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    1: **Contents**
    3: [[!toc levels=3]]
    5: # The first steps on NetBSD
    7: After installing and rebooting, the computer will boot from the hard disk. If
    8: everything went well, you'll be looking at the login prompt within a few seconds
    9: (or minutes, depending on your hardware). The system is not yet fully
   10: configured, but basic configuration is easy. You will see how to quickly
   11: configure some important things, and in doing so you will learn some basics
   12: about how the system works.
   14: ## Troubleshooting
   16: ### Boot problems
   18: If the system does not boot it could be that the boot manager was not installed
   19: correctly or that there is a problem with the *MBR* (*Master Boot Record*). Boot
   20: the machine from your install medium (CD, DVD, floppy, etc.) and when you see
   21: the boot menu, select the option to drop to the boot prompt.
   23:     type "?" or "help" for help.
   24:     > ?
   25:     commands are:
   26:     boot [xdNx:][filename] [-12acdqsvxz]
   27:          (ex. "hd0a:netbsd.old -s")
   28:     ls [path]
   29:     dev xd[N[x]]:
   30:     consdev {pc|com[0123]|com[0123]kbd|auto}
   31:     modules {enabled|disabled}
   32:     load {path_to_module}
   33:     multiboot [xdNx:][filename] [<args>]
   34:     help|?
   35:     quit
   36:     > boot hd0a:netbsd
   38: The system should now boot from the hard disk. If NetBSD does not boot correctly
   39: from the hard disk, there is probably a Master Boot Record problem. You can
   40: install the boot manager or modify its configuration with the **fdisk -B**
   41: command. See [[Installing the boot manager|guide/misc#bootmanager]] for a
   42: detailed description.
   44: ### Misconfiguration of /etc/rc.conf
   46: If you or the installation software haven't done any configuration of
   47: `/etc/rc.conf` (sysinst normally will), the system will drop you into *single
   48: user mode* and show the message
   50:     /etc/rc.conf is not configured. Multiuser boot aborted
   52: When the system asks you to choose a shell, simply press `RETURN` to get to a
   53: /bin/sh prompt. If you are asked for a terminal type, respond with `vt220`
   54: (or whatever is appropriate for your terminal type) and press RETURN. You may
   55: need to type one of the following commands to get your delete key to work
   56: properly, depending on your keyboard:
   58:     # stty erase '^h'
   59:     # stty erase '^?'
   61: At this point, you need to configure at least one file in the `/etc` directory.
   62: However, the root file system (`/`) is mounted read-only, so you will first need
   63: to make it writable with:
   65:     # mount -u -w /
   67: Next, take a look at the `/etc/rc.conf` file. Modify it to your tastes, making
   68: sure that you set `rc_configured=YES` so that you don't end up in this position
   69: again. Default values for the various programs can be found in
   70: `/etc/defaults/rc.conf`. More complete documentation can be found in
   71: [rc.conf(5)](
   73: When you have finished, type `exit` at the prompt to leave the single-user shell
   74: and continue with the multi-user boot.
   76: ## The man command
   78: If you have never used a Unix(-like) operating system before, your best friend
   79: is now the
   80: [man(1)]( command,
   81: which displays a manual page. The NetBSD manual pages are among the best and
   82: most detailed you can find, although they are very technical.
   84: A good manual to read after booting a new NetBSD system is
   85: [afterboot(8)](
   86: It contains information about various necessary and useful configuration
   87: settings.
   89: `man name` shows the man page of the `name` command and `man -k name` shows a
   90: list of man pages dealing with `name`. The tool
   91: [apropos(1)]( does
   92: a full-text search on the manpages installed on your system, sorted by
   93: relevance.
   95: To learn the basics of the `man` command, type:
   97:     # man man
   99: Manual pages contain not only information about commands but also descriptions
  100: of some NetBSD features and structures. For example, take a look at the
  101: [hier(7)]( man
  102: page, which describes in detail the layout of the filesystem used by NetBSD.
  104:     # man hier
  106: Other similar pages are
  107: [release(7)](
  108: and
  109: [pkgsrc(7)](
  111: Manual pages are divided in several sections, depending on what they document:
  113:  1. general commands (tools and utilities), see
  114:     [intro(1)](
  115:  2. system calls and error numbers, see
  116:     [intro(2)](
  117:  3. C libraries, see
  118:     [intro(3)](
  119:  4. special files and hardware support, see
  120:     [intro(4)](
  121:  5. file formats, see
  122:     [intro(5)](
  123:  6. games, see
  124:     [intro(6)](
  125:  7. miscellaneous information pages, see
  126:     [intro(7)](
  127:  8. system maintenance and operation commands, see
  128:     [intro(8)](
  129:  9. kernel internals, see
  130:     [intro(9)](
  132: You can read the introduction to each of the sections by reading the `intro`
  133: page of the specific section (in this case, 8):
  135:     # man 8 intro
  137: A subject may appear in more than one section of the manual; to view a specific
  138: page, supply the section number as an argument to the man command. For example,
  139: `time` appears in section 1 (the time user command) and in section 3 (the time
  140: function of the C library). To see the man page for the time C function, write:
  142:     # man 3 time
  144: To see all the available pages:
  146:     # man -w time
  147:     # man -a time
  149: ## Editing configuration files
  151: Other than a shell, a text editor is the most essential tool for NetBSD system
  152: administration.
  154: Though there is the line-editor
  155: [ed(1)](, you might
  156: want to use the other editor provided with the NetBSD base system, named
  157: [vi(1)]( There is a
  158: [separate chapter](guide/edit) about using vi. You should read this first, as
  159: editing config files is essentially for using NetBSD.
  161: Though vi(1) is *the* standard on Unix systems, you maybe want to get a bit used
  162: to ed(1). vi is an descendant of ed, and the commands used in ed are applicable
  163: for vi as well.
  165: ## Login
  167: For the first login you will use the `root` user, which is the only user defined
  168: at the end of the installation. At the password prompt type the password for
  169: root that you set during the installation. If you didn't set a password, just
  170: press `Enter`. Note that the password isn't echoed when you type it!
  172:     NetBSD/i386 (Amnesiac) (ttyE0)
  173:     login: root
  174:     password:
  175:     We recommend creating a non-root account and using su(1) for
  176:     root access.
  177:     #
  179: ## Changing the root password
  181: If you did not set a password for `root` during the installation, you should use
  182: the [passwd(1)](
  183: command to do so now:
  185:     # passwd
  186:     Changing local password for root.
  187:     New password:
  188:     Retype new password:
  190: Passwords are not displayed on the screen while you type.
  192: Choose a password that has numbers, digits, and special characters (not space)
  193: as well as from the upper and lower case alphabet. Do not choose any word in any
  194: language. It is common for an intruder to use dictionary attacks.
  195: Nonetheless, you should choose a password you can type independent of the
  196: keyboard layout. When using some special characters, you might have problems
  197: typing it with your local keymap later on.
  199: ## Adding users
  201: For security reasons, it is bad practice to login as root during regular use and
  202: maintenance of the system. Instead, administrators are encouraged to add a
  203: regular user, add the user to the `wheel` group, then use the
  204: [su(1)]( command
  205: when root privileges are required. NetBSD offers the
  206: [useradd(8)](
  207: utility to create user accounts. For example, to create a new user:
  209:     # useradd -m joe
  211: The defaults for the useradd command can be changed; see the
  212: [useradd(8)](
  213: man page.
  215: User accounts that can `su` to root are required to be in the `wheel` group.
  216: This can be done when the account is created by specifying a secondary group:
  218:     # useradd -m -G wheel joe
  220: As an alternative, the
  221: [usermod(8)](
  222: command can be used to add a user to an existing group:
  224:     # usermod -G wheel joe
  226: In case you just created a user but forgot to set a password, you can still do
  227: that later using
  228: [passwd(1)](
  230:     # passwd joe
  232: ### Note
  234: You can edit `/etc/group` directly to add users to groups, but do *not* edit the
  235: `/etc/passwd` directly; use
  236: [vipw(8)](
  238: ## Shadow passwords
  240: Shadow passwords are enabled by default. This means is that all passwords in
  241: `/etc/passwd` are set to `\*`; the encrypted passwords are stored in a file that
  242: can only be read by root: `/etc/master.passwd`. When you start
  243: [vipw(8)]( to edit
  244: the password file, the program opens a copy of `/etc/master.passwd`; when you
  245: exit, vipw checks the validity of the copy, creates a new `/etc/passwd` and
  246: installs the new `/etc/master.passwd` file. Finally, vipw launches
  247: [pwd\_mkdb(8)](,
  248: which creates the files `/etc/pwd.db` and `/etc/spwd.db`, two databases which
  249: are equivalent to `/etc/passwd` and `/etc/master.passwd` but faster to process.
  251: It is very important to *always* use `vipw` and the other tools for account
  252: administration
  253: ([chfn(1)](,
  254: [chsh(1)](,
  255: [chpass(1)](,
  256: [passwd(1)](
  257: and to *never* directly modify `/etc/master.passwd` or `/etc/passwd`.
  259: ## Changing the keyboard layout
  261: If you do not have a US layout keyboard, you probably want to change keymaps.
  262: For example, to use an italian keyboard, enter the following command:
  264:     # wsconsctl -k -w encoding=it
  265:     encoding -> it
  267: To save the keyboard layout permanently, add the following line to the
  268: `/etc/wscons.conf` file:
  270:     encoding it
  272: See [[Keyboard mappings|guide/cons#keyboard_mappings]] for a list of
  273: available keymaps.
  275: ## System time
  277: NetBSD, like all Unix systems, uses a system clock based on Greenwich time (GMT)
  278: and this is what you should set your system clock to. If you want to keep the
  279: system clock set to the local time (because, for example, you have a dual boot
  280: system with Windows installed), you must notify NetBSD by adding
  281: `rtclocaltime=YES` to `/etc/rc.conf`:
  283:     # echo rtclocaltime=YES >> /etc/rc.conf
  284:     # sh /etc/rc.d/rtclocaltime restart
  286: The number of minutes west of GMT is calculated automatically and is set in the
  287: `kern.rtc_offset` sysctl variable.
  289: To display the current setting of the `kern.rtc_offset` variable:
  291:     # sysctl kern.rtc_offset
  292:     kern.rtc_offset = -60
  294: This automatic configuration only works if you have set the proper time zone by
  295: a symbolic link `/etc/localtime`. Normally this is done as part of the install
  296: procedure, but if for some reason it wasn't, you can set it by creating a
  297: symbolic link from `/etc/localtime` to a file in the `/usr/share/zoneinfo`
  298: directory.
  300: The following example sets the time zone to Eastern Europe Summer Time:
  302:     # ln -fs /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Helsinki /etc/localtime
  304: ## Secure Shell ssh(1)
  306: By default, all services are disabled in a fresh NetBSD installation, and
  307: [ssh(1)]( is no
  308: exception. You may wish to enable it so you can log in to your system remotely.
  309: Set `sshd=YES` in `/etc/rc.conf` and then start the server with the command
  311:     # /etc/rc.d/sshd start
  313: The first time the server is started, it will generate a new keypair, which will
  314: be stored inside the directory `/etc/ssh`.
  316: Note that you can enable sshd also by using the configuration menu of `sysinst`.
  317: If you did this, you don't have to do it by hand (and sshd should already have
  318: started at boot time).
  320: ## Basic configuration in /etc/rc.conf
  322: NetBSD uses `/etc/rc.conf` to determine what will be executed when the system
  323: boots. Understanding this file is important. The
  324: [rc.conf(5)](
  325: manual page contains a detailed description of all available options.
  327: The `/etc/defaults/rc.conf` file contains the default values for most settings.
  328: To override a default value, the new value must be put into `/etc/rc.conf`. The
  329: definitions there override the ones in `/etc/defaults/rc.conf` (which you should
  330: leave unchanged).
  332:     # man rc.conf
  334: The first modifications are:
  336:  * Set `rc_configured=YES` (this modification should already have been done by
  337:    the installation software.)
  338:  * Set `dhclient=YES` to configure your system's network using DHCP.
  339:  * Define a `hostname` for your machine (use a fully qualified hostname, i.e.,
  340:    one including domain). If you have a standalone machine you can use any name
  341:    (for example, `vigor3.your.domain`). If your machine is connected to a
  342:    network, you should supply the correct name.
  343:  * If your are connected to a local network or the Internet through a router,
  344:    set the `defaultroute` variable to the IP address of your router (sometimes
  345:    called a `default gateway`). For example, `defaultroute=`.
  347: ## Basic network settings
  349: To resolve the names and IP addresses of remote hosts, the system needs access
  350: to a (remote or local) *DNS nameserver*. Tell the system which nameserver(s) to
  351: use by adding the IP address of one or more nameservers to the
  352: `/etc/resolv.conf` file, using the following as an example:
  354:     nameserver
  356: There are public name servers available, but your Internet Service Provider
  357: should always provide some to you anyway.
  359: To set the names of local hosts that are not available through DNS, edit the
  360: `/etc/hosts` file, which has the form:
  362:     IP-address  hostname  host
  364: For example:
  366: vigor3.your.domain vigor3
  368: ## Mounting a CD-ROM
  370: New users are often surprised by the fact that although the installation program
  371: recognized and mounted their CD-ROM perfectly, the installed system seems to
  372: have "forgotten" how to use the CD-ROM. There is no special magic for using a
  373: CD-ROM; you can mount it like any other file system. All you need to know is the
  374: device name and some options to the
  375: [mount(8)](
  376: command. You can find the device name with the aforementioned
  377: [dmesg(8)](
  378: command. For example, if dmesg displays:
  380:     # dmesg | grep ^cd
  381:     cd0 at atapibus0 drive 1: <ASUS CD-S400/A, , V2.1H> type 5 cdrom removable
  383: the device name is `cd0`, and you can mount the CD-ROM with the following
  384: commands:
  386:     # mkdir /cdrom
  387:     # mount -t cd9660 -o ro /dev/cd0a /cdrom
  389: To make things easier, you can add a line to the `/etc/fstab` file:
  391:     /dev/cd0a /cdrom cd9660 ro,noauto 0 0
  393: Without the need to reboot, you can now mount the CD-ROM with:
  395:     # mount /cdrom
  397: When the CD-ROM is mounted you can't eject it manually; you will have to unmount
  398: it before you can do that:
  400:     # umount /cdrom
  402: There is also a software command which unmounts the CD-ROM and ejects it:
  404:     # eject /dev/cd0a
  406: ## Mounting a floppy
  408: To mount a floppy you must know the name of the floppy device and the file
  409: system type of the floppy. Read the
  410: [fdc(4)]( manpage
  411: for more information about device naming, as this will differ depending on the
  412: exact size and kind of your floppy disk. For example, to read and write a
  413: floppy in MS-DOS format you use the following command:
  415:     # mount -t msdos /dev/fd0a /mnt
  417: Instead of `/mnt`, you can use another directory of your choice; you could, for
  418: example, create a `/floppy` directory like you did for the CD-ROM. If you do a
  419: lot of work with MS-DOS floppies, you will want to install the
  420: [sysutils/mtools]( package, which enables you
  421: to access a MS-DOS floppy (or hard disk partition) without the need to mount it.
  422: It is very handy for quickly copying a file to or from a floppy:
  424:     # mcopy foo bar a:
  425:     # mcopy a:baz.txt baz
  426:     # mcopy a:\*.jpg .
  428: ## Installing additional software
  430: ### Using packages from pkgsrc
  432: If you wish to install any of the software freely available for UNIX-like
  433: systems you are strongly advised to first check the NetBSD package system,
  434: [pkgsrc]( pkgsrc automatically handles any changes
  435: necessary to make the software run on NetBSD. This includes the retrieval and
  436: installation of any other packages on which the software may depend.
  438: pkgsrc might have been installed already by `sysinst`, so you don't have to
  439: install it manually.
  441:  * See the [list of available
  442:    packages](
  444:  * Precompiled binaries are available on the NetBSD FTP server for some ports.
  445:    To install them the `PKG_PATH` variable needs to be adjusted in the following
  446:    way (under the
  447:    [sh(1)]( shell):
  449:        # export PKG_PATH="<PORT>/<RELEASE-NUMBER>/All"
  450:        # export PKG_PATH
  452:    Where `<RELEASE-NUMBER>` needs to be replaced by the release number of an
  453:    existing NetBSD release (for example, 6.1). `<PORT>` needs to be replaced by
  454:    the Port name for the used architecture (for example, amd64)
  456:    Applications can now be installed by `root` with the pkg\_add command:
  458:        # pkg_add -v perl
  459:        # pkg_add -v apache
  460:        # pkg_add -v firefox
  461:        # pkg_add -v kde
  463:    The above commands will install the Perl programming language, Apache web
  464:    server, Firefox web browser and the KDE desktop environment as well as all
  465:    the packages they depend on.
  467:    Installed applications can be updated in the following way:
  469:        # pkg_add -uv firefox
  471:    The following command will force an update of firefox and all of its
  472:    dependencies:
  474:        # pkg_add -fuuv firefox
  476:    All details about package management can be found in [*The pkgsrc
  477:    guide*](
  479:  * Maybe you already installed
  480:    [pkgtools/pkgin]( `sysinst` provides an
  481:    option to install pkgin (if not, you can install it like any other software).
  482:    `pkgin` is a binary package manager, but more sophisticated than `pkg_add`.
  483:    It maintains a database of packages on the server you can fetch with:
  485:        # pkgin update
  487:    Its usage is oriented on the package tools you have with other operating
  488:    systems. To search the package database for a word `stat`, use
  490:        # pkgin search WORD
  492:    To install a package (in this case `fscd`), just type
  494:        # pkgin install fscd
  496:    You should read the manpage to know about more actions you can do with pkgin.
  498: ### Storing third-party software
  500: On many UNIX-like systems the directory structure under `/usr/local` is reserved
  501: for applications and files which are independent of the system's software
  502: management. This convention is the reason why most software developers expect
  503: their software to be installed under `/usr/local`. NetBSD has no `/usr/local`
  504: directory, but it can be created manually if needed. NetBSD does not care about
  505: anything installed under `/usr/local`, so this task is left to you as the system
  506: administrator.
  508: ### Security alerts
  510: ## Security alerts
  512: By the time that you have installed your system, it is quite likely that bugs in
  513: the release have been found. All significant and easily fixed problems will be
  514: reported at
  515: [](
  516: It is recommended that you check this page regularly.
  518: ## Stopping and rebooting the system
  520: Use one of the following two shutdown commands to halt or reboot the system:
  522:     # shutdown -h now
  523:     # shutdown -r now
  525: Two other commands to perform the same tasks are:
  527:     # halt
  528:     # reboot
  530: halt, reboot and shutdown are not synonyms: the latter is more sophisticated. On
  531: a multiuser system you should really use shutdown, which allows you to schedule
  532: a shutdown time and notify users. It will also take care to stop processes
  533: properly. For more information, see the
  534: [shutdown(8)](,
  535: [halt(8)]( and
  536: [reboot(8)](
  537: manpages.

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