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Old 20th January 2010
mgreen mgreen is offline
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Unhappy afterboot questions following new installation

I am well experienced in FreeBSD and Unix but recently did my first NetBSD install. It went like a dream - except for one obscure problem. I found the idea of the "afterboot" manpage very usefull. Everything was explained just fine and worked first time when I followed the instructions - except setting my DomainName server. The instructions state "put an entry in /etc/resolv.conf", ( eg nameserver ). I did this but it didn't work. I racked my brains and wasted several hours reading and trying everything I could find on the web. This took 3 times longer than the install itself. Finally I discovered the problem. Whatever looks at "resolv.conf" will NOT tolerate white space at the start of the line. It doesn't take SPACES or TABS at the start of the line. The "afterboot" instructions however show the example entries as being seemingly in the middle of the line. This error ( of mine) was first noted when I read /var/log/messages after my first boot. It causes the time sync daemon to go wrong - obviously in retrospect it couldn't get a name lookup to contact the clock server but at the time that wasn't clear. Only when I attempted to ping a host outside my network did it become obvious that there was no name lookup working.

The "afterboot" manpage needs (when someone has time) to be augmented with a warning of this gotcha. This seems like a trivial thing and I rather enjoyed the hunt for this problem, but it did stand out as a blot on an otherwise excellent installation procedure.

One other thing surprised me. The install offered to partion the disk automatically, but to my surprise didn't allocate a swap partition, which leads to warnings on boot about "No swap space allocated". I wasn't too annoyed because I had just previously been ranting about PCBSD install, which doesn't let you put your swap on a second disk. The "afterboot" man page should warn you that if you have got this situation you should either partition a swap on your second disk, or create a swap file (or 2) and put an entry in /etc/fstab . It should explain about "swapctl" .

I have three questions about swap.
How much slower is a swap file than a swap partition ?
Does NetBSD stripe swap across multiple swap areas ?
Other Unix often says "always try to have two or more swap areas", whereas NetBSD seems to be suggesting you use the "priority" field which would cause normally the use of only one area even though you may have multiple swap areas.
What is the best advice on this?
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