Chapter 3. The Boot and Login Environments

Introduction

When it comes to configuring systems, many users are reluctant to change the default boot process. Visions of unbootable systems, inaccessible data, and reinstalls dance in their heads. Yes, it is good to be mindful of such things as they instill the necessary attention to detail you’ll need to use when making changes. However, once you’ve taken the necessary precautions, do take advantage of the hacks found in this chapter. Many of them will increase the security of your system.

This chapter also includes several password hacks. You’ll learn how to create an effective password policy and monitor compliance to that policy. You’ll find tools designed to assist you and your users in making good password choices. You’ll also learn how to configure OTP, an excellent choice for when you’re on the road and wish to access your network’s resources securely.

Customize the Default Boot Menu

Configure a splash screen.

You’re not quite sure what you did to give the impression that you don’t already have enough to do. Somehow, though, you were elected at the latest staff meeting to create a jazzy logo that will appear on every user’s computer when they boot up in the morning.

While you may not be able to tell from first glance, the FreeBSD boot menu supports a surprising amount of customization. Let’s start by examining your current menu to see which tools you have to work with.

The Default Boot Menu

Your default boot menu will vary slightly ...

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