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LOADER.CONF(5)            FreeBSD File Formats Manual           LOADER.CONF(5)

     loader.conf - system bootstrap configuration information

     The file loader.conf contains descriptive information on bootstrapping
     the system.  Through it you can specify the kernel to be booted,
     parameters to be passed to it, and additional modules to be loaded; and
     generally set all variables described in loader(8).

     The file /boot/loader.rc must contain the following two lines for
     loader.conf to be automatically processed:

           include /boot/loader.4th

     If no /boot/loader.rc exists at installworld time, one with the above
     lines will be installed.

     Though loader.conf's format was defined explicitly to resemble
     rc.conf(5), and can be sourced by sh(1), some settings are treated in a
     special fashion.  Also, the behavior of some settings is defined by the
     setting's suffix; the prefix identifies which module the setting

     The general parsing rules are:

        Spaces and empty lines are ignored.

        A # sign will mark the remainder of the line as a comment.

        Only one setting can be present on each line.

     All settings have the following format:


     Unless it belongs to one of the classes of settings that receive special
     treatment, a setting will set the value of a loader(8) environment
     variable.  The settings that receive special treatment are listed below.
     Settings beginning with "*" below define the modules to be loaded and may
     have any prefix; the prefix identifies a module.  All such settings
     sharing a common prefix refer to the same module.

     exec          Immediately executes a loader(8) command.  This type of
                   setting cannot be processed by programs other than
                   loader(8), so its use should be avoided.  Multiple
                   instances of it will be processed independently.

                   Defines additional configuration files to be processed
                   right after the present file.

     kernel        Name of the kernel to be loaded.  If no kernel name is set,
                   no additional modules will be loaded.  The name must be a
                   subdirectory of /boot that contains a kernel.

                   Flags to be passed to the kernel.

                   Specify the root partition to mount.  For example:


                   loader(8) automatically calculates the value of this
                   tunable from /etc/fstab from the partition the kernel was
                   loaded from.  The calculated value might be calculated
                   incorrectly when /etc/fstab is not available during
                   loader(8) startup (as during diskless booting from NFS), or
                   if a different device is desired by the user.  The
                   preferred value can be set in /loader.conf.

                   The value can also be overridden from the loader(8) command
                   line.  This is useful for system recovery when /etc/fstab
                   is damaged, lost, or read from the wrong partition.

     password      Protect boot menu with a password without interrupting
                   autoboot process.  The password should be in clear text
                   format.  If a password is set, boot menu will not appear
                   until any key is pressed during countdown period specified
                   by autoboot_delay variable or autoboot process fails.  In
                   both cases user should provide specified password to be
                   able to access boot menu.

                   Provides a password to be required by check-password before
                   execution is allowed to continue.  The password should be
                   in clear text format.  If a password is set, the user must
                   provide specified password to boot.

                   If set to ``YES'', module names will be displayed as they
                   are loaded.

     *_load        If set to ``YES'', that module will be loaded.  If no name
                   is defined (see below), the module's name is taken to be
                   the same as the prefix.

     *_name        Defines the name of the module.

     *_type        Defines the module's type.  If none is given, it defaults
                   to a kld module.

     *_flags       Flags and parameters to be passed to the module.

     *_before      Commands to be executed before the module is loaded.  Use
                   of this setting should be avoided.

     *_after       Commands to be executed after the module is loaded.  Use of
                   this setting should be avoided.

     *_error       Commands to be executed if the loading of a module fails.
                   Except for the special value ``abort'', which aborts the
                   bootstrap process, use of this setting should be avoided.

     WARNING: developers should never use these suffixes for any kernel
     environment variables (tunables) or conflicts will result.

     Most of loader.conf's default settings can be ignored.  The few of them
     which are important or useful are:

                     (``NO'') If set to ``YES'', a bitmap will be loaded to be
                     displayed on screen while booting.

                     (``/boot/splash.bmp'') Name of the bitmap to be loaded.
                     Any other name can be used.

                     (``9600'' or the value of the BOOT_COMCONSOLE_SPEED
                     variable when loader(8) was compiled).  Sets the speed of
                     the serial console.  If the previous boot loader stage
                     specified that a serial console is in use then the
                     default speed is determined from the current serial port
                     speed setting.

           console   (``vidconsole'') ``comconsole'' selects serial console,
                     ``vidconsole'' selects the video console, ``nullconsole''
                     selects a mute console (useful for systems with neither a
                     video console nor a serial port), and ``spinconsole''
                     selects the video console which prevents any input and
                     hides all output replacing it with ``spinning'' character
                     (useful for embedded products and such).

           kernel    (``kernel'')

           kernels   (``kernel kernel.old'') Space or comma separated list of
                     kernels to present in the boot menu.

                     (``/boot/loader.conf /boot/loader.conf.local'')

                     (``NO'') If set to ``YES'', will load the splash screen
                     module, making it possible to display a bmp image on the
                     screen while booting.

                     (``NO'') If set to ``YES'', will load the splash screen
                     module, making it possible to display a pcx image on the
                     screen while booting.

                     (``NO'') If set to ``YES'', the vesa module will be
                     loaded, enabling bitmaps above VGA resolution to be

                     If set to ``YES'', the beastie boot menu will be skipped.
                     The beastie boot menu is always skipped if running non-
                     x86 hardware.

           loader_logo (``orbbw'')
                     Selects a desired logo in the beastie boot menu.
                     Possible values are: ``orbbw'', ``orb'', ``fbsdbw'',
                     ``beastiebw'', ``beastie'', and ``none''.

                     If set to ``NO'', the beastie boot menu will be displayed
                     without ANSI coloring.

                     (``YES'') If set to ``NO'', the very early boot-time
                     entropy file will not be loaded.  See the entropy entries
                     in rc.conf(5).

                     (``/boot/entropy'') The name of the very early boot-time
                     entropy cache file.

     /boot/defaults/loader.conf  default settings -- do not change this file.
     /boot/loader.4th            defines the commands used by loader to read
                                 and process loader.conf.
     /boot/loader.conf           user defined settings.
     /boot/loader.conf.local     machine-specific settings for sites with a
                                 common loader.conf.
     /boot/loader.rc             contains the instructions to automatically
                                 process loader.conf.

     rc.conf(5), boot(8), loader(8), loader.4th(8)

     The file loader.conf first appeared in FreeBSD 3.2.

     This manual page was written by Daniel C. Sobral <[email protected]>.

     The loader(8) stops reading loader.conf when it encounters a syntax
     error, so any options which are vital for booting a particular system
     (i.e. ``hw.ata.ata_dma=0'') should precede any experimental additions to

FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4         January 6, 2016        FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4
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