see
                    126:     [intro(9)](
                    128: You can read the introduction to each of the sections by reading the `intro`
                    129: page of the specific section (in this case, 8):
                    131:     # man 8 intro
                    133: A subject may appear in more than one section of the manual; to view a specific
                    134: page, supply the section number as an argument to the man command. For example,
                    135: `time` appears in section 1 (the time user command) and in section 3 (the time
                    136: function of the C library). To see the man page for the time C function, write:
                    138:     # man 3 time
                    140: To see all the available pages:
                    142:     # man -w time
                    143:     # man -a time
                    145: ## Editing configuration files
                    147: Other than a shell, a text editor is the most essential tool for NetBSD system
                    148: administration.
                    150: Though there is the line-editor
                    151: [ed(1)](, you might
                    152: want to use the other editor provided with the NetBSD base system, named
                    153: [vi(1)]( There is a
                    154: [separate chapter](guide/edit) about using vi. You should read this first, as
                    155: editing config files is essentially for using NetBSD.
                    157: Though vi(1) is *the* standard on Unix systems, you maybe want to get a bit used
                    158: to ed(1). vi is an descendant of ed, and the commands used in ed are applicable
                    159: for vi as well.
                    161: ## Login
                    163: For the first login you will use the `root` user, which is the only user defined
                    164: at the end of the installation. At the password prompt type the password for
                    165: root that you set during the installation. If you didn't set a password, just
                    166: press `Enter`. Note that the password isn't echoed when you type it!
                    168:     NetBSD/i386 (Amnesiac) (ttyE0)
                    169:     login: root
                    170:     password:
                    171:     We recommend creating a non-root account and using su(1) for 
                    172:     root access.
                    173:     #
1.3     ! jdf       175: ## Changing the root password
1.1       jdf       176: 
                    177: If you did not set a password for `root` during the installation, you should use
                    178: the [passwd(1)](
                    179: command to do so now:
                    181:     # passwd
                    182:     Changing local password for root.
                    183:     New password:
                    184:     Retype new password:
                    186: Passwords are not displayed on the screen while you type.
                    188: Choose a password that has numbers, digits, and special characters (not space)
                    189: as well as from the upper and lower case alphabet. Do not choose any word in any
                    190: language. It is common for an intruder to use dictionary attacks.
                    191: Nonetheless, you should choose a password you can type independent of the
                    192: keyboard layout. When using some special characters, you might have problems
                    193: typing it with your local keymap later on.
                    195: ## Adding users
                    197: For security reasons, it is bad practice to login as root during regular use and
                    198: maintenance of the system. Instead, administrators are encouraged to add a
                    199: regular user, add the user to the `wheel` group, then use the
                    200: [su(1)]( command
                    201: when root privileges are required. NetBSD offers the
                    202: [useradd(8)](
                    203: utility to create user accounts. For example, to create a new user:
                    205:     # useradd -m joe
                    207: The defaults for the useradd command can be changed; see the
                    208: [useradd(8)](
                    209: man page.
                    211: User accounts that can `su` to root are required to be in the `wheel` group.
                    212: This can be done when the account is created by specifying a secondary group:
                    214:     # useradd -m -G wheel joe
                    216: As an alternative, the
                    217: [usermod(8)](
                    218: command can be used to add a user to an existing group:
                    220:     # usermod -G wheel joe
                    222: In case you just created a user but forgot to set a password, you can still do
                    223: that later using
                    224: [passwd(1)](
                    226:     # passwd joe
                    228: ### Note
                    230: You can edit `/etc/group` directly to add users to groups, but do *not* edit the
                    231: `/etc/passwd` directly; use
                    232: [vipw(8)](
                    234: ## Shadow passwords
                    236: Shadow passwords are enabled by default. This means is that all passwords in
                    237: `/etc/passwd` are set to `\*`; the encrypted passwords are stored in a file that
                    238: can only be read by root: `/etc/master.passwd`. When you start
                    239: [vipw(8)]( to edit
                    240: the password file, the program opens a copy of `/etc/master.passwd`; when you
                    241: exit, vipw checks the validity of the copy, creates a new `/etc/passwd` and
                    242: installs the new `/etc/master.passwd` file. Finally, vipw launches
                    243: [pwd\_mkdb(8)](,
                    244: which creates the files `/etc/pwd.db` and `/etc/spwd.db`, two databases which
                    245: are equivalent to `/etc/passwd` and `/etc/master.passwd` but faster to process.
                    247: It is very important to *always* use `vipw` and the other tools for account
                    248: administration
                    249: ([chfn(1)](,
                    250: [chsh(1)](,
                    251: [chpass(1)](,
                    252: [passwd(1)](
                    253: and to *never* directly modify `/etc/master.passwd` or `/etc/passwd`.
                    255: ## Changing the keyboard layout
                    257: If you do not have a US layout keyboard, you probably want to change keymaps.
                    258: For example, to use an italian keyboard, enter the following command:
                    260:     # wsconsctl -k -w encoding=it
                    261:     encoding -> it
                    263: To save the keyboard layout permanently, add the following line to the
                    264: `/etc/wscons.conf` file:
                    266:     encoding it
                    268: See [[Keyboard mappings|guide/cons#keyboard_mappings]] for a list of
                    269: available keymaps.
                    271: ## System time
                    273: NetBSD, like all Unix systems, uses a system clock based on Greenwich time (GMT)
                    274: and this is what you should set your system clock to. If you want to keep the
                    275: system clock set to the local time (because, for example, you have a dual boot
                    276: system with Windows installed), you must notify NetBSD by adding
                    277: `rtclocaltime=YES` to `/etc/rc.conf`:
                    279:     # echo rtclocaltime=YES >> /etc/rc.conf
                    280:     # sh /etc/rc.d/rtclocaltime restart
                    282: The number of minutes west of GMT is calculated automatically and is set in the
                    283: `kern.rtc_offset` sysctl variable.
                    285: To display the current setting of the `kern.rtc_offset` variable:
                    287:     # sysctl kern.rtc_offset
                    288:     kern.rtc_offset = -60
                    290: This automatic configuration only works if you have set the proper time zone by
                    291: a symbolic link `/etc/localtime`. Normally this is done as part of the install
                    292: procedure, but if for some reason it wasn't, you can set it by creating a
                    293: symbolic link from `/etc/localtime` to a file in the `/usr/share/zoneinfo`
                    294: directory.
                    296: The following example sets the time zone to Eastern Europe Summer Time:
                    298:     # ln -fs /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Helsinki /etc/localtime
1.2       jdf       300: ## Secure Shell ssh(1)
1.1       jdf       301: 
                    302: By default, all services are disabled in a fresh NetBSD installation, and
                    303: [ssh(1)]( is no
                    304: exception. You may wish to enable it so you can log in to your system remotely.
                    305: Set `sshd=YES` in `/etc/rc.conf` and then start the server with the command
                    307:     # /etc/rc.d/sshd start
                    309: The first time the server is started, it will generate a new keypair, which will
                    310: be stored inside the directory `/etc/ssh`.
                    312: Note that you can enable sshd also by using the configuration menu of `sysinst`.
                    313: If you did this, you don't have to do it by hand (and sshd should already have
                    314: started at boot time).
1.3     ! jdf       316: ## Basic configuration in /etc/rc.conf
1.1       jdf       317: 
                    318: NetBSD uses `/etc/rc.conf` to determine what will be executed when the system
                    319: boots. Understanding this file is important. The
                    320: [rc.conf(5)](
                    321: manual page contains a detailed description of all available options.
                    323: The `/etc/defaults/rc.conf` file contains the default values for most settings.
                    324: To override a default value, the new value must be put into `/etc/rc.conf`. The
                    325: definitions there override the ones in `/etc/defaults/rc.conf` (which you should
                    326: leave unchanged).
                    328:     # man rc.conf
                    330: The first modifications are:
                    332:  * Set `rc_configured=YES` (this modification should already have been done by
                    333:    the installation software.)
                    334:  * Set `dhclient=YES` to configure your system's network using DHCP.
                    335:  * Define a `hostname` for your machine (use a fully qualified hostname, i.e.,
                    336:    one including domain). If you have a standalone machine you can use any name
                    337:    (for example, `vigor3.your.domain`). If your machine is connected to a
                    338:    network, you should supply the correct name.
                    339:  * If your are connected to a local network or the Internet through a router,
                    340:    set the `defaultroute` variable to the IP address of your router (sometimes
                    341:    called a `default gateway`). For example, `defaultroute=`.
                    343: ## Basic network settings
                    345: To resolve the names and IP addresses of remote hosts, the system needs access
                    346: to a (remote or local) *DNS nameserver*. Tell the system which nameserver(s) to
                    347: use by adding the IP address of one or more nameservers to the
                    348: `/etc/resolv.conf` file, using the following as an example:
                    350:     nameserver
                    352: There are public name servers available, but your Internet Service Provider
                    353: should always provide some to you anyway.
                    355: To set the names of local hosts that are not available through DNS, edit the
                    356: `/etc/hosts` file, which has the form:
                    358:     IP-address  hostname  host
                    360: For example:
                    362: vigor3.your.domain vigor3
                    364: ## Mounting a CD-ROM
                    366: New users are often surprised by the fact that although the installation program
                    367: recognized and mounted their CD-ROM perfectly, the installed system seems to
                    368: have "forgotten" how to use the CD-ROM. There is no special magic for using a
                    369: CD-ROM; you can mount it like any other file system. All you need to know is the
                    370: device name and some options to the
                    371: [mount(8)](
                    372: command. You can find the device name with the aforementioned
                    373: [dmesg(8)](
                    374: command. For example, if dmesg displays:
                    376:     # dmesg | grep ^cd
                    377:     cd0 at atapibus0 drive 1: <ASUS CD-S400/A, , V2.1H> type 5 cdrom removable
                    379: the device name is `cd0`, and you can mount the CD-ROM with the following
                    380: commands:
                    382:     # mkdir /cdrom
                    383:     # mount -t cd9660 -o ro /dev/cd0a /cdrom
                    385: To make things easier, you can add a line to the `/etc/fstab` file:
                    387:     /dev/cd0a /cdrom cd9660 ro,noauto 0 0
                    389: Without the need to reboot, you can now mount the CD-ROM with:
                    391:     # mount /cdrom
                    393: When the CD-ROM is mounted you can't eject it manually; you will have to unmount
                    394: it before you can do that:
                    396:     # umount /cdrom
                    398: There is also a software command which unmounts the CD-ROM and ejects it:
                    400:     # eject /dev/cd0a
                    402: ## Mounting a floppy
                    404: To mount a floppy you must know the name of the floppy device and the file
                    405: system type of the floppy. Read the
                    406: [fdc(4)]( manpage
                    407: for more information about device naming, as this will differ depending on the
                    408: exact size and kind of your floppy disk. For example, to read and write a
                    409: floppy in MS-DOS format you use the following command:
                    411:     # mount -t msdos /dev/fd0a /mnt
                    413: Instead of `/mnt`, you can use another directory of your choice; you could, for
                    414: example, create a `/floppy` directory like you did for the CD-ROM. If you do a
                    415: lot of work with MS-DOS floppies, you will want to install the
                    416: [sysutils/mtools]( package, which enables you
                    417: to access a MS-DOS floppy (or hard disk partition) without the need to mount it.
                    418: It is very handy for quickly copying a file to or from a floppy:
                    420:     # mcopy foo bar a:
                    421:     # mcopy a:baz.txt baz
                    422:     # mcopy a:\*.jpg .
                    424: ## Installing additional software
                    426: ### Using packages from pkgsrc
                    428: If you wish to install any of the software freely available for UNIX-like
                    429: systems you are strongly advised to first check the NetBSD package system,
                    430: [pkgsrc]( pkgsrc automatically handles any changes
                    431: necessary to make the software run on NetBSD. This includes the retrieval and
                    432: installation of any other packages on which the software may depend.
                    434: pkgsrc might have been installed already by `sysinst`, so you don't have to
                    435: install it manually.
                    437:  * See the [list of available
                    438:    packages](
                    440:  * Precompiled binaries are available on the NetBSD FTP server for some ports.
                    441:    To install them the `PKG_PATH` variable needs to be adjusted in the following
                    442:    way (under the
                    443:    [sh(1)]( shell):
                    445:        # export PKG_PATH="<PORT>/<RELEASE-NUMBER>/All"
                    446:        # export PKG_PATH
                    448:    Where `<RELEASE-NUMBER>` needs to be replaced by the release number of an
                    449:    existing NetBSD release (for example, 6.1). `<PORT>` needs to be replaced by
                    450:    the Port name for the used architecture (for example, amd64)
                    452:    Applications can now be installed by `root` with the pkg\_add command:
                    454:        # pkg_add -v perl
                    455:        # pkg_add -v apache
                    456:        # pkg_add -v firefox
                    457:        # pkg_add -v kde
                    459:    The above commands will install the Perl programming language, Apache web
                    460:    server, Firefox web browser and the KDE desktop environment as well as all
                    461:    the packages they depend on.
                    463:    Installed applications can be updated in the following way:
                    465:        # pkg_add -uv firefox
                    467:    The following command will force an update of firefox and all of its
                    468:    dependencies:
                    470:        # pkg_add -fuuv firefox
                    472:    All details about package management can be found in [*The pkgsrc
                    473:    guide*](
                    475:  * Maybe you already installed
                    476:    [pkgtools/pkgin]( `sysinst` provides an
                    477:    option to install pkgin (if not, you can install it like any other software).
                    478:    `pkgin` is a binary package manager, but more sophisticated than `pkg_add`.
                    479:    It maintains a database of packages on the server you can fetch with:
                    481:        # pkgin update
                    483:    Its usage is oriented on the package tools you have with other operating
                    484:    systems. To search the package database for a word `stat`, use
                    486:        # pkgin search WORD
                    488:    To install a package (in this case `fscd`), just type
                    490:        # pkgin install fscd
                    492:    You should read the manpage to know about more actions you can do with pkgin.
                    494: ### Storing third-party software
                    496: On many UNIX-like systems the directory structure under `/usr/local` is reserved
                    497: for applications and files which are independent of the system's software
                    498: management. This convention is the reason why most software developers expect
                    499: their software to be installed under `/usr/local`. NetBSD has no `/usr/local`
                    500: directory, but it can be created manually if needed. NetBSD does not care about
                    501: anything installed under `/usr/local`, so this task is left to you as the system
                    502: administrator.
                    504: ### Security alerts
                    506: ## Security alerts
                    508: By the time that you have installed your system, it is quite likely that bugs in
                    509: the release have been found. All significant and easily fixed problems will be
                    510: reported at
                    511: [](
                    512: It is recommended that you check this page regularly.
                    514: ## Stopping and rebooting the system
                    516: Use one of the following two shutdown commands to halt or reboot the system:
                    518:     # shutdown -h now
                    519:     # shutdown -r now
                    521: Two other commands to perform the same tasks are:
                    523:     # halt
                    524:     # reboot
                    526: halt, reboot and shutdown are not synonyms: the latter is more sophisticated. On
                    527: a multiuser system you should really use shutdown, which allows you to schedule
                    528: a shutdown time and notify users. It will also take care to stop processes
                    529: properly. For more information, see the
                    530: [shutdown(8)](,
                    531: [halt(8)]( and
                    532: [reboot(8)](
                    533: manpages.

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