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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Startup and Shutdown Scripts

The startup and shutdown scripts are known as rc scripts after /etc/rc, the script that manages the multiuser boot and shutdown process. While the main rc scripts are in /etc/rc.d, scripts in other locations manage add-on software. Ports and packages install startup scripts, but if you install your own software, you'll need to create your own rc script. If you've never used shell scripts before, read carefully. Shell scripting is not hard, and the best way to learn is by reading examples and making your own variations on those examples. Additionally, to change an existing package's startup or shutdown process, you must understand how the startup scripts function.

During boot and shutdown, FreeBSD checks /usr/local/etc/rc.d ...

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