FreeBSD  Release  8.0  Installer  Guide


The /tmp directory is where FBSD places all of its temporary work files created during port installs, cvsup, and package installs. The problem is this directory never gets emptied and can start to consume a lot of hard disk space. Many users wonder why their system wide backups start taking longer and longer to complete. It’s because the /tmp directory is growing. The /tmp directory can be cleared every time you boot the system. You have to customize /etc/rc.conf file to enable this function be adding this statement

ee /etc/rc.conf

clear_tmp_enable="YES"      # YES has to be in capital letters


The mouse has a copy/paste function which defaults to a 3 button mouse. Many users are unaware the mouse copy/paste function even exists, because they have an industry standard 2 button mouse. Why the mouse copy/paste program has not been updated to use the industry standard 2 button mouse as its default is unknown. You will find it very useful when editing a file or any time you want to copy & paste some message from your screen to a file. There is really no 'cut' function as you know it from MS/Windows. If you read the ‘moused’ manual documentation in the caveats section at the end of the manual, you will see that they call it cut and paste. That is a error in the documentation (it can not cut, as in remove the highlighted text from the screen or edit file) it only copies the highlighted text to the internal paste buffer. Just think of it as copy and paste.

The logical button 1 (logical left) selects a region of text on the console screen and copies it to the paste buffer. The logical button 3 (logical right) extends the selected region. The logical button 2 (logical middle) pastes the selected text at the text cursor position.

If the mouse has only two buttons, the middle, `paste' button is not available. To obtain the paste function, use the moused -m 2=3 option to assign the physical right button to the logical middle button.

During the install process you were asked if you have an USB mouse. If not sysinstall presented you with options to configure your non-USB mouse, the results of which were inserted into the master start up configuration file /etc/rc.conf as a group of over ride options statements.


You have to customize /etc/rc.conf file to enable the 2 button mouse copy/paste function. Serial, PS2, and USB mouse's all need this option;

ee /etc/rc.conf

Add this statement:

moused_flags="-m 2=3"       # config for 2 button mouse

Also you may want to add this statement to make the curser blink on all virtual terminals:

vidcontrol -c blink         # turn on blinking console curser

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


With the mouse enabled you will now see two cursors on your console screen. The mouse cursor is a white arrow that moves with the mouse. The other cursor is a white block which is the UNIX text cursor.

Move the mouse arrow cursor to the start of some word that is displayed on your screen. Depress the left mouse button and hold it down while you drag the mouse to highlight the word you want to copy. Release the left mouse button at end of what you want to copy. Whatever you highlighted has been copied to the internal paste buffer. The UNIX white block text cursor is on the command line. Move the mouse‘s white arrow to the command line; pressing the right mouse button will paste the selected text on the command line.

When using the ee editor the copy/paste function works fine. You just have to use the keyboard arrow keys to move the UNIX white block text cursor to the location you want to paste your text.


There is a kernel source option to change the mouse arrow pointer to a color red block. I found the white small arrow gets lost on the screen among all the white letters of the words. Sometime soon you will be building your own customized kernel source. So keep this mouse curser option in mind when you build your own custom kernel. Add the following statement to your kernel source and recompile.

options SC_ALT_MOUSE_IMAGE    # Show red Block curser not arrow


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