FreeBSD  Release  12.0  Install  Guide



Scroll lock history

While your system boots, probe messages scroll across the console screen so fast that you can not read them. Or when you list the contents of a large directory the same thing happens. The messages may have scrolled off your screen, but they are still in the screen buffer. You can redisplay the messages from the screen buffer. You hit the keyboard 'scroll lock' button, (IE: top row right side) and then use the keyboard up arrow button to scroll back through the screen buffer to redisplay the message lines. The 'page up' and 'page down' buttons also work to move backward and forwards through the screen buffer one full screen page at a time. Hit the 'scroll lock' button again when you are finished to return to the command line prompt.

The default size of the screen buffer is to small to contain all the boot messages, so it should be increased to 250 lines.

This is how you increase the size of the screen buffer.

Add the -h 250 option onto the vidcontrol statement you already added to the /etc/rc.conf file

ee /etc/rc.conf

and make it look like this:

vidcontrol -c blink –h 250     # -c turn on blinking console curser
                               # -h Set the size of the history (scrollback) 
                               #    buffer in number of lines.

Save the changed file and ‘reboot’ your system for your edit changes to take effect.


Assigning a Host name to your FBSD system

Your FBSD operating system has internal software applications (like sendmail for one) that needs to know the fully qualified domain name of the PC it's running on. You do this by adding the option statement hostname= to /etc/rc.conf.

This is the format to use.


Where thisPCname came be any name you want to identify this particular PC on your LAN. Since the goal of this Installation Guide is to build a FBSD gateway server, the name of this PC should be gateway.

Where .fakeDOMAINname can be any name you want as long as it's not a registered domain name on the public Internet (unless of course it's registered to you). Using FBSDyourlastname is a safe fake domain name to use here. So if your name was Tom Jones, you should use fbsdjones.

Where .tld can be any of the standard TLD's currently in use. Such as .com or .usa or .info or .cc, but since .com is the most commonly used TLD, I recommend using .com. is a very acceptable fake host name to use.

ee /etc/rc.conf

and add this option statement to the file:


Save the changed file and ‘reboot’ your system for your edit changes to take effect.

When the reboot stops at the login prompt, the line displayed just above it will now contain your host name you just added to rc.conf.

Installer Note: If you have an official registered domain name that you want to use for your email sendmail server, then use that in the hostname= statement. Example, if my registered domain name was then hostname=’’ is what I would code.


Hosts File

FBSD looks in this file first to reconcile private LAN domain names to IP address. This includes the domain name you assigned to this FBSD system with the 'hostname=' statement from the above step.

ee /etc/hosts

Find this statement: localhost

Change this to: localhost

Fetchmail looks for localhost  to work correctly.

Save the changed file and ‘reboot’ your system for your edit changes to take effect.


Screen Saver

By default, the console driver will not attempt to do anything special with your screen when it's idle. If you expect to leave your monitor switched on and idle for long periods of time then you should probably enable one of these screen savers to prevent phosphor burn-in.

Add the following statement to /etc/rc.conf and replace the xxxxxx with the keyword of the screen saver you want to use.

ee /etc/rc.conf


Keyword     Description

blank       Simply blank the screen black>
daemon      Animated BSD Daemon (text)
fade        Fade out effect
fire        Flames effect
green       Green power saving mode (if support by monitor)
logo        Animated BSD Daemon (graphics)
rain        Rain drops
snake       Draw a FreeBSD snake on your screen
star        Twinkling Stars effect
warp        Stars Warping effect

The default time interval is 300 seconds (5 minutes) of being idle before the screen saver is activated automatically. To change the time interval, add the following statement to /etc/rc.conf and substitute the interval time you want in seconds for the xxx value.



Basic EMAIL Information

FBSD has a built in email server (MTA) mail transport agent called sendmail. It is preconfigured to be totally operational once you tell it the domain name it's to use to represent itself. You just did that in the previous step with hostname="". Sendmail will now handle all the mail services for The main point being made here is that the email sever is all configured and ready to go without any additional changes needed. When you add users to your system, they have to belong to the "mail" group to retrieve mail from the sendmail server through the pop3 server qpopper.


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This FreeBSD Install Guide is an public domain HOW-TO. This content may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, and used by all without permission in writing from the author.