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RESCUE(8)               FreeBSD System Manager's Manual              RESCUE(8)

     rescue -- rescue utilities in /rescue

     The /rescue directory contains a collection of common utilities intended
     for use in recovering a badly damaged system.  With the transition to a
     dynamically-linked root beginning with FreeBSD 5.2, there is a real pos-
     sibility that the standard tools in /bin and /sbin may become non-func-
     tional due to a failed upgrade or a disk error.  The tools in /rescue are
     statically linked and should therefore be more resistant to damage.  How-
     ever, being statically linked, the tools in /rescue are also less func-
     tional than the standard utilities.  In particular, they do not have full
     use of the locale, pam(3), and nsswitch libraries.

     If your system fails to boot, and it shows a prompt similar to:

           Enter full pathname of shell or RETURN for /bin/sh:

     the first thing to try running is the standard shell, /bin/sh.  If that
     fails, try running /rescue/sh, which is the rescue shell.  To repair the
     system, the root partition must first be remounted read-write.  This can
     be done with the following mount(8) command:

           /rescue/mount -uw /

     The next step is to double-check the contents of /bin, /sbin, and
     /usr/lib, possibly mounting a FreeBSD rescue or ``live file system'' CD-
     ROM (e.g., disc2 of the officially released FreeBSD ISO images) and copy-
     ing files from there.  Once it is possible to successfully run /bin/sh,
     /bin/ls, and other standard utilities, try rebooting back into the stan-
     dard system.

     The /rescue tools are compiled using crunchgen(1), which makes them con-
     siderably more compact than the standard utilities.  To build a FreeBSD
     system where space is critical, /rescue can be used as a replacement for
     the standard /bin and /sbin directories; simply change /bin and /sbin to
     be symbolic links pointing to /rescue.  Since /rescue is statically
     linked, it should also be possible to dispense with much of /usr/lib in
     such an environment.

     In contrast to its predecessor /stand, /rescue is updated during normal
     FreeBSD source and binary upgrades.

     /rescue  Root of the rescue hierarchy.

     crunchgen(1), crash(8)

     The rescue utilities first appeared in FreeBSD 5.2.

     The rescue system was written by Tim Kientzle <>.  This
     manual page was written by Simon L. Nielsen <>, based on
     text by Tim Kientzle <>.

     Most of the rescue tools work even in a fairly crippled system.  The most
     egregious exception is the rescue version of vi(1), which currently
     requires that /usr be mounted so that it can access the termcap(5) files.
     Hopefully, a failsafe termcap(3) entry will eventually be added into the
     ncurses(3) library, so that /rescue/vi can be used even in a system where
     /usr cannot immediately be mounted.  In the meantime, the rescue version
     of the ed(1) editor can be used from /rescue/ed if you need to edit
     files, but cannot mount /usr.

FreeBSD 6.2                      July 23, 2003                     FreeBSD 6.2


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